DECATUR COUNTY – The Gauck family lives on a picturesque farm east of Greensburg in Saltcreek. Township.
Steve and Kimmie Gauck and their son Christopher and daughter Addie love the farm and love farming. You have probably met some family members at the Farmer's Market every Friday during the season when they have the Gauck's Meats booth that includes Steve and Kimmie's beef, Christopher's chickens and Addie's pork products.
Steve and Kimmie Gauck
Steve was born and raised on his family's farm near where he farms today. In fact, they are both from farm families going back four and five generations. His dad, Tim, is also a farmer and still farms. His sister Diana and brother -in-law Kevin farm full-time with Tim.
He said, "Gauck Farms have grown mainly corn, soybeans and wheat, but Steve raises grass-fed and finished beef. Why the term grass-fed? There are different ways of raising beef cattle. We thought that consumers should have a choice so we decided to raise all grass-fed and finished beef."
He said the beef cattle on their farm are raised on pasture using Intensive Rotational Grazing. They are moved to one of 10 pastures on their farm every three to four days. He said each of the pastures consist of one to one-and-a-half acres. Currently, there are 10 cattle grazing, a mix of steers and heifers.
"We wanted to offer the community an option of a unique product for this area," said Steve.
While he and Kimmie agree that grain-fed beef will fatten up faster, that advantage may not matter to all consumers.
Kimmie said, "Grass-fed beef is lower in total fat content, higher in Omega3's and will also have higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs)."
Steve added that the beef from their farm is processed at state-inspected facilities to ensure a quality product for consumers. For beef and pork, it's the state law. The beef is raised with no artificial growth hormones and no antibiotics. He added that beef raised as grain-fed or grass-fed has been shown to be a very healthy food. It has just about every nutrient that we need to survive.
"As I said earlier, it is just that we decided on the grass-fed and finished beef and it has worked out well," He said.
They also use the nutrients from the cattle, hogs and chickens as a natural fertilizer for their pastures.
You can meet Kimmie, who was raised on a farm in Putnam County, and the kids at each Farmer's Market on Fridays where, she said, "Many of our customers choose to purchase our extra lean ground beef or specialty items such as brisket, chuck roasts and others. Quite often, our customers prefer to buy a half of a beef or a fourth of a beef if they have freezer space. We try to include what people generally want. If they want something different they can always call us. We have had special requests and we try to accommodate those as well."
The meat is processed locally at the Napoleon Locker in Napoleon, Indiana.
You can check out their Facebook page under Gauck's Meats.
Steve and Kimmie are happy to allow their son Christopher and daughter Addie the opportunity to farm if that is what they choose to do. Christopher's chicken farm currently has 20 laying hens, 20 show chickens and 24 broilers. He has had as many as 100 broilers this year, which he is currently selling at the Farmers Market. Also, for 4-H he will show six of his exhibition chickens and two broilers during the fair.
Christopher, who will be a sophomore at North Decatur High School this fall, has farm fresh, free range, white or brown eggs and pasture raised chicken. As with the cattle, the chickens are moved to fresh grass frequently. They are processed and packaged at a state-inspected facility, J & M Poultry in Cambridge City, which is the closest such facility that processes poultry. The poultry is sold at the Farmer's Market on Greensburg's square.
Addie will be in the eighth grade this fall at St. Mary's Middle School. She chose to raise pigs and lambs on "Addie's Ranch." She does whatever is required to raise healthy animals.
In the past, she has raised bottle lambs (and, yes, she becomes quite fond of them as they grow to market size). Currently, she has two sheep, one whether and one ewe. They are white with black faces that she will show at the Decatur County 4-H Fair.
Addie's pigs are usually purchased at about 60 to 80 pounds and when they are ready, about 250 to 300 pounds, they are butchered at the Napoleon Locker and sold at the Farmer's Market as pork chops, whole hog sausage, bacon and other pork products such as spareribs, smoked sausage, lard and many other pork products. Addie also sells 1/2 hogs, allowing customers to choose how they would like their pork processed.
The Gauck’s love farming and caring for their animals. Growing up on the farm has taught many life lessons and given them an opportunity to work together with many family members.
Decatur County resident Pat Smith may be contacted via this publication at firstname.lastname@example.org.