I'm going to put on my Queen of Random crown for this post and share some knowledge.
A word in advance - if you are a vegetarian - please leave now. I'd rather not offend you.
OK so I had to share something with you all because SO many people are unaware of the opportunities they have in a farm community. So dear friends secretly or openly stalking me - I am talking to you. I am especially talking to you if you live in my town - po dunk farmland USA.
So you know my Dad is a cattle farmer. He's not just any cattle farmer. He's like the pied piper of cattle. You think I'm joking, but drive by when the man is moving cattle. He loads up on his John Deere gator & sings & yells & his cattle chase him like dogs. They obviously know who is the farmer, and who is taking care of them AKA feeding them their meals. All he yells is "Si Cow" and they come a running. It's truly an amazing sight.
He's a great cattle farmer. He cares about his herd. He works his butt off to make sure their iced over pond has a hole in the dead of winter for them to drink from. He makes sure when it's hotter than ever that he has enough hay baled to provide them winter feed. He really cares. He hardly ever fights the cows, but he's been known to poke them in the eye if they knock him down. Which is funny - and if you've ever faced off a cow - you'd completely understand b/c their mass would win in a heartbeat without a swift eye poke.
The best part about my Dad as a cattle farmer is the meat. Yes! We eat these cows, and NO steakhouse can compare. Seriously - I've dined at some fancy top of the notch steakhouses in my prior career, and they don't even come close to Dad's rib eyes with Lawry's. It's just the truth. His cattle are corn fed (some aren't even Angus - gasp - PS I can name several kinds of cattle from my college days) and they are delicious. And he doesn't feed them anything that isn't good for our family to eat - so it's safe meat!
Now here is the part you locals need to know about. You are (or most of you are) driving the meat market once a week & paying for meat that is expensive - period. And then people just RAVE to me about how amazing it is. Which yes compared to the grocery store it's probably good meat. However, you honest to goodness have the POWER to talk to a cattle farmer & buy direct. Cut out that middle man! My Dad sells quarters or half of beefs to families & takes it to the locker for them. So if you have a friend - you split a beef & it's amazing! You pay the farmer by the pound based on the beef's weight & market rates, then pay the locker for processing. I get half a beef & it lasts my family an eternity. Imagine a deep freeze FILLED with steaks, roasts, and hamburger patties - yes my friends - life doesn't get any better than that. I have had several parties this year & I feed my guests quarter pound delicious hamburgers - it's fantastic.
So this isn't really a plug for my Dad although I'm sure he'd sell to you if you called. But it's a plug for cattle farmers (or hog farmers) like my Dad. People that are hardworking in the USA - raising their families off the sweat and back breaking work it takes to run a real farm - not a factory farm.
Oh - and the 4H fair I believe is coming up or I've missed it and am blissfully unaware - but when they are done showing these prize animals. They sell em! Go buy one (which the money goes to that kid so you'll do something great there) and they take it to the locker for you - you won't be disappointed!