How to buy farm-direct meat

Cows at Cloverleaf Grass Farms, photo via Facebook.

Cattle at Cloverleaf Grass Farms // Photo via Cloverleaf Grass Farms Facebook

As we note in this month’s report on food waste, eating a diet heavy in red meat puts incredible strain on the global food system. Nobody expects the world to stop eating beef, but we can most certainly stop eating it as mindlessly as we currently do.

Here’s one strategy for responsible meat-eating: if you have a deep freezer, you should consider buying a quarter cow, whole hog, or pasture-raised poultry from a small, local farm. Not only will you get a variety of cuts for an attractive price per pound, but you’ll make a serious impact on a local farmer’s bottom line, and bypass a wasteful supply chain at the same time.

And if you’re in Minnesota, here are a few such farms you might consider:

Cloverleaf Grass Farm (Wadena, Minnesota)

Cloverleaf is a family farm that raises pasture-penned chickens and grass-fed Angus-based cattle using a rotational grazing system. Contact Ivan Reinke at [email protected].

Lakeside Prairie Farm (Barrett, Minnesota)

Lakeside raises grass-fed beef (quarter, half, and whole animals), and pastured pork (halves and wholes). Order now for your meat to be ready in the fall.

From their website: “We are dedicated to ecologically sound sustainable farming practices. Our products are grown without the use of antibiotics, hormones, chemical pesticides or fertilizers. We are currently transitioning to be certified organic. What sets us apart from other sustainable producers is our dedication to native ecosystems. We are working to restore the native prairie, wetlands, and oak savanna that once covered our farm.”

Contact Bryan Simon at [email protected]


Pig at Lakeside Prairie Farm // Photo via Lakeside Prairie Farm Facebook

Living Song Farm (Howard Lake, Minnesota)

Living Song dedicates 40 acres to rotational grazing for cattle and pastured laying hens. 70 of their 288 acres are Certified Organic, where they grow organic garlic, onions, and some really nice looking potatoes.

They’ll begin taking deposits in the spring for beef ready in the fall. Contact Jerry Ford (who’s also the director of the MN Garlic Fest) at [email protected].

Cattle eating a pumpkin, Photo via Bakers Acres on Facebook

Cattle eating a pumpkin // Photo via Bakers Acres on Facebook

Bakers’ Acres (Avon, Minnesota)

Get a CSA share from Baker’s Acres’ certified organic 15-acre farm, or sign up for details on grass-finished beef quarters, free-range poultry, or a share of farm-fresh eggs. Contact Lisa Baker: [email protected]

Cattle Grazing at Moonstone Farms, Photo via Facebook

Cattle Grazing at Moonstone Farm // Photo via Moonstone Farms Facebook

Moonstone Farm (Montevideo, Minnesota)

Moonstone beef is raised on 100% grass and hay without pesticides, antibiotics, hormones or genetic engineering. They even have a one room cottage for rent for a relaxing stay on the prairie. Contact Richard Handeen: [email protected]

About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.

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