As of April 2020, we have order deadlines! All shipments will arrive on Thursdays. See below to determine your shipping range and the order deadline. If you miss this deadline, your order will arrive the following Thursday.
COVID-19 Update: We are not offering Home Delivery or Pickup Scheduling options for the near future. All orders in Colorado will be shipped via UPS One Day Ground shipping for $10.
Shipping method will be chosen automatically for you using your ZIP code. This can be changed by clicking ("CHANGE") in the white bar underneath the blue navigation bar. If you have a special shipping request or questions not covered below, please contact us.
Your order will arrive on the Thursday after your order deadline for that week. So if you order by your shipping zone's Midnight deadline (Saturday for Three Day Ground, Sunday for One Day Ground andTwo Day Ground and Air), your order will arrive on the Thursday immediately following. If you miss this deadline, your order will arrive the next Thursday.
You will receive tracking information for your shipment once the order is packed up via email from UPS (check your spam and promotions inboxes if you don't see it!)
Don't panic, it will be fine. We pack almost all our orders with enough coolant to last an extra day to cover minor shipping delays - especially with the recent increase in delays for shipments in the United States. Your order may have some thawing when it arrives, but as long as the meat is cool to the touch, it should be fine for consumption. Put it in your fridge or freezer and enjoy it!
For shipping delays lasting more than a day or day and a half, we will monitor the situation and reach out to you about replacing your order free of charge or refunding it.
Because we charge by exact weight for a majority of our products, the total you see in your cart is an estimated total. We don't charge your card until all the products have been weighed, and the weights updated in your order. Usually, the difference isn't very much - but even if something goes over, no worries! If the final total is more than a $25 difference from your estimated order, we will contact you through email or phone call to confirm the final total is okay before we charge your card.
Shipping frozen meat products across the country is a logistical feat. We subsidize our shipping rates as much as we possibly can, and are constantly working to lower these rates. Since all our products require coolants, we have to use shipping methods to get it to you as quickly as possible. Our processing center and fulfillment center is in Colorado, and the further away you are from us the more expensive it is to deliver to you. Please don’t let this stop you from experiencing the best meat of your life - it's worth it!
If shipping cost is prohibitive for you, sign up for our newsletter to hear about sales, special offers, and price breaks on shipping!
Please contact us and our customer service team will assist you with special shipment requests.
You will receive an email from UPS with order tracking information once your order has shipped. Please see “How long will my order take to arrive?” to estimate when you will receive this email. If you have not received tracking information for your order by the end of the day when your order should have shipped, please contact us.
In order to serve our customers and our environment better (and to stay true to our mission), we use curbside recyclable thermal liners in our shipments. These liners are paper-based and can be recycled right along with cardboard!
We are currently working through our LAST shipment of styrofoam coolers - waste not, want not! Some 1 and 2 Day Ground and Air shipments will be shipped in reusable styrofoam coolers with reusable gel cold packs. Once they are out, all orders will be shipped using the recyclable liners.
Three Day Ground shipments will include dry ice. If the dry ice is still hanging around when you get your package, please take extra caution and DO NOT handle the dry ice with exposed skin.
Unless you won’t be home for a day or more after your delivery, this shouldn’t be an issue! Your order is packed in an insulated cooler box, and should be fine until you can get to it. Just unpack your order as soon as you can and refrigerate or re-freeze any freshly thawed items.
Some of our products, particularly Wagyu and large cuts like briskets and prime rib roasts, are hand-cut to-order. This means depending on when your order is placed, there may be an extra delay so we can get these products cut for your order. We always try our best to get these orders out by your original deadline, but occasionally there will be a delay. This delay is typically a week (sometimes two), and is more likely to happen if your order was placed on a deadline day.
However, hand-cut products also mean you can request specific things like a specific weight, a particular amount of ribs on a prime rib roast, or a special steak thickness! Please reach out if you have any questions about this.
Details on where and how we offer in-store pickups.
We offer pickups at the Town Center Ranch Foods Direct retail store, located at 4635 Town Center Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80916. Orders can be picked up during regular business hours on Monday - Friday (8am - 6pm). The store is also open on Saturdays 8am - 5pm, but we are unable to offer in-store pickups on Saturdays. The retail store is closed on Sunday.
