Tips for Finishing Grass Fed Beef

From our November 2015 archives, Forrest Pritchard shares what's made his grass fed beef operation successful. I’ve been raising grass fed-and-finished beef for nearly twenty years, and I direct market 125 head of slaughter steers and heifers each year through local farmers’ markets. These animals are 100% pasture finished, averaging 1250 lbs live weight at 24 months of age. All the while, our farm maintains a rolling herd that averages close to 200 stockers, along side of 250 ewes and lambs. As each year passes—10 months of daily, rotational mob grazing, as well as feeding two months worth of hay—our pastures continue to steadily improve, increasing our ability to comfortably (yet conservatively) increase stocking numbers. Hey, it’s a beautiful thing. That we accomplish this on 500 acres of pure pasture, with 35 inches of annual rainfall and limestone soils, might seem extraordinary to some, and perhaps not that surprising to others. But every farm is different, just as every manager has different skill sets, and every herd of cattle will have its superior genetics, mixed with inferior animals. To wit, there are hundreds of operations within a half hour’s drive of my farm that have the same advantages as us, yet produce a fraction as much beef. Like

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2 thoughts on “Tips for Finishing Grass Fed Beef

  1. I’m a bit confused after just reading the article titled, “Is Mob grazing as effective as we thought” by Dennis Hancock. The science does not suggest there are many benefits to Mob grazing though it also indicated more research is needed. What indicators are you using to suggest your pastures “continue to steadily improve?” Just curious,

  2. Great piece! Thanks for the good info. Could you describe your winter setup for your herd? Do you do bale grazing in pastures or a sacrifice area or something else? Thanks!

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