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Maola | Meet Your Farmer | Mt. Airy Dairy Farm

The Beckenstrater Family

Virginia

    • Virginia
    • The Beckenstrater Family
Meet Your Farmer

The Beckenstrater Family | Virginia

The Beckenstrater Family operate a third-generation farm in Virginia where they milk 150 Holstein cows. The brothers' grandfather first started dairy farming in Pennsylvania in the 1960s and the family had a dairy farm and their own milk processing plant called Chrome Dairy. In 1997, the family jumped on the opportunity to purchase their current farm and relocate to the Shenandoah Valley. For the past 15 years, their farm has shipped milk to Maola.

“We give all of our animals the highest quality of care,” Jimmy Beckenstrater said. All 130 of their cows are raised on beautiful pasture. Milking cows are housed in a free stall barn with straw-bedded stalls to keep them clean and comfortable.

Sustainability is paramount to Jimmy and his brothers. To help protect their land and water, they implement a variety of sustainability practices including no-till farming and maintaining ditch lines to slow down any sediment run-off. To protect the waterways, all animals are kept out of the streams and ponds, and the crop fields along streams have buffer zones to minimize any run-off into the water. The family also plants cover crops to help protect the soil during winter.

This multi-generational farm already has the next generation of farmers lending a helping hand. Jimmy’s two school-aged children love to help out on the farm. Both children are taking an interest in agriculture and are active in their school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) program. “My kids are learning a great deal in FFA and we learn from them too,” Jimmy said.

Their commitment to caring for their animals is evident in the high-quality milk they provide to their community. The family earned top recognition twice from Maola receiving the annual Milk Quality Award.

“The most rewarding part of dairy farming is having a farm that carries on my Grandfather’s dream and providing quality milk to the public,” Jimmy said.