USDA establishes grass-fed marketing claim standard

by Editor
Friday, October 19, 2007

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a voluntary standard for grass-fed or forage-fed marketing claims.

The grass fed standard states that grass and/or forage shall be the feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. This is the precondition to make such claims.

Hay, haylage, baleage, silage and crop residue without grain, may also be included as acceptable feed sources. Routine mineral and vitamin supplements may also be included in the feeding regime.

The diet shall be derived solely from forage and animals cannot be fed grain or grain by-products and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.

The proposed standard will establish the minimum requirements for those producers who choose to operate a USDA verified program involving a grass or forage-fed claim.