Rural Dictionary: Grain Fed vs. Grass Fed Beef

Posted: 5/3/2018


Grain fed beef (noun) – Beef from cattle that have been fed a diet that includes grains, such as corn or soybeans. This term specifically refers to how cattle are fed in the last stages of life, as all cattle are born in pastures and stay there with their mother until weaning. These cattle are typically fed in a feedlot or barn, with room to move and access to fresh water at all times. Grains add additional energy to the diet. The ration also includes roughages like silage, grass hay, straw, and alfalfa. 


Grass fed beef (noun) –  Beef from cattle that have been fed only grass. Grass fed cattle typically take a few months longer to get to market weight. In states like South Dakota where we have snow in the winter, cattle are fed hay (grass that was dried and baled). Calves are born on pastures and live with their mother until weaning, then are moved to a different pasture.




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