HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers are given new rules on how to sell meat products from their cattle and herds. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce set up an online portal to connect farmers and consumers with a list of what the farmers offer.
“It will expire automatically in 120 days, but we’re going to make it a permanent rule during that 120-day period, open up the public comment, and what this will allow is for Mississippians who want to buy local beef or pork, farm-raised livestock, they can buy a share in that animal, whatever the farmer wants to sell,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson.
Farmer Al Shyiyou is offering half or wholes sides at a quantity of 10. Shyiyou has confirmed that his cattle are raised on grass up until eight months of age, then grain-finished.
“When you’re selecting the beef you want to buy, make sure you know the difference (grass-fed or grain-fed) and do a little research on that, I would say to our consumers, ”Gipson said.
At an average cost, you’re looking to spend about $1,700 for a whole side, or half that price for a half side.
“We average about $3.70 a pound or a little bit less or right in that area. When I say by the pound, that is hanging weight of the beef,” Shyiyou said. "If you take a 900-pound live cattle, you would yield about 580 pounds of hanging weight beef.”
The cattle are then sent to a slaughterhouse to be costumed processed into the cuts you want. Once the process is complete, the consumer is able to pick their meat up from the processing plant.
Shyiyou said he prefers people to buy whole so it can be divided among two or three families.