Henk and Yellie Postmus

Erath County, Texas

The Postmus family

The Postmus family

Markye and Lisa take a pasture walk.

Markye and Lisa take a pasture walk.

Cow caviar!

Cow caviar!

A bird's eye view of the farm

A bird's eye view of the farm

Yellie calls her family “adventurers,” and that’s not surprising considering their history. In 1998, Henk and Yellie Postmus decided to leave Henk’s family’s dairy in Holland and move with their two daughters, Tina and Maryke, to Texas, where it would be cheaper and easier for them to start on their own. Tina and Maryke have since been joined by a third sister, American-born Lisa. “She is the foreigner in our family,” laughs Yellie, “the only American.”

Dublin, the official Irish-capital of Texas, was a strange place for the Dutch family to settle. The flat land of Erath County is home to people who come together in Dublin to celebrate the history of the world’s oldest Dr. Pepper bottling plant (from 1891 until 2012) and play cow-pasture golf in honor of famous golfer Ben Hogan, a onetime local.

Both Henk and Yellie had come from farming families. They hoped to continue in the dairy business in Texas. Henk became interested in organic dairying after participating in some pasture walks in Missouri that practiced New Zealand-style grazing. Always up for a challenge, the Postmus family decided to try to start an organic dairy.

In 2007, they bought their organic dairy, which is now home to 500 Jersey cows, plus youngstock, that roam over 840 acres of pasture. Excess grass from the pasture is chopped and stored as haylage.

Henk , Yellie, Tina, Maryke and two full-time employees run the dairy. They milk twice a day, which takes three and a half hours each time. The pastures are divided into 20 pie-slice-shaped pastures, with the barn and parlor located in the center of the “pie.” The 500 cows are split into two groups and rotated to new grass every day.

Was anyone in the family hesitant to begin an organic dairy? “If I am honest,” Yellie admits, “I was reluctant. See, I do all the paperwork, so when my husband first started talking about it, I was like, eh, I don’t want to do that. I don’t need more paperwork. Later on I realized it was the right decision. I’m glad we did it.

“The organic dairy opened our eyes. We drink our own organic milk now, we have our own chickens, and I try to buy organic food when I can.

“We like how relaxed the organic dairy is. Everyone gets to have a part in all the different aspects of the farm. We like having fewer cows and having them on grass.

 

“When you move to a totally new country, it teaches you a lot in life,” Yellie continues. “We believe the best attitude is: We may not succeed, but we are at least going to try. We succeeded with the organic dairy and we really like it.” 

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