Buying Meat Directly From a Farmer: 7 Things You Need to Know

| 6/18/2010 10:15:53 AM

A photo of Shannon SaiaLike most things that I’ve done around here over the course of the past few years, I started buying meat directly from a local farmer in idealistic and almost utter ignorance.

I mean, it’s not exactly like I went out looking for someone to sell me half a hog.

As a matter of fact, when I first started looking into buying local food, meat wasn’t even on my radar screen. Like most people, when I thought of “local food” I thought of CSAs and farmer’s markets, which to my limited understanding meant produce, plain and simple. But when I started participating in a local area food group in Southern Maryland, there was much more than produce on the menu. There were eggs. There were broilers. And then one day there was this:

“For one more week, I am taking orders for meat from half or whole hogs for fall delivery.”

Hello! What’s this? Are you telling me that I can buy a hog?

Of course I had a ton of questions. Starting with, why on earth would I want to buy a hog?

4/9/2013 7:51:27 PM

Great article. I tell my customers (re buying local meats), its green, its local and its certainly trending but the hook is the taste. There is no comparison between well raised local meats and the commodity meats at the grocery store. Two completely different sports. I have been sourcing locally raised, well treated, whole and preferably pastured animals for groups of folks in StL for about 5 years now. In fact, after doing this for about 4 years charitably, I finally got so busy that my wife and I incorporated it into a business, Mac's Local Buys. We've been going for over a year now. We only buy whole animals and we take everything the inspector will let out the door. I guess my point in all this, is more and more people are wanting to know where their food comes from. We've effectively carved out a spot in the supply chain to help them find what I call premium proteins, because honestly, that's exactly what they are. ~mac

6/25/2010 2:27:35 PM

Shannon, your quite welcome. N.Dave, the "grass roots" movement is taking steady hold on America. The present economy is forcing many comercial farmers to go back to the old ways of doing things. Due to market prices, added value farm products are becomming more prevalant, farmers are looking more to market directly to the consumer and eliminate the middlemen, and (thanks to the increase in the education of the public) farmers are growing the foods the customers want to buy. Yes, unfortunately in the present day of cell phones, internet, and other non-persnal way of communicating much of the neighbor helping neighbor has gone by the wayside. It's a terrible thing to think, but when times get tuff, we all tend to go back to the way things were once done. Maybe the bad economy isn't all bad.

S.M.R. Saia
6/21/2010 1:43:48 PM

Lee, thanks for much for clearing that up for Nebraska Dave and myself!!! I can't wait till the beef is ready!

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