Grass Fed Small & Very Small Producer Program

The USDA Grass Fed Program for Small and Very Small (SVS) Producers was designed to create opportunities for small-scale livestock producers who would like to have their ruminant animals certified as grass fed.  This program, is designed for producers who market 49 cattle or less each year or lambs produced from 99 ewes or less.

This program requires that ruminant animals be fed only grass and forage, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning.  Animals certified under this program cannot be fed grain or grain by-products and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.

Cost of the Service: The set fee for the review is $108.00.

Duration of the approval: Two year period

Website Listing: All approved producers must be listed on this website; each will minimally include the name of the farm or ranch, and the approval date.

AMS reviews a producer’s application and detailed farm/ranch plan.  If the information is sufficient, AMS approves the producer and the cattle and/or sheep as meeting the requirements of the USDA Grass Fed Program for Small and Very Small (SVS) Producers.  Producers certified under this program receive a certificate that allows them to market cattle and sheep as USDA Certified grass-fed.

The “49 cattle or less” or “lambs produced from 99 or less ewes” rule is based upon the smallest groups identified in the Farms, Land in Farms and Livestock Operations 2012 Summary, National Agricultural Statistics Service chart “Number of Cattle and Calves Operations and Percent of Inventory by Size Group and Number of Ewes One year and older and Sales by Size of Ewe Flock, United States: 2011 and 2012”. Those sizes of operations in 2012 included 640,000 or 11.5% of all cattle and calf operations in the United States and for sheep in 2012 included 59,127 producers or 29.5% of all Ewe flock operations in the United States and accounted for 32.4% of the total inventory of ewes and lambs.

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