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Frequently Asked Questions

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Find out everything you need to know right here!

?s Answered.

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What is a Beef Co-op?

A beef co-op here at ATG Ranch Co, is a program we offer so that there is a way to put beef raised locally directly into your freezer, and subsequently, on your table. You essentially select a steer and purchase a share of it while it's still living. There are three options: a Whole Share (the whole cow), a Half Share (a side of beef), or a ground-only share. You determine which fits your family's needs best, sign a contract, and pay a deposit to reserve your share. Then, when the time comes, you'll hand-select your steer in person (if you're comfortable with that) and pay the remaining balance. We offer complimentary drop-off to a custom slaughterhouse of your choice (within 75 miles of the ranch). There, it is then processed per your cutting instructions, aged, wrapped, and labeled. The slaughterhouse will then freeze it solid and call you for pick-up. You pick up your own meat and directly pay the slaughterhouse for any processing fees. Read on for much more detail on all of this!


Can I Just Buy Beef By the Pound From Your Ranch?

Not yet. Laws dictate that we cannot sell anyone meat unless we are inspected, have the right facilities built, and meet certain requirements and certifications per the government regulations on food sales (specifically meat). We essentially have to open a restaurant even though we do not plan to alter the meat in any way, just provide fresh, local beef for families in our community. We are working on a way that makes sense for us to sell meat piece by piece, but for now, we must do co-ops only where participants purchase a share of a live animal.

Why Do You Produce Only Grass Fed Cattle and How Is Grass Fed Different Than Traditionally Raised Beef?

We produce grass fed for may reasons, but the main is that we want to raise and produce the healthiest cows and beef possible. Grass--only grass--is a cow's natural diet. A cow's digestive system is masterful at unlocking the nutrients in grass that not many creatures have access to. Through the process of rumination (4 stomachs, lots of microbes, and lots of chewing), the cow's digestive system can break down those whole grass fibers into nutrient-rich amino acids that can build an entire cow. An entire cow can be sustained on grass alone for its entire life (after weaning off of milk at 6 months). It's pretty amazing. Cattle have not evolved to eat mass amounts of grain. Their systems are not built for it. Grain interferes with a cow's ability to ferment food within its rumen, which can lead to a cascade of health issues.

Grain Feeding and "Bloat"

At the end of a traditionally raised cow's life it could be eating 30 pounds of grain a day or more. Feed lots must include baking soda with grains to temper the pH of the cow's rumen because the grain leads to a change in pH, which leads to an upset in microbes with the digestive system. In fact, most of the nation's baking soda produced goes into cattle feed as an additive to prevent the cow's system from becoming too acidic. If this is not done, it can lead to many health problems, but one that stands out is something called "bloat." It is just that--a physiological ailment caused by an overabundance of gas in the cow's system. It can crush its organs and suffocate the cow from the inside.


Because grain is not what a cow is supposed to eat, the cow's immune system is also compromised, leading to an inability of cows to defend themselves against infections. This is why often cows in traditional feed lots are placed on some form of preventative antibiotic. We never need to use antibiotics because our cows have a diet that allows their immune systems to do their jobs right. Our cows are healthy animals.

A Better Way

We also raise grass fed beef because it is much more sustainable. We keep enough cows to be sustained on the pastures we manage. This means the cows have room to roam and grow. There's not an over-abundance of manure causing run-off into local ground water sources, either. In fact, we don't fertilize the pastures. The cows do it for us. They take from the land and give back to it. It's a more sustainable, healthier cycle that benefits the cows, the environment, and ultimately us. Our cows live as closely to their natural environment as we can possibly provide. There are never pesticides used on the pastures either. We use as little chemical intervention as possible growing our animals.

You Are What You Eat

Lastly, we believe in the health benefits of consuming an animal that is naturally healthy, eating its intended diet with plenty of room to roam. We believe in the phrase, "You are what you eat." There are many studies showing the nutrient differences in grain versus grass fed beef. We encourage everyone to do a little research about the beef industry and draw their own conclusions.


