Grass-fed Grazing & Finishing:
A Pasture Walk
Dinner Prepared by Chef Jeff Crowe of Erie Street Kitchen
Join us on this in-depth pasture walk at Tierra Verde Farms. Topics of focus include Grass Finishing Beef, Body Condition Scoring, Forage ID, stocking density, multi-species grazing, the restaurant market and direct marketing. A discussion on accessing the restaurant market will be held over dinner.
A Bit on “Grass-Fed”
WHAT DOES GRASS-FED MEAN?
Grass-fed means that the animal has been fed grass their entire lives. The USDA specifies that, to qualify as “grass-fed,” the animal has to eat “grass and forage” exclusively (after weaning) and must have “continuous access to pasture during the growing season.”
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Grass-fed systems have proven to be better for animal health, human health and environmental health. When managed properly, livestock can actually benefit the environment, and therefore the farmer, by building soil OM, carbon sequestration capacity, nutrients, etc as the native roaming herds such as the buffalo once did. Grass-fed meat is also creating a healthier, low-stress environment for the animal, and a more nutrient dense, lean product for the consumer.
WHAT IS THE MARKET?
Consumers are becoming more and more conscious about what is in their food and where it comes from. The local-food market is booming, and consumers and chefs alike are putting more time, effort and money into sourcing high-quality, ethical foods. Farmers markets, specialty stores, and restaurants are all hot markets for this type of product.
Welcome and Introductions
Mike Jones on Farm Background and Vision, BCS, and Grass-finishing
Bob Hendershot on multi-species grazing management, fencing options and innovations, soil health, & forage I.D.
Farm to Chef Dinner & Accessing the Restaurant Market Discussion
TIERRA VERDE FARMS
Tierra Verde Farm is guided by the principle “As Nature Intended.” Mike and Connie Jones raise sheep, cattle, pigs, chickens, and turkeys on their family farm in Deerfield. They strive to create a farm system that mimics that of the grazing herds of the great plains using rotational grazing and leader-follower techniques. Their animals are all on pasture in the months of may through December, and they only raise their free-range chickens and turkeys from April through November since that is when forage is available to them. Join us for this unique look into Tierra Verde Farm. Mike and Connie also keep bees and offer a raw-milk herd share. They sell their product on-farm through their farm store, at farmers markets, and to chefs looking to highlight locally sourced, humanely raised meats. Make sure to ask them about their livestock guardian dogs!