SPRING HILL, Tenn. – “The recent results of the National Restaurant Association’s ‘What’s Hot in 2013’ survey look favorable for local, value-added agriculture,” says Megan Bruch, marketing specialist with the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture.  More than 1,800 chefs from across the country participated in the survey.  The results of the study indicate the top menu trends for 2013. 
“Locally-sourced meats and seafood” topped the list followed by “locally-grown produce.”  “New cuts of meat" was ranked as the sixth most-popular trend while farm-branded items ranked 11th on the list.  “These trends in restaurants are good news for Tennessee farmers that are involved with direct marketing of agriculture products such as meat and produce,”  added Bruch. 
The Center for Profitable Agriculture works with Tennessee farmers that are interested in developing value-added farm products and marketing products directly to consumers.  The Center’s director, Rob Holland, adds that locally grown beef and beef products are a growing trend. “We are in our second year of implementing a targeted educational program with Tennessee cattle producers that are interested in developing local markets,” he said.  The center’s “Value-added Beef Program” provides educational workshops, webinars and consultations for cattle producers who are interested in marketing meat and meat cuts direct from the farm.  The center has already conducted more than 18 workshops across the state with 656 cattle producers and is currently offering a series of webinars.  On-farm workshops and tours are being planned for later in the year.
“It really helps build confidence in the market for local farm products when restaurant chefs predict that local meats and produce are top menu trends for 2013.  This is a positive market signal for value-added beef producers,” added Holland. 
Farmers interested in value-added agriculture or the Tennessee Value-Added Beef Program can learn more about the center’s educational resources and events online at https://ag.tennessee.edu/cpa.
The UT Center for Profitable Agriculture is a joint effort of UT Extension and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. The center supports the efforts of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.

Megan L. Bruch, Marketing Specialist, Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-2777