See the definitions of various cattle finishing types that Florida cattle ranchers can use as part of their marketing strategies.
Beef cattle are raised in a number of different ways, according to a South Florida Beef-Forage Program article, and those different options when it comes to cattle finishing types present opportunities for beef producers to market their beef to consumers. See the options and their definitions–and how that transfers to marketing option–below.
Definitions of Cattle Finishing Types
When consumers go to buy beef in the grocery store, there are labels that indicate the cattle finishing types used. These labels, and the qualifications animals must meet to be designated as such,, are set by the USDA. The label categories include:
Grass Fed: “the animal spent most of its life eating mainly grass which can be in the form of hay, forage, or silage.”
Grain Finished: “the animal completed its life being fed a balanced diet of grains, such as corn, soybeans, or other local feed ingredients combined with forages.”
All Natural: the meat product “cannot contain any artificial flavors or flavorings, chemical preservatives, or other artificial ingredients. All natural products are to be minimally processed, meaning it has no added ingredients nor has it been tenderized.”
Organic: the animal “has never received any artificial hormones or antibiotics.” Whether fed grain or grasses, the feed must be certified organic before it is consumed.
While studies have shown there are no differences in nutrition or safety between the different finishing options, consumers have their own preferences for a variety of reasons. Florida beef ranchers can use these labeling options to target consumers at the grocery store.
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