Published Dec 3, 2013

Revenue Projections and Profit Potential of Grass-Based Livestock

By Practical Farmers of Iowa


Listen in as an experienced livestock farmer shares his insight with beginning graziers.

  • Ryan Herman has grazed livestock as his business with his father, Gene, for just over 10 years in the hills of the Mississippi River Valley of northeast Iowa. Now on his own, he has around 190 cow-calf pairs. He retains the calves to put on grass as yearlings, selling a few of them as grass-finished. He also has a flock of hair sheep. The Hermans have not raised hay since 2005, relying instead on stockpiled pasture and purchased hay. Ryan’s farm recordkeeping and grazing planning are exemplary heavily influenced by Holistic Management trainings.
  • Neal and Laura Vellema raise pastured beef near Harris, Iowa. While Neal works full-time on his parents’ dairy farm, he and Laura have started raising their own steers on pasture. Future goals include farming full-time on their own dairy, or raising mixed livestock and potentially some vegetables.