Rusk County farmer delivers grass-fed beef and more to Milwaukee area

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Kristine M. Kierzek

After almost three decades of absence, when Steve VanDerLoop found himself at the family farm. He also had ideas about the future of farming and what he wanted to accomplish. This included having a burger without harming the planet.

Over the past decade, VanDerLoop’s focus at North Pasture Farms, W13179 Ranch Road in Bruce, has grown to regenerative agriculture and grass-fed beef. Last year he raised and processed 67 cattle, around 120 pigs and around 1,500 chickens.

Each month, it delivers beef, pork and chicken to its customers with 17 delivery points in the Milwaukee area south of Racine, as well as in northern Illinois and Chicagoland, and the Twin area. Cities of Minnesota.

There are no minimum purchase requirements, but if you order less than $ 60 you will be charged a fee of $ 7.50. For more information and to order, visit northpasturefarms.com.

Back to its roots

I grew up here (in Bruce). I left at the age of 18, when I left high school. It is difficult to make a living here. … My grandfather arrived here in 1916. I got on my motorbike and left in 1975…

I was working in Texas in the oilfield in the winter and running around every summer. Then, in 1979, I was in Oregon and discovered religion. I ended up in a church in LA and spent the next 28 years working in the church. …

My wife and I returned in 2008 to visit people. Mom had a heart attack the previous winter and was not taking her medication. … We ended up staying and taking care of the place. I took over, and at the time Pa was 85 years old, there were only eight head of cattle left.

When I was a kid we had about 100.… I sold two steers at the local sales barn and found it only cost me $ 200 per head to raise and sell the steers. I decided to go with grass fed beef, it was in 2009.

Decide to deliver

We started trying to sell grass-fed beef locally and got nowhere. There are people here who want grass-fed beef, but there aren’t that many and you don’t make as much money as in the cities.

I had two freezers full of grass-fed beef and it was going nowhere. One of my nephews was doing cross fit in Vancouver and he said crossfiters eat a lot of grass fed beef. … I emailed every gym in Minneapolis, just, “Dear owner, I have some grass-fed beef, do you want some?” No answer.

Six months later my nephew told me to try again, he is growing up. I had an owner to respond. I had a little Ford Escort station wagon, I went to Minneapolis with 200 pounds of meat. I sold in 12 days. OK, I can make a living doing this. I quit my outside job in 2010.

Find your focus

I started with grass fed beef. … People just asked me, can you start raising pork? Can you start transporting chicken? I looked around for people who raised pork and chicken. My pork guy is in Chippewa Falls. They are not grazed, they are outside. I have pasture pork. I don’t hide it. I tell people where my pigs are raised.

The chickens the same. I got an Amish guy who raises them in a chicken tractor, like a Joël Salatin chicken tractor. I show people how it’s done. I think the main thing people love is that I don’t hide the way I do it.

Climate and livestock

Why am I thinking about global warming and regenerative agriculture? I think if we as a society don’t want to ruin the place, we have to make changes. … I think the only way to make huge changes is for people to be able to make money.

It’s definitely biased, for me the way to do it is to figure out how to make regenerative agriculture a way for people to make a living and maybe well. It doesn’t have to be a good life, but it has to be a good life. I want to show that it can be done.

Grow a business

I ship to Milwaukee, Chicago and Minneapolis / St. Paul regions. During the absolute pandemic, in March and April of last year, sales exploded.

Popular choices

My most popular are the steak and ground beef, bacon, and pork chops. I have a lot of ground beef and roast beef left. …

About half of an animal will be ground beef. You have to reduce the price, so your profit margin is very low.

My rib eye steaks sell for $ 25 a pound, and I often run out. I feel bad to increase the prices so as not to run out, but it is the only way.

I go to Chicago every two months. There’s a guy who buys 20 to 30 pounds of rib eye, 30 pounds of tenderloin, and 20 to 30 pounds of bacon. He found me while I was delivering to his gym. There are a lot more of these guys out there than in the woods here. My money comes from steaks.

By the numbers

When I started out I tried to do quarters and halves. Then I found out that people buy this, but it’s not as popular as the small quantities. People live in apartments and only have a freezer.

My average is $ 135, and that would be a healthy mom with a small chest freezer. A $ 100 dollar is the person with the refrigerator or freezer up or down.

What he keeps for himself

I like to take a roast beef, it doesn’t matter which one, and I make a stew. I cut it into pieces, cook it for a long time, put in vegetables and cook it again, mash a bunch of potatoes and have beef stew on mashed potatoes. The steak is that we are going to have a good meal.

Following:Wisconsin Farms Received $ 50 Million Under State Support Program

Following:With a passion to improve the health and well-being of future generations, a Pewaukee resident started a nutritional supplement business

Fork. Spoon. Life. explores the daily relationship that local notables (within and outside the food community) have with food. To suggest future personalities to profile, send an email to [email protected]

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