Alleluia Acres Heritage Farm
by Ahna Frye
October 24, 2023
While some commercial dairies across the country tragically close their doors, becoming a micro-dairy has quite literally saved our farm.
Early last year (2022) we unexpectedly lost my dad. He was a driving force on our farm and helped us build things here from the ground up. Adjusting to doing life without him was hard, and we debated selling out multiple times. Our meat sales were down, our breeding stock was getting older and the thought of fewer chores to do each day was mighty appealing. In the midst of our struggles, God showed us a need in our community.
A few months before my dad passed away, he traveled with us to Florida to purchase our first dairy cow. We never had intentions of owning dairy cattle, but our oldest son had just turned one year old and we wanted to provide him with fresh milk. Shortly after bringing that first girl home and posting about her on social media, we had a slew of customers asking if we would begin selling milk. And so began our journey to becoming a raw micro-dairy.
Our operation looks much different now than it did just 18 months ago. We still produce pork, eggs and raw milk soap, but now also provide raw pet milk to 75 families a week with even more on an ever-growing waitlist. The state of Alabama doesn’t allow raw milk sales for human consumption, so we produce raw pet milk for our customers under our state issued commercial pet food license. That one girl has grown to a small herd of ten Guernsey cows, and we hope to soon be the only registered breeder of Guernsey cattle in the state.
Branching into the world of dairy has also allowed the farm to grow in ways we didn’t expect. In September we began our first ever semester of Farm School, which is a series of lessons on the farm for elementary aged kids. Each lesson gives them hands-on experience with a specific breed, product or aspect about our operation. So far getting to hand milk one of the Guernsey’s has been the biggest hit! Today’s society is so far removed from our food sources. Farm School has been a great opportunity to educate the next generation and hopefully inspire some future farmers!
We have plans to grow into other forms of agritourism next year as well including field trips, farm classes for adults and maybe even a few adult only events. You’ll have to stay tuned, because God isn’t done with our farm yet!