In 2014, Pathfinders RC&D began working with grass-fed beef producers. We received a Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to encourage grass-fed beef market expansion.The purpose of conservation innovation grants is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, and grass-fed beef production fits the bill.
As part of this grant, we are working with a few producers on individual marketing projects to help them grow their businesses. We are also updating and maintaining THIS website as a clearinghouse of information for consumers and producers.
Grass-fed: animals that consume only grass and forage after weaning. The diet may include forage consisting of grass, forbs (legumes, brassica), cereal grain crops in the vegetative (pre-grain) state. Mineral licks and vitamin supplementation is allowed. Animals are not fed grain or grain byproducts and do have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.
People are drawn to grass-fed beef for health reasons (grass-fed meat is leaner and has more omega fatty acids than grain-fed meat) and environmental reasons (managed pasture helps soil health and water quality). We routinely hear from producers and consumers about their concern for their own health, the health of the animal, and the health of the planet. We hope that this site provides a place for you to continue to learn about the areas that interest and concern you!