Beef Share FAQ

Buying a Cow vs Beef Share?

We offer the opportunity to purchase a live cow or a portion thereof (half or quarter) directly from the farmer, have it delivered to a local custom meat processor and be processed in to your favorite beef cuts and packaged to your specifications. Or, you may participate in one of our Beef Shares, where we do the same thing but share the cow among more people, making the cost of entry lower. Beef Shares are limited and offered when available. The most economical option is to purchase a whole, half or quarter cow.

Why don't you just sell cuts of meat?

Sometimes we do. You can check our product sheet here: Selling meat requires the livestock to be killed and processed at a USDA inspected facility or sold under a Master Feed Registration as Pet Food. There are not many USDA facilities in our region and we prefer not to use them because of the distance required to haul the animals. We like to offer USDA processing for those who want to try our products and that have minimal freezer space, but the best deal is to get a whole, half or quarter cow or participate in a Beef Share.

How do I order a Beef Share?

Purchase a beef share when available here on the website or contact us to get on the list for a whole, half or quarter cow and you will be contacted to fill out the cutting instruction form. You may also email to have a cutting form emailed to you for review prior to order. There are currently no deposits required for placing an order for beef.

When is it time to order a whole cow?

Cows become ready in late spring/early summer, weather dependent and then processing continues throughout the year. Contact us for current availability and request to be on the Whole/Half/Quarter cow list on Our Products page.

How much beef do I get and what does it cost?

This varies because you are purchasing a live animal and price can also vary based on your processing choices. For whole, half and quarter cows, we charge $4.00/lb of the hanging weight at the processor, plus there are processing fees. Our experience has shown that a whole cow works out to around $2,000 for over 300lbs of finished beef at a finished price per lb of $7 or less. A full detailed example is in the column to the right.

How do I pay?

You can pay cash, mail a check, Paypal using “Friends and Family” method.

How do I know which cow I am getting?

Your cow will be selected from the herd as it is fully finished and fattened on grass.

How do I know I am getting beef from my cow?

When the farmer delivers it to the processor, they kill the cow and after dressing it, weigh it to determine the hanging weight. At this point your cow is tagged with your name. This tag stays with your racks of meat until the time you pick it up.

Can we visit?

Of course. I would love to say each of our farms are open for visitors 24/7/365. But, these are true family farms. Our farms are our homes. We would love for you to visit, just make an appointment. We also like group visits and do other special farm tours.

How do I get my beef?

You can pick it up directly from the processor or we will deliver it to you on our schedule.

Where is the processor?

North Florida Custom Meats in Lake Butler.

What cuts of meat can I get?

You can get all standard cuts of beef plus special ones you may have never had if you like and many different types of sausages and seasonings. Buying a whole cow greatly increases your options.

How long does it take?

It varies. We can give you an estimate on order. From the day a cow goes to the processor, it takes at least two weeks. The beef hangs as halves for at least 10 days of aging and then is cut and packaged and then frozen by the processor.

How is the beef packaged?

The beef is vacuum sealed with cuts made and number of cuts per package to your specifications.

How big a freezer do I need?

A 14 cubic ft chest freezer will hold a whole cow. A 14 cubic ft chest freezer is nice to have. It will hold half a beef, half a hog and a bunch of frozen fruits and vegetables. 

What breeds of cows are they?

They are just cows. We are less concerned with actual breed and more concerned with ability to thrive on grass and great flavor. Greenway Farm's herd is primarily Red Angus and Murray Gray.

Do use chemicals on your land?

No. We are advocates of old school organic farming. This means we don't spray anything, fertility is gained through building up of organic matter via holistic livestock management and traditional crop rotation principles.

Are the cows finished on grass?

Yes, these cows eat nothing but grass and hay. Hay feeding is minimal and only during a short period of the year as forages are planted to maximize grazing. The cows are always on pasture.

Do you use hormones?


Do you use antibiotics?

No. We raise our animals in such a way that need for antibiotics is a rarity.

Do you use chemical dewormers?

No. The land is managed in a way and the herd rotated to minimize any parasite problems.

Do you use any GMOs?

Absolutely not.

Can we get beef bones and organs from you?

When you buy a whole or half cow, you are entitled to the bones and organs. Our processor saves some bones, the heart, tongue, tail and liver. If you have other requests please let us know. Oftentimes bones and organ meats are available for sale as pet food on our product list.

A Typical Whole Cow

To be precise, what you are actually getting is either a steer (castrated male) or a heifer (female that has never been bred). A cow would be older and likely be most fit for making all hamburger.

Below are the numbers from an actual steer shared:

Hanging weight was 480lbs @ $4.00/lb to the farmer $1,920.

For slaughter, cut, wrap and freeze to the processor was $352 for a total of $2,272 cost to customer.

The cow yielded a total weight of 324.5lbs of actual cuts and ground beef + heart, tongue, 2 packages of ox tail, 8 packages of liver and 6 packages of bones. Price per lb of actual cuts was $7.00 (this calculation included the actual cuts of meat and none of the bones or organs.)

The cuts specified for this cow were:

90 – 1 to 1.5lb packages of Ground Beef

12 – Sirloin Steaks

51 – T-Bone and Ribeye Steaks

1 – Package of Pinwheel Steaks

24 – Roasts

30 – Cubed Steaks

35 – 1 to 1.5lb packages of Stew Meat

8 – Packages of Short Ribs

Cows may be larger and smaller than this average example.

The cuts received are dependent on what you choose on the cutting instructions form. Our processor is very good about helping you though the process. You can get more or less of the items mentioned above. For example, you could get no cubed steaks and more hamburger. You could get less hamburger and more roasts. You could get less roasts and more variety of steaks. You could get no stew meat and get more roasts and hamburger. You can also specify which roasts you want and don't want and you can choose how thickly you want the steaks cut and what size roasts you want. The number of packages does not affect the price. There is also the option to get smoked beef sausage links.

When the cow is taken to processor it is first aged for 10-14 days. By the end of the aging process they must have your cutting instructions. You can typically pick up your beef within a few days after the aging process.