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Ag News and Notes
Farm Bureau obtains depredation permit for black vultures
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Over the last several weeks, the Extension Office has received several calls from cattle producers facing problems with black vultures. Below is an article that appeared in the Tennessee Farm Bureau Magazine regarding the blanket permit they acquired that might prove to be beneficial to some. 
Last year, per the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services, Tennessee livestock producers reported a total of 233 cattle fatalities because of black vulture attacks. With limited options available to protect the agriculture industry from depredation, black vultures have become a serious issue for Tennessee producers.
“In the past, when we saw a buzzard on the side of the road, we knew they were doing a job for us, a job that consisted of taking care of dead animals,” says Mike Ford, Maury County cattle producer. “Now the birds have overstepped their boundaries and there is a need for all farmers to have help eliminating this problem.”
Due to protection under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the only legal option to protect cattle from black vulture attacks has been to apply annually for an individual black vulture depredation permit at the cost of $100. However, Tennessee Farm Bureau has been working with both state and federal elected agency personnel to seek an alternative to legally protect livestock from depredation.
TFBF has obtained a statewide depredation permit allowing the legal dispatch of black vultures harming livestock. This permit will provide producers an opportunity to apply for a livestock protection depredation sub-permit allowing three legal takes of black vultures that are attacking livestock. Producers experiencing extreme depredation or large black vulture roosts are encouraged to apply for an individual permit with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. 
The sub-permits will be issued to livestock operations only and applications will be scored based on past depredation history, proximity of black vulture roosts, operation size and the general livestock density of the area. TFBF will administer the sub-permits and they will be available at no cost to Farm Bureau members only.
Vultures roost on trees, buildings, or towers. Research conducted by the National Wildlife Research Center suggests installing an effigy to help eliminate the problem because abandonment of their roost usually follows within three to five days. For more information, visit: or contact your county Farm Bureau or email Debbie Briggs, administrative assistant of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, at

Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association and Convention

 The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association will celebrate 32 years of serving the state’s cattle producers with its annual convention and trade show in Murfreesboro on Jan. 13-14. This year’s theme is “Farm Families and Friends,” honoring all livestock producers who will be attending. Nearly 1,000 attendees will hear from top livestock industry speakers who will address herd health, market outlook, forage systems, and the current state of the business.
Cow College speakers include: Dr. David Kohl, agricultural economist from Virginia Tech;
Tracey Brunner, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Josh White,
producer education coordinator for NCBA; Dr. Cliff Lamb who will discuss cattle reproduction, University of Tennessee extension specialists; and Dr. Ron Scott who will discuss fetal programming.
“We have some great speakers this year, with information that will benefit all who attend,” said Gary Daniel, TCA’s president, and Cypress Inn cattle producer. “We’ll also be working on policy for the association and it’s important as a grassroots organization that cattle producers show up and make their voice heard.”
In conjunction with TCA events, the Tennessee Dairy Producers Association and the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association will also meet. Each respective association will hold its own meeting but will come together for a general session. Also, 20 hours of continuing education credits will be available for veterinarians who attend both days of convention through an agreement with the University of Tennessee.
Contact: Heath Nokes, UT-TSU Extension Warren County, 473-8484,