Most people buy their meat from the local grocery store, but buying from an animal auction is a smart option many overlook. There are many auctions throughout Utah, such as the Smithfield Livestock Auction, Anderson Livestock Auction, Cedar City Livestock Auction and the Utah Livestock Auction in Spanish Fork. To purchase an animal, one needs to register and receive a buyer number, which can be done the day of the auction. At the auction, bidders raise their number when they wish to submit a bid. Members of the auction committee are always available to assist first-time bidders, or even bid for them. “We want everyone to feel comfortable and informed when they are bidding,” said Judy Duncombe, acting executive director of the Utah State Fair Corporation. As an alternative to bidding, buyers may choose to “boost” the animal and pay the difference between the selling price and actual market value of the animal.
After purchase, animals can be custom-slaughtered and wrapped for individual or group use for less than $200.
An average 1,200-pound steer sells for about $1,400 at one of these auctions. The animal provides 170 pounds of steak, 200 pounds of roasts, 130 pounds of ground meat and 55 pounds of stew meat, ribs and miscellaneous cuts—a total of 555 pounds of consumable meat. Of course, these amounts can vary, but if a group of friends were to pool together—let’s say, four families with a total of eight adults and four children—each family would have enough meat to last them an entire year for $350.
Next time you reach for that ground beef in the grocery store, consider whether purchasing quality livestock could work for your family or small restaurant.