We are sorry, but we cannot offer pickups at the Fillmore location at this time due to restrictions on storage space.
No problem! Select the date you'd like to pickup within the next week on the checkout page. If the date you want to pick your order up on is further out and isn't listed as an option on the checkout page, just write in the special instructions box the date you'd like to pick it up on.
We offer pickups at the Ranch Foods Direct retail location on Town Center Drive in Colorado Springs. All you have to do is come to the store on your pickup date and ask our retail team for your order!
Please place your order at least 36 hours ahead to allow us time to process and prepare it. For example, if you want to pick your order up on Wednesday, place your order by afternoon on Monday. Please note that custom requests, large orders, or orders containing Wagyu may take us 48 hours to process. Please order as early as you can if you know you have a specific day you want to pick up!
Note: We do not offer in-store pickups on Saturdays.
Standards and specifics for our products.
Ridiculously high ones. Please visit our Standards page for details.
Our standards for animal care, sustainability, and safety are ridiculously high. We’re confident that whatever you’re looking for, you will find it in our products - and if you’re still unsure, we welcome you to come visit the farm and processing facilities.
Regenerative Agriculture is a system of holistic farming practices that all our producers use. It's incredibly interesting and important to us (and to humanity!), so we wrote an entire educational page about it.
Our meat is USDA inspected, but not USDA graded due to the prohibitively high cost (nearly $800 per day!) of the process. We find it a bit unnecessary for our operation, as grades are only typically used as a shortcut lingo for large companies buying and selling from each other to ensure they're getting what they think they are. Customers also see these grades on beef in retail cases, though it should be fairly easy to tell the quality of the meat from how it looks.
The American scale doesn't really have a good place for beef with marbling as good as ours. USDA beef grades are based exclusively on the amount of marbling present, which indicates flavor and texture. In order to be considered Prime the beef must be only "moderately marbled". Given that information, both our regular and Wagyu beef are far, far beyond what would be considered Prime. Seriously - they are not even on the scale!
No worries! Most people don't have in-depth knowledge of all the different meat cuts there are. That's why we put together
We are currently not able to offer these items through Marketplace for shipping. If you would like Callicrate beef or pork in bulk and can pick up in Colorado Springs, please visit cowpool.org for more information.
There are so many answers to this question.
1. Great ranching practices = Happy, well-fed animals = Fantastic meat.
Bottom line, it’s going to taste way better than anything you can find at a regular grocery store, and you’re going to feel better eating it knowing where it came from.
2. Regeneratively raised for a better future. Our meat is raised regeneratively, meaning our ranchers use water conservatively, properly manage soil and land, and foster soil biodiversity - all of which creates healthier soil and environments that better capture carbon from our atmosphere. In fact, if we are able to convert 34.6% of agricultural lands to regenerative practices, we can zero out our current carbon emissions.* As consumers, we need to support the farmers who are doing the right things to ensure there’s something left for the next generation.
*Source: The Rodale Institute estimates that 1bn acres of regeneratively farmed land sequesters 23.2 gigatons of carbon per year. The latest estimates from the United States Geological Survey indicates 4.62bn acres being used for agriculture globally. According to the Global Carbon Project, current global carbon emissions were 37.1 gigatons as of 2018 (and climbing).
By those estimations, we would need to convert 1.56bn acres, or 34.6% of global agriculture lands, to regenerative agriculture in order to sequester 37.1 gigatons of carbon.
3. Supporting rural communities and local economies. With the farmer’s share of the food dollar at a record low of just 12 cents, it is more important than ever to support food systems that support the success of the farmer. By purchasing as directly as possible from independent farmers, you’re supporting rural economies and encouraging job creation in rural communities.
4. Animals bred for the best. Our regular beef is Kobe-style Wagyu - Angus cross, meaning it will have more marbling and better texture than regular Angus while keeping all the beefy flavor. Wagyu - Angus cross is the same breed cross used to produce legendary Kobe beef, only “official” Kobe beef comes from specific regions in Japan… (But we’re betting ours tastes better. In any case, it’s much cheaper than a $120 restaurant steak!)
And our Wagyu… well, it’s purebred Wagyu, which is practically mythical in the world of beef.
Our pork is ethically and regeneratively raised on the Callicrate farm in St. Francis, KS. Our pigs are Heritage breed Berkshire and Berkshire-cross, which for our operation means our boars are purebred Berkshire and the sows are Berkshire crosses. This heritage cross breed results in pork with marbling so prominent you’ll think you ordered beef, and a healthy red/pink coloring that’s very unlike the washed-out looking pork you find in supermarkets.
5. Responsible use of water. Our animals live on the western plains of Kansas, and the farm draws water from the Ogallala aquifer. The Ogallala aquifer is a massive aquifer that runs under 8 states and is essential to agricultural production in the Midwest - no water, no food. It's being depleted faster than it can regenerate, and as of 2013 had been drained of 30% of its total water, with 94% being used by agricultural and food operations. Not great.
Callicrate Ranch is extremely mindful of their impact on the water supply, and boasts very low water usage when compared to traditional operations. Livestock on the Callicrate Ranch are pasture raised and supplemented with barley grown on the farm for a balanced diet. Barley is healthy and nutritious, with higher fiber and protein content than other cereal grains. Barley requires less water than corn, and puts down a root system that is deep and fibrous, meaning it is better water retention and significantly decreases soil erosion.
Additionally, the Callicrate slaughter process uses a mobile slaughter unit, which uses only 40 gallons of water per head of cattle - about the same amount of water used to produce the ingredients to make 1 cup of coffee. Industrial facilities use between 150-450 gallons per head of cattle.
Our products are frozen immediately after processing and are shipped frozen, using either gel ice pack or dry ice as coolant. They will arrive frozen or with moderate thawing.
Great question! Long answer. Buckle up, because we are going on a ride!
"Wagyu" refers to all Japanese beef cattle. In fact, "Wa" means Japanese and "Gyu" means cow! There are 4 Japanese cattle breeds considered to be Wagyu, which are the Japanese Black, the Japanese Brown (referred to as Red in the U.S.), and the Japanese Polled and Shorthorn, which have never been bred outside of Japan. The import and export of Wagyu meat has been banned several times since 1975 by both the U.S. and Japan, for a multitude of reasons, but these bans have been lifted since 2015.
The answer: There was a blip between 1975-1997 where Japan allowed around 200 Wagyu cattle to be exported to the U.S. This time period allowed a few very select breeders to establish small seed herds in the U.S. These herds were the starting point for any Wagyu or Wagyu cross cattle in the U.S. today, and very few true purebred Wagyu cattle (which are 93.75% or more pureblood) remain. Currently, only less than 30,000 cattle in the U.S. have any Wagyu lineage at all, and less than 3% of those are purebred.
Wagyu beef is renowned worldwide as the best beef in the world, and for good reason. The flavor and texture of the beef creates a meat-eating experience that is beyond compare. This unique texture and flavor comes from the abundant marbling of low-melting point fat found in meat from the Wagyu breeds. Basically, the meat is ribboned with delicious and buttery fat that literally melts in your mouth and into the meat around it as it cooks, creating an insane amount of flavor and tenderness. Wagyu fat is the butter of beef.
Not to mention, the type of fat in Wagyu is healthier for you than other beef. The ratio of mono-unsaturated to saturated fat than other beef, and 40% of it is contained in a version of fat called stearic acid, which has a minimal affect on raising cholesterol levels.
We typically slaughter around 24-30 months (2-2.5 years), but occasionally will slaughter after 30 months. This is much longer than typical cattle in feedlots in the U.S., which are taken to feed lots at 12 months for corn-fed fattening and slaughtered around 18 months.We find 24-30 weeks of age to be a good time period for producing optimal marbling in the beef!
Unlike a typical cut of beef you might pick up at a grocery store, Wagyu beef has a stunning amount of marbling, with a deep and rich flavor to match. When prepared properly, it has a delicacy and tenderness that is incomparable to other cuts of beef.
Our regular beef is typically Wagyu - Angus cross (though occasionally full Angus), meaning it will have more marbling and better texture than regular Angus while keeping all the beefy flavor. Wagyu - Angus cross is the same breed cross used to produce legendary Kobe beef, only “official” Kobe beef comes from specific regions in Japan… (But we’re betting ours tastes better. In any case, it’s much cheaper than a $120 restaurant steak!)
The short answer - not a lot. The long answer - yes! Our purebred Wagyu is amazing because of the quantity of fat marbling it has and the low melting point of the fat that melts easily into the surrounding meat. But it also produces a LOT more grease, and grease catches fire, which is why we don’t recommend grilling Wagyu unless you’re an experienced Wagyu pro.
"A5" is a ranking based on the Japanese beef grading system for Wagyu overseen by the Japanese Meat Grading Association. In this system, the entire cow is rated for quality and quantity. The numbers 1-5 (with 5 being highest) are used to indicate the meat quality based on the color of the fat and meat, the size of the ribeye area and ribeye shape, and the percentage of fat marbling present. The letter indicates the amount of beef, or yield, that was harvested from the cow.
We don't use this system for our beef, so we do not technically have A5 Wagyu. However, based on the systems standards, our beef would be a 4-5 for quality on their rating scale. Luckily for our customers, this means they get similar quality without the A5 price!
We dry age all our beef for 7+ days as carcasses or sub-primal cuts in climate-controlled coolers. Dry aging is an ancient and traditional process that takes excess moisture content out of the meat and concentrates flavor for a deeper, more intense taste. Dry aging also encourages natural enzymes in the beef to break down connective tissue for a more tender result.
Dry aging also promotes the growth of fungal species on the outside of the meat - yes, we know this sounds gross, but let us explain! Much like the rind on a wheel of cheese, these species form an outer "crust" on the outside of a beef carcass, which is trimmed off during processing. These species compliment the natural enzymes in the beef for an even more intense flavor. Also like a cheese rind, this crust is still edible - but we remove it, because people can get a little weird about it. Typically, dry aged beef is hard to find in stores, but high-end restaurants often serve dry-aged beef. Lucky you, you can find it right here!
If you're having issues with an order not addressed here, please get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can correct it!
If something doesn’t meet your expectations or our standards, please contact us within 7 days of receiving your order and our team will take you through the review/refund process. Occasionally, we may request a product is returned for review - in this case, we will provide a shipping label and packaging for the return.
Due to the nature of our product, we are not able to accept returns back to our facility. If something doesn’t meet your expectations or our standards, please contact us within 7 days of receiving your order and our team will take you through the review/refund process.
We are so sorry! There was likely an issue with a seal breaking during the bumps and jostling of shipping. This happens sometimes, and it can be a bit of a bummer (and a mess!). Your products should be just fine if they arrived within 48 hours of shipment, but here’s what we recommend doing:
1. Please refrain from licking anything with the liquid on it. It's tempting, we know. If you have pets, they may also be interested in licking it (or playing in the box) - don't let them!
2. Take products out of the shipping cooler.
3. Figure out where the leak is coming from.
- If it's an ice pack, discard the ice pack.
- If it's a product, remove the packaging and place inside another sealable bag before freezing or refrigerating.
4. Rinse all sealed products with soapy water before freezing or refrigerating.
5. Make sure to wash hands after handling anything with refrigerant or meat juice on it.
If you have any more questions or concerns, or would like a product with the broken seal replaced, please contact us.
We try to pack our orders so they arrive frozen solid, but there may be moderate thawing in your order. If the inside is still frozen, or it's cold to the touch, it's fine! Just put it in the freezer or fridge and consume when you're ready.
If you're still worried, use your shipment tracking number from your email to determine whether the package was delivered within 48 hours (or 72 hours for Three Day Ground) of shipment. If not, please contact us.
Fair question. Read our story here!
Yes! All our producers regular welcome tours (Callicrate Ranch in Saint Francis, KS., White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA., and Gunthorp Farms in LaGrange, IN.) We also offer tours at the Ranch Foods Direct processing facility (also our fulfillment facility) in Colorado Springs, CO! For more information or to set up a time to visit with us or our producers, please contact us.