24 Jun Beason Family Farm
God’s Plan for Me
My name is Marlo Beason, and I am co-owner of Beason Family Farm. Growing up I always thought I knew what I wanted, but fortunately God had other plans for me. I have enjoyable memories of my grandparents gardening and having cows. That was about the extent of the farming around me. As a youth, then young adult, I was a high-maintenance fashion police cheerleader with a little country in me. I never dreamed that my bachelor’s degree in business and marketing was going to be used to sell milk. (I had a dress shop in mind.) I’m so glad that God knew better.
My husband, Shelby, and I have three kids-Cole, Micaela, and Landon. We live in Neshoba County where we have a small dairy operation, beef cows, and do custom hay harvesting. I can’t imagine any better place to raise kids than on the farm. “The outside of an animal is good for the inside of a child.”
My husband had shown jerseys in 4-H and loved the jersey breed. They are some of the prettiest and most docile dairy cows that also produce a higher protein and fat content milk. Our kids had begun showing jerseys in 4-H so we played with the idea of starting a dairy for a couple of years before we took the plunge. We started building the dairy barn March 2012 and by September 2012, we were selling milk.
Our small dairy operation consists of a cow coming in the back of the barn and a finished product leaving in front of the barn. We milk the cows, process, bottle, and distribute all on our farm. We milk only registered jersey cows that are primarily grass fed. We milk the cows twice a day everyday, rain or shine, even on Christmas! Cows do not take a day off. We get started at 7:30 AM and again at 7:30 PM, each milking from clean up to finish taking about two hours. We pasteurize and bottle between milkings daily. Our products are sold in approximately 35 locations. Our deliveries are Monday – Friday. We stop at most all locations once a week and some places twice a week. We produce whole milk, reduced fat milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk, and cream. We serve restaurants and grocery stores in the central part of the state delivering as far west as Jackson, as far east as Meridian, as far north as Starkville, and as far south as Magee with a lot of places in between.
I think people need to realize how essential agriculture is, and being part of a great organization like Farm Bureau helps us to educate the public. I’ve never understood why athletes, movie stars, and music artists are so celebrated, when we have troops defending our country, and farmers providing food for us. Tom Villsack, Secretary of Agriculture, said it better than anyone else at National Farm Bureau Convention explaining how he was three generations removed from the farm. If you were to explain farmer in one word, it would be “freedom”. In other words, farmers provide food security so people can choose to follow their individual dreams to be whatever they want to be. This is a cause for celebration.
Our dairy operation not only provides for us financially, but also rewards us spiritually and emotionally. The smiles and expressions on kids’ faces as they realize where milk comes from as they watch it pump through the glass lines, hearing a child say their field trip to the farm is better than Disney World, parents telling us that their child has only drank our milk, or an elderly person explaining that our milk reminds them of how good milk tasted when they were growing up tells us we are supported and appreciated. It’s the little things that make our hard work meaningful. It has been a challenge with a lot of hard work while facing the skepticism of people looking at us like we are crazy. We may be a little crazy, but it has worked for us. We went from 8 cows to 35 cows in milk with a total herd of 70 including young heifers and dry cows. Thirteen hundred gallons of milk are produced and distributed weekly. Now, almost four years later, we feel so blessed.
Our business is called Beason Family Farm for a reason. It takes a family working together – kids, parents, and siblings all helping out when needed. I just wish my grandparents could be here now enjoying this farm life with me.