I’m sure many of you have been wondering what all we have been up to. I haven’t given an update due to not knowing what to say.
We have been grieving, planning, taking one step forward, and then ending up two-steps back.
After we sold the milking cows, the Milkman and I decided to take a small vacation over the 4th of July weekend. We wanted to turn everything off and spend time with our family and friends. We needed to be able to mourn what we had lost and hang tight to what we still had, each other.
We have always had dreams for Jericho Acres, even when we first started dating we imagined a 300 cow, robotic dairy where I would run agritourism and educate people on how a typical dairy operates and why we do what we do. We also believed we had 10 years to get to that point. We would take our time, make decisions slowly, and build this farm into a place that could easily be handed down to our children.
Obviously, that didn’t happen.
We were thrust into the spotlight. *Absolutely by choice. And when we sat down and started to have conversations about what our future looked like there were two things that were evident: 1.) The Milkman and I wanted to be a dairy farmers 2.) We didn’t want to leave the Homeplace.
These two objectives have caused us to rethink how Jericho Acres operates. The decisions aren’t exclusively ours to make since the farm is owned by the Milkman, his dad, and his uncle. No matter where we take the farm their input, opinions, and ultimately the decisions those three come up with is what happens. Most importantly they have the experience to help guide the whole farm since they built it.
So where does Jericho Acres go from here? Good question. We have looked at a whole host of options and are looking to make some decisions soon. We know we want to offer dairy products to the public. In what form, we aren’t sure. I would love to be able to bottle our own milk, make ice cream, make yogurt, and have some seasonal butters....but we have to learn to walk before we run. Taking on too much will be a recipe for disaster and we will have failed even before we have started.
We know we would like an educational component to our farm. We are exploring the possibility of tours both led and self-guided, experiences, and an on the farm store where we can educate and sell our products.
One of our other dreams is to bring other farmer’s along with us. Help them sell their products whether it be cheese, beef, apples, peaches, vegetables, eggs, etc. A place where people can come, spend time as a family and support their local farmer.
These are super tough times for all farmers and I feel like any exposure can help.
What are some things you think we can do? What products would you like to see offered? Would you come to visit the farm?
We also have some other things that have happened to us that I will be reflecting on soon.