2014 Escambia County Ag Innovator and Farm Family
Brent, Janice, and their four children: Blake, Brian, Allison, and Bryce own and operate Yoder Family Farm, a 100-acre farm in northern Escambia County. Though Brent farms, he also works as a nurse practitioner at the Atmore Family Practice two days a week and also is a site wellness nurse two half days each week. Janice is a registered nurse as well but has chosen raising their four young children as her vocation.
The Yoders run a micro dairy—–a small grass-based Grade A dairy farm which has an on-site processing facility capable of low temperature vat pasteurization and is a processing/bottling facility. The dairy farm started with one cow, Daisy, in 2009. Originally, Brent and Janice wanted to produce quality milk for their growing family, but as they shared their product with family and friends, the demand grew and so did the herd. Currently, they are milking between 10-15 cows that are mostly Jersey cows. They chose Jersey cows because they produced milk with higher butterfat content than other dairy breeds. Because much of the flavor of the milk is in the cream, their milk is full of flavor. The Yoders are pleased to say “our golden-yellow milk is creamy, delicious, and wholesome, and we’re proud to share it.” When asked to explain why they chose to do grass fed dairy cows, Brent explained that the cows get plenty of exercise and extra muscle tone walking to and from the pasture. And they eat grass—the stuff cows were meant to eat. Dairy products from pastured animals offer you a healthier balance of Omega-6 to Omega 3 fatty acids, higher levels of CLA (a fatty acid that is a potential cancer fighter) and lower levels of saturated fats. They are richer in antioxidants including vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. The Yoders feel that by maintaining the pastures, the sod is strong, healthy, and full of microbes that break down the cow patties into soil nutrients, contributing to cleaner water downstream. Being sustainable and environmentally conscious is very important to the Yoders. Read the entire article here.