Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Resource Economics

Major Professor

Karen L. DeLong

Committee Members

Christopher N. Boyer, Andrew P. Griffith, Kimberly L. Jensen, Rebecca Trout Fryxell


Beef cattle producers are constantly faced with decisions that will affect the profitability of their operations. Marketing avenues, product differentiation, inputs, efficiency of production, and many other factors can impact profitability. This research analyzes two aspects of the beef industry: restaurant preferences for Tennessee Certified Beef (TCB) and cattle producer preferences for horn fly (Haematobia irritans (L.)) resistant (HFR) cattle. Two surveys were developed using the contingent valuation method to estimate willingness to pay (WTP) for TCB products and HFR bulls. Previous studies have shown consumer and producer interest for TCB; however, this study of restaurant WTP provides further information on the scope of the market. On average, restaurants are willing to pay 36% and 48% premiums above the base price of generic beef products for TCB ground beef and sirloin steak respectively. On the other hand, research has shown the horn fly is a damaging pest to the beef industry causing decreased weight gains and complications from insecticide resistance. This study of cattle producer WTP for HFR bulls found that producers are interested and willing to pay 59% and 55% premiums above the price of a non-HFR bull in Tennessee and Texas respectively. Results suggest that producers could gain from the incorporation of these two ideas through increased premiums received for TCB products and increased horn fly management efficiency through the purchase of HFR bulls.

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