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Old 12-05-2007, 09:04 PM   #1
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Question I'm looking for a cow..

I'm serious!

I didn't know where else to put the post so feel free to move it if necessary.

I live in the Midwest and have been doing some research on places to go for purchasing meat from beef farmers. Can anyone recommend someone that is in the Omaha, NE area? The few beef farmers I've come across have been in the Des Moines area which are 4 hours from us which aren't exactly something which I like the idea of for driving.

We are looking into getting a larger freezer than what we have now. The one we have currently is rather small but the one that we've been considering a purchase on is 24 in cubic feet so it's very long and can handle something of this nature. Something my husband and I both decided on as a necessity since we rarely will be planning to drive into town unless it's required. Anyway, I'm just thinking ahead on both efforts and planning a new kitchen out, kind of. If anyone has any ideas regarding my question above I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance,

Sue

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Old 12-05-2007, 09:27 PM   #2
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Miss Sue....

If possible you may contact local 4-H clubs, FFA (Future Famers of American) etc. to see if any kids are raising beef animals as a project. If so there is usually a Livestock Show sometime during the year where the kids compete for prizes, ribbons etc. After the shows the animals are sold to help defray the cost. Most kids make a nice profit! These animals are pampered like you wouldn't believe, and are top of the line animals when the kids get them as young steers. After they feed them off, (fresh feed and water every day) they are 1000-1200 lbs (live weight) of pure awesome beef. Anyway, expect to pay a "premium" price, but you are helping a kid, plus putting some of the finest beef possible in your freezer! I did this for years. Some years buying a whole steer, sometimes a half. Oh, they also raise hogs, and lambs. A pork chop from one of these animals can't be described! Hope this helps!

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Old 12-05-2007, 09:38 PM   #3
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Do you really want a cow? (close to 800# hanging weight)
Plus, you will have to pay a locker to butcher and cut it up.
Plus, there is a lot of waste, unless you want things like tongue, tail, heart, liver, etc. There are also LOTS of bones.

Perhaps, you could start out with a mixed quarter (half a front quarter and half a hind quarter) Lots of farmers will sell you the other half of a steer they are having butchered for themselves, if they don't need all of it.

Ask around of the people you know, who has good beef and is willing to do a deal. Also, check out the local locker plants that do butchering.

Otherwise, there should be farmers locally that do organic grass fed beef and market directly (premium prices, but often worth it) Ask at the best local steakhouses where they get their beef.

Here is one local to me that may give you some ideas: moonstone :: farm store :: grass-fed beef

I get mine from a fishing buddy's son-in-law, 2 miles away. Usually only get part of a beef ( and free bones, for stock)
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Old 12-05-2007, 09:52 PM   #4
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I've never seen a purple cow...
I never hope to see one...
But, I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather see than be one!

We bought 1/4 of a cow last year.
There's only two of us. I don't think I'll
have to buy any beef for a very long time still.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:38 PM   #5
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If you have a local food co-op or a farmer's market, those folks can usually steer you toward a good local farm. I belong to a crunchy mom's group and they let each other know when someone's looking to buy a cow so several families can go in together.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:38 PM   #6
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Maybe this will help. There are a couple of listings in Omaha.

Nebraska Association of Meat Processors: Home Page

When there were six of us at home, including four hungry teenagers, I used to order a side of beef.

The meat market would butcher, package, and label it according to my instructions.I didn't know what I was doing at first, and relied on the butcher for recommendations.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:44 PM   #7
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Contact the Iowa beef Association I am sure there are cattlemen in the western part of Ia that will sell you a beef. get out the yellow pages and let your fingers do the walking
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplicity View Post
Maybe this will help. There are a couple of listings in Omaha.

Nebraska Association of Meat Processors: Home Page

When there were six of us at home, including four hungry teenagers, I used to order a side of beef. The meat market would butcher, package, and label it according to my instructions.I didn't know what I was doing at first, and relied on the butcher for recommendations. Good luck with your search.
That's probably what we're looking to do when we're ready. The side of beef should be just fine. What my big question is who and where can I go to get it through without having to drive for hours. Thanks for the Nebraska link, I've bookmarked it so that will come in handy.

This is a new thing for me as I'm an east coast transplant - been out here for over 10 yrs but anyway. I never had the opportunity to order from a butcher before so it will be a first with us doing that. How did you do it? Just tell them what cuts you wanted and how you wanted it cut?
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:42 AM   #9
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I've done it once, and just went with what the butcher suggested / cut. Let him know what you want to be sure to have a few of, then let him do the rest.

I can't wait to be able to afford to do it again! It's really nice to have all those great roasts and steaks just sitting there waiting for you to get a craving for one!
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:07 AM   #10
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I can't tell you where to get it where you won't have to drive far, but I can tell you some things to look for that are important to me.

I would get it from a butcher who also retails meat from his store. I have found the cuts of meat look much more like what you are used to buying in a supermarket. Who wants to eat a ribeye they payed $4/lb for if it looks like that's all it's worth?
The last quarter I just got was vacuum sealed. This meat should last longer than meat that is only wrapped in freezer paper. I don't know if this is the new trend and everybody's doing it now, but I would ask. Last night I tossed a steak on one of those aluminum thawing plates, turned it over a few times and it was thawed but still cold in half an hour. Because it was still in the plastic all sealed up, I did not have to worry about getting blood all over. I think that's kind of neat anyway.
Yes, you should be able to tell the butcher what kind of meat you expect to get. I did not want a freezer full of short ribs, stew meat, brisket. I just don't cook that stuff that often. I had a lot of those cuts turned into hamburger, something I know I'm going to use up. And if I run out of stew meat because I get on a stew kick, I'll cut up a chuck roast.
I also had him package up a lot of the hamburger into premade patties. This way, besides having premade hamburgers, I don't have to thaw a pound of burger if I only want half a pound. I can thaw two patties instead and crumble them up.

That's my take on it anyway.
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