Our Family's Story: from 1882 to 2015
In 1882, Peter B. Meerman's widow (Jeannie?) and her sons, Peter J. and John Meerman moved from Denison and traded farms with her brother-in-law. The sons then proceeded to farm the land with their families. The land was handed down to Peter J's son, Peter P., who passed it on to Ernest and his wife Nellie, who farmed it until 1972 and then still helped out wherever they could. Ernest Meerman (3rd generation) and his wife Nellie (Gunneman) both grew up in Coopersville and married in 1937. They enjoyed traveling, taking their 4 children (Steve is the youngest) in their 1952 Desoto to 49 states, all the provinces of Canada, and Mexico.
In 1972, Steve Meerman, the fourth generation and only son of the famiy, assumed responsibility of the farm. In 2001, Steve took the farm to a new step and had the farmland Certified Organic (Grassfields is no longer certified organic). Together, Steve & Sue raised five children before Steve went to be with His Savior in 2007. Sue continues working part time on the farm.
Luke (5th generation) and Victoria Meerman are the owners of Grassfields Cheese LLC. Luke is Grassfields Cheese's cheese maker and marketer. Luke and Victoria have 5 growing children whom you may see doing farmers markets and demos, shipping cheese orders, maintaining the aging room, and doing odd jobs around ther farm.
Heidi and Kyle Parcher, along with their four boys, live near the farm and help out ofter with computer technical support, landscaping, errands, sales, and other miscellaneous jobs.
Jesse, the middle child, owns the dairy and Green Pastures cow boarding. They have five beautiful girls.
Bonnie, (the 4th child) and Andrew Esther also help out often at Grassfields Cheese. Bonnie does our website, technical support, and some office work. They have 2 girls, a son, and a baby girl due in the Fall.
Jay (the 5th child) and Chaeli Meerman own their own small dairy down the road and are a huge help in so many ways to Grassfields, such as managing our 100% grass-fed beef.
Luke, Jesse, and Jay, the co-owners of the farm, all live on the original homestead in the three houses which Ernest Meerman designed and built himself. When Steve assumed the farm, it was supporting one family. Then in 1991, we changed from confinement farming to grass-based pasture farming. Now it supports three families. God has graciously blessed us with innovative ideas and adaptability. In 2001 we started the cheese business, primarily to make better use of the resources with which God has blessed us. Instead of sending all our milk to a processing plant, we reasoned that we can use a small portion of it to make cheese! So Jesse went to cheese-making classes in Wisconsin and Vermont, and experimented for almost a year. Then, doing all the work ourselves, we drew up plans and added a store and small cheese plant onto our barn. We opened August 1st, 2002, and now offer many more items than the cheese (found on the Products page).