We recently interviewed Kyle and Serena Jeffers to learn more about IronRodeo Acres, our newest MILK vendor!
Prescott Farmers Market: Tell us about your farm and how long you have lived in Arizona?
The Jeffers: We have been in Chino Valley for the past 10 years. IronRodeo Acres began right here with our first Jersey cow – Shore (Jersey Shore) the cream of the crop as far as dairy cows go. Today, even though we’ve grown & become certified Grade A, we’re still proud to carry on the same values and traditions that we began with 8 years ago when we opened for business. We continue to produce milk from our cows, with high standards of cow care and humane treatment.
What kind of milk do you sell at your booth?
For the market we offer both Pasteurized and Raw.
How long have you been a vendor at PFM?
We have sold our milk through the market for this past month, all via online ordering due to COVID-19. We look forward to the time we can set up and sell out of a booth as well and get to meet our customers face to face.
How do your products differ from store-bought milk?
It’s about more than our farm fresh deliciousness! At IronRodeo Acres we don’t just produce the best-tasting dairy products. We also produce them sustainably, preserving the purity and all-natural goodness inside every bottle. That’s our promise to you and it hasn’t changed since our beginning, in 2012.
Tell us about how you get ready for the market.
First we milk the cows! Then we pour the amount of RAW milk that’s been ordered into our VAT pasteurizer. Pasteurizing takes about 2 hours to process. Then we load our bottle washer with 20 jars per cycle and sanitize all the jars, then pour the milk. Top each jar with a lid while pouring hands free, date the lids, load in ice chests and top them off with ice and bring them to Prescott Farmers Market. There’s a lot more that goes into the process, especially cleaning-there’s lots of cleaning and sanitizing. Ask us for the details of the entire process sometime!
What’s special about your business?
It’s our cows! We get asked all the time why we’re so darn proud of our Jersey cows. It’s true that they don’t produce the same quantity of milk of larger breeds (say Holstein, for example), but they do provide an exceptional quality of milk higher in calcium and protein as well as milk solids that help give the milk its rich, creamy texture.
You can taste the difference a Jersey cow makes, too, in all products, including Raw or Pasteurized milks, yogurts, butter and ice cream. That’s why it’s a special breed of cow that dairy farmers covet. In fact, many retired farmers say that even though they’ve milked other breeds, they always keep at least one Jersey for their own family.
What are your plans for the future?
Honestly, the sky is the limit! We would love to have the ability to make many more dairy products such as ice cream, yogurt, kefir, butter, and cheese.
What is your favorite market memory?
In our second week of being at the market, we sold an extra 30 jars of Pasteurized milk to help fill donated boxes given to households who are unable to work during the stay at home order.
What is your favorite product to buy from another PFM vendor?
It’s difficult to choose just one product or one vendor. We really enjoy products from Ridgeview, they are so delicious!
Do you vend at any other markets? Prescott Farmers Market is the only market we sell at; however, we also sell from our farm.
Do you have a “fun fact” to share? All our milk is Cream-Top Milk, it is non-homogenized so the cream separates naturally and rises to the top. The cream can be mixed back in by shaking the container gently. Or you can scoop the cream out for your recipes or butter. It’s pretty delicious, especially with a little sugar sprinkled on top of it for your coffee. Give it a try!
Do you have a final message to our PFM customers? We love what we do and cherish everyone that appreciates our goods!! Remember to wash your bottle out well and return it back to the market so that we can sanitize and reuse it. Our aim is Zero Waste, it’s so much better than filling the landfills with plastic jugs!
How can we find you on social media?
You can find us on Facebook. Make sure to follow us to keep up on what’s happening on the farm.