Consumers, commercial food buyers, and chefs increasingly want to know that their beef comes from well-managed ranches and farms. However, there has been little consensus about what constitutes “sustainable” rangeland and pasture management. The Grasslands Alliance convened ranchers, scientists, and others to develop the first comprehensive sustainability standard for beef cattle and bison ranching and farming in North America. The standard guides and measures continuous improvement of land, natural resources, and herd management. The certification recognizes ranches and farms that protect our environment and public health; maintain high animal welfare; and treat ranchers, farmers, and workers fairly.
Livestock graze half of the land in the continental United States. That’s an area six times the size of Texas. If all cattle ranches and farms were sustainably managed, the benefits would be vast and wide-reaching. The Grasslands Alliance envisions cattle ranching that is regenerative, adaptive, profitable, and climate-smart. Implementing the Grasslands Alliance standard will:
- conserve ecosystems, biodiversity, soil health and water;
- curtail pollution;
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
- maintain high animal welfare;
- help protect public health;
- support rural communities;
- produce traceable, high-quality beef; and
- empower businesses and consumers to recognize and reward producers of beef from certified well-managed ranches and farms.