That is the creative way Henry calls the cows when he feeds them. We are now the proud owners (once we make a downpayment) of 30 Black Angus stocker cows. We'll raise them through the summer and then have them butchered and sell the meat straight to customers, a food coop, and possibly, a local butcher.
This farm to table system is not as popular as it should be. I'm sure many people have heard about how the family farm is dying. It used to be that farmers would raise their cattle and then sell them to the processor who would butcher the cows and wrap them in plastic for the grocery store. With the advent of factory farming, a lot of small family farmers can't make money finishing cows in the traditional system. (Obviously, this is more complex than I make it sound here.)
Recently, we've been meeting farmers who are marketing directly to the customer. This does several things: a) cuts out the middle man, putting more money straight into the farmer's pocket b) allows customers "to know" their meat. (I haven't done a lot of reading on this yet, but apparently, meat that is raised organically is higher in Omega-3s than traditional meat.) This is ideal for smaller farmers, although we know people who have started a coop and are selling their meat together on a larger scale.
We're excited to get involved in this. This fall, we butchered five of our own beeves (an animal raised and slaughtered for beef), kept half a cow for meat (yummy, yummy), and sold the rest. It was exciting to finally get a taste (haha) of what farming could look like for us.
Check out Eat Wild if you want to find a farmer near you!