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countdown begins plus business thoughts.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, about a week ago, my dad dropped off our cow at the butcher. My sister's family and mine are splitting it. Can't wait. Gonna run us an average cost of somewhere around $1.99 per lb since we get it at cost.

He also dropped off another 5 or 6 for other family members.

So, I have a question for you folks. We've always sold between 25 and 75 (depended on the year) cattle each year on the market, plus 5 to 6 to family. Our cattle were pasture raised on grass for the entire life and the last 2 to 3 months with feed supplement to fatten them up (mmmm, marbling). Never given hormones or antibiotics, and I know this is the craze right now. This is a breeding to finish operation with currently about 100 head of cattle, mostly Angus crosses.

I've moved away from the farm now and live about an hour away in the Raleigh NC area. I see places like whole foods selling beef at a premium. Without being certified organic, because that's too much work, how much of a premium do you think could be had for this kind of beef? Do any of you have any experience with the idea of "cow shares" or something similar? I keep telling dad that it seems crazy to sell what many think of as a premium product at regular market price.
post #2 of 8
Dunno about any of that but I DO know...seen it last night on the Food channel...that ALL grass fed beef is going thru the roof...like $6 Lb for ground beef!
post #3 of 8
I saw the same thing..couldn't believe it..grass fed definitely a premium.
post #4 of 8
In my neck of the woods, literally icon_smile.gif , a lot of folks barter out the exchange of beef for services. (Pork, too!) Black Angus, being the premium animal, brings the best value. And non injected grass fed is the norm.

If you can get away with not having to buy much feed your meat can be sold at a substantial savings to those who want to participate. Meat, like any other commodity, rises substantially in price everytime it passes through someone's hands. The major cost saving is the farm to table direct sale without others taking their "fair" share.

I am embarking on a similar program with my land and over time expect to turn enough of a profit to at least break even and live comfortably. Comfortably should be understood to mean warm, dry and well fed. Property taxes paid, too!

The way it works is that folks come up with an approximate 50% down payment for the animal to be reared. Any cost adjustment is realized at final sale. And at $1.99/lb one can still make a bit of a profit but for my likes I would go a bit more as a hedge on whatever will happen with the markets going nuts. Shoot for a final cost of about $2.40 to $2.60/lb and your customers are getting a heck of a deal and you are profiting.

That's my $.02

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sounds pretty good. We already have a good relationship with a "meat man" locally, and he can kill, age, &etc for everyone.

It's something I've been thinking about, but we definitely don't want to get into the meat market deal where you sell it cut by cut. Too much regulation and crap to deal with. I'm pretty sure I could get 5 to 10 cows sold annually just by people I work with. Beyond that means work, which is no big deal.

I'm not looking to make a fortune, but a nice supplement would be good, and it really is something people want. Something to think about anyway.

Hmm, dad has pigs too, but they are conventionally raised in houses large scale, just not under contract so he is free to do with them as he pleases.

Thanks for the input.
post #6 of 8
I just purchased a 1/4 of a beef. It was Montana grass fed and then finished on a ground corn and feed mix. I paid $400.00 cut and wrapped.
post #7 of 8
Duuuuuude..lemme know if you start sellin your beeves. I'll be up to c ya with a truck full of dry ice!
post #8 of 8
Just a quick little reminder, folks. We can discuss and offer help and opinions on a business but we cannot do any profit based trade on this site.

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