Professional Development Program






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Unit 2: Applying Ecological Principles

Pasture and Rangeland Management

Researchers evaluate an intensive grazing system. (Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS)
A distinguishing characteristic among livestock production systems in the United States is whether they are confinement systems or pasture-based systems. For beef production, most cattle start out their lives on pasture or rangeland (to 12-18 months old) and then are transported to a feedlot where they are fed a special diet to promote weight gain and meat quality. Milk production in the U.S. is also largely based on confinement systems where feed is brought to the animals. Similar assessments can be made of the pork and poultry industries. For any producer, from the most experienced to those just starting out, pasture-based systems present a potentially profitable option for raising livestock.


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