Farm to Table - Greg Andersen (Falls Town Beef)

Farm to Table - Greg Andersen (Falls Town Beef)

The desire to purchase local beef is a consumer trend that is gaining popularity, and in my opinion, won’t be going away anytime soon. Here are some thoughts from Greg Andersen about his own experience with supplying a salable meat product.


Our Herd

Our dairy herd is about 2,400-2,500 cows. We use sexed dairy semen on a portion of the herd to target our needs for dairy heifer replacements. The remainder of the cows are bred with semen from Charolais or Angus sires. We actually breed more cows with beef semen than we do with dairy semen. We have 2,400-2,500 calves per year, that works about to about 300-400 calves on milk year long.

Our facility here in American Falls is focused on maternity. We also house our far-off dry cows and close ups. After a cow calves in and is clear to enter the lactation herd, we ship her over to our facility in Declo.

We utilize all our fresh cow milk for the babies, and balance with powder as needed. All calves receive two 3 qt. bottles per day up to 70 days of age. Then we bump them down to 1 bottle per day for 10 days and they are fully weaned and leave the hutch at 90 days. 


New Ideas

Our family has been dairying here in American Falls, Idaho, for 40 years. As we started getting more beef on dairy in our breeding program, we really liked the cattle. There has been a trend for people to want to buy local beef. We had been raising some of the crosses for our own meat and decided to investigate how we could offer that to the public.

Our farm is located just off the interstate, we realized we had a really good location people could easily access to purchase our beef right here off the farm. We try to keep our overhead low. We found a good USDA certified butcher nearby in Aberdeen to harvest and handle the beef. He processes a couple animals for us each week.

We are on the small side, but it works for what we are doing right now. Online ordering on our website Falls Town Beef has really streamlined things for us. We have all sorts of different bundles available. Once someone makes an order, we usually box it up and have it ready to go the same day. 


Local Pickup

Our Main effort has been to sell our beef directly to local households.  Most people order through our website and then come to our farm to pick it up. We have a freezer room added on to the front of our barn. Delivery can be arranged to Idaho Falls and Burley, as I go there often. 

We advertise on social media and we have a large banner at our farm that people can see from the freeway. The banner lists our website, it has been a good location to reach a lot of people.


Key Learnings

We have always been feeding cattle, but they were dairy cattle. We have had to learn and get the right program for feeding our beef cattle. One thing that really helps us is that we get to see the carcass when its hanging. It is nice see the end product so we can evaluate the success of our finishing program.

We really have learned a lot. We had to talk to a lot of other cattle feeders., and to others that market their own meat products. A frozen meat product isn’t hard to get approved to sell, but you still have to go through the proper channels with the health depart.  We do have to have a license to sell food.


Family Involvement

All my kids are involved in feeding the calves. My oldest daughter built and developed our website using a service, and she helps with social media advertising. My oldest son sorts the meat each week and puts it in the freezer. Myself and my two oldest children box up the beef to fulfill orders.


Greg thank you for sharing a little bit about your retail beef business with us!  We wish you the best and lots of success in the near future!


Written by: Mariah Gull, M.S.

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