1992 was the beginning of quite an adventure for Marion and Mark Striegel. After attending numerous seminars and doing a great deal of research, they decided to get into the EMU business. Marion had the facilities and livestock experience, and Marj was ready for a new challenge.
That was also the year Marion and Marj decided to marry. Two pairs of emu breeders moved in first, then Marj in 1993, followed by the ostrich breeders. A number of things have evolved since that time.
Raising the birds offered some diversity which was very important during the “farm crisis.” But more that the was the personal and dollar value of the emu and ostrich products themselves. The low fat, low cholesterol, tasty red meat became important to Marion, who was encouraged by a significant drop in his high cholesterol readings after a short time of including it in his diet. The properties of the emu oil became significant to Marj, who became a dealer for a company that uses the oil in body lotions, analgesic creams, face creams, body, shampoo, etc.
The infertile eggs produced the first couple of years inspired another new but related business. Beautiful engraved eggs were admired its one the National Conventions, and soon the couple had invested in equipment and classes to be able to the intricate and beautiful designs on the eggs. The eggs became popular at first with other producers, engraved with their farm or ranch names on them. It didn’t stop there. Although Marj does does of the engraving they both traveled to Las Vegas, Utah, and Wisconsins to learn to apply the engraving skill on other mediums. Their skills now included the ability to engrave and sand etch on glass, metal and wood, in addition to the eggs. They also gained the skill of electroplating which makes it a broad ranged business.
The Striegels were active in helping to organize the Iowa Emu Association and have since then remained active in both the local and National Emu and Ostrich Associations. Currently, Marion is the president of the Board of Directors of the Heartland Emu Marketing Coop. Marj holds the same position with the Ostrich Coop of Iowa. Both coops were formed under the Value Added Coop legislation. Their interest in national and state organizations fit well with that of another interest, the Izaak Walton League of America. The league is a national conservation leave, and Marion and Marj hold state and national positions. The “birds” are so environmentally friendly, it makes a perfect fit!
Striegel Acres is the home of LIFE, which is what the couple calls their engraving, sand-etching and electroplating business. LIFE, stands for Last Impressions for Everyone. This is significant because when something is designed, especially if it is personalized with names and dates, an heirloom is created The Forever Letter is a good example of that, a special message for a loved one can be engraved in your own handwriting on a beautiful vase, hand blown in Turkey.
Marion and Marj are optimistic about the future of these birds. They are excited about sharing their information about the healthy properties of the meat and oil. They are anxious tower and display the beautiful emu and ostrich leather products.
For more information on the value of emu and ostrich meat, for more information on the products available that use the valuable, naturally anti-inflammatory, deep penetrating emu oil, for more information about LIFE @ Striegel Acres, please contact us.