This past year has laid bare concerns about food insecurities in this country. The pandemic has led to shortages in the grocery store on essential items like toilet paper and meat. This has spurred many consumers to look at sourcing items locally instead of relying on big box stores.
Meanwhile, producer frustrations about market manipulation and poor prices along with concerns about processors investing in fake meat companies has led many cattlemen and women to look at alternative methods to selling their beef. The goal is for them to become price-makers; not price-takers as they do so.
Yet, marketing beef can be incredibly challenging. Whether you live in a remote area far away from urban, consumer-dense areas, or you don’t have access to a USDA-inspected facility, or your local processing facility is booked out for months or even years due to increased demand. Or your state has strict guidelines on how you can sell your beef, this path isn’t always simple and straightforward. In fact, the roadblocks can deter even the most determined of folks.
Cattle and beef are seemingly two separate commodities, but there’s a groundswell of support from beef producers across the country to regain control from pasture to plate and capture premiums for their product as they do so.
Today’s blog won’t dive into the regulatory hurdles that await producers as they explore this path. However, I wanted to share a series of articles that may prove useful as you do your own research on the ins and outs of marketing beef in your state.
South Dakota State University recently released a series to help answer the most common asked questions of raising and selling freezer beef to sell locally to consumers. To some, the information may be very basic, but to others, this may be the “how to” starter course you’re looking for and needing.
Written by SDSU’s Adele Harty and Warren Rusche, the series includes articles titled:
- Raising Freezer Beef: How to feed grain-finished beef
- Raising Freezer Beef: Management considerations
- Raising freezer beef: When is the animal finished?
- Raising freezer beef: Meeting customer expectations
Additional articles you may find helpful include:
- “Selling beef direct to consumers? Find the right processing plant” by Greg Bloom for BEEF
- “Beef markets still feeling the effects of COVID-19” published on Market Place
- “Belcampo Meat Co. debuts new bone broth subscriptions at all restaurant locations” from the Business Wire
- “Direct marketing” by Amy Hadachek for The Fence Post
Do you have advice for selling direct to consumers? Share your best tips in the comments section below. This will be an ongoing theme in the upcoming months, so I’m planning more segments on this topic. Thank you!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.