Kyle and Keedie L. made the decision to start a dairy farm in 1999 so that they could raise their children on a family farm. They named their farm Colebelle after their two children Cole and Isabelle. Today both are actively involved on the farm and continuing the family farming legacy Kyle and Keedie established almost two decades ago.
The 120 cows at Colebelle Farm live in a free stall barn, where they have the freedom to move about as they please, and have access to sand-bedded stalls for resting. They also have the opportunity to graze on pasture every day. The family is focused on producing the highest quality milk, and Kyle attributes bedding stalls with sand as a key to their success. Kyle believes that, “You have to make a commitment to producing quality milk and take pride in what you send up the road; if it is not a priority it won’t happen.”
Kyle and Keedie encouraged both Isabelle and Cole to get involved and stay active in leadership organizations, including roles in 4-H, FFA, the National Holstein Association and dairy promotion.
Their daughter, Isabelle has been involved in promoting milk and dairy products since she was nine years old. “I soon realized that the farm life I was lucky to have wasn’t the normal childhood of most of my classmates,” said Isabelle. “As a dairy farmer’s daughter, I am in a unique position. I still get the production agriculture experience of helping milk and feed calves, but in general I have more free time than my dad, or any full time dairy farmer,” noted Isabelle. “This means that while my dad is busy producing nature’s most perfect drink, I have the time to advocate for it.”
With this in mind, Isabelle has cultivated connections with her community through social media, hosting farm tours, and interviewing with local media outlets to share her experience and their family farm’s story.
Their son Cole is equally passionate about the dairy industry and agriculture. He works part-time on the family farm and he also attends Virginia Tech. Cole is interested in animal genetics and improving the on-farm breeding program for better quality producing animals.
Kyle and Keedie feel blessed that their children’s interests are so rooted in the family farm that they established back in 1999.