Published Nov 25, 2015

Grazing Management for Grass-Finishing Cattle

By Practical Farmers of Iowa


The growth of the grass-fed meat sector is driven by positive eating experiences. To ensure satisfied consumers, it’s critical for cattle graziers to have a solid understanding of grass-finishing. Ryan and Kristine Jepsen, of Dorchester, Iowa, will discuss the importance of meeting the nutritional needs of cattle at each stage of life and knowing your cost of gain. Daniel Sheetz, a row crop and beef cattle producer in Toledo, Iowa, is transitioning his operation to organic and grass-fed. He has seeded 60 acres of new pasture and will be implementing a grazing plan in the spring. Daniel will ask Ryan and Kristine questions about grass-based beef production.

Ryan and Kristine Jepsen own and operate a diversified agricultural enterprise consisting of organic cash crops, cow/calf pairs, grass finishing and custom grazing. In the past, the Jepsens owned grass-fed beef company Grass Run Farms, and recently sold this brand to JBS Swift USA. In addition to farming, Ryan currently works with JBS to market their grass-finished animals as well as source animals for its growing program.

Daniel Sheetz farms organic row crops and small grains on his father-in-laws’s 600-acre family farm north of Toledo, Iowa. The family also runs a cow/calf operation and grain-finishes calves in their feed lots.