aga-grassfed-standards

AGA Grassfed Standards for ruminant, pastured pork and dairy have been developed by a team of animal scientists, veterinarians, ranchers, and range management specialists. They concentrate on four main areas of production:

American Grassfed Icon Grassfeed

100%
Grass Diet

Animals are fed only grass and forage from weaning until harvest.

American Grassfed Icon Grassfeed Pasture

Raised
on Pasture

Animals are raised on pasture without confinement.

American Grassfed Icon Hormones

No Antibiotics or Hormones

Animals are never treated with antibiotics or added growth hormones.

American Grassfed Icon Grassfeed Farm

Family Farm
Origin

All animals are born and raised on American family farms.

AGA’s standards apply to ruminant meat animals — beef, bison, goat, lamb and sheep – dairy cattle, and pastured pork. AGA-Certified producers are inspected at least every 15-months by independent, third parties to ensure continuing compliance with the standards. Only AGA-Certified producers and Certified brands are permitted to use the AGA logo, trademark, or other identifying marks on their packaging, marketing materials, or websites.

To learn more about the certification process:

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AGA STATEMENT OF BEST PRACTICES

AGA-Certified Producers:

  • Employ a regenerative approach to farm/ranch management designed to enhance land, water, and air quality.
  • Use the highest standards of animal husbandry in their grazing programs to support healthy, humane treatment and welfare of their animals.
  • Adhere to standards as developed and revised periodically by AGA.

AGA’s standards are based on several fundamentals:

FORAGE

AGA-Certified Grassfed ruminant animals are born, raised, and finished on open grass pastures where perennial and annual grasses, forbs, legumes, brassicas, browse and post-harvest crop residue without grain are the sole energy sources, with the exception of mother’s milk, from birth to harvest. Hay, haylage, silage, and ensilage from any of the above sources may be fed to animals while on pasture during periods of inclement weather or low forage quality. Pastured pork standards require unfettered access to pasture and a diet free from GMO grains.

NO CONFINEMENT

AGA-Certified animals must graze pasture where they will receive most, if not all, of their nutrition, and be allowed to fulfill their natural behaviors and basic instincts at all times. The only exceptions to this standard are emergencies that may threaten the safety and well-being of the animals or soil, and management practices such as roundups, sorting, shipping, and weaning.

ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE

Mineral and vitamin supplements may be provided free choice to adjust the animals’ nutrient intake and to correct deficiencies in the total diet energy source. The feeding of animal by-products is prohibited, and no antibiotics, ionophores, or hormones of any type may be administered. Any animal in need of medical attention must be treated to relieve its symptoms. If prohibited medication or antibiotics are required for treatment, the animal must be tagged, identified, and removed from the certified program. Producers will develop and maintain a written record of all vaccines, medications, and/or other substances used in their animal health care program.

AMERICAN ORIGIN AND IDENTIFICATION

Animals eligible for acceptance in the AGA Certified program must be born and raised in the United States of America. Animals must be identified at the earliest opportunity following birth by a producer-determined animal identification system. Each animal’s record must include breed, ear tag or unique identification number, date of birth, and owner. Producer records that trace an animal from birth to harvest must accompany animals when delivered to processor. Genetically engineered and or cloned animals are prohibited.

 

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