Selling grass finished beef on a wholesale level

With the growth and demand of wholesale grass finished beef markets, producers can now sell to one of the branded beef programs.

The growth of grass finished beef demand is opening up new marketing avenues for those interested in raising and selling beef. Direct marketing of grass finished beef is one way to market the finished product, but it is not a method that all farmers feel comfortable. By selling to a wholesale or branded program, beef producers can let the wholesaler do the marketing and producers can focus on their strengths – producing a high quality beef product. Beef producers can find wholesalers of grass-finished beef by searching “grass finished beef” online.

There are several details that producers need to know prior to marketing to a branded program. Producers should contact the branded program well in advance of having animals ready for harvest to make sure that cattle and management practices meet protocols, standards and specifications. A list of items that producers need to know prior to marketing finished animals to a branded program:

  • What protocols exist for the program of interest?
  • How do wholesalers pay producers?
  • Who is responsible for delivery to the processing facility?
  • Are there on-farm inspections?
  • When are industry peak production cycles?
  • When is the peak demand?

Most branded programs pay $20-$25 over the traditional fed cattle market, with current pricing ranges from $1.50- $1.60 live weight, and from $2.60-$2.80 on a dressed weight basis. Marketing to a branded program can be a great way for producers to participate in the grass finished cattle market. However, it is crucial that producers learn which wholesale buyers are available in their area and what their protocols are prior to having an animal ready for harvest. For more information on marketing grass finished beef to a Branded program, contact Kable Thurlow, Michigan State University Extension Beef educator at

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