More Oklahoma beef producers selling straight to consumers

More Oklahoma beef producers selling straight to consumers-5/6/2020

FAXON, Okla. (TNN) -The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association has compiled a list of ranchers across the state who are selling beef directly to consumers.

Cattle prices have plummeted during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, more beef producers are selling their product directly to consumers instead of going through a supply chain.

“It really gives you a chance to market your genetics for one, meat quality that is in your program, as well as increases your profitability,” said rancher, Cody Pearce.

Pearce says it also provides a level of transparency to the consumer.

“If you ask me the genetics of that particular animal that you’re purchasing, I can tell you,” said Pearce. “If you ask me what breed they are, I can tell you. If you ask me how many days they were on feed, I can tell you. If you ask the meat counter clerk or whomever at the big box stores, they’re not going to know where it came from.”

As for price, it depends on the type of beef you buy, which can range from grass fed to grain fed.

“In that case, would that consumer be saving money versus going to a grocery store, well maybe not in a dollar sense, but they might be getting something that they want, and that they’re willing to pay for which is a value to them,” said Michael Kelsey, Executive Vice President of Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.

Kelsey says for a producer to be able to sell directly to a consumer, they must first go through the Department of Agriculture.

“Part of those verification processes are, are you using a state inspected plant to process your meat,” said Kelsey. “You have to do that in order to be able to sell your meat locally your beef locally.”

For anyone interested in buying straight from a producer, Pearce says it’s usually sold on hoof, meaning the consumer commits to buying a percentage of the animal while it’s still alive. He says, it’s not a quick process.

“From the time we put an animal on feed, from the time it’s making it to your freezer, we’re looking at probably five to six months,” said Pearce. “So it’s something that you don’t decide on Monday that you want to have a beef, and then it’s in your freezer the following Saturday.”

To find the OCA’s list of ranchers in our area, you can go to their website, OKCattlemen.org.

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