Our Farm & Family
Nestled in the gently rolling hills of Stillman Valley just outside Rockford, Illinois, Walnut Grove Farm has been in our family for over 100 years. Four generations of the Brass family have been stewards of this land.
Richard Brass (third generation, not pictured) graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in animal science. He then returned to the farm to manage the hog operation and crop production.
Stephen Brass (fourth generation) graduated from Iowa State with a degree in horticulture and co-manages crop production as well as the grass-fed beef herd. Stephen’s wife Andria is a stay-at-home mother, raising the fifth generation of future farmers.
100% Grass-fed Red Devon Cattle
Red Devon cattle are one of the oldest heritage beef breeds in existence today. This breed has stood the test of time because of its adaptability, hardiness, efficiency, natural hide color, fertility, early maturity, easy calving, maternal traits, milk quality, longevity and docility.
In 1623, Pilgrims brought the first Red Devon cattle from Devonshire, England to the Plymouth Colony. In fact, George Washington owned a herd of Red Devon, and there is still a herd of Devon at Mount Vernon to this day.
Designed to be raised strictly on grass, they are the butcher’s choice as well as the easiest cattle to raise.
It all starts with the soil. Because of this, we continuously monitor soil fertility and grass nutrition. The superior, gourmet quality of our beef is directly linked to the nutrients in the soil of the pastures used to raise each animal.
Our pastures have been planted with a diverse mix of grasses and forbs (broadleaves) to promote a naturally balanced diet. Given the opportunity, each cow knows exactly what she needs and will eat accordingly. During winter our cattle are fed grass/alfalfa hay on pasture.
Our cows have free access to a cafeteria-style supplement feeder with 16 different vitamins and minerals, including kelp, sea salt, selenium, and vitamins A, D and E. We also add raw apple cider vinegar to their drinking water as a general health tonic.