Frequently Asked Questions




The Meat and Potatoes

Do I need to rent a meat locker?

Depending on the quantity of meat you buy, while you most likely will not need a meat locker, you will need freezer space. A quarter steer takes up, on average, about 5 cubic feet of freezer space. You should ensure that you have appropriate storage set up before your order availability date comes due.

How much space does a quarter beef take up?

See Do I need a meat locker?

Isn't a quarter of half beef almost all hamburger?

While a quarter or side of beef could be all hamburger, this would be extremely unlikely, since it the roasts and steaks that make up the cut are normally prized by the Eater. Generally a quarter beef is made up of steaks, roasts, hamburger, organ meat (heart, liver, tongue), and soup bones. An accurate description of each quarter or side of beef for sale at Home Grown Cow will be posted by the Farmer.

What kind of cuts will I receive if I order a quarter of beef?

Different processors use different specifications to process meat. Steak thicknesses, quantity of hamburger vs. roasts etc. can vary. However each Farm will list what you, as a Home Grown Cow Eater, can expect in the item description for that particular piece of beef.

I want to buy in bulk to save money - but I'm not sure how much I need.

You would need to evaluate your family's eating habits based on how often you eat the type of meat that you are considering buying in bulk. Each bulk meat purchase does list the approximate number of lbs of "take-home" meat that you will receive. If the smallest bulk item that you can find that suits your needs seems to be too big - why not go in with a friend or two and share it - that way you'll all get great-tasting meat at excellent value.

Why can't I know exactly how much the meat costs per pound?

Nature puts a lot of variety into animals and birds - even those sold for the same price. Home Grown Cow farmers price their product based on the yield expected from live animals. However this can vary - sometimes more and sometimes less. With bulk or freezer meats, the price is for that particular set of meat cuts, rather than for the amount that they weigh. Home Grown Cow will show the expected weight range of all products along with the maximum price per pound that could be paid (this is the amount you would pay if your product falls at the lowest end of the range) See Buying Meat in Bulk: Consumer's Guide.

Why don't you sell vegetables and other local produce?

Home Grown Cow is a meat-focused company. We specialize in matching meat producers with customers. There is a lot of complexity involved with this, and adding vegetables or other produce would lessen our focus and our ability to do it well. Besides there are several ways to buy vegetables and other local produce online, but not many to buy meat.

Do you sell Tofu?

At this time Home Grown Cow only sells meat products.

Do you sell Turducken?

Turducken would certainly qualify as a meat product that could be sold at Home Grown Cow, but its availability is dependent upon Farms and Processors.

How do I know that the meat I ordered will be safe and clean?

All meat processed for Home Grown Cow customers is inspected by either state or federal USDA inspectors. The rules are very stringent, and because most of these processing plants are family-owned like our farms, their reputations and livelihoods depend on their service being high-quality.

How will my meat stay fresh during shipping?

All meat will be shipped frozen. Depending upon the distance, choice of shipping method, and the time of year that your order is shipped, the shipper (either the Farm or the processor) will ensure that your product is appropriately insulated and accompanied by the correct amount of refrigerant (dry ice or regular ice) for conditions.

I have a Beef with my Meat

What happens if the meat I buy doesn't match the description?

Home Grown Cow will investigate the error and see that it is rectified. If it is not possible to rectify it, we will happily compensate a customer appropriately, either with a refund or credit. However, ALL CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS FOR PRODUCT THAT IS "NOT AS DESCRIBED" MUST BE SUBMITTED WITHIN 24 HOURS either by e-mailing Home Grown Cow customer service () or by calling us at 608-515-5335.

What if my product is damaged upon arrival or adversely affected by shipping?

Home Grown Cow will gladly refund your money if the product is damaged so that it is no longer fit for consumption, as long as the damage is not the result of the customer not being available to accept the product or otherwise not the fault of the carrier service, farm or Home Grown Cow.

I'm very picky about my meat, how can I find meat to my specifications?

Every Home Grown Cow page has a selector tool on the left-hand side. Make sure your location is correct in the location field. Check the boxes for the type of meat that you are looking for. Clicking the + signs opens categories so you can choose meat that has been raised and/or treated in different ways. When you check these boxes, the selector tool displays the farms that fit your search, ranking them firstly by best match and then by distance from you.

What if the meat in my order weighs less minimum weight listed on the site?

It is very unlikely that your meat will weigh less than minimum weight listed. If this does happen we will gladly arrange for an appropriate remedy - most likely a proportional refund.

What happens if I am not satisfied with my order?

Home Grown Cow strives to ensure that your order arrives as expected. However, should you be dissatisfied with the quality or timeliness of your order, please review our refund policy and contact us.

How Does Home Grown Cow distribute the meat or cheese?

Home Grown Cow uses PeriShip, a Fed-Ex third-party bill vendor with a lot of experience in shipping perishable goods. It is the Farmer's responsibility to package orders to be shipped appropriately (See Packaging and Coolant Information) and to ensure that they are tendered to Fed-Ex. Farmers may deliver packages or schedule a Fed-Ex pick up, however there is a charge for the latter that needs to be borne by the Farmer.

I'm puzzled. You say you're the only site of your kind, but there are other farmers' market sites out there.

It's true that there are other reputable farmers' market sites, but at the time of writing, there was no other virtual farmers' market that:
  • Is national in scope
  • Is free for Farmers
  • Handles Order conveyance, payment transactions and shipping facilitation
  • and that:
  • Is focused on meat, poultry and cheese.


