Beef Processing

Hello from your farmer, Jake here at McGreal Family Farm. We are currently taking orders for our 100% grass-fed, Angus, beef. Here are the details:

The beef we sell comes from animals that are around two years old.  Our stock come from a herd that has been carefully maintained for the past 30 years in rural northeast Iowa by Jacob’s parents Peter and Kristi McGreal. The animals are never given growth hormones and they are not treated with antibiotics unless absolutely necessary for their health and safety. They are pastured in an area where they have access to a host of different grasses and plants including alfalfa, red and ladino clovers, orchard grass, tall fescue and brome grass. We rotate pastures often to maximize the availability of fresh, nutritious plants and to minimize the impact on the land.

The cattle have space to roam and shelter to protect them from the elements. We provide our animals a comfortable and safe environment with low stress because it results in better quality meat for us and our customers.

Below are the options for purchasing your beef from us and what to expect from the different packages that we offer.


There are many options when choosing how you would like your beef processed. Here is a breakdown and some suggestions:


The Chuck, or front shoulder, is commonly ground for hamburger due to its flavor and balance of meat and fat. It can also yield delicious slow cooker roasts. If you want, you can get a roast or two and the rest ground into hamburger. On a side of beef (half the animal) the Chuck will account for about 50 pounds.


The Rib section options include ribeye steak, bone-in rib steak, rib roast, short ribs and spare ribs. The ribeye steak is considered by some to be the best steak on the menu due to a rich flavor, plenty of marbling and exceptional tenderness. The short ribs are generally considered the best cut of beef ribs and are great for barbeque, kalbi or braising. You can have the Rib cut into steaks or into roasts or a combination of both. On a side of beef the Rib will account for about 20 pounds.

Short Loin

If you like steak, the Short Loin is where it’s at. Here we find the strip loin steaks (NY strip), T-bone steaks, porterhouse steaks, and the tenderloin (filet mignon). These are generally thought of as the best cuts on the beef. Fun fact: A T-bone is the same as a porterhouse, only smaller and they both include tenderloin (filet mignon) on one side of the bone and strip loin (NY strip) on the other. On one side of beef the Short Loin will account for about 15 pounds.


The Sirloin is divided into the top and bottom Sirloin. This area of the animal gets more exercise than the Short Loin and has less fat, therefore is tougher but still flavorful. For this reason some people prefer to have some or all of the Sirloin ground into hamburger. The Top Sirloin is usually the most tender and delicious steaks can be had from this area; there are some strategies for cooking lean steaks below. If you would like it cut into steaks be sure to specify the thickness of steak you prefer. Also don’t forget to let the butcher know how
many steaks you would like in one package. There are also several options for roasts from the Sirloin: the Sirloin Tip (knuckle), Tri-Tip and Bottom Sirloin. Sirloin accounts for about 20 pounds on one side of beef.


The Round is the rear leg of the beef, it includes the Eye of Round,
Bottom Round, and Top Round. The muscles in the Round are the largest and
leanest on the animal because they do so much work. For this reason many
people grind most of the round for hamburger but save the Eye of Round for a
special occasion. The Eye of Round roast is a large, lean roast. The Top Round
can also be cut into roasts or London Broil. The Bottom Round can be cut into
roast for slow cooking. The Round will make up 50 or more pounds of one side of


The Brisket is typically either ground or left in large pieces for marinating, slow cooking or


If you would like Flank steaks let us know, otherwise it will be ground for more hamburger.

Organs & Bones

If you would like, you can have the Tongue, Liver, Heart, and/or Kidney
packaged. You can also get meaty bones/ marrow bones for making stock or for dogs
if you would like.

We currently use Qullin's Quality Foods in Waukon, IA for processing.

Quillin’s Quality Foods

Here is our processor’s pricing structure:

  • Processing: $0.66/lb (includes slaughter, butcher, cooling, wrapping, grinding, tenderizing)
  • Extra Boning (getting more meat ground for hamburger than what is included in the $0.66/lb fee above): $0.10/lb
  • Patties: $0.50/lb
  • Beef Bacon: $1/lb
  • Dried Beef (by wet weight): $2.00/lb
  • Jerky (by wet weight): $3.50/lb
  • Summer Sausage: $2.00/lb
  • Beef Sticks: $2.50/lb + (cheese, etc.)

The standard processing is usually around $100-$110 per quarter or split side.

If you are interested in comparing this to some nationwide grass-fed beef pricing please take a look at this price report from the USDA. We are always open to questions and commit to be transparent about our pricing.

Note: Beef will stay safe to eat indefinitely if kept frozen but should be used within one year for best quality. For some helpful tips on cooking delicious grass-fed beef please check out this site.

Let's Get your Order Started

Have questions? Contact us.