These resources are a good start if you want to learn more about producing grass fed beef and organic grassfed beef for niche markets. When we first started raising grassfed beef 20 years ago, internet resources were limited, but now you can spend days reading the abundant information online. We suggest you start with these, and go from there. Have fun!
Jo Robinson’s clearinghouse site about grass fed meat and milk. Jo maintains a list of producers by state (you can sign up for a nominal fee), monitors and abstracts interesting news and research, and provides a few articles that can be used in your marketing efforts.
Grassfed Educational Website
Sponsored by California State University, Chico College of Agriculture and University of California Cooperative Extension, this website maintains a list of California producers, a summary of health benefits of grass fed beef, and a collection of recipes and links.
American Grassfed Association
According to their website, AGA was “Organized to protect and promote true grassfed producers & grassfed products; as a cooperating multi species entity, that outreaches nationally through Communication, Education, Research and Marketing.” Producers can join the organization ($100) and be listed on their website. The website (and the organization) is in its infancy–some pages have little information yet. The AGA is, however, the only nationally organized producer group promoting grass fed products.
The New Farm at the Rodale Institute
A site from the Rodale Institute. Producer profiles. Price tracking of organic products. Unabashedly organic in bent, with tons of excellent information on direct marketing.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
Maintained by the USDA. Grant program for sustainable agriculture, as well as reports on projects and some staff reports (see next).
Direct Marketing Resource Guide
Online database of SARE articles related to direct marketing. Includes a collection of articles on direct marketing livestock.
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
Extensive site with articles, breaking news, producer profiles, resources. Maintained by the USDA’s Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA).
Missouri Alternatives Center
This is an incredible resource! Maintained by the University of Missouri. Contains links to extension and other publications that can be easily accessed from an alphabetical topics list.
Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society
“Promoting agriculture and food systems that build healthy land, people, communities and quality of life.” Resources, links, publications.
Romance vs. Reality: Hard Lessons Learned in a Grass-fed Beef Marketing Cooperative
This paper dissects the failure the Tallgrass Prairie Producers Co-op which operated from 1995 to 2000, raising and marketing grass-fed beef from ten Kansas ranches. It ceased active operation in 2000. This paper by former business manager of the co-op, Annie Wilson, should be a must-read for anyone considering developing a direct market niche beef market.