October 19, 2007
October 19, 2007 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a voluntary standard for grass- or forage-fed marketing claims. The standard states 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. The diet shall be derived solely from forage and animals cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.
Increasingly, livestock producers and meat processors are using production or processing claims to distinguish their products in the marketplace. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, through its voluntary certification and audit programs, verifies the accuracy of the claims. 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.
The standard will go into effect on Nov. 15, 2007. Additional information can be accessed at www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/stand/claim.htm