Owner Jim Gates and Bubbas. Image © 2009–2019 Studio Nuñez

Here are answers to what folks typically ask. If you'd like to know more, give us a call at 530-273-1025 and we'll be happy to chat.

About ordering

CAN I ORDER CUSTOM CUTS?  When you order a quarter of an animal, your order contains cuts from the front and hind portions of the animal and cannot be customized. When you order a half or whole animal, you may specify custom cuts, and we discuss the choices you have when we talk with you on the phone. For details about placing your order, please see the To Order page.

WHAT'S THE SMALLEST AMOUNT I CAN ORDER?  A quarter of an animal is the minimum order for bulk beef direct from the ranch. For individual cuts, or to try our beef, please visit our Local Partners page to find a local market or restaurant featuring Nevada County Free Range Beef.

WHAT'S THE COST PER POUND?  Quarter, half, and whole animal orders are $9.00 per pound, regardless of the type of cut. Compared to purchasing individual cuts, you'll see this works out to an excellent value.

HOW AND WHEN DO I GET MY ORDER?  We arrange the date and location for you to pick up your order. Generally, order pick-up is at the Personeni ranch, on Saturday mornings from 10 to 11:30 or by appointment. As orders are taken and organized, we will contact you to confirm the specifics.

CAN I ORDER YEAR 'ROUND?  You can order year 'round; however, beef is typically not available during the winter months—November through February, give or take several weeks due to current weather conditions. Spring and summer, beef is generally available if you place your order at least three weeks ahead of the time you'd like to pick it up. The farther in advance you can order, the better we can serve you.

DO YOU HARVEST YEAR 'ROUND?  Like any seasonal product, our harvest time is guided by nature. To bring you the most tender beef possible, we harvest only when pasture grass is actively growing and at its nutritional peak: from springtime until first frost.

DO YOU SHIP?  No, we do not ship, because we're committed to providing a local product. If you would like to find a source of pasture-raised beef that's closer to you, we highly recommend EatWild.com or LocalHarvest.org.

About our animals

IS GRASS THE ONLY THING YOUR ANIMALS EAT?  Yes, with one exception: their mother's milk! Our animals are raised on their natural diet: pasture grass, with free choice of mineral supplements in a salt lick. In the winter, they eat hay (dried grass). They are not fed grain, soy, or anything else to finish them up to market weight. This natural diet of local forage is what makes our cattle healthy, happy, and unique.

About our beef

DOES YOUR BEEF CONTAIN HORMONES OR ANTIBIOTICS?  No. Our USDA-inspected beef is natural and clean. Our cattle live as though in the wild, only with carefully managed forage and ample water to eliminate stress. Since they have lots to eat and drink and only minimal pressure from predators, it is rare that our cattle experience illness. If a cow does require medication, we care for her, of course, and remove her from our beef program. So when you order our beef, you can be assured it is clean, lean, and healthy: hormone- and antibiotic-free.

IS YOUR BEEF ORGANIC?  Nevada County Free Range Beef is not certified organic. (Certification is a lengthy and expensive process that would translate into higher cost for our customers.) Our animals feed on chemical- and pesticide-free grasses grown with natural fertilizers (manure!). Each animal ranges freely over large tracts of land—about ten acres per cow/calf pair. We are passionate in our commitment to bringing you the highest-quality clean, safe beef from contented, free-ranging cattle. For more about our cattle, please see the Care of Our Cows page.