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  • Thumbnail for Grass-finished beef in the Wyoming market
    Grass-finished beef in the Wyoming market by Wold, Allison, M.

    This thesis explores the significant factors affecting the decision of family ranchers to produce grass-finished beef. While the majority of mainstream cattle producers sell cattle to be finished in grain-based supplemental feeding programs, a grass-finished beef market has emerged as an alternative to conventional grain-finished beef production. Among the key determinants of ranchers choosing to produce grass-finished beef are health issues, personal beliefs, the abundance of grass as a natural food source, and the opportunity to establish market leadership. Relying on six case studies of Wyoming ranches producing grass-finished beef, this thesis uses firsthand accounts of cattle market participants to determine how the aforementioned variables impact the benefits, challenges and costs of participation in this niche market.