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Where’s the beef? Indiana still has plenty

COLFAX, Ind. (WISH) — A couple miles south of Colfax, Indiana, hidden among the rolling fields of central Indiana is a shop with an army of butchers with more work than they can get to.

This Old Farm will take livestock that you buy from or through them or one of many affiliate farmers and custom process it for you. Prior to the pandemic, the wait was about three weeks to have a cow processed for your table at home. As of Tuesday, the wait is close to two months.

Ken Personett, a farmer from Cass County, was sporting a This Old Farm Hat, a face covering and gloves when he picked up a whole steer that was butchered for one of his customers.

“I guess you would say with the advent of this pandemic, I have had other folks reach out to me, and all of a sudden, instead of wanting a quarter or a half they want a whole,” said Personett.

There are not many places left in Indiana that will perform this kind of service. With large commercial processing plants closed or running on reduced capacity, This Old Farm is not taking overflow from those facilities. They have relationships with local farmers and use local livestock. Travis Hood is the farm-to-fork marketing guy for This Old Farm,, He says the pandemic has opened some new doors for the business.

“Under normal circumstances, come one, come all, first come, first serve. We are in the unusual position right now to pick and choose which could be good for farmers and customers going forward,” said Hood.

Karen Arthur and her husband bought a cow from a local farmer friend and had it brought here to be butchered. Arthur said this is the second cow they have processed, and she does it mainly for the cost savings. But with the pandemic, there is also a sense of security.

“I’m glad we had a cow and didn’t have to worry about it during the pandemic,” said Arthur.

This Old Farm has cows and hogs they will sell you directly. The freezer in the front of the shop is full, all of the meat in the shop is from local farmers, and you can even choose from individual farms.

A couple times a week, farmers deliver livestock directly to the shop. On Tuesday, cows were being delivered — those will be ready for sale in about three weeks.

So what about the price? The beef prices here are about the same as you might find in a local grocery store for premium beef, and the supply is steady.

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