Grass Fed Beef

Producing Forage Finished Beef in Manitoba

Forage finished beef refers to meat that has been produced by feeding beef cattle a diet of high quality forage from start to finish. Grain is not utilized at all during this process. The end product is a high quality meat that is equivalent to grain finished beef. The meat has a fat and marbling level consistent with grain fed beef, however, unlike grain fed beef it contains a high level of omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), two components reputed to have significant health benefits.

CLA’s have been shown to have positive health benefits including the suppression of cancerous tumors and the ability to moderate body weight, body composition, glucose metabolism and the immune system. Clinical trials have also demonstrated the heart health benefits of omega-3 and are regularly promoted in eggs and margarine in today’s market.

Environmental benefits are another factor spurring interest in forage finished beef. Forage finished animals in Manitoba have the potential to spend the majority of their life on pasture rather than a feedlot, thereby, reducing the costs associated with manure clean up and the risk of runoff into adjacent waterways.

The Manitoba Grass Fed Beef Association was formed in the spring of 2008 and has branded it’s products, developed new recipes, a website and is now marketing to restaurants, hotels, a health food chain and individual producers. This group of devoted producers, along with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) staff, continue to develop a value chain for the products.

We at  Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association have developed the Producing Forage Finished Beef ManualPlease note the other publications in the left menu bar which can help you with your production and/or knowledge of grass fed beef.

Resource Material Links

Field to Plate Grass Fed Beef Value Chain Analysis Report
– provided by Community Futures of Central Interior First Nations and First Nations Agricultural Association, located in British Columbia

Holistic Management
•    HM Textbook
•    HM Handbook
•    At Home with HM

Doon Wilkins Books
•    Stumbling Towards Enlightenment
•    Awakening

Ronald Chapman Books & CDs
•    Seeing True
•    What A Wonderful World

Manitoba Book of Everything

Joel Salatin Books
•    Pastured Poultry
•    Salad Bar Beef
•    You Can Farm
•    Everything I Want to do is Illegal
•    Holy Cow & Hog Heaven
•    Family Friendly Farming

Allan Nation Books

•    Grassfed to Finish

Jules Ruechel
•    Grass–Fed Cattle: How to Produce and Market Natural Beef

Forage Seed Mixture Calculator