  • The Fine Print

    How can I check the status of my order?

    Click here to check your order status (if you are not logged in you will be asked to do so). You may also use the "send farmer a message" feature to contact the farmer about your order. Home Grown Cow is copied on every message you send, so this is the best way to follow up on your order with our help. Finally, you may call the farm directly using the contact information provided in your order detail.

    How will I know when my order will be ready?

    Before you place your order, you will see an availability date, which is the estimated time that your order will be ready. Once you place your order you will receive e-mail communications about it. If your order availability date changes, or your order status (for example from pending to ready) changes, you will be notified. You can also check for the latest messages by going to the "my orders" page (log-in required).

    What happens if I cancel my order?

    A customer commits to the purchase at the time they place their order. Once a Farmer accepts an order, the customer is charged and the order is non-refundable. If the customer cancels their order before it is accepted by the famer the customer will be charged a cancellation fee equivalent to 10% of the purchase price. If the customer cancels their order after it is accepted by the farmer, no refund is available. If a customer's circumstances change and they are unable to receive an order that they have placed and paid for, they should contact Home Grown Cow and we will work on a solution.

    My order was rejected due to "lack of availability". Why is that?

    We ask all our farmers to try and keep their inventory as current as possible, however we also know that farming can be unpredictable, and so we have the Home Grown Cow "order safety net". If a farm receives an order from a customer that it cannot fulfill because something unpredictable happened, it may be rejected. Our customers are never charged until an order is accepted, in case an order has to be rejected due to availability issues. However, you should know that Home Grown Cow does record the number of orders that a farm rejects and may display this information on the Farm Profile to help manage the expectations of ordering customers.

    Who do I pay for my order?

    Home Grown Cow accepts the payment on behalf of the Farmer for your order. This helps farmers who may not have the to ability handle online credit card processing. It also guarantees the farmers that they will get paid so they don't commit their product to an uncertain deal. For consumers, Home Grown Cow's accepting payment adds a layer of protection as their billing details are never shared outside of Home Grown Cow.

    I don't have a credit card. Can you still order from Home Grown Cow?

    Yes, the one other alternative is a debit card. Home Grown Cow also hopes to offer some other methods of payment in the future.

    What methods of payment does Home Grown Cow accept?

    At this time Home Grown Cow accepts Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards, Discover Card and American Express.

    What does "Funds On Hold" mean?

    At the time you place your order with Home Grown Cow, we ask you for your billing information and submit a pre-authorization request against your credit card account and receive an approval code. This checks your account to ensure that there is enough money in it to pay for the order, and it also temporarily "freezes" those funds so that they cannot be spent on anything else. However the funds never leave your account until the Farmer accepts your order. At the time the Farmer accepts your order we use the approval code to charge your credit card account, and that is when the funds that were "on hold" actually leave your account. If your order is not accepted the hold on your account is released and no charge is made.

    Why does Home Grown Cow charge up front?

    Small farmers acting alone have no resources to protect themselves against unscrupulous individuals. Home Grown Cow offers farmers the security of knowing that their meat is bought and paid for ahead of time, as there is no going back once an animal is taken to the processing plant. We also protect the consumer by holding the funds until 24 hours after the customer takes possession of the goods.

    Does Home Grown Cow offer a shipping service?

    Yes, Home Grown Cow allows farms to list themselves as "shipping farms". We charge the customer based on the shipping weight entered by the Farmer. When the Farmer accepts the order, the customer is charged for both the product and the shipping. When they accept the order, all the Farmer needs to do is print out the shipping labels and packing slip, tape the shipping label and the Home Grown Cow labels to the outside of the box, put the packing slip inside the box and schedule their pick-up. Home Grown Cow sends the carrier to pick up the package and takes it from there.

    Can I ship an order to someone other than myself?

    Yes, you may add multiple shipping addresses to your account and select whichever one you want to which your order can be shipped.

    What if I can't pick up my order when it's ready?

    There is a time window that may vary by Farm in which you need to pick up your order. If there is an issue you can always use the Home Grown Cow messaging system to contact the farmer directly to make appropriate arrangements.

    Tell me more...

    Who can sell meat at Home Grown Cow?

    Any farm in the United States can sell meat on Home Grown Cow's web site.

    Who can buy meat at Home Grown Cow?

    Anyone who is eighteen years of age or older and who holds a valid credit or debit card is eligible to purchase products from Home Grown Cow. We strongly recommend that you have freezer space also. See Buying Meat in Bulk: Consumer's Guide.

    How does Home Grown Cow make money?

    The price you pay goes straight to the farmer and the processor. Home Grown Cow collects a small percentage of each order placed and the rest is paid for by advertising. Remember that if you spend at a retail store or an online store, the farmer might see considerably less than 50% of the price paid. With Home Grown Cow the Farmer will receive considerably more.

    Why not buy directly from the farm?

    While you can certainly buy directly from the farm if you know the farm, the goal of Home Grown Cow is to connect you to farms that have exactly what you want, that you might not have been aware of. We also offer a very simple, easy streamlined process geared towards both busy Eaters and busy Farmers so you can take care of ordering and keeping track of your product from the comfort of your home or office. Finally, There is of course the Home Grown Cow safety net to protect both Eaters and Farmers.