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Common Questions

How much freezer or cooler space do I need? 

As a general rule of thumb, one cubic foot of freezer space will hold up to 25 pounds of meat.

What should I bring on pick-up day?

We encourage you to bring a copy of your order's confirmation email or have it accessible on your phone. This can help speed up the process. Also bring along bags or coolers.

What are your farming protocols?

Our farming protocols are designed to produce the highest quality meat both in flavor and nutrition. Our protocols can be found here.

What is the difference between wet-aging and dry-aging?

Aging meat for several days/weeks at refrigerated temperatures, allows enzymes naturally present in the meat to break down the muscle tissue, resulting in improved texture and flavor.
The most commonly-used aging method is called wet-aging. With this method, the meat is immediately cut and packaged, then held fresh for the desired aging period before finally being frozen.
A less common method and the same method we use at Rafter W Ranch, is called dry aging. With this method, the whole carcass is held fresh and is exposed to the air so that dehydration can further concentrate the meat’s flavor. This process is more expensive because the meat loses weight from dehydration the longer it is aged, but ultimately results in a more tender, flavorful product. We choose to dry-age our meat for 28-30 days.  Most expensive restaurants serve meat that has been aged for up to 30 days.

What do you feed your cattle during the winter?

We use only high quality alfalfa out on pasture and continue moving them.

How much of each cut do I get in a steer?

1/3 each of roasts, steaks, and ground beef is the general rule.

May I edit my order?

You can simply login anytime before your upcoming deadline and add to or modify an existing order.

When will my credit card be charged?

Because there's a slight weight variance between similar cuts of meat, we won't charge your card until your entire order has been packed and weighed. This ensures that you will only be charged for the exact weight of each item you receive. You will receive an email with a detailed receipt confirming your payment. 

What is a pick-up location?

Pick-up locations are places where we meet you with your order. Common locations are home driveways or parking lots. Each location is organized by a volunteer Location Leader who helps to facilitate each delivery.

How do pick-up days work?

Arrive at the pick-up location at your scheduled time. You will be greeted by our farm's friendly delivery driver. Provide the name on your order and we will carry it to your vehicle. (Please bring bags or coolers)  Because we know your time is valuable, we strive to make the process very efficient.

How can I start a pickup location in my neighborhood?

You can take part in the local food movement by becoming a Pick-up Location leader. If you believe that you would make a good candidate for a Location Leader, we'd love to hear from you! Learn more here, or submit an application.

Processing and inspections

We use Atlas Meats in Fort Collins whose facility is USDA inspected and Animal Welfare approved.

How are Rafter W Ranch products packaged?

After the carcasses have been dry-aged for 28-30 days and hand-cut, the meat is then vacuum sealed. This packaging method is designed to seal completely around each cut of meat, meaning the edging of the package can survive slight damage without compromising the vacuum seal. Once the product has been packaged, it is then immediately flash frozen to preserve freshness and flavor. 

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