Yeandle Farms - Jeff Yeandle and Bob Gilroy
Yeandle Farms, a family farm located near Woodstock, Ontario, is run by Jeff Yeandle and brother-in-law Bob Gilroy. The farm has been producing organic milk since June, 2005, after completing a mandatory four-year organic transition phase. The Yeandles' herd of 65 Holstein cows is rotationally grazed on fresh grass from April to October, and fed a diet of hay, barley and corn in the winter months.
In 2000, the Yeandle cows were experiencing a variety of health problems. After attending organic seminars, the Yeandles found a close relationship between the soil and cow health, something not commonly talked about in conventional farming circles. By focusing more on quality soils and feed, they found less need for antibiotics, chemical fertilizers, herbicides and sprays and, by eliminating these inputs, they realized that producing organic milk was within their reach.
Since their organic conversion, Jeff and Bob have found that their animals’ immune systems have been much more responsive. “In the past, sick calves required our time and money. Now it seems they have stronger immune systems and are able to respond to illness on their own,” says Bob.
The Yeandle's careful decision-making earned them a nomination for the 2007 Oxford Agricultural Federation Conservation Tillage Award of Excellence.
To learn more about Jeff and Bob and their organic dairy herd visit Le Cooperateur agricole - April 2011 edition.