Document Type


Publication Date



natural beef products, natural cattle, feeding techniques

Extension Number

ExEx 2056


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Some consumers are willing to pay a premium for “natural” beef products from production systems not utilizing implants, ionophores, or antibiotics. Producers marketing to these systems can attain substantial premiums. The term “natural” as defined by the USDA, is extremely loose, and all fresh beef qualifies as a natural product. However, “natural” is more strictly defined by the marketplace. Claims, which vary from company to company, are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and must be verifiable. It is generally accepted that cattle qualifying for natural programs have never received antibiotics or hormones at any time from birth to harvest.