The modern agricultural landscape faces numerous challenges, from environmental sustainability to ethical animal treatment and economic viability for small family farms. The American Grassfed Association (AGA) is at the forefront of promoting pasture-based farming, an approach that addresses these issues head-on. 

As a nonprofit organization founded and run by producers, AGA supports American family farms and ranchers through certification, advocacy, education, and other vital programs.

What Is Pasture-Based Farming?

Pasture-based farming involves raising livestock rather than in confinement This method allows animals to graze freely. The practice is beneficial for the animals and has significant positive impacts on the environment and the quality of the food produced.

Benefits to Livestock

Animals raised on pasture enjoy a more humane and natural lifestyle. They can roam freely, express natural behaviors, and consume a diet aligned with their biological needs. This approach reduces stress and the incidence of diseases commonly found in intensive farming systems, leading to healthier animals and, healthier meat and dairy products.

Environmental Advantages

Pasture-based farming is a boon for the environment. It promotes biodiversity, improves soil health, and reduces the carbon footprint of farming operations. By allowing land to regenerate naturally, pasture-based systems contribute to carbon sequestration, which helps mitigate climate change. Moreover, these systems typically use fewer synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, reducing pollution and protecting local water sources.

AGA’s Role In Supporting Pasture-Based Farming

The American Grassfed Association plays a crucial role in advancing pasture-based farming through several key initiatives:


AGA maintains a credible and transparent national standard for animals humanely raised on pasture. This certification ensures that consumers can trust the integrity of the grassfed label, knowing it adheres to stringent criteria. Certification covers various aspects, including animal welfare, environmental stewardship, and prohibiting antibiotics and synthetic hormones.


AGA advocates for policies that support grassfed and pasture-based farming. This includes lobbying for fair market practices and regulations that protect small family farms from unfair competition and market pressures. Advocacy efforts aim to create a more level playing field for pasture-based farmers, ensuring they can compete with larger industrial farming operations.


Education is a cornerstone of AGA’s mission. The organization provides resources and training for farmers and ranchers to adopt and maintain pasture-based practices. Educational programs cover rotational grazing, soil health, and the marketing of grassfed and pasture based products. By equipping farmers with the knowledge and skills they need, AGA helps ensure the long-term success and sustainability of pasture-based farming.

Partnership and Collaboration

AGA collaborates with various stakeholders to support rural economies. This includes partnerships with other nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private sector entities. By working together, these groups can amplify their impact by promoting policies and practices that benefit farmers and the environment.


Pasture-based farming represents an ethical approach to agriculture, offering numerous benefits for animals, the environment, and rural economies. The American Grassfed Association (AGA) is dedicated to supporting this farming method through certification, advocacy, education, and partnerships. 

By maintaining high standards and promoting sustainable practices, AGA ensures that grassfed and pasture-based farming can thrive in today’s agricultural landscape.

To learn more about the American Grassfed Association and its work, visit

Understanding and supporting pasture-based farming can contribute to a more sustainable,  and ethical food system that benefits everyone from the farm to the marketplace.

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