- Agronomic: annual ryegrass, grass (misc. annual), grass (misc. perennial), hay
- Animals: bovine
- Animal Products: meat
- Animal Production: grazing management, meat product quality/safety
- Education and Training: extension, workshop
Mississippi State University in collaboration with Auburn University and Tuskegee University developed
trainings and hosted a conference to educate beef producers and extension agents about grass-fed beef in
the southeast. The major objective of this program was to deliver educational information to beef
producers through local and regional extension agents to aid in their production of a high quality grass
fed beef product that is currently in demand by local consumers. Agents were trained in 5 hands on
modules: Forage, Cattle, Harvest and Meat Quality, Food Safety and Legal, and Economics and
Marketing. Agents then delivered this training to clientele in their region. A multi-state grass-fed beef conference that will highlighting management practices from the training program twas held, along with a field day and beef focused workshop. It is
anticipated that through the trainings and conference, practices will be impacted that will allow beef
producers in rural Mississippi and Alabama to improve the profitability and sustainability of their farms
while improving environmental stewardship and management practices. The impact of this program was
evaluated through end of session surveys of all participants designed to assess 1) the relevance of the
topics/speakers at the conference, 2) anticipated use of presented practices and 3) total acreage/area
impacted. This provided needed feedback to adjust future educational programs, and provide
preliminary data on clientele who plan to implement these management strategies.
1. Primary objectives: Train the Trainer Programs
Target Audience: Extension agents (regional and county level)
a. To increase the knowledge of trainees in the areas of forage-fed beef finishing systems
b. To increase the trainees confidence in a forage-finished beef product and embrace this
practice as sustainable.
c. To enable the trainees to embrace a new, client base and provide new marketing
venues for this clientele.
d. To increase the trainees ability to assist producers to have a profitable enterprise
through forage management and animal genetics.
e. To provide tools to trainees to have the ability to accept both producers and consumers
into their training program.
2. Secondary objectives: Producer Education Programs
a. Provide a value-added market for their cattle
b. Provide an informed, regional, contact person for farmers
c. Encourage farmers to incorporate beef into their existing crop/forage programs
d. Provide educational resources through course materials
e. Increase economic impact within local communities as farmers will retain or purchase
cattle, supplies, etc., to finish on forages.
f. Teach farmers to optimize genetics and identify animals who will gain and finish rapidly
on forage systems – thus decreasing age at slaughter and environmental impacts.
3. Tertiary objective: Consumer
a. Provide consumers with information to know differences between forage-finished and
b. Teach consumers that all beef is sustainable and that management system is a choice
c. Provide consumers with a ‘local’ product, thus improving economic impact on rural