Producer satisfaction, Consumer health, Environmental conservation
In 2014, Pathfinders 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 www.grassfediowa.com and www.pathfindersrcd.org/grassfedbeef 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.
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