1.) I’m interested in ordering a quarter, half, or whole beef. What do I do next?
Just contact us via email, facebook, or phone. We will take your name and information, put you on the list for the next available animal, and get back in touch with the next available processing date.
2.) How much can I expect to pay for processing?
These prices will vary for each individual calf. Processing will depend on how you choose your cuts, but will average around $130 for a quarter, $250 for a half, and $400-$500 for a whole beef. This could also vary depending on the processor you take it to. Each processor has their own fee schedule. First time customers will be required to make a deposit of $100 per quarter of beef ordered ($200 per half, $400 per whole). This deposit is non-refundable starting the day the beef is dropped off for processing. Beef will not be released from the processor until payment is made in full. Payment for the beef is payable to Mills Livestock LLC and processing charges will be paid directly to the processor.
3.) Where can I get my beef processed?
Our processor of choice is Moody Meats in Ladoga, IN. We would also be happy to take a whole beef to a processor that you know and trust within 35 miles of Crawfordsville, IN, and two or more beef to other local processors that you know and trust.
4.) How long will it take to get my beef back after drop off?
We like to see a beef hang for two to three weeks before cutting. This increases tenderness and flavor.
5.) What will I get out my beef?
There are a few good resources online to help answer this question, but Iowa State University has a guide that is really easy to read and understand. View the PDF here!
6.) How do you handle the use of growth hormones and antibiotics on your farm?
Growth hormones are never used here and haven’t been for 30-40 years. Antibiotics are a great tool for an injured or sick animal, but we don’t use low-dose antibiotics in a daily feed ration. If an animal is in need of antibiotics, we will administer them ourselves, record the date and animal, and after the withdrawal period has passed (usually it’s a young calf, so typically a year goes by between treatment and slaughter), that animal will be sold in another market, sold to a private individual who is informed of the date of administration, or will be retained for our own personal freezer. We also have to keep these records to retain our IQ+ Beef Quality Assurance status.
7.) What breeds of cattle do you have and where do you get them from?
We raise Black Angus cattle on our own farm. We also purchase registered or traceable Black Angus bulls to breed to our cows. Heifers are retained from our own herd based on genetic scoring from blood tests. These tests look for DNA markers that predict rate of gain and marbling. Only the top scored heifers are kept in order to build the highest quality beef herd. Occasionally, we will sample scores from heifers we purchase for beef to see if there are any high scores that we should keep for breeding. Demand for high-quality beef has gone up, so we have begun to work closely with other area cattle producers to purchase their calves. We lay out our guidelines and goals, and they breed according to the traits we look for such as marbling, ribeye area, etc. Even so, our requirements for beef to have our name on it are strict. If we feel a calf will not represent us well on a plate, then it will be sold elsewhere.
8.) What do you feed your cattle?
Our cows are mainly fed a diet of hay and pasture, but occasionally we will supplement ground non-gmo corn to get the proper body condition going into winter and calving. Calves that are raised for beef are on a diet of pasture, hay, ground non-gmo corn supplemented with the proper vitamins and minerals, and spent brewing grains from Triton Brewing Company in Lawrence (Northeast side of Indianapolis at Fort Benjamin Harrison), IN. We also have calves that qualify as grass-fed. These calves are on pasture and have access to hay, vitamins, and minerals at all times.
9.) Do you farm anything other than cattle?
Yes! We farm non-gmo corn, soybeans, and wheat. Our farm has been mainly no-till and strip-till for 25 years. Not conventionally tilling our soil types has been a big factor in reducing runoff and erosion, which is better for the environment. We also have incorporated the use of cover crops to help battle erosion, runoff, weeds, build organic matter, and recycle nutrients.
Our philosophy is that if we take care of the soil, it will take care of us.