On May 4, guests, family and friends gathered at Ulrich Farms, Allenwood, Penn., to celebrate the painting of its barn with the Certified Angus Beef ® brand logo – the 12th stop of a cross-country journey. Farmers, community leaders, brand partners, students, and other special guests shared a meal with the Ulrich family as they watched paint dry.
The gathering was one of 40 planned in 2018, as the Certified Angus Beef ® brand celebrates 40 years of bringing the best Angus beef to consumers. Painting the brand’s familiar logo on 40 barns across America is not just an old-school marketing approach, but a tip of the hat to the farmers and ranchers who created the brand in 1978 and lead it today, and a way to celebrate connections and community.
“This effort is a tangible symbol of the valuable, and interconnected, roles our partners play in guiding the Certified Angus Beef ® brand from farm to table,” says Tracey Erickson, vice president of marketing. “It’s an honor for us to join their efforts in honoring our roots: family farmers and ranchers who have always been at the heart of this brand.”
Few symbols represent vintage Americana like a barn, where farm life is centered from generation to generation and, oftentimes, celebrations held. Each barn has a unique story, much like the Certified Angus Beef ® brand and family farmers and ranchers who raise Angus cattle.
The Ulriches are representative of this heritage. Chris and Jill Ulrich are raising the third generation of their family on the farm, purchased in 1952 by Chris’ parents Pat and Charlie. They operated it as a Holstein dairy until 1995, and in 1997 the Ulriches made the switch to Angus beef cattle. Like many cattle farmers, their herd is small, with about 30 to 40 cow-calf pairs at one time.
It’s a cherished part of life for Chris, a high school technical and agriculture teacher and Jill, a pre-Kindergarten teacher, and their three daughters: Abby, married and living in Hawaii, Laura, a high school sophomore, and Clara, a freshman. Chris notes their barn, build around 1870 and a local landmark, is one of the few of its age in its area that still stands. The family is so proud of it, in fact, that Abby and a friend painted the entire barn about 10 years ago with 4-inch brushes – a true labor of love.
The Ulrich Farms barn was painted by Troy Freeman, of Free Sky Studios of Springfield, Ill. Freeman is an experienced mural and large-scale painter for businesses, cities and townships, amusement parks, schools, residences and more, as well as the illustrator of 15 books and the founder of a graphics and web design business. While painting barns for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, he enjoys meeting farming families like the Ulriches and learning more about their unique stories, while celebrating their shared goals and values.