The familiar saying of “you are what you eat” has become a lifestyle for Jerry and Marsha Steckler, who are the founders of Steckler Grassfed, a family-owned, pasture-based, certified organic farm in Southern Indiana.
Twenty-nine years ago, the Stecklers worked as conventional dairy farmers and kept their cattle in confinement. But in 1994, Steckler Grassfed made a commitment to a more natural way of farming that combines organic production practices with intensive rotational grazing on the 200-acre farm in Dale, Indiana.
“When our customers eat our cheese, it is like their whole body jumps and wakes up,” says Jerry. “Our body knows good food when we get ahold of it. It happens so often with people, and it all comes back to raising food in harmony with nature.”
The Stecklers have been inspired by the book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.” Weston A. Price, DDS. Price and his wife traveled the world searching for the secret to health. He observed perfect dental arches, minimal tooth decay, immunity to diseases, and overall excellent health in some of the most remote areas. He later reported that when those populations were introduced to modern commercial foods, signs of degeneration quickly became evident.
“We feel like this is our mission and that we have been led by God to produce food the way He intended,” says Jerry.
Steckler Grassfed offers aged, raw-milk cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, and pepper jack from its own Dutch Belted dairy herd, pastured poultry and eggs, and 100 percent grass-fed beef and lamb. Because their cows and lambs eat a fresh salad bar everyday, the pasture raised environment results in tender, lean, and delicious beef and lamb. Removing the grain-fed alternatives, fats and calories in the meats are altered and also raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones.
Producing around 70 pounds of cheese a day, Steckler Grassfed cheese is packed with nutrition and includes a balanced blend of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, as well as digestible vitamins and minerals with a full slate of enzymes and conjugated linoleic acids.
Their broiler chickens are raised in floorless pens, which move every day for fresh air, exercise, pasture, and bugs. The farm fresh eggs are laid by hens, which are free-range. Steckler also raises Thanksgiving turkeys that the company will butcher to order every fall.
All of Steckler’s products are offered at its on-farm store, which is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, noon to 6 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, or by appointment. Its cheese is also available across the Tri-State area in many retailers and winery locations.
“Because our cows are rotational grazers, the cheese we produce is literally a taste of Southern Indiana,” says Jerry.
For more information and a complete list on where to find Steckler Grassfed products, call 812-683-3098 or visit stecklergrassfed.com.