Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Meat Sales at Kansas City Farmers’ Markets

I get most of the Missouri county extension newsletters and saw this one from a livestock specialist.  I thought it was interesting and thought I’d share it with you.  debi

A few weekends ago while visiting my son in Kansas City we went to a couple of big farmer’s markets. I’m always interested in vendors with beef for sale and their pitch.

The vendors I talked to came from Moberly, King City, Leeton, Lee’s Summit and Welch, OK. All had a pretty long trip. The man from Welch said he’d driven the 181 mile trip for 5 years. He felt it was worth his time.

The breed makeup for the different vendors was quite a mix. Included were: Scotch Highland, Charolias x Longhorn, straight Longhorn, Angus x Devon and Angus.

All were promoting their beef as natural with one, claiming their beef was organic certified. Some were grass fed. I asked what their customers were looking for and they said lean beef that was safe for their families. They do not worry or ask about the grade of beef. They want it to be free of antibiotics and hormones and if they wanted to take their family to the farm and see the cattle, they could. The latter indicated their interest in it being locally produced.

One seller said he felt anyone with 30 cows, who is willing to work can make a decent living producing all-natural beef. He is a strong advocate of using a management intensive grazing systems. He didn’t describe, “a decent living.” I did notice all their beef was priced fairly high, as you might expect. However, there were lots of shoppers and they appeared to have the finances to pay extra for the beef.
(by Eldon Cole, MU Livestock Specialist)

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