More and more consumers are paying a premium and seeking out beef which is raised exclusively on grass.
“Grass-finished” generally means once the cattle is weaned from mothers’ milk, it consumes grass in open pasture for the entire lifespan, rather than getting fattened up on corn in feed lots during its final months.
Demand for grass-fed beef has been growing at a rate of 20 percent a year, according to one study. More stores are starting to offer grass-finished, but retail availability is still limited. Consumers are taking matters into their own hands by buying direct from ranchers.
David Jessup of Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland, Colo., says they have doubled production in the past year, without really doing any advertising. This year, they expect to sell 50 direct to the public.