MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) — Wes and Sara Hornback developed a small beef operation on Sunset Acres on the west edge of Monticello, and have become a hit with the community.

“I had started working for Purina Mills as a regional cattle consultant and we needed to find a place. That was five years ago and that’s how we ended up here,” Wes said. “So we saw this property and wanted to get back into raising cattle again and we thought it would be a good opportunity to get that started, so here we are.”

“We take the heifers we breed and back into the cow herd or sell, and all the steers, or the males, will go into our freezer beef operation and we’ll purchase some animals as well,” Wes continued.

“The idea kind of came into, not everybody has a big freezer that they can put all of their meat in, or get a quarter or a half, or maybe they don’t eat a lot of beef, but want to eat some from a good local source. So we started doing the retail side as well and getting some packaged or processed with the state inspection stamp on them so we could sell just off the farm,” Wes continued. “If somebody wanted a package of hamburger, they could come here and get it. We go to the Farmers Market here in town in Monticello, we’ve gone there for the past three years, and its been great to be able to talk to the public.”

“We get into some of those questions about hormones and antibiotics and what proper practices with that, and how we manage that on our farm, and just how we raise it for good quality,” Sara said.

And they are pretty happy with that?

“They seem to be, and we get plenty of positive feedback,” Sara responded. “And people always come back and buy more, so that’s always a good sign.”

There is another chapter being written in the story of Sunset Acres and we’ll help reveal that in a few months.