Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

BMC Veterinary Research

Document Type


Publication Date





Inappropriate antimicrobial use (AMU) is a key modifiable factor that leads to the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The objectives of this study were to determine the following among Tennessee beef cattle producers: (1) the opinions on factors driving AMU (2) opinions on alternatives to antimicrobials, (3) the knowledge and perceptions regarding AMU and AMR, and (4) the preferred avenues for receiving information on prudent AMU. A survey questionnaire was made available to participants both in print and online from January 26, 2018 through May 11, 2018. The questions targeted the producers’ demographics and their AMU practices; factors driving producer’s choice of antimicrobials; perceptions, opinions and concerns about AMU and AMR in cattle production. Ordinal logistic regression was used to test for associations between the captured demographic information and producers’ degree of concern about AMR.


Overall, 231 beef producers responded to all or some of the survey questions. More than 60% of the participants mentioned that they kept up-to-date written records on antimicrobial purchases and AMU. Regarding extra-label use, 169 (84.1%) of the 201 respondents did not practice extra-label AMU. Profitability of the beef operation was a key factor influencing the decisions of many producers to use antimicrobials for disease management and prevention on their farms. Of the 228 producers who completed the question on the rating of their degree of concern about AMR, 50 (21.9%) reported that they were very concerned about AMR, 133 (58.3%) were moderately concerned, and 36 (15.8%) reported that they were not concerned about AMR. Nine producers (4%) did not rate their degree of concern about AMR because they were not familiar with what antimicrobial resistance meant. The inferential analyses suggested that younger beef producers were significantly less concerned about AMR when compared to the older ones (P = 0.019). Regarding avenues for receiving information on prudent AMU, no single medium was most preferred by all the respondents.


There is a need to promote the use of written antimicrobial treatment protocols among beef producers in Tennessee. Continued training for beef producers on infection prevention and control and prudent AMU is needed.


This article was published openly thanks to the University of Tennessee Open Publishing Support Fund.

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Submission Type

Publisher's Version

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."