Can farmers realistically scale-up pastured production to become a bigger, more mainstream part of our food system?

This is a complex problem, involving daunting challenges in production, marketing, and distribution. As a starting point, it’s important to understand just how much land it takes to produce pastured animals, and where some of the bottlenecks for more efficient production may lie.

In partnership with 10 diversified pastured livestock farms in Pennsylvania, we developed feed and land efficiency benchmarks for the most common meat animals. This research brief both documents those benchmarks, and uses them to consider implications for land use scenarios and the future of sustainable meat farming in our region.

Interested in benchmarking your pastured livestock farm’s land and feed efficiency? We can work with you using the methods outlined in this resource. Our worksheet for calculating benchmarks can be accessed at, or contact for more information. As more farmers contribute data using these tools, we can improve the accuracy of our benchmarks and help highlight more innovative practices that improve efficiency.

Complete this form to download the report: