If you ever wanted your own cow, new crowdfunding site delivers

Mar 1, 2017

Credit CC0 Public Domain

If you’ve ever wanted your own cow, or more specifically steak, a new crowdfunding website could be just the thing for you.

As Quartz reports, the Crowd Cow is working with seven beef ranchers along the West Coast to allow earnest foodies to pool their money and purchase a cow together, pick the cuts of meat they want, and have that meat delivered to their doorsteps.

Crowd Cow users purchase shares of a cow, and in doing so become official “steakholders.” Once enough shares are purchased, the cow “tips,” and goes off the market. After the cow tipping, steakholders usually receive their beef within a week.

For now, Crowd Cow only ships overnight to 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington state, and Wyoming.

The service operates as a conduit for beef-hungry consumers and independent farmers, cutting out intermediaries like local supermarkets, where knowing the source of beef can be difficult to determine. Crowd Cow markets itself as a fully transparent service, where there is no confusion over where beef came from because its customers are a single degree of separation removed from the farm.

The cattle are marketed as part of a sustainable agricultural model that treats its animals humanely.

Demand for grass-fed beef has resulted in a large uptick in the number of grass-fed producers in the U.S. over the past couple of decades or so – from about 100 in 1990 to close to 2,000 – and people are willing to pay almost double the price to get it.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, consumers are spending, on average, $8.75 per pound for grass-fed chuck roast versus $4.96 per pound for typical grain-fed chuck roast beef.