Adoption of grass-fed beef management practices

2006 Annual Report for LNE06-236

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2006: $58,594.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Dr. John Comerford
Penn state University

Adoption of grass-fed beef management practices

Objectives/Performance Targets

At least twenty Northeastern grass-fed beef producers will provide benchmark production data and at least ten of these producers will adopt new production procedures that will improve product consistency, customer satisfaction, and profitability to the enterprise

The initial target has been reached and exceeded. After the initial data have been summarized, the second phase of the project will be initiated. Project coordinators will evaluate the results on a farm-by-farm basis and select at least ten farms to offer assistance in improve productivity and profitability of the enterprise. Those selections will be based on expected improvement in production and product value.


A database of at least 200 Northeastern grass-fed beef producers from input from commodity organizations, beef producers, and government agencies will be available.
This database is available and was used.

A sample of at least 20 grass-fed beef producers representing a cross-section of management, economic returns, farm sizes, and locations will provide benchmark information about the practices, economics, and lifestyles of grass-fed beef producers.
Thirty producers were identified and will provide in-depth information concerning the production and marketing program for their grass-fed beef enterprise.

A symposium will allow delivery and exchange of information related to grass-fed beef production among 100 farmers, educators, agribusiness, and scientists, and farmers will identify alternative production practices to improve productivity and customer satisfaction with their products.
The symposium is planned for February 28-March 2, 2007 in Pennsylvania and registration is now open.

Ten or more cooperating grass-fed beef producers will adopt new production practices based on designed studies, intensive production and economic data collection will be occur, and this information will be distributed across the grass-fed beef industry.
These producers will be identified when the survey data are summarized.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Thirty grass-fed beef producers were scheduled for in-depth interviews of production and marketing of grass-fed beef. The interviews will be completed January 3-15, 2007. A comparative study was completed that evaluated grass-fed beef production, carcass traits, and consumer scores. These data were presented at a national conference and are part of the proceedings of the National Conference on Grazing Lands. A symposium with national scope was planned and is scheduled for February 28-March 2, 2007 ( that will provide an exchange of information among researchers, producers, and marketers of grass-fed beef.


Ryan Bapst
Farm Manager
Hedgeapple farm
3735 Buckeystown Pike
Buckeystown, MD 21717
Office Phone: 3016627638
David Hartman
Extension Educator
Penn State University
702 Sawmill Road
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Office Phone: 5707846660
Kris Ribble
NRCS Project Grass
702 Sawmill Rd. Suite 205
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Office Phone: 5707844401
Vivian Baumer

Research Technician
Penn State University
Emily Steinberg

Graduate Assistant
Penn State University
Harold Harpster

Penn State University, Department of Dairy and Ani