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United Producers, Tennessee Livestock Producers reach agreement

UPI to operate and manage weekly sale barn auctions, monthly TLP video sales, Tennessee Beef Alliance sales and other direct marketing activities.

United Producers Inc. (UPI), the Midwest’s largest livestock marketing cooperative, will be assuming and expanding the business activities of Tennessee Livestock Producers Inc. (TLP) beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Following unanimous votes of approval by both the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation and UPI board of directors,  UPI will begin to operate and manage the weekly auctions at the Columbia and Fayetteville, Tenn., locations as well as TLP's monthly video sales, Tennessee Beef Alliance sales and other direct marketing activities. Producers will have the opportunity to utilize the cooperative’s risk management and credit/financing programs.

UPI and TLP have very similar histories and philosophies and are both governed by a farmer-member board of directors.

“This transition is a natural fit for both of our organizations and the farmers we serve,” UPI president and chief executive officer Mike Bumgarner said. “UPI and TLP share many of the same values, and TLP customers can expect outstanding member service from UPI, including added benefits and services as members of a cooperative. We look forward to working with livestock producers in Tennessee and creating livestock marketing solutions to ensure a sustainable future.”

TLP has been a service company of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation since the early 1960s and has played a major role in helping provide competitive markets.

“We couldn’t be more excited for livestock producers in Tennessee,” Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation president Jeff Aiken said. “UPI offers a valuable and expanded footprint to livestock marketing opportunities with a broader audience of buyers. Our membership has consistently supported exploring new alliances, cooperatives and other marketing initiatives to increase the farmer's net income from his/her efforts, and this is the perfect fit. We believe UPI offers the integrity, honesty and marketing ability farmers need in the marketplace for years to come.”

TLP manager Richard Brown said, “It takes constant vision and strategic leadership to remain competitive and provide exceptional service to cattle producers. Livestock producers will continue to receive the same service commitment from the TLP staff, who will become a part of the UPI team, but will also benefit from UPI’s respect in the industry. This is a win-win for livestock producers in Tennessee.”

UPI serves 35,000 members in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and now Tennessee, handling approximately 3 million head of livestock per year. UPI also offers risk management services, including marketing agreements and brokerage services, and offers competitive credit services for agricultural, farm machinery and livestock financing.

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