Vermont Agriculture & Food System Plan 2021-2030 Vermont Food System Plan Product Brief: Grass-Fed Beef
The market for beef labelled “grass-fed” has been growing quickly across the nation, from $17 million in 2012 sales to $272 million in 2016 sales. Adding value through a production system and/or marketing label can bring higher prices paid to the farmer, and potentially higher farm profitability overall. That said, with increased demand comes increased national and international competition as well as a heightened need to improve Vermont beef genetics and grazing management in order to create year-round quality and consistency for local and regional wholesale markets. Beef represents an exciting opportunity for young and aging farmers, whether animals are grass- or grain-finished in Vermont or sold live into larger regional outlets, but will require focused coordination in order to grow within regional markets and maximize profitability and the benefits to Vermont’s farm economy.