Beef Shares FAQs

A beef share is when you purchase a beef or a portion of a beef, for meat. 
The farmer takes the beef to the locker, but the customers communicate with the locker about how they want it custom cut.
You pay the farmer for the meat, and the locker for the processing. 
You pick up your portion of the beef at the locker, when processing is complete.

The smallest beef share we sell is “one quarter,” but you actually get “half of a half,” because front and hindquarters are divided equally between two customers.

Our current prices can be found on our order form

Average hanging weight is 175-225 lb per quarter. 

Processing costs can be verified directly with the locker, and are based on hanging weight.

During processing, the weight will be reduced from the hanging weight by about 1/2, depending how much fat and bones are trimmed.  So typically, you would take home roughly 90-120 lb beef per quarter.  

The buyer is responsible to:

  • Pay $100 non-refundable deposit to Miller Family Homestead, due 2 months prior to locker date.  
  • Contact the locker to order how they want the beef cut and packaged.
  • After being notified of the hanging weight, pay the remainder due to Miller Family Homestead. 
  • Pick up the beef from the locker when it is ready.
  • Pay the locker for the processing

Checks can be mailed to:
Miller Family Homestead
5194 Kansas Ave SW
Riverside, IA 52327

The seller is responsible to take the beef to the locker.

The seller will contact the buyer with the final beef price when the hanging weight is known, since the price/lb. is based on this hanging weight.

If this is the first time you have done a “custom beef share,” it can feel a little intimidating to place your order with the locker.  

Here are a few things we have learned:

  • Usually ⅓-½ of the beef will be ground, even after you take out the roasts and steaks.
  • Steaks: we like ours cut at 3/4″-1″ thickness  
  • The tenderloin (aka “filet”) is truly the most tender cut.  Either keep it in the T-bones, or have them split the tenderloin from the NY Strip (the steak on the other side of the T-bone).
  • Ribeye steaks – are the “gold standard” of steaks.  If you want a few steaks for grilling, choose these.
  • Sirloin steaks – good for grilling
  • Round steaks – if you don’t already know what they are and what to do with them, either have them cut up into stew meat, or ground. 
  • Roasts – the chuck roast tends to be the most marbled and moist, the arm roast is also very delicious.  Cook’s Locker cuts the rump roasts with the bone-in.
  • Skirt steak: This is the cut we use for our “steak and cheese” sandwiches that we sell at market (sear it, slice it thin, then finish cooking in the slow cooker). Or, we get it sliced into “fajita meat.”
  • Extra processing: for an extra fee, the locker will offer to make beef sticks, jerky, bologna, etc.

Note:  you can ask for liver, tongue, heart,  bones (soup bones AND marrow, or “dog bones”), if any of those things interest you; that adds value to what you take home, but availability is subject to what the other customers request as well.

  • No artificial hormones
  • No antibiotics used in at least 6 months prior to slaughter 
  • Our cattle are fed a balanced diet that includes our own Iowa Grown non-GMO grain and hay.
  • Our cattle are Holstein or Holstein-Angus cross.  Here’s why:
    • Our farm has a long history in dairy, and in raising Holstein steers for market.
    • We no longer milk cows here, but we continue to raise our favored breed.
    • While the carcass proportions vary from other breeds that are considered standard “beef cattle,” the flavor and quality of our Holstein Beef is superb.


We have slots booked well in advance, at Cook’s Locker in Parnell, IA. 

See our order form for exact dates available.

After you have secured your order with us for your beef share, you will call the locker to arrange with them how you want your beef cut and packaged.

When you call the locker, state that you are getting a quarter, half, or whole beef that Craig and Joy Miller, of Miller Family Homestead, are bringing in on [date].

The locker personnel will walk you through your order for the processing.