Sturgis Meats offers farm-to-fork meat subscriptions
STURGIS, S.D. – Eating food grown locally has many benefits – it’s good for you, the environment, and your taste buds. Farms and ranches are the starting point in the food supply chain which ensures that food coming directly from its source is truly “fresh from the farm.”
Sturgis Meats owner Cindy Tolle offers locally sourced meat to consumers by offering monthly subscription meat boxes. Not only does Tolle processes the meat she and her family sell, but they also raise it. Tolle is also the owner of Evergreen Ranch and Livestock where she raises grass-fed and finished bison, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and goat on a National Audubon Society certified conservation ranch near Custer.
“So we basically can offer affordable meat proteins to the consumer because we cut out the middleman, which there’s no distributor, there’s no grocery store. We go right from our ranch to our processing plant, which is just meat directly to the consumer, so we can offer products at a pretty affordable price,” said Tolle.
As inflation rises, so does the price of meat. The saying, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” rings true for the food supply chain as well. When one phase is disrupted or prices increase, the same happens in every other phase.
Subscription boxes cost $75 each and are portioned for a family of four. Each week subscribers receive an assortment of beef, bison, pork, chicken, and lamb, often containing cuts of meat not found at your local grocery stores such as Denver, chuck, and hanger steaks along with unique recipes for unusual cuts. The number of pounds in each box varies. They can be picked up each Saturday at the Black Hills Farmers Market, at Sturgis Meats or at The Bashful Buffalo in downtown Rapid City.
“It will give you about 20% off of the retail value of the meat if you were to go, you know, buy it in the grocery store,” she said.
The idea for the subscription boxes came during COVID-19 when meat was not always readily available in grocery stores.
Tolle also helps other area producers find markets for their food as well.
“So a lot of times in our boxes it won’t be just our stuff. It could be from other producers that that we’ve processed meat for. And that’s kind of cool. It’s being able to to help out the local producers in the region, you know, getting their their food out to to local consumers,” she said.
Buying meat locally not only supports area livestock producers but also the local economy.
The producer can also tell you exactly how the animal was raised and how fresh the products are. If the old adage “you are what you eat” is true knowing where your food comes from helps you make healthier choices.
“Knowing the story of your food is really important because I think a lot of our health issues in the country are based from eating whatever and not really thinking about what they’re putting in their body,” said Tolle.
“Everybody loves these boxes. I mean, they’re just they’re fun, they’re affordable, and it’s a win win,” she said.
You can sign up for a meat subscription box by calling Sturgis Meats at (605) 347-2626.