Different cattle feeding production systems have separate advantages and disadvantages. Most cows have a diet that is composed of at least some forage (grass, legumes, or silage). In fact most beef cattle are raised on pasture from birth in the spring until autumn (7 to 9 months).]citation needed[Then for pasture-fed animals, grass is the forage that composes all or at least the great majority of their diet. Cattle fattened in feedlots are fed small amounts of hay or straw supplemented with grain, soy and other ingredients in order to increase the energy density of the diet. The debate is whether cattle should be raised on diets primarily composed of pasture (grass) or a concentrated diet of grain, soy, corn and other supplements. The issue is often complicated by the political interests and confusion between labels such as "free range", "organic", or "natural". Cattle raised on a primarily forage diet are termed grass-fed or pasture-raised; for example meat or milk may be called grass-fed beef or pasture-raised dairy. However, the term "pasture-raised" can lead to confusion with the term "free range", which does not describe exactly what the animals eat.
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The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, a federal district, and various overseas extraterritorial jurisdictions. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the US mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.