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GOT MEAT?

Sharing is caring for both consumers and ranchers.

WRITTEN BY ERIN MEYERING

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Meat-share programs often ensure customers will receive quality cuts, generous quantities and knowledge of how the animals used, were raised. Such programs even provide farmers (a little) more assurance in the number of animals they can raise for the season and allow them to lower prices for prime cuts sold in bulk as part of whole animals.

Meat share basics

If you’re pondering the idea of purchasing half a steer, are you crazy? Not at all, but there’s some information you should have before you jump in. You must order in advance. Whether because of drought or other issues area ranchers don’t always have extra animals to sell come harvest time.

You also need an extra freezer, as you’ll need space for several hundred pounds of meat. For an example of what a quarter steer equates to after processing, visit http://www.Nevadacountyfreerangebeef.com.

You’ll want some stellar recipes lined up. Buying in bulk allows you to explore different cuts of meat and various flavors and textures in your cooking and meals.

If you don’t have or want to buy an extra freezer, why not share your purchase with family and friends? They’ll thank you.

Why buy meat shares?

“When the customer buys [meat] in bulk, [he or she has] discretion on how it’s butchered, processed, and packaged,” says Rob Holley of Holley Family Farms in Dayton.

When purchasing an entire animal directly from the rancher, you are able to dictate how the meat is butchered. You wouldn’t have control over these specifications when buying it in a store. For example, you may decide the thickness of your meat cuts, how much will end up as whole-cow ground beef, and whether you’d like it bundled into small portions for your convenience or perhaps into family-sized roasts.

Ranchers generally have butchers or processors whom they work with frequently. Wolf Pack Meats in Reno is Nevada’s only U.S. Department of Agriculture cut and wrap-certified meat-processing plant, and ranchers such as Wendy Baroli of Grow For Me Sustainable Farm/GirlFarm in Reno and Holley recommend them.

Purchasing meat in bulk allows you the most control over what you’re eating. Holley encourages people to ask detailed questions when first learning about and considering buying in bulk. He stresses the importance of asking producers how their animals are raised. Were they raised at that same ranch from birth? What does the animal eat day to day? This helps root out misleading information and ensure you’re getting the highest quality (and probably tastiest) meat possible.

Erin Meyering is the associate editor of edible Reno-Tahoe magazine. She was happy to learn more about the meat-sharing process and chat with passionate ranchers who value raising their animals sustainably.

Resources

Revisit a previous edible story on meat sharing from 2011 and explore specific meat cuts at http://www.Ediblerenotahoe.com/summer-2011/253-summer-2011-beef-share.

Meat share buying guide

Next time you’re in the mood to shop for meats, try one of these local sources. All meat is dependent on year-to-year supply and is sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Albaugh Ranch in Fallon
775-423-3361, http://www.Albaughranch.com
Offers beef and lamb

Alpine Ranch in the Clan Alpine Mountains, East of Fallon
775-240-7273, http://www.alpine-ranch.com 
Offers beef, lamb, and pork. 

Brewery Beef in Doyle
775-771-9617, http://www.Brewerybeef.com
Offers beef

GirlFarm/Grow For Me Sustainable Farm in Reno
775-221-0001, http://www.Girlfarm.org
Offers beef, lamb, pork, Thanksgiving turkeys, rabbits (quantity of 6), and chickens (quantity of 4)

Hole-In-One Ranch in Janesville
530-253-7804, http://www.Holeinoneranch.com
Offers beef, lamb, and pork

Holley Family Farms in Dayton
775-721-7806, http://www.Holleyfamilyfarms.com
Offers beef, lamb, and pork

Mills Ranch in Fallon
775-867-3431, http://www.Millsranch.org
Offers beef

Potter 8 Ranch in Loyalton
530-993-1199, http://www.Potter8ranch.com
Offers beef

Redd Barney Ranch in Reno
775-475-2040, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Offers beef

Sierra Meat and Seafood
800-444-5687, http://www.Sierrameat.com  
Offers pork

Steninger Ranching in Lamoille
775-753-6466, http://www.Steninger.us/beef
Offers beef (delivers to Reno)

Stone House Ranch in Chilcoot
775-351-7000, http://www.Stonehouseranch.com
Offers beef, pork

Trimmer Outpost in Genoa
775-782-2518, http://www.Trimmeroutpost.com
Offers beef

Van Norman Ranches in Tuscarora
775-756-5551
Offers beef (delivers to Reno)

Wolf Pack Meats in Reno
775-857-3663, http://www.Cabnr.unr.edu/wpm
Offers beef, lamb, pork, and turkeys

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