I’m Dan Dietrich and I represent the 4th generation of Dietrichs to work this farm. Also pictured here is my wife Erin and our children, Houston, Cora, and Danny.
My great-grandparents Russell and Cora Dietrich purchased this property in 1947. Robert and Donna (Dan’s grandparents) purchased the farm a few years later and currently reside there. Outdoor pasture-based livestock production has been practiced since Russell’s day and Dan is carrying on that tradition. Though the Dietrichs’ meats have not always been marketed as grass fed, the livestock have always been raised outdoors in pens or on pasture.
We offer healthy, wholesome products, from animals raised without hormones and antibiotics. We use proven approaches to agriculture in a sustainable model that benefits both the land (the billions of microbes found in one handful of soil) and the caretakers of the land.
Our grass-fed pasture system is ideal for the animals and the environment. Our animals live naturally on our pastures, grazing the forages growing in our fields. In the summer, we harvest the excess growth and feed it as hay in the winter. The animal wastes return to the land and become nutrients for the next grass cycle.
We grow our food in a way where there’s nothing to hide. Folks are always welcome to make an appointment to come out for a farm visit!
Our cattle herd, mostly Black Angus, and Devon is pastured in the spring, summer, and fall and rotated daily into fresh paddocks of grass. In winter, they eat from hay bales spread across our fields in the fall, and slowly progress from one area to the next.
By restricting them to one paddock each day, rather than letting them roam, our cows more thoroughly eat and trample down the grass in the area, while adding their wastes. That process of grazing, trampling and fertilizing is very beneficial to the pasture and the soil that supports it.
In fact, this rotational grazing mimics what herds of grazing animals have done in nature for thousands of years. The animals graze the pasture and then move away from their waste products to fresh grass. This process invigorates the pasture, stimulating new growth. The robust plant growth removes carbon and nitrogen from the air, as new plant roots, along with all the soil microorganisms, lock those two elements into the soil to form humus. In fact, grazing cattle are the most important factor in creating healthy soil, and soil is the foundation of all land-based nutrition.
Our Berkshire feeder pigs are purchased locally at about 40 pounds. They are started near the barn where we get them trained to respect an electric fence. When the pigs are 80-100 pounds and well trained they are moved out to pasture. They are raised outdoors, living a great life in sections of woods and edges of fields. When they have sufficiently disturbed an area, rooting and foraging for food, we move them to the next location. They are also supplemented with grain. By the time they complete the circuit, the first areas have recovered and re-grown.
Our goal is to use practices that are as close to nature as possible. They grow quickly and live a great life, doing what pigs love to do. The result is clean, wholesome, nutritious meat that is remarkably different from what’s found in grocery stores.
Our lamb is raised similar to the cattle. Sheep and cattle complement each other very well on pasture as they prefer and select differnet plants and grasses as the cattle do. The sheep add diversity to the farm and provide improved pasture utilization. Like the cattle, the sheep are rotatioanlly grazing remaining in one paddock for 7 to 10 days before moving on to the next section.
We raise 100% Grass-Fed / Grass Finished Beef, Lamb, Free Range Pastured Chicken & Pork. All of our products are raised without use of chemicals, antibiotics, or hormones. In contrast to industrial confinement meat production, our animals are given a healthy dose of fresh air, sunshine, and space. We feel that the best farm inspector is you, the consumer, so feel free to contact us to set up a good time to visit.
We work hard to provide healthy, wholesome products to our customers in the region. You won’t find meat products like ours in your local supermarket! Dietrich Ranch is a family farm in central Ogle County, just a few miles north of Mt. Morris. We strive to provide the most natural product by using holistic management practices.
115 West Front Street
Mt. Morris, IL 61054