Buying Organic Meat Directly From The Farm

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Old 05-16-2012, 06:15 PM
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Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

I bought a quarter cow today. I have searched online for prices in the past, but most were $6-$8/lb.

I found a farm this week that offered organic grass fed beef for $3.19 lb. including processing. I was a little ignorant I guess, as I didn't realize you pay based on 'hanging weight' of the meat, which is not the actual weight you get back after processing. Anyhow....I paid $405 for a quarter cow. Looked online, and another farm near here charges $6/lb. so I guess I did ok. We rarely buy beef, and usually only spend $1.99 or less a lb. for meat of any kind. Hope this beef is worth the money.

Anyone have experience buying a cow directly from the farm? Was wondering if maybe it is cheaper say in an auction at the local 4-h fair? Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2012, 07:04 PM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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We buy our beef this same way. The last time, we bought a half cow in November.
While overall, the cost per pound is higher than what we usually pay, the quality, at least for us, is unmatchable. Even the lower grade of cuts are beyond tender. I think you got a good deal, depending on the amount you received, because we paid just over $1K for the 1/2 cow and butcher bill.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:03 AM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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We weighed the boxes, and the weight was about 75 lbs. The hanging weight was supposed to be about 145 or more. Is this usual? I expected a bit more.

In any case, it is a first for us, and I am looking forward to trying the meat out. I don't know anyone who has actually done this, so new to me. The prices quoted by this farm are almost half the other local farms here, so that is why I went with it.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:14 AM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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Ok, well just read online that the yield can be as much as 50% less, depending in how lean the cow is, breed, etc.
So I guess the difference in hanging weight and yield is not unusual.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:20 AM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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I'm curious - when you buy a quarter?? which quarter do you get? the front or back?? The back has all the good cuts of meat and less waste...... or do they just cut the thing in half, and give you a little of everything till the weight you get equals a quarter of the meat?
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:36 AM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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We have always had "home grown" beef. There is no comparison! Esp if you know where its from & what it's been fed. I think you'll be pleased.
We raise our own(dad does), butcher 1 a year & split between 3 families, so it's 1/3. I usually manage to space use out so it lasts til time again, usually fall(Nov). I do usually end up getting more "hamburger"(I call it all hamburger,regardless of whether it's beef,chuck,or round)before year is up. Here's what I know(or think I know,. Sometimes have to ask my dad):
-you can get cow @ auction for around $1.80/lb right now, that's high.
-last year ours was approx $1.60/lb, average price
-take it to slaughter house for processing
-you'll have charge for "kill & chill"(processing charge/based on wt), full beef last year was ballpark $215(split here between our 3 families)
-you pay by hanging wt by "on the hoof"
-You'll lose about half wt once its dressed out
-most do split by quarters
-butcher will ask some preference w cut (we prefer not to get any stewing beef, just get all that as hamburger.)
Whew! probably more things I could tell you but all I can think of right off.
Oh, & 4H or FFA auctions usually run higher, alot because people are doing it for the kids (savings,college money,etc)
HTH

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Old 05-17-2012, 08:47 AM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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We bought 1/4 in December for the first time. I was surprised by the difference between the "hoof" and actual weight, too. It was about 50% for us as well, which sound like a good average. Price ended up over $3/lb. too, but the taste has absolutely no comparison with the store bought "beef". I'm not a big beef eater, but the hamburgers taste much richer, satiate better and just taste better. Not much fat (i.e., you don't lose half the meat while cooking), and I even liked the steak! I thought I just didn't like steak meat. Apparently if it's a real meat I can handle it The store-bought (and restaurant) steak (other than Fogo de Chao's, which is pretty expensive) just tastes bitter to me.

We were also given the option of different cuts.

We're already talking about a freezer 'refill.'

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Old 05-17-2012, 11:40 AM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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If it's a well fed beef and your butcher is honest - you should get more than 50%. We just had a 1350 lb heifer butchered and brought home 860 lbs of meat. And there's not much fat on it at all.

4-H & FFA runs higher, but when I was raising animals and selling through the local fairs, any price you paid above market was a tax right off, as a donation. Don't know if that still happens or not.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:23 PM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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[quote=polydoly13;4812261]If it's a well fed beef and your butcher is honest - you should get more than 50%. We just had a 1350 lb heifer butchered and brought home 860 lbs of meat. And there's not much fat on it at all.

this is right at 64%. I just wanted to mention for anyone reading. Speaking approximates I think of 50%, definitely want your dressed beef over the halfway mark.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:32 PM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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[quote=holsha3;4812390]
Quote:
Originally Posted by polydoly13 View Post
If it's a well fed beef and your butcher is honest - you should get more than 50%. We just had a 1350 lb heifer butchered and brought home 860 lbs of meat. And there's not much fat on it at all.

