Here at the Co-op, Stan is a household name, known by our staff, owners, customers, farmers, and market goers on a first name basis. Stan S. Schutte is the owner and farmer of Triple S Farms in Stewardson, IL, seventy miles away from the Co-op with the help of his kids, Ryan and Jannie.
For over 30 years, Triple S Farms has built a name for themselves in kitchens around Central Illinois through tending to chickens, pigs, and cows raised on organically certified pastures. These field pastures are grown with the animals in mind, inherently nutritionally balanced to nourish the animals as they graze. The family also grows organically certified grains and row crops for supplemental food for the animals. You may already be familiar with the delicious Triple S Farm meats because Triple S has been our main source for Thanksgiving Turkeys, our continuous sponsor for summertime Chill and Grills, our co-host when the Co-op cooks on WCIA, a longtime farmer and board member for Urbana’s Market At the Square (and a vendor In the Square). The Schutte family works hard each day to ensure their land and soil are healthy and ecosystems are in tact. Healthy land will provide a prosperous space for their animals to be comfortable, well fed while they wander and run about. Stan says, “Our animals are our livelihood and we respect the part that they play on the farm. It is a symbiotic relationship where they rely on us, the animals rely on the soil and the soil relies on both of us.”
A group of our Co-op staff went to visit recently and watched the pigs sprint around happily and then dive into the naturally made mud pit to cool off. Other large pigs we walked next to came out from the shade curious to see the new visitors. You could tell the animals felt at home as they roamed. Stan’s philosophy raising animals as a small family farm is “Our goal is to build a diverse ecosystem on our small farm, all while raising an amazing product for our wonderful customers. It truly is a cycle dependent on four factors; our customers, the animals, mother nature and the farms' custodian, if we remove one of these then the cycle is broken.” The family’s connection to the animals and the land is apparent. They see themselves as caretakers and stewards and that’s why the quality of the food is so delicious.
To support Triple S Farms and the Schutte Family, you can find their chicken, pork, and beef in our fresh and frozen meat cases at the Co-op, every day of the year. Stan is also at every Saturday market, summer through winter at the Urbana’s Market at the Square and Market in the Square. Meet Stan at the next Chill and Grill, each month in the summer.