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Grass-Fed Beef Partnership

A herd of black angus cattle gather under a large black umbrella-like structure providing shade in the field.
Cattle graze under a moveable canopy that provides shade for the herd at the Catawba Sustainability Center. Photo by Diane Deffenbaugh for Virginia Tech.

We have developed a Grass-Fed Beef Partnership to support a regional beef economy. The program centers around rural economic development, regenerative grazing practices, and nutrient-dense, ecologically produced beef for the community at large.

Through this partnership with Roanoke County Economic Development, we purchase calves, at a premium price, from local farmers who incorporate rotational grazing or stream exclusion into their operation - setting a standard that environmentally driven production practices should be rewarded.

At 6 months of age, the calves are brought to the center's pastures where they become part of an intensive, adaptive-grazing program, being moved to fresh pasture every one to five days and grazing a diverse mix of both cool-season and native, warm-season grasses. This management style allows the cattle to have constant access to the most nutrient dense forages on the farm throughout the year. It also works with nature to rebuild, restore, and revitalize ecosystem function in our pastures to build soil, enhance water and nutrient cycling, and provide habitat for an array of microbiology, insects, birds, and more. 

During their life at the center, the cattle are subjects of ongoing research on cattle management styles for creating high quality 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef. They receive no growth hormones and are only given antibiotics on an as-needed basis, which is typically rare. After around 18 months, the beef is harvested by a local USDA-inspected processing center, dry aged for 30 days, and graded for quality. As of 2023, our beef is finishing at the grade of “Select,” which is very high quality for strictly grass-fed/grass-finished beef.

Through a partnership with Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP) in Roanoke, Virginia, as much of the finished beef product as possible is sent to their food hub, where it is then distributed to low-income neighborhoods in Roanoke City via their mobile market program.

How to purchase 

We offer quarters, halves, and whole finished beef for purchase. To inquire more about purchasing beef, to learn about available cuts and quantities, or to sign up for the waiting list, please email farm manager Adam Taylor.

Any funds generated from the sale of beef will be re-invested to support the ongoing costs related to the grass-fed beef program.  


  • Whole Beef: $4.53/lb.
  • Half Beef: $4.77/lb.
  • Quarter Beef: $4.99/lb.

Weights are based on hanging/carcass weight at processing.