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  • Writer's pictureBuckeye Valley Beef Co.

Updates from your Buckeye Valley farmers

It's been a little bit since our first "Covid" update, and in the midst of keeping busy on our farms, there are several things we'd like share with our followers! We hope your summer has been a good one - considering the circumstances. I'm not sure how it's already August, but here we are. The cooperative met nearly all spring and summer via Zoom meetings. One thing was realized - rural internet makes Zoom conversations a little difficult, and no angle is a good angle on those phone cameras! We were finally able to meet in person in June (although some of us still Zoomed, some of us were in the hayfield).

The following updates in this letter include:

  • Processing dates and info

  • The Steakholder's Club

  • Online store and piece sales

  • Cooperative growth and outreach

  • New apparel

Harvest Dates and Processing Lead Times

I don't think a single farmer in this country would have anticipated that it would take a pandemic to turn many consumers away from the grocery and back to having their own food stores sourced from local farms. We are the same. Thankfully, as a cooperative, we had been able to secure harvest dates for every two weeks through 2020. Never in a million years did we imagine that we should have secured more. We are currently booking for March of 2021, but we do anticipate better lead times as we will be taking cattle to harvest every week next year.

We've all seen the memes for this year that try to help make lite of the situation. I feel like this one is pretty accurate for us. You can almost hear that guys voice from the infomercials, can't you?

Here's why this one fits:

Things had been going very smooth and our processor was keeping up with not only our increased numbers, but that of new farmers coming to them. {Insert county fair projects.} We are happy that 4-H and FFA exhibitors have been able to show and sell their animals at county fairs across the state, but it has added extra stress on the already swamped local processing houses. Just another reason we need more local processing houses in Ohio. This has changed our harvest schedule unexpectedly, as we got pushed back by 4 weeks, with no certainty that we'll be able to make that time back up at some point. Another issue they are having is keeping enough reliable help there to cut beef and pork. These folks have been working overtime, Mondays through Sundays, and as you could expect, it's wearing on them because there's really no light at the end of the tunnel. I guess what we are trying to say is - bear with us. The hardest thing to do is tell our customers that their date has been pushed back, but it really is beyond our control- and that's a tough feeling to deal with. We want our customers to be able to rely on what we say and dates that are set; however, right now, it seems there is not set anything. It goes back to the infomercial guy, we always feel like as soon as we think one obstacle has been dealt with, here come three more. I can say that our customers have been more than understanding, very supportive, and very kind. There is so much good in this world and the pandemic has brought that out in folks - and that's all I choose to focus on!

The Steakholder's Club

A service we are offering to our customers for 2021 and beyond is called the Steakholder's Club. This is an automatic renewal subscription to your beef shares. The great thing about it is that you don't have to remember to reorder! When your subscription renews, we ask you when you'd like your shares ready for the year and you're all set. It guarantees your beef share and that you'll get it when you want it. Another great thing is that it locks in your price, so even if processing costs go up during the year, you still get the price per pound that it was at the time of your subscription! For more information and how to sign-up, click here.

Online Farm Shop

We are still taking orders for individual beef cuts (ground beef, steaks, roasts, etc.), but the lead time for those orders is 10 to 12 weeks as we navigate around the harvest dates getting pushed back. As stated before, we are ready for 2021 (and really can't wait for it to get here) as we will have more harvest dates to handle all kinds of orders, as well as more storage capacity [stay tuned]!!

Cooperative Growth and Outreach

With the increase in new customers comes the need for finished cattle. Remember when we've said it takes us 16-18 months before cattle are ready for harvest? We found ourselves in need of more cattle than our small cooperative farms had on hand. This isn't a problem, it's actually what we've been working toward since our induction. And this summer, we've been able to sell finished steers for two additional farms in our area thanks to ya'll! We are currently accepting applications to onboard new farms that adhere to our protocols for producing local, all-natural, high-quality beef for 2021! Click here to contact us today. Our cooperative works to provide an alternative marketing solution for area cattle farmers that are looking to keep their small traditional farms sustainable and profitable.

New Apparel!

It has been a long time coming, but we're finally able to offer our winning (Facebook contest) t-shirt design on a Bella Canvas tee. "It's time to get Fresh with a Farmer" tees are now available for preorder in our online stores! We can't think of a better slogan for 2020!

When you check out, let us know if you'd like to pick-up or if you'd like us to ship to you!

Please click here to place your order!

Thanks to Dr. Tricyn Parker for kindly modeling our new shirts!


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