Funded in part by a SARE grant, “Beef and Pork Whole Animal Buying Guide” explains buying pork and beef as whole animals (or portions thereof) from local producers. Producers may consider using the publication to help clients make smart decisions and keep coming back. It explains marketing terms, information on storage and handling, meat inspection, meat cut out weight, and includes color photos of common retail beef and pork cuts by primal. This guide brings all the necessary pieces together in one easy-to-use resource. Free PDF available online. Hard copies are available in color ($6.50) and B&W ($1). Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
Just a few decades ago, many Americans put up whole animals every year. Professional butchers traveled door-to-door, helping families cut and preserve the meat. Those folks who did not have their own animals to butcher contracted with a butcher shop, usually purchasing meat in quantity and storing it in a freezer locker to which the buyers had a key and access throughout the week.
Meat counters in grocery stores replaced this system, making it possible to purchase fresh meats week by week. But today, as more and more beef and pork producers return to the marketplace to sell directly to consumers, it is again common for individuals to buy meats locally and in quantity—typically by quarter, half, or whole animals.
Buying beef or pork in quantity allows you to choose not only what quality of animal you would like—how the animal is raised and fed, what breed—but also exactly how you want the meat cut and packaged. How thick do you want your steaks, for example? Do you want ground meat in one-pound packages, two-pound packages or made into patties? Do you want beef jerky, bratwurst, or ring bologna?