Online tool for selling and purchasing locally raised meats
Do you like supporting local farmers by purchasing their products? If so, there is an online tool that is perfect for you to use when it comes to purchasing locally raised meat, that not only benefits you, but local farmers as well.
This tool is called Meat Suite and it was developed by Cornell University and over the past few years, it has been available for North Carolina farmers and consumers to use.
On the consumer end, it is user friendly and easy to navigate. Once on the website, www.meatsuite.com, you can search for a farm that sells a particular type of meat within a specified mile radius from your location.
As of now, there are 27 farms signed up with Meat Suite that are within 50 miles from the heart of Randolph County. This tool is still pretty new and at N.C. Cooperative Extension, we are working hard to encourage more farmers and consumers to participate in this program.
Each farm is able to set up an individual profile so that when a consumer searches for local meat, they can find out what a particular farm has for sale, the contact information as well as more information about the farm. It is a great tool to find exactly what you are looking for, for your family. Many farms that are involved not only will just sell you as little as one pound of ground beef, but may also sell in bulk, whole, half and quarter of carcasses. In many cases, buying meat in bulk can also be cheaper. So if you have adequate ways to process and/or store meat, this is a great way to save some money! If you don’t, contact either myself, Adam Lawing (livestock agent) or our family and consumer science agent (Jeannie Leonard) and we can help you set up. Again, Meat Suite is a great place to really find exactly what you are looking for.
If you are a livestock producer and have been searching for another avenue for selling your products, then pay attention! Meat Suite is free to sign up for and is really simple as well. Visit the website, sign up and then create a profile. When you are creating your profile, you should already know everything it asks for. You list the products and descriptions of what you are selling (and for how much) and enter your contact information as well as a photograph and a short description of your farm and you are finished. Once your application profile is submitted and approved, your profile page goes live.
Another great tool for farmers is their online price and yield calculator. You fill in where you want to sell your product as well as how much it costs to feed and keep your livestock, a percentage of how much profit you are looking to make and your costs of hauling and processing your product and it will give you a break down of how much you are spending and it will help you determine your price points that will meet your operation goals.
This is a great place for consumers and farmers alike and we hope that it will continue to grow and benefit everyone involved. If you have any questions about Meat Suite or buying, selling or producing locally raised meats, feel free to give us a call at 336-318-6000 and we will be happy to help!
Adam Lawing is a livestock agent with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Randolph County Center. Contact: 336-318-6000.