About 250 head of cattle followed Will Clark as he drove an old white pickup truck across a 1,300-acre farm his family owns between Saltville and Hungry Mother State Park.
“I’m the fifth generation of Clark to be here,” he said before stepping out of his truck and rolling back an electric fence so the bulk of his herd could get to a fresh patch of grass that after a month of growth towered up above his waist.
The country’s cattle-producing industry has changed a lot in the five generations that Clark and his family members have run Rich Valley Grazers, which raises cattle and hogs on land in Smyth and Washington counties.
The biggest change involves a switch from raising cattle on a pasture for their entire lives to raising cattle on a pasture for part of the animals’ lives and then taking them to a feedlot where they are fed a diet of corn and grains.
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This article certainly boasts the beneficial health claims of grass-fed beef, and while it's absolutely wonderful that producers are finding niche markets to receive premiums for their products, it's detrimental to the entire beef production sector when one niche rises above by bashing conventionally-raised agriculture products. What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you raised grass-fed beef, or have you thought about it?