Quarters, Halves, and Whole Animals

Direct connection of beef to eaters, people to land is the heart of our work.

As a buyer and stewardship supporter, you get an amazing deal. It works for us because we can keep things simple and keep our business local, and it works for you because it’s economical, healthy, clean, and delicious. Our herd is 100% grass fed and grass finished. Our only supplements are organic alfalfa, mineral salt licks, and kelp meal when they’re really lucky. No grain, no fillers, no confusion.

Quarters, halves, and whole animals offer everything from luscious steaks and roasts to the best ground beef you’ve ever tasted. And don’t forget braising cuts like shanks and brisket – hard to find in grass-fed and so delicious! Ready your Crock Pot, Instant Pot, or a good stock pot on your stove and drink in the goodness. Offal and bones are optional, and we recommend saying YES!

A quarter, half or whole beef is the best way to stock up on our beef.

The process

  1. Make a deposit for your quarter, half or whole with us.
  2. We confirm and date and which butcher will process the animal. Lead times vary depending on when animals are ready for harvest and the butcher’s schedules.
  3. We handle the harvest of the animal and getting it to the butcher.
  4. Quarters come with a standard array of roughly one third steaks, one third roasts, and one third ground. Bones and offal are optional and highly recommended.
  5. We send an invoice via email at harvest time, by hanging or gross weight.
  6. The butcher calls when it’s ready, and you can pick up your delectable beef cut, wrapped, labeled, and frozen directly from the butcher. Some butchers charge their fee at pickup, and some prefer that we pay them ahead and put their fee on your invoice. Either way, the price itself is the same.

Live, Hanging and Cut Weights

A typical live steer we harvest will weigh around 1100 lbs for the whole animal. Our price and the butcher fee is based on the hanging weight after the animal has been harvested, ready to be sent to the butcher. For our animals this typically ranges from 500-600 lbs. The butcher then cuts and packages the meat into steaks, roast, ground beef, bones and organ meats.

The cut weight is less than the hanging weight because bone and trim is lost in the cutting process. Some cuts like a ribeye are very expensive at retail, and other parts like bones are heavier and cost less at retail. Our price averages out to a fair bit less than you would pay for retail steaks and ground at the grocery store, and a bit less for roasts. Some cuts are not even available at grocery stores anymore – short ribs or cross rib roasts? Yes!

We provide you with a high quality local product and the confidence that your meat came from a single animal raised to our standards, living its entire happy, healthy life on our land.

Example: Assuming a 520 lb hanging weight, a whole animal would yield approximately:

  • 72 lbs of steaks
  • 135 lbs of ground beef
  • 130 lbs of roasts and braising cuts
  • 65 lbs of bones
  • 25 lbs of organ meats

You can share it with friends or family, or stock your chest freezer. 3.5 cubic feet holds a quarter and more. 5 cubic feet holds a half and more. A whole generally requires a 7 cubic foot freezer. A new 5 cubic foot chest freezer costs around $150.

Here’s What We Do:

Harvest Season is Spring and Summer, into early Fall. 

  1. Walk the fields, watch the grass, mend fences, maintain water troughs, check calves…
  2. Move the herd when the grass says it’s time to go
  3. Teach the herd to trust our sense of grass along with theirs
  4. Adjust our sense of time and trust the herd
  5. Endless gratitude for the land and the herd and all we are learning

At harvest time, we select optimally ready animals, give our thanks, and send them to a humane local processor (slaughterhouse).

  1. The processor weighs and sections each animal: from live weight to hanging weight
  2. Sections are sent to the butcher shop: from hanging weight to dry aging, for flavor and tenderness
  3. Sections are cut to order, wrapped, frozen, and boxed for buyer pickup: from hanging weight to cut weight, with boxes labeled by name and cut weight

Here’s What You Do:

As a buyer, you support your good health, our land stewardship, and local jobs.

  1. Call the butcher shop at the number we give you to go over cut and wrap instructions
  2. Pick up your beef at the butcher shop in Santa Rosa or Petaluma when they call you to say it’s ready. They have limited freezer space, and want you to pick up within a week or so
  3. Pay the butcher fee at pickup
  4. Prepare your friends and family to circle up and share cuts that day, or store the Yum in your chest freezer
  5. We will send you an invoice by email detailing hanging weight cost and processor fee
  6. Thaw a cut or two at a time and enjoy!

Yum.

We harvest seasonally, to ensure premium flavor and tenderness. Beef cost and processor fees are payable to Freestone Ranch, by check or credit card. Butcher fee is payable directly to the butcher when you pick up your beef.

Local Processing & Butcher Shops

We harvest locally, either on farm or at Western Meats in Modesto. We work with four local butcher shops, who cut, package, and freeze the beef. When you pick up your beef, you’ll see boxes filled with individual cuts in packages of one or two, labeled, dated, and frozen at professionally low temperatures to stay solid on your drive home.

We can try to accommodate a preference for a butcher, but we are limited in our ability to schedule with each butcher. We do our best, and they do too.

Quarters come with a standard array of cuts, and sides and whole animals offer more flexibility on cut and wrap. At order, we will confirm which butcher is set for which harvest, and you can talk to them directly with questions on cut and wrap.

Any other questions, by all means let us know!