WASHINGTON – Producers of grass-fed beef have a new tool at hand to help them differentiate their products at market.

The US Department of Agriculture announced a new program that will allow small and very small-scale producers of grass-fed beef to certify that their animals meet requirements for the grass-fed marketing claim standard. The Agriculture Marketing Service is targeting producers marketing 49 cattle or less each year by developing a cheaper application process for small and very small producers to use the USDA Certified Grass-Fed claim.

Producers who qualify for certification under the new program will receive certificates allowing them to market cattle to slaughter facilities as USDA certified grass-fed. The new USDA certification program is part of a second major package of support that includes research awards, technical assistance and marketing support.

“The programs and opportunities announced today are part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that smaller farmers and ranchers get access to the resources they need to thrive,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.