All-in-all, we want to consume responsibly raised, naturally healthy beef products and we are happy to have enough land to share the opportunity with others.

Where do Your Steers Come From?

All of our steers are either born from our own breed stock or sourced locally within our little community. Cows that aren't born within our herd are brought here when they are weaned from their mothers at 6 months old to graze and grow. We are very careful that we do not source our calves from producers that use steroids and/or growth hormones.

How Long do Steers Grow on the Pastures You Manage and do You Use Hormones or Steroids?

Traditionally raised beef cows are very commonly given steroids and growth hormones as calves. This is the standard practice in the beef industry. They are taken to feed lots when they are around 10 months of age. From there they are fed grain products for 4-6 months until they reach the desired "finished" weights. Our cattle grow more slowly because we do not use growth hormones or steroids. Plus they are only eating grasses and get lots of exercise grazing. As a result, they naturally put on less fat. Currently, they grow and graze until they are around 20-26 months of age.

How Much Beef Will I get if I Order a Half Share (side of beef) and Can you Estimate Total Cost?

Please call us for the pricing details as it varies from year-to-year.

Do you offer ground-only shares?

Yes. Occasionally we do open up a co-op for ground-only. What does this mean? It means we have a co-op setup where the shares will not include any cuts at all. All of the meat from that particular animal will be ground. Another name for it is "whole ground." We will typically do 1/10th to 1/25th shares and the quantity of meat yield is much smaller per share. The meat is wrapped up in 1.5lb stack-able packs, labeled, and frozen solid. Prices vary, but right now we try to estimate yield so that we price our ground between $10-$12 per pound. We do not always offer this, but sometimes open one up between or during fall co-ops for those that may not be able to commit space and/or finances to +/-150lbs of meat at a time but still want local, healthier beef for their families.

How do We Get Our Cow to the Slaughterhouse? Can you Recommend one?

We offer complimentary drop off to the slaughterhouse nearest us. You are welcome to make other arrangements for your animal, but most customers utilize our complimentary drop-off.

Do I Get to Choose My Favorite Cuts of Beef and Do You Know How Long Will it Take to Process my Steer?

Yes, of course you can choose exactly the cuts you like. If you take advantage of our complimentary drop-off, we will give all of your information to the butcher and they will call you to walk you through all the cutting instructions for your steer. From our experience, the slaughterhouse typically has the beef processed and ready in approximately 3 weeks. The beef is hung in the cooler and aged for a certain amount of time to tenderize the meat (determined by how much fat is on your steer). Once they feel it has aged enough, they cut, wrap, label and freeze all of your meat solid. They call when the beef is ready for pick-up and have it all boxed up nicely for transport home.

The Slaughterhouse Called Me to Get Cutting Instructions and Told me a Weight or Meat Amount much Higher Than I Expected!

What Gives?

The weight number the slaughterhouse gave you is not your final meat yield. If you've never done this before you will quickly become familiar with the term "Hanging Weight." This gets a bit graphic, but we like to give as much detail as possible to be able to give the full picture. This process is nothing like picking up prepackaged meat from the store. This portion is not usually disclosed to the consumer, but since you are having the animal custom slaughtered, you'll need to know how it all works so that you aren't confused by the process and know what to expect. The hanging weight of your steer is either the right or left side (your side of beef) before any cuts are made. They will humanely kill the animal, remove the head, bottom of legs and feet, skin, blood, and any internal organs. They are then left with the whole carcass, which they then halve and hang on a scale. The number you were given is your share's weight at this point in the process. They will have to process every bit of that portion of your carcass, so naturally, they charge a set price per pound for this service. Processing it into cuts and ground, plus aging in the cooler removes quite a bit of bone, fat, water, and cartilage. You will end up with less total yield than the hanging weight because not all of it is actually meat. Most people that have a steer processed can expect around 60% of the hanging weight in final yield. Of course, this can vary a bit depending on factors such as overall animal build (animals with larger bones/animals that are more muscular/etc) and how you choose to get it cut (bone-in versus bone-out choices/more ground because ground has to be cut from the bones/etc). So if you're told a shocking number by the slaughterhouse when they call to get cutting instructions, or you pick up your meat and see the hanging weight written on the box and wonder where the rest of your meat is, we hope this explains all of that for you! Our goal is to be as transparent as possible. We do our best to estimate yields and we get pretty close, but as you can see, it's not a perfectly calculable equation!

