Project ID



Farmers considering a transition from conventional beef production to one of several alternative production systems (such as organic, natural, or grass-fed) need to be well informed about the possible challenges and constraints of making this shift.

Key Question

What are the options for farmers interested in beef production alternatives?


Iowa farmers need to produce organic or grassfed beef at lower costs of production than those modeled and/or receive higher price premiums for their niche beef to be profitable. Before converting to grass-fed or organic production systems, growers need to improve their forage base and develop highly productive and efficient grazing systems. In addition, beef genetics that enable animals to efficiently produce meat on forage-base or limited grain diets are needed for these systems.

Principal Investigator(s)

Margaret Smith


John Lawrence

Year of Grant Completion