“In 2022, the number of ranchers selling their herds off or filing bankruptcy daily is unfathomable. Buying your beef directly from a rancher is putting money into their pockets, guaranteeing they get the profits they deserve and helping prolong their ranch’s life” ~ Jess from Perigo Hay and Cattle.
Inflation and price increases are hitting agriculture hard. From fertilizer to fuel, costs have nearly doubled. Even though you see the cost of food increase at the grocery store, producers do not see that trickle-down much to them. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, “Off-farm costs such as marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing food products accounted for 85 cents of every retail dollar spent on food. That leaves only 15 cents returning to farmers and ranchers”. Buying directly from farmers and ranchers helps increase profits allowing more to stay afloat through these tough economic times.
It also helps bridge the gap between producers and consumers, as consumers can see how their food is grown and produced on social media accounts. Consumers can follow ranches on social media to see how the animals are raised, how crops are grown and harvested and learn more about ranching and farming. Some ranches and farms are also open to the public to visit when they purchase meat or produce.
“One of the most rewarding parts of selling beef directly to the public is that we get to meet our customers! We hear feedback and get to know each customer on a personal level. Beyond the rewarding human interactions, watching our beef from start to finish allows us to make management decisions that directly improve our production. Before selling directly to consumers, we traditionally sold our cattle through a cattle market.
Although this route is a great option, and we still sell some cattle through a sale barn, we were never really able to see the finished product. We didn’t know precisely how our beef graded or marbled beyond the small sample we’d finish for our family alone. Now we do. Seeing this process full circle is so rewarding. It’s hard to describe how grateful I am that our Dot Seven Beef label is in freezers across America,” Brooke with Dot Seven Beef.
So how can you purchase directly from a farmer or rancher? Check out your local farmers’ markets. Usually, local farmers and ranchers will have booths there. Although they may not ship, some ranches and farms, like Southwinds Cattle Company in Tennessee, allow you to place an order to pick up at their location or have a store on-site you can shop at. Others offer shipping, on-site, and purchase through local farmers’ markets. You can buy Dot Seven Beef and Perigo beef through their website or local farmers’ markets. Many farms and ranches have a social media account that tells you about special deals, when they will be at local farmers’ markets and fairs, or how to schedule deliveries. Check-in your area and see which options are available so you can shop farm to table fresh!