Our steers graze year-round on quality forages which are a mixture of annuals and perennials. Our herd is presented with a “salad bar“ of forages such as clover, millet, hairy vetch, winter ryegrass, and Red River crabgrass that all compliment our perennial fescue. Our steers are not given any gluten-related feeds, growth-promoting hormones, animal by-products, or unnecessary antibiotics. The welfare of our steers is a top priority from birth to maturity. Stockpiling our fescue grass, and complimenting this process with winter ryegrass during the winter months, helps in not needing to feed hay and maximizes weight gains. We measure average daily gains (ADG) so we can quantify the results of our steers. So yes, it is possible to finish beef on forage, but it takes good management practices.
How can we be exact in getting marbling in grassfed beef? Smithview Farm has implemented ultrasound technology during the steers' maturation. In our beef selection process, we can actually measure the intramuscular fat (IMF) that is commonly referred to as marbling. This technology also allows us to measure the ribeye area thickness and the rump thickness. To our knowledge, Smithview Farm is the only grassfed beef farm in North Carolina that utilizes this technology.