3 Reasons Why you Should Get a Whole Animal Share 

Eight Plates Farm is located in Mayville, MI. Carla and Paul Schultz, along with their 4 children and Carla’s parents, raise pastured cattle and hogs on their family farm.Their “grazed-and-grown” approach allows animals to flourish on quality forages and grain in a natural setting.

To match consumer demand, Eight Plates’ online store offers individual cuts, bundles, and whole animal shares. From whole chickens to ground beef, there is a wide variety of products available for meat eaters. Many of the individual cuts and bundles can be shipped, but most of their larger animal shares need to be picked up directly from the farm. 

Animal shares are beneficial for both the farmer and the buyer. Folks who take part purchase a portion of a cow or pig while it is still on the pasture to support its upkeep with the promise of a freezer full of protein at the end of the season. Typically, interested eaters put down a deposit on the animal prior to processing and are promised a “hanging weight”. Hanging weight is how much the animal weighs before the butcher begins making cuts. Buyers can expect to take home about 60-65% of the hanging weight. Eight Plates Farm offers 1/4, 1/2, and whole cow shares, along with 1/2 and whole hog shares. Check out their guide to understanding meat shares here.

Does filling your freezer with over 100lbs of beef sound intimidating? Here are the top 3 reasons why you should get a farm animal share:

1. It’s Economical

With a whole freezer full of sustainably raised protein, you’re less likely to run to the grocery store hungry, which will save you in the long run. Plus, the bigger the share, the less you end up paying per pound

2. It’s Convenient

Purchasing such a large quantity ( a ¼ share of beef is 120lbs which equals roughly 4 cubic feet) means that you’ll always be a thaw away from a fresh cooked meal. 

3. It’s Environmentally friendly 

By purchasing a farm share, you’re supporting a farmer who uses practices you agree with. Plus, getting a share gives you the cuts you love, like ground beef and porterhouse steaks, but also allows you to try some less familiar meats like short ribs, soup bones, and liver. This means less goes to waste overall!

Interested in getting some sustainably raised proteins delivered to your door? Many of Eight Plates’ individual cuts and bundles can be shipped, but you can also learn more about their animal shares being offered and place your deposit to pick up at the farm! 

Eight Plates Farm, 9731 Rich Rd., Mayville, MI 48744


Emma Beauchamp is the former Editor in Chief for Taste the Local Difference.

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