great big picnic with free smoked Angus brisket
Sterzick Farm, 5772 Alden Nash SE, were one of 40 farms across the nation chosen to have their barn painted with the “Certified Angus Beef” logo. The occasion was marked with a great big picnic with free smoked Angus brisket, corn on the cob, potato salad and fruit salad.
“This year is our 40th anniversary for Certified Angus Beef,” said Brian Schaaf from Certified Angus Beef. “We're a non-profit subsidiary of the American Angus Association, so we're governed by farmers. When we were looking at ways to commemorate 40 years, it seemed fitting to come back to the farm and the idea of the old-time farm billboards. We found a guy who happens to be really good at painting barns and we started in January. Now we're approaching the home stretch, this is number 29. It's definitely one of the bigger ones that we've tackled.”
The first barn to have the “Certified Angus Beef” logo painted on it was in Florida in January and the last one will be in Ohio in September. They are also painting barns in California, South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Oregon. “It's quite an honor,” said Kirk Sterzick, the owner of the farm. “I was kind of surprised when they got ahold of me about a month ago about wanting to do it. It's coming together very fast and we're excited about it.”
Sterzick Farm has been run by the same family since 1909. It was a dairy farm until the late 1960s when Adrian Sterzick bought four Angus heifers and began exclusively raising Angus beef. According to the American Angus Association, the Black Angus is the most common breed of beef cattle in the US, with 332,421 animals registered in 2017. Sterzick Farm currently raises 23 head of Angus cattle and 45 acres of hay. The farm is so dedicated to Black Angus, on weekends they fly the “Certified Black Angus” flag directly below their US flag.
“I am the third generation to run the family farm,” Sterzick said. “My folks started to raise Angus cattle in the '60s and we've been with the Angus breed ever since. Right now we have 23 Black Angus cows.”
“Kirk is deeply rooted in the Michigan Angus Association,” Schaaf said. “He's a wonderful guy and it's a beautiful property. The barn is one of the more unique ones that we've seen. It's original wood that's never been painted. Sadly, barns like this are few and far between to find. It's in such amazing condition, Troy Freeman the painter is having the time of his life painting this one!”
Sterzick estimated the barn with the logo to be between 150 and 200 years old.
“My dad and grandpa moved it here from out in the field in about 1953,” Sterzick said. “The foundation is new, that was built in 1953. This is mainly my calving barn. When the cows are calving, this is where the babies can get out of the weather. Right now it's overwhelmed with barn swallows. I love that type of bird. They say that one barn swallow can eat 1,000 mosquitoes a night. I don't know if that's true or not.”