Working Cows Dairy
In 1985, we Jan and Rinske de Jong, came to the land of opportunity, from Holland, with a dream to start a dairy of our own. We started "Working Cows Dairy" in October 1985. We milked 180 cows for a dairy farmer in COttondale Florida and for that we could use his barn and 40 acres. We leased 55 cows, with the $ 5,000 we had saved in Holland and started milking 20 hours a day. In the spring of 1986 Jan planted watermelons on part of the land and had a fruitstand on Hwy 231. We stayed on this place for 2 years and left with 29 cows to a rented place in Grand-Ridge Florida. There we had three boys; Jonny, Mendy and Ike. We worked our way up from 29 cows to years later 220 cows. We moved again to the place we are now located in June 1991.
For 15 years we had a commercial dairy farm, milking as much as 700 cows 3 times a day. The more we thought about what we where doing, the less happy we where, with what we where doing.
GOING ORGANIC, QUITE AN ADVENTURE!
In July 2006 we decided to go organic. We were tired of the milk price roller coaster. The 2006 milk price was the same as in 1976. Going Organic will give us a more level milk price and a product we can one day sell ourselves.
It will take 3 years for us to be CERTIFIED ORGANIC.
First, our fields cannot be sprayed with chemicals, pesticides or herbicides and we are not allowed to use commercial fertilizers. This process will take 3 years. Secound, the cows must become certified. After being 2 years deep into the transition period our cows will go through their change. They will be fed all organic feed and also be treated with organic "medicine".
With the help of our boys, in 2010, we started a bottling plant: Alabama's Organic Dairy Products, on the farm. We are now selling Grade A pasteurized milk.
So now we are back to being a family owned and operated dairy farm in Southeast Alabama. We milk 151 cows (25 need to have a calf in the next couple of months) 2 times a day on a 48 stall carousel milking barn. Our cows are roaming the fields for their food (grass). In the summer time the cows can come in and get cooled down by sprinklers and fans and lay on their waterbeds.
We grow our own hay and grass silage. In order to be self-efficient, we have a growning crop in the ground all year round.
Mission and Vision
Our mission at AODP is to satisfy the demanding taste buds of the Southeast with delectable, local, organic dairy products. Our vision is to become the premier processor of the finist organic dairy products in the Southeast while maintaining our key principils as we move forward.