Alex and Shannon surveying the herd.

Lick Skillet's Shares Program

Cuts in a whole beef share

FAQs

Why is there a Fall Harvest sales event?

Fall is the harvest season, between the summer pasture growing season, and the winter pasture “sleep” season.  The higher volume of beef animals at this time allows us to offer our lowest prices of the year on beef (with savings up to 30%!).  We can even justify hiring an ultrasound technician to evaluate every steer individually to ensure it's harvested at its peak level of finish and quality.  In other words, the highest quality and lowest price - you can't go wrong!

In addition to our Fall Harvest beef, our pig litters arrive every spring and fall.  Because we've had such tremendous success with our 2020 Fall Harvest program, we've extended our shares to include pork—where you can save up to 20%!

What does it mean to buy a share?

The concept of buying a share in a beef is centuries old. Rather than
buying one cut at a time, you are buying a portion of all the cuts in an
animal in a single purchase. We offer quarter, half, and whole-animal shares. These include a minimum of 100, 200, and 400 lbs of beef, respectively. Each share comprises its own portion of steaks, roasts, and ground meat, at approximately 25%, 25%, and 50% of each share.

Pork shares are very similar, in that we offer quarter, half, and whole shares that include a minimum of 30, 60, and 120 lbs of pork.  These comprise approximately 25% "grillers," 25% roasts, and 50% sausage.

Why does a full-grown steer only produce 400 pounds of beef?

Our fattened steers weigh an average of 1,200 lbs. The carcass makes up about half of that total. Of the carcass, about 1/3 is made of up fat, bone, and less popular cuts like organ meats. We only include our most popular steaks, roasts, and ground meat in our shares, to ensure you pay for only the products you want. As a result, a 1,200-lb steer produces 400 lbs of premium product.

Similarly, a fattened hog weighs an average of 250 lbs, while the carcass weight averages 120 lbs of premium pork cuts.

How big is share physically? How much freezer space will it require?

The quarter, half, and whole beef shares correspond to approximately 100, 200, and 400 pounds of meat. We vacuum pack everything (some steaks come two per pack, and most burgers come 6 per pack) and then box everything up in sturdy cardboard boxes
with approximately 33 lbs in each box. To visualize this, consider that each box holds about as much as a standard 48-quart ice chest. In your freezer, the quarter share requires about 5 cubic feet, about ¼ of the normal 20 cubic foot chest freezer. Similarly, a half beef requires about half a 20-foot chest freezer, and a whole beef requires pretty much all of a 20-foot chest freezer.

A quarter pork is only slightly smaller, at 30lbs per box.  We estimate one cubic foot of freezer space for a quarter, two feet for a half, and four feet for a whole pig.

What cuts will I get?

Each beef share will include 25% steaks, 25% roasts, and 50% ground meat. Not all cuts come in nice multiples so we can guarantee the same number in each order. For example, there is only 1 hanger steak per animal, so not every order can include a hanger steak. The steaks will include a mix of fillets, rib eyes, New York strips, sirloins, flanks, briskets, and skirts. The roasts will include a mix of chuck, round, shanks, and some stew/kabob meat. The ground meat will be half pre-formed patties, and half bulk bricks. All of these estimates are approximations. We guarantee you will get at least 100, 200, or 400 pounds for your quarter, half, or whole shares, but the specific mix of items will vary some from animal to animal. If you get more of one, you’ll get less of the other.

Each pork share will include similar ratios, with 25% "grillers" (a term we use for pork chops, ribs, and anything else that isn't sausage or that needs to be roasted), 25% roasts, and 50% ground meat—which consists entirely of mild, spicy, or specialty sausage.

What about the parts of the animals I don’t want?

Unlike most offers to buy shares of a beef or pork, we only include our most popular items. The tallow or lard (fat), bones, and organs are not included in your shares, so you are not paying for items you are less likely to use. If you want any of these items, we have them for sale individually in our website store.

Why are the animals in the Fall Harvest sale evaluated with ultrasound scanning?

Ultrasounding our live steers allows us to assess their level of finish and the all-important marbling. This is an added expense, and few small farms in our region use this tool. In fact, during most of the year, we don’t normally have the volume of animals to make ultrasound practical. But during the Fall Harvest, we are moving enough cattle to make it worth the effort. It costs money and takes time, but allows us to ensure that every steer is harvested at his peak level of finish, giving you the best possible product.

Since marbling is not something we look for in pork, we only ultrasound beef.  With our pigs, we rely on heritage breeds, fed on barley, oats, peas, sorghum, and pasture forage, as it's diet and genetics that largely impacts pork flavor.

Can I partner with someone else on a share?

Yes! We encourage this. Find friends or family to go in with you on an order, and you’ll all save significantly more. For example, if two friends were going to by quarters individually, and instead they split a half, they would get exactly the same product at a reduced price. You’ll need to make all the arrangements yourself, but by creating a little buying club, you can share in both the experience and the savings.

When do I pay?

You can reserve your share simply by placing the order online with no deposit needed. Once your animal is processed, we will contact you with a final invoice and a pick-up date.

When will I get the meat?

This program is set up to help our planning (and yours) for the fall 2021 season.  Your "order" is actually a reservation for our harvest in Sept., Oct., and Nov.  Since we will only harvest each steer when he is well-finished, we cannot give you a precise date.  We will keep all share owners informed of our progress, and as animals finish, we will fill orders in the same sequence as they were placed. So, if you want to get your beef or pork as early as possible, you need to place your order as early as possible.

How will I pick up my meat?

We'll let you know when it's getting close to time to harvest your animal.  Then, when it comes in from the processor (2-4 weeks later), we'll pack up your share, charge your credit card, and email you with a choice of weekend afternoons you can come pick it up.  Once you are here, we’ll load you up -- each box is about the size of a standard 48-quart cooler, and weighs approximately 30 (pork) or 33 (beef) pounds. You’ll need to have your freezer running and ready back at home so you can store your meat without its thawing. Don’t worry – packed in 30-33-pound boxes, it will remain safely frozen for quite a while.

Questions? Need more info?

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