Frequently Asked Questions


Where Can I buy your BEef?

We will have for purchase individual pieces of premium Angus by the pound. Bring your reusable bag and come find us.

  • We can be found at the Syracuse Regional Farmer's Market 2100 Park Street Syracuse 13208 on some Saturdays from 7am-1 pm. Check out their website at cnyrma.com.

  • Pickup at the Ithaca Meat Locker on by appointment Thursday evenings.

  • By appointment you can visit the farm

  • Certain cuts are available at King Ferry Corner Store


Ordering

How much will the beef cost?

The price you pay is for boxed weight (not hanging weight). This is the price for the beef you take home. This is the price for all “cuts” and includes all slaughter and processing costs.

We also will package a special twenty-pound freezer pack. This will include approximately eight pounds of ground beef, two roasts, four steaks, with the rest as miscellaneous cuts.

What is cut weight?

IMPORTANT: Our price is for the “cut weight”, the weight after the beef has dry aged and the butcher has cut out the fat and bones, vacuum packaged and frozen it. The price includes all of the slaughter costs. Cut weight beef is the beef you actually take home. We also call this "boxed weight".

Deposit

A 50% deposit is required when ordering. Overnight shipping is available for an extra cost. Local delivery to Ithaca, Auburn and Syracuse NY is available.

When can I expect my beef to be ready?

We do slaughter year round. This is to ensure that you and your family are receiving the freshest meat possible. The beef is usually ready for pick up about three weeks after slaughter. We will advise by phone or email.

What kind of cuts do I get? What is the percentage of steaks vs. ground beef?

Here are some general percentages, though every cow varies.

  • Steaks about 19%

  • Roasts about 17%

  • Round about 9%

  • Ground beef about 45%

  • Miscellaneous about 10%


Can I purchase your beef in a store?

Yes, Will-Sho Beef can be found at King Ferry Corner Store in King Ferry NY.


Concerned about pet food safety?

Beef bones and organ meats are great nutritional options for your pets. Ask us how to add these to your order. Fluffy or Rover will love you for it.


How do I handle and store beef after I buy it?

Like all perishable foods, beef must be handled and stored properly to avoid spoilage and food-borne illness. Follow these food-safe practices:

Your beef will be frozen after processing. Keep frozen in a good cold freezer until use.

If refrigerating beef, place it in the meat compartment or in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Practice the FIFO inventory system - first in, first out.

Do not defrost beef at room temperature. Defrost it in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth. Place package on a tray to catch any drippings and place in refrigerator the day before it is needed.

Allow about 24 hours to defrost a 1 to 1-½ inch thick package of ground beef or beef pieces.

Allow 12 to 24 hours to defrost steaks, depending on the thickness.

Allow 4-7 hours per pound to defrost roasts.

Cook ground beef as soon as possible after defrosting.

Remember that ground beef and beef for stew or kabob are more perishable than whole muscle cuts (roasts and steaks). During the grinding process for ground beef, any bacteria on the surface are mixed throughout. Cutting beef into cubes exposes more surface area where bacteria can grow. Both processes result in shorter shelf life. These cuts should be fully cooked before consumption.


How does will-sho farm help the environment?

We continually work with Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide the best growing conditions for our Angus cattle and for the land that we steward.

This year we created an additional thirty acres of new pasture that will allow us to implement rotational grazing for all of our cows. This plan was designed and approved by the Cayuga County SWCD and USDA NRCS.  These pastures include cover crops and riparian herbaceous buffer strips around the waterways. We have also fenced out all streams and drainage ditches.

We practice sustainable agriculture, and we are constantly working at improving the ecological condition of our farm by restoring the watershed and removing infestation of invasive species.

We have built electric fences to support better rotational grazing management. This allows periods of rest in each paddock, which in turn improves vegetative health and vigor. A healthy vegetative cover will slow water run-off and allow water to soak into the ground, rather than create erosion.


Is Will-Sho Beef organic?

No, we are not certified organic.

We do use many organic practices, but will never advertise that we have an organic farm.

We treat our animals with antibiotics when medically necessary. (We have only had to treat one animal in each of the last three years.)

To import organic feeds would be costly and fossil fuel-dependent.

 


Is this “naturally raised beef”?

Yes, per the USDA definition.

Our animals are pasture raised, as nature intended, and are never confined in feed lots.

Will-Sho Farm beef comes with our guarantee that none of our products have ever been given or fed growth hormones, ionophores a feed additive, or any animal by-products.

Antibiotics are only given to treat the rare animal that is sick, when medically necessary.

We keep detailed records of our animals’ medical histories, and we know exactly where and how each piece of meat is produced.

We have handled the animals ourselves and have chosen the best stock to deliver the finest tasting meat.


Why do you dry age the beef?

We choose to dry age, because dry aged beef is more tender and has a deeper, meatier flavor.  We are proud to provide you dry aged beef in Syracuse, Auburn and Ithaca.

Up until twenty years ago, dry aged beef was the norm. With the advent of vacuum packaging, along with increased efficiencies in beef processing and transportation, the process of dry aging has been all but lost. We have continued this time honored tradition, because we believe that it yields a superior product.

Some high quality restaurants age their meat for twenty-eight days or more. Increased aging adds to shrinkage and trim loss due to drying and surface mold. In today’s modern processing plants, the carcass is broken down and vacuum-sealed in plastic within 24 hours. Much of this beef will show up in a grocery store meat case within two to four days after harvest. (This is NOT our process)

Beef can be “wet aged” in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag for improved tenderness, but it will not have the characteristic dry aged flavor. Because refrigerated storage is expensive, only high priced loin and rib cuts are wet-aged.


What makes our Angus Beef the best?

The Angus breed of cattle is known world wide for producing high quality beef. As a result, Will-Sho Farm beef is well marbled.

Marbling is the fine flecks of fat that is interspersed within the red muscle of a steak.

Marbling is the fine flecks of fat that is interspersed within the red muscle of a steak.

Marbling makes beef more juicy and tender.

After cutting, our beef is vacuum packed and frozen to preserve its freshness and taste.

Will-Sho Farm beef is locally grown in King Ferry, New York.

Since all of the cattle we sell are born here on the farm, we can guarantee you that the genetics, feeding and processing of our beef are the best available.

Although it costs more to produce natural beef, it is worth it because you can count on the fact that we keep it natural.


how much SPACE DO I NEED IN MY FREEZER?

The rule of thumb is one cubic foot of freezer space for every 35-40 pounds of packaged meat.

A whole beef cow will yield about 400 pounds of packaged beef.

A whole beef needs 16-17 cubic feet of freezer space for storage (2’x4’x2’).

A whole beef will be enough for most families of four for a year.

A quarter takes up 3-4 cubic feet of freezer space (1’x2’x2’).

A half beef needs about 8 cubic feet

Beef keeps well for one year in a good, cold freezer.


You can call Will or Allison at 315-246-9782 or send us an email from the Contact Page. We'll be happy to answer questions in either format. You can also find us in person at the Syracuse Regional Market on some Saturdays from 7 am to 1 pm.

What if I have more questions?