We’re Matt & Jessica Hardecke. At Clover Meadows Beef, we sell Missouri grass fed beef and Missouri grain finished beef — you choose the type of beef when ordering.
If you’re new to buying Missouri Grass Fed Beef directly from a farmer, this page is for you! It contains answers to the most commonly asked questions. Let us know if you have a question that we didn’t cover.
Do you sell grass-fed-GRASS-finished or grass-fed-GRAIN-finished?
Both. Keep reading and you’ll learn why we offer both types of beef.
I’ve never bought meat from anywhere other than a grocery store. How does this process work?
- Shop online and place an order for farm-fresh, all-natural, local grass fed beef.
- Choose a convenient pickup location in the online order form.
- Arrive at your pickup location at your scheduled day and time. We’ll be there to meet you, and give you your beef. Your order will be in boxes, so you will not need coolers (unless traveling for more than 2 hours).
- Fire up the grill! You have a freezer full of farm-fresh beef to enjoy.
(Note, this is our process at Clover Meadows Beef, but this process differs with every farmer. We give you questions to ask to make sure you know what you’re getting into in our free beef buying tip sheet.)
Will I really save money?
Yes! Depending on where you usually shop for beef and what type of beef you buy, you can save over $2,000 a year on beef.
We do price comparisons every year, and compare our beef prices to local St. Louis grocery stores. With Clover Meadows Beef, the price is approximately $5.45/pound for all cuts of grass fed beef. This is compared to $7.03/pound at Walmart, $7.84/pound at a local St. Louis grocery store, and $9.86/pound at Whole Foods.
What cuts of beef will I get with a quarter, half or whole beef?
Steaks (filet, sirloin, ribeye, strip, etc), brisket, roasts (chuck, sirloin, arm, etc), ground beef, ribs, stew meat, kabob meat, and the list keeps going on and on! If you order a quarter or a half beef, we will use a standardized cut list since you’re splitting the cow with other people and the entire cow needs to be processed the same way. You can see all of the beef cuts here.
What does your beef look like?
Great question. We’ve done a whole post about it, but here’s an example of a Rib Eye Steak. All of our beef is USDA inspected, which you can see by the round circle logo on the right side of the label. It’s also double wrapped and sealed, and that helps it stay fresh longer.
If I could buy your beef at a grocery store, what would the label say?
Grass Fed. All Natural. Pasture Raised. No Hormones. 85-90% Lean.
Please note that our beef labels are very plain, and you won’t see things like a lean ratio or “grass fed” on our labels. Labeling is a very regulated process by the USDA and to have anything “extra” on the label like grass fed grass finished or a lean ratio requires special USDA certification and additional cost. For example, in order to specify the percentage of leanness in beef (the lean ratio), a USDA grader has to grade that specific animal and it adds a large cost to processing the beef. Therefore, we don’t typically have our cattle grades for leanness. However, we do occasionally have cattle graded and when we do they fall within the 85-90% range.
When can I expect delivery?
Our online store is up-to-date and will let you know our upcoming delivery dates
How do you raise your cows?
All Clover Meadows Beef cattle are 100% pasture raised. We have what farmers call a “cow-calf” farm (more details about that here), which means all calves are born and raised on our farm.
What’s the difference between local grass fed beef and grass-fed-grain-finished beef?
All Clover Meadows Beef cattle live in the pasture their entire lives, and they all spend the first half of their lives eating grass and drinking their mother’s milk. Then, we select some calves to be grass-fed and others to be grain finished.
Grass fed cattle will eat grass the remainder of their life. Grain-finished cattle will have the option of eating grass or natural grain for the remainder of their life.
Are your cattle treated humanely?
Absolutely. We believe that in the beginning — the very beginning — God gave man the responsibility to care for the animals. We see that as a huge honor and responsibility. As Paul Harvey would say, that’s why “God made a farmer.” Here are a few videos of our farm so you can see our cattle on our farm.
Why do you feed some cattle natural grain?
Some of our customers prefer grain-finished beef, so we offer both local grass fed beef and grass-fed-grain-finished beef.
The natural grain is equivalent to a human eating a high-protein diet, and allows more marbling than grass fed beef. This “finishing” process with natural grain results in higher marbling than cattle that is only grass fed. This natural grass and grain diet allow our beef to be graded as high as USDA Prime Grade Beef, which is the USDA’s highest beef rating.
How much freezer space do I need?
The rule of thumb is 1 cubic foot of freezer space for every 30-35 lbs of cut and wrapped meat. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we created a video featuring our refrigerator and written about buying a cow numerous times. The post has more details than the video, so read the buying a cow blog post too!
How long will the beef last?
Do you sell smaller quantities?
Yes, but usually only during the spring, summer and fall at Farmers Market. Watch our blog and Facebook page to see what markets we’ll be at.
How much beef does a typical family eat in a year?
It varies by family. On average, our customers with a family of four eat either a half or whole cow every year. Here’s an easy formula that will help you figure it out:
My family usually eats ______ meals a week with 1 pound of beef
52 weeks a year
My family eats ________ pounds of beef per year.
Where is the beef processed?
Our beef is processed at a family owned, USDA certified processing business in Missouri. It’s about 45 minutes away from our farm. The cows are humanely and efficiently processed, and then cut and wrapped. Clover Meadows Beef cows never set foot on a feedlot.
Can I pay online? Can I pay by check?
Yes. We take all major credit cards and checks. Since purchasing a quarter, half or whole beef requires that we butcher a cow, we require payment in advance of delivery.
Do you ship?
We only ship beef jerky — free shipping!
Why should I buy from Clover Meadows Beef and not another farm?
That’s a great question, and the answer is ultimately up to you to decide. We think our beef is amazing, but we’re obviously biased! What we can tell you is that Missouri is blessed to have some of the best beef in the U.S., and that’s due to great cattle farmers. Wherever you do decide to purchase your farm-fresh beef, please make sure you choose a farmer that has lots of experience raising beef. Grass fed beef is very popular these days, and we’ve heard of people who literally put a cow in their backyard and call it local grass fed beef. Raising quality grass fed beef is a lot more complicated than that, and we want you to have a good experience.
Specifically for Clover Meadows Beef, Matt is a 5th generation cattle farmer and we have a large cattle herd. We only use our best cattle to become Clover Meadows Beef, which our customer testimonials show We make getting beef from the farm easy with our all-inclusive pricing and convenient pickup locations.
We’re also very active in the St. Louis and Missouri agriculture community. We’ve been featured in publications like the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Beef Cattleman magazine, Missouri Business News magazine, and we were named the 2016 St. Louis County Farm Family. All of these were huge honors for us.
Do you have a question we haven’t answered?
We know buying farm-fresh, local grass fed beef is a big commitment, especially if you’ve never bought a cow before. Please let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to help.