How Do I Sign Up for Your Fall Co-op?

All we need is for you to contact us to let us know you want in. We sell out every year, so be sure to get on the list as early in the year as possible! You can get in touch with us in any way you choose. We do require a contract and a deposit for your share. The contract is electronic and can be done in minutes and the deposit can be mailed, dropped off, or paid online upon request.

Call or Text: (321)432-1451

Email us:


How Do I Select My Steer?

We prefer that you hand-select your steer! Because we are based right here in Brevard County, FL, you have the unique opportunity to watch your steer grow from birth to slaughter (if you choose) and to visit your steer whenever you wish! We love to show everyone exactly how we operate. We know that some prefer not to select their steer in-person and we understand. If that's the case we will just assign you to the biggest available steer in the share amount you chose.

Why Do You Only Offer Co-ops the Fall?

Our steers are on a timeline to be ready to go after their second summer grazing on the pastures. We take them specifically in the fall because they are usually at their heaviest after grazing all spring and summer on the abundance of grasses that grow during the rainy season.

Why Do You Require A Deposit and a Contract?

Our quick electronic contract puts everyone on the same page and makes it so that there are no surprises for any party. The deposit reserves your share so that we make sure we always have an accurate count of which shares are available and which are not. The share is not considered reserved until the contract is submitted and the deposit is paid.

I've heard Grass Fed Beef is Different in Texture, is That True?

The short answer is, yes, it can absolutely be different. Grass fed beef has less fat due to the nature of the cow's diet. The meat has less marbling, too. If you don't adjust the preparing and cooking of the meat a bit, it can be tougher than traditionally raised beef.


Hamburger is the exception. We typically don't adjust our cooking of ground beef in the least. The butcher adds  fat to the ground during processing to make it fall somewhere between 90/10 and 85/15 fat content in our experience. It is difficult to tell the ratio exactly as it is all ground by hand and each cow has a different amount of fat in different areas of the meat. It also depends somewhat on the amount of ground you are wanting to receive since this will determine whether the ground will come from the more fatty cuts, lean ones or a combination. You can see how it would be difficult to analyze exact fat content of the ground portions and ground-only shares. My estimations are made by how much fat there seems to be apparent during my normal, daily cooking. You should be aware, though, that grass fed beef is naturally more lean.


The steaks do require a few simple changes (or maybe you do this already and you wouldn't have to adjust a thing). First, we thaw as slowly as possible, tenderize every time manually, bring it to room temperature prior to grilling, and marinate every single time as well. Chances are you do this already, so the last thing would be cooking. Because grass fed beef naturally has less fat, that also means it can lose more moisture during cooking. Making sure we cook steaks no more than medium ensures the most tender steaks possible in our kitchen. It is well worth the little bit of extra effort because grass fed steaks have a fantastic flavor. We have a really detailed blog post on how we prepare and cook our grassfed steaks you can find here. Many people transitioning from grocery store beef to ours have found this very helpful.

How Much Freezer Space Will I Need?

We have found that a side of beef (half share) will fit comfortably with some room to spare in a 5 cubic foot freezer space. This can vary a bit depending on the size of the animal and which cuts are selected. We recommend a deep chest freezer to keep your beef as fresh as possible for as long as possible.

If you have any questions or you want to try our beef, please don't hesitate to CONTACT US!

Beef Co-op?
By the Pound?
Why Grass?
Where Steers?
How Long?
Sign Up
What gives?
Steer Selection?
Why Fall?
Deposit? Contract?
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Freezer Space
Ground Only?
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