This week between Christmas and New Year’s is always a time when I enjoy reflecting back on the past year. What have I learned, what have I experienced, and what am I glad to have in the past? Here’s a look at a few highlights at Jako Farm in 2020.

Last January when a bill was proposed to make raw milk sales illegal in Kansas, YOU showed up and helped us fight for our raw milk freedoms. THANK YOU for all the phone calls and letters that were sent to state representatives. Many offices said they received more phone calls in support of raw milk than for any previously proposed bill, period. (The bill was scheduled to go to the state senate floor in March when the pandemic shut everything down, so the law was never changed. We hope this agenda does not resurface next year.)

We started off the year by adding another little farmer to our family. Aaron was born at the farm on January 9th, 2020. He has added such joy to our lives in 2020!

We introduced HipCamp to the farm! We recognize the honor and opportunity of caring for this land and we want to find ways to share Jako Farm with others. We loved meeting those who camped here at the silo. Many kiddos had their first camping experience here, people who grew up on dairy farms enjoyed the nostalgic sound of the milker turning on at 6 am, and many others simply enjoyed the peace and quiet of a farm.

Remember the story of the little wood ducks who showed up in the milking parlor one morning? We raised them until they were old enough to fend for themselves and then released them at the river.

After 10 years of officially working here at the farm, Kendra transitioned to working with her husband at their business, King Solar. We are so grateful to have had Kendra’s creativity and artistic skills around for as long as we did. The good news is that she’s part of the family and you’ll still see her around the farm for special events.

Kiss the Ground was finally released! This beautiful film highlights how regenerative agriculture is a way to use the planet’s own natural systems to rebalance our climate. There IS a way leave a healthy planet for my children and future grandchildren. It is available on Vimeo for $1 or I have two DVD copies that I’d love to loan you!

We never planned to remodel our milking facilities in the midst of a pandemic, but here we are! Last week we poured our tenth and final load of concrete and set the new gates. This picture shows the holding pen where the cows will gather before milking and the area under the rafters is where we will milk the cows. No longer must the cows navigate steps! Fortunately, construction is moving along well and we’re on schedule to be up and going in April.

This year I took on the role of writing the emails to you. Kendra, and Ken before her, left some big shoes to fill! I love having the opportunity to be your farmer and share with you what’s happening on the farm. This has been an unusual year for all of us and we look forward to the hope of a new year. We are particularly excited for the day when we can once again host events on the farm! No matter what this next year holds, we will continue to be your farmers and we are glad to serve you and your family.

Happy New Year!