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Williams re-elected state Beef Industry secretary


Janice Williams knows how to take the bull by the horns,

literally.


Williams, a Farragut resident, was recently re-elected for her second term as secretary of the Tennessee Beef Industry Council.

“Basically, the secretary takes the minutes during the closed sessions of the board,” Williams said. “We have a paid staff that does the regular secretarial work.”

The work of the Council, she said, is to promote beef throughout the state of Tennessee.

“I think around forty-two states have a beef board,” she said. “The Beef Board, as we call it, is supported by the farmers of the state. Every time a cow is sold, one dollar is collected. Of that dollar, fifty cents goes to the state Beef Board and the other fifty cents goes to the national Beef Board.”

Williams said the job of the state Beef Board is to spend the money wisely.

“We spend the money on education, research and promotion,” she said.

Promotion is important, she said, because there is a lot of misinformation about the value of beef versus other meats. Williams said beef has ZIP — zinc, iron and protein.

“A four-ounce piece of meat gives you a lot of value,” she said. “It’s when you overdo it that you run into problems.”

Williams said the love of beef and agriculture is something that has been with her most of her life. She and her husband, Lafayette, own Riverview Farms off Choto Road.

“Our farm was land-granted back in the seventeen hundreds and has passed from generation to generation,” she said.

Williams said they have a large herd that is primarily black angus, although the bloodline has a smattering of another breed in it.

“We’re a team on this [cattle] thing,” she said. “I’m on the [Beef] Board because of [Lafayette].”

Williams said Lafayette was on the Meat Judging Team at The University of Tennessee when the team went to a national

competition.

“He was the first person to ever have a perfect score in the National Meat Judging competition,” she said.

Earning a perfect score earned Lafayette accolades in agricultural circles and it, as Williams puts it, “became ‘his golf game.’”

Williams comes from an extensive agriculture background as well. She served as economics editor from 1967 to 1976 for Tennessee Home Economics News, a publication produced through the UT Agriculture Extension Service. Prior to that, she spent five years as an agriculture extension agent.

Williams said her son, Byron, and daughter, Rachel, have always had an interest in the family beef business. Byron earned a master’s degree in agriculture economics. Rachel, who works for the U.S. government, helps the family whenever she and her husband are in town.

Other than beef, Williams said she has rental and real estate businesses that keep her busy.

“I started off in nineteen seventy and bought my first rental home,” she said. “At one time I had about two-hundred rental homes.”

She said time and tide caught up with her and as she got older, she began selling off the homes. Currently, she manages about 100 rental properties.

Williams said she has a separate business in Pigeon Forge, where she is owner of Brentwood Ridge Resort, a cabin rental

business.

 

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