For farmers and ranchers who are passionate about the quality and sustainability of their products, the seal of the American Grassfed Association (AGA) represents an important benchmark. The AGA certification promises to customers that your animals have been raised according to the highest standards of grass feeding, responsible herd and land management, and ethical livestock care. Achieving this certification is a process that not only elevates your brand in the market but also ensures you are part of a community dedicated to best practices in animal agriculture.

The Importance of AGA Certification

The AGA sets a high bar for what constitutes ‘grass fed’ and ‘grass finished.’ The logo on your label is a testament to the fact that your farm or ranch practices align with their stringent standards. When your customers see the AGA seal, they know:

  • Your animals have been fed a lifetime diet of 100% forage.
  • Your animals were raised on pastures, not in confinement.
  • You have not utilized added hormones or antibiotics.
  • You are committed to ethical and sustainable farming methods.

The Path to Certification

Step 1: Download Documents and Understand the Standards

The first step in your certification process is to familiarize yourself with the AGA standards. These documents are the blueprints that guide your farm or ranch towards meeting and exceeding the certification requirements. They can be downloaded from the AGA website. Thoroughly reading and understanding these standards is crucial. If you have any queries, directly email AGA at for clarification.

Step 2: Become an AGA Member

Before you start the certification process, you need to become a member of AGA. Membership forms can be filled out online or downloaded and sent by mail. Membership is mandatory, and must be in place before you move on to the next steps.

Step 3: Arrange for a Farm Inspection

Once you’re a member, the next major step is arranging for an on-farm inspection. This visit will be conducted by a third-party inspector, who could be a veterinarian, an existing farm inspector (if you have other certifications like organic), or a specially trained AGA-approved inspector. For dairy, inspectors must have completed an IOIA course. If you need help finding an inspector, AGA will provide you with a list, and guide you on the process. This inspection is a critical phase of certification and will determine if your farm meets AGA’s exacting standards.

Step 4: Submit the Inspection to AGA

After your inspection, the results need to be submitted to AGA. The AGA Certification Committee will review the submitted paperwork to assess your eligibility for Certified AGA Producer status.

Step 5: Review and Sign the AGA Licensing Agreement

If your farm passes the inspection and is approved, AGA will send you a licensing agreement to sign. Along with this, you will be asked to provide a copy of your label design for review and a one-time licensing fee. Once the signed agreement, label, and payment have been received, AGA will issue your certification, allowing you to use the AGA Grassfed logo on your products and marketing materials.

Step 6: Pay Your Fees and Stay Current

Once approved, you’ll be responsible for annual membership dues, a licensing fee, and a per head fee for each animal you sell or use the AGA logo on. These payments help cover the costs of maintaining the certification program, including re-inspections every 12 to 15 months to ensure ongoing compliance.

Maintaining the Integrity of the AGA Brand

The AGA logo is a powerful marketing tool, but with this privilege comes the responsibility to maintain the high standards it represents. If you become aware of products using the AGA logo that you believe do not meet the certification criteria, it’s important to inform AGA. Together, by upholding the integrity of the program, we can ensure that the AGA seal continues to be a strong symbol of quality and trust.


The process of becoming AGA certified is carefully laid out on our website and lays out a set of guidelines that makes the process streamlined, so you as a producer are not overly burdened. AGA is here to help you succeed and get the premium in the marketplace that your labors and products deserve. As the recognition and trust it offers your customers are invaluable. It’s a step towards not just satisfying regulatory requirements, but a commitment to a philosophy of farming that appreciates the connection between land, animal, and consumer. As you move forward with the certification, remember that dedication to the process reflects your dedication to the values it upholds. The AGA certification is a mark of excellence, and it’s up to you to embody that in every aspect of your operation, from cow to consumer.

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