this is right at 64%. I just wanted to mention for anyone reading. Speaking approximates I think of 50%, definitely want your dressed beef over the halfway mark.
The reason I stress this fact is that we have a local butcher who sends home 50% to my FIL when we KNOW we should be getting more. DH & I took our beef to another butcher and got back WAY more steaks and "good" roasts than my FIL EVER gets. We send the same quality and size animal to each butcher - I'm thinking the one my FIL uses is a crook.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:06 PM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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@polydoly13-I wasn't meaning for that to sound mean or argumentative at all & hope I didnt offend by commenting.
I do completely agree that you have to "check out"(so to speak) your butcher. Some are more careful with the way they cut so you don't have as much waste too. Oh, and cleanliness. Even though they are regulated & stuff, I figure they're alot like other places & don't have frequent inspections. There is one right out our back door that we Never use, never plan to use with current owners. I have my doubts on the cleanliness & know for a fact that the very thing you mentioned does happen. Switching out or skimming off the top is very disloyal to customers IMO. We had to change a couple years ago because the one we had always went to retired & closed. We were lucky in finding another good one & have been very satisfied.
I hope your FIL has decided to change butchers?
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:29 PM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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Quote:
Originally Posted by holsha3 View Post
@polydoly13-I wasn't meaning for that to sound mean or argumentative at all & hope I didnt offend by commenting.
I do completely agree that you have to "check out"(so to speak) your butcher. Some are more careful with the way they cut so you don't have as much waste too. Oh, and cleanliness. Even though they are regulated & stuff, I figure they're alot like other places & don't have frequent inspections. There is one right out our back door that we Never use, never plan to use with current owners. I have my doubts on the cleanliness & know for a fact that the very thing you mentioned does happen. Switching out or skimming off the top is very disloyal to customers IMO. We had to change a couple years ago because the one we had always went to retired & closed. We were lucky in finding another good one & have been very satisfied.
I hope your FIL has decided to change butchers?
Oh I wasn't offended at all - hope it didn't come across that way, I was in a hurry, so I might have sounded short. It's just something we've suspected for a while and then when DH and I got our meat back, we basically had our proof. As cattle ranchers/agriculturalists, I just try to help inform ppl a little bit - farming/ranching gets a bad name occasionally and if I have a little info to pass along without causing too much of a stir, then I will.

And I don't even know if DH has told his dad about the amount of meat we got back, they don't talk a whole lot - really stressed relationship, but that's a whole different thread. He did tell his mom, so maybe she'll put a bug in FIL's ear. At least we know for the future. We do have to drive farther to drop off/pick up, but 200# of difference is worth it in my book.

Oh and I know ppl have talked about buying other livestock - each animal is different in the amount of yield you'll get. A lamb is 50%, a pic is way more and a beef is in the middle. Just nice to be a little educated when purchasing, so you don't get taken advantage of. Kind of like when you go to the mechanic.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:24 PM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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Well....

This was my first purchase. Some farms will give you a set number of cuts...so many roast, steaks, ground beef, liver, tongue, whatever. Some let you choose how it is butchered. Depends on the farm. I couldn't chose this time round, as they had already butchered it and processed the cow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by polydoly13 View Post
I'm curious - when you buy a quarter?? which quarter do you get? the front or back?? The back has all the good cuts of meat and less waste...... or do they just cut the thing in half, and give you a little of everything till the weight you get equals a quarter of the meat?
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:34 PM

RE: Buying Organic Meat directly from the Farm

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Thanks for the info. So reading all the posts, maybe I should have expected more like 65% yield? I think it was a small cow. Next time I will know what questions to ask.
Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by polydoly13 View Post
Oh I wasn't offended at all - hope it didn't come across that way, I was in a hurry, so I might have sounded short. It's just something we've suspected for a while and then when DH and I got our meat back, we basically had our proof. As cattle ranchers/agriculturalists, I just try to help inform ppl a little bit - farming/ranching gets a bad name occasionally and if I have a little info to pass along without causing too much of a stir, then I will.

And I don't even know if DH has told his dad about the amount of meat we got back, they don't talk a whole lot - really stressed relationship, but that's a whole different thread. He did tell his mom, so maybe she'll put a bug in FIL's ear. At least we know for the future. We do have to drive farther to drop off/pick up, but 200# of difference is worth it in my book.

Oh and I know ppl have talked about buying other livestock - each animal is different in the amount of yield you'll get. A lamb is 50%, a pic is way more and a beef is in the middle. Just nice to be a little educated when purchasing, so you don't get taken advantage of. Kind of like when you go to the mechanic.
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