I never imagined myself co-mingling animals with vegetables. But, it’s plain to see the advantages. Animals helped build the prairie soils we’ve been relying on for fertility for centuries. We, as humans, have relied on them as a direct foodsource for longer even than cultivated vegetables. Their value goes well beyond that which immediately advances us though, and is their own, as well as the soil’s, to recognize most fully. The advantages of such a system though are not what most commercial beef outfits focus on in raising cattle for food. It is an unfortunate reality that 99% of meat consumed in our country, according to Jonathon Safran Foer’s new book, Eating Animals, live out the last months of their lives on factory farms. Most are fed tremendous amounts of grain, exist in very tight corners often without the ability to turn around, and are mistreated by standards that nearly everyone would agree are not proper, respectable, or dignifying. Expedience and financial efficiency are the prime directives of such outfits, with health of animal, operator, watershed nearby, and the like as afterthoughts.

Grass fed beef has great promise for both the operator, the consumer, and the animals themselves, For the operator, me in this case, it is a low maintenance, low operational cost, high benefit way for me to diversify my skill sets, take a step toward a more responsible agriculture, and ensure better winter finances. For the consumer, it allows for an ethical way to grill, a low input, high health benefit way to not give up red meat, at a cost that reflects the true costs of production, but won’t break the bank. Most importantly (and I mean that), for the animals themselves, it gives them the ability to live the entirety of their lives with dignity, to graze pastures instead of gulping down grains that they are not evolved to thrive on, to have their health take front stage in the eyes of their caretaker, and in death even, to be honored, cherished, and destined for plates of the conscientous parts of ourselves, not the one handed parts of our pragmatism that our fast paced lifestyles sometimes bring to bear.

So,with that, here is what I propose to you, hopefully my consumers in this triangle. Starting today, I am selling shares in a Beef CSA. All beef will be pre-sold by April 1st, 2010, and made available in Mid Fall (likely November) of 2010. Share prices will be based on how much you would ultimately wish to procure for yourself. Beef will be available only in assorted packages of 25#, 125#, and 250# increments. Pricing will look approximately like so:

* 25# for $150($100 deposit, $50 upon pick up in November)
* 1/4 cow approximately 125# =$400 deposit, remainder (approximately $275) upon pick up in November
* 1/2 cow approximately 250# = $800 deposit, remainder (approximately $450) upon pickup in November

The distribution of each share will roughly follow a distribution similar to this sample 25# box:

* 10-1lb packages of ground beef
* 3-5 packages steaks(tbone, porterhouse, ribeye, sirloin, etc) with half being tbone, porterhouse, ribeye, and half sirloin, chuck, etc.
* 1-2 roasts(arm, rump, etc)

added at no extra expense will be short ribs, soup bones, liver, heart, tongue, etc

For a list of cuts, and options for 1/4 and 1/2 options, or with any other questions, please call or email us directly at 262-951-0794, or tim@lotfotl.com

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