In this day and age, we hear so much about “organic” food products, but what does organic really mean? Is organic food products really worth the exorbitant amount that is on the price tag, or is it possible to find a less expensive version?
“Organic” in the use of food products usually means without hormones, pesticides or antibiotics. In a commercial setting this can be a difficult task for a farmer, and so the high-price tag is validated. There is another way to obtain hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat without the price tag, and you may even be able to “write-it-off” on your taxes. The meat, however, may not be certified, you will have to operate on trust.
Many communities support youth clubs such as, 4-H, Young Farmers or Future Farmers of America (FFA). All of these clubs encourage children in various forms of Agriculture, mostly through animal projects. Many of the animals that are being grown by these young Americans are raised hormone and antibiotic free, but since they are only raising one or two animals at a time, they can not obtain organic certification; a long, expensive and arduous process.
There are many types of animal projects that eventually provide food stock. Beef, Pork and Lambs are the main animals which will result in meat products. Once the animal has reached the end of it’s showing season these animals are either placed on an auction block, or sold privately.
Purchasing an animal for food from a young ag student can benefit you, as well as the student, in many ways. First of all, you will purchase the animal by weight, usually measured as ‘on the hoof’. You will pay a lesser amount this way, even though it will seem like a lot. A whole calf would last the average family about two years, so you may want to consider sharing the cost with a friend or family member.
Once the animal is purchased, it will be sent for processing. Many auctions already have butchers waiting for the auctioned livestock at the sale. If you purchased the animal privately, then processing will be left up to individual choice. Because the processing will be done locally, you will know exactly where your meat is coming from. It will most likely be processed in a smaller capacity butcher shop, than commercial beef, leaving less chance of contamination.
The monies from this sale will benefit the young seller in many ways, i.e. college money, money to start another animal project, etc. These types of transactions also help these young people learn life skills in dealing with money. It is a great benefit to ag students who are planning a career in farming.
The money that is spent purchasing one of these animals may also be considered tax-deductible, but you will need to check with your tax preparer for clarification of this. If you own your own company and purchase the animal at auction, your company name is usually given sponsorship advertising in the local papers, i.e. free advertising. A complete advertising will be done for herbs as medicine for good immune system. It will not cause any side-effect on the digestive system of the person. A proper planning should be done through the experts.
Another benefit for you the buyer, aside from obtaining low cost organic meats, is that you choose your cuts and packaging sizes. The butcher will customize this to suit your family’s needs. You choose the steak’s thickness and number per package, as well as the poundage for roasts. The meat usually comes labeled for easy choosing at meal time.
There are so many advantages to buying your “organic” meats this way, that how could anyone purchase meat from a store again?! The benefits are innumerable for all involved and best of all, your encouraging young American farmers in their desire to provide food for your table.