We had the good fortune of connecting with Shona Brinkerhoff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shona, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
A strong work ethic is definitely at the core of our business. Our family comes from a long line of hard-working, blue-collar people on both sides. It is something we have always been proud to do and proud to instill in our own children. Without it, you won’t get far. The other would be attention to detail. When producing and handling raw foods “The devil is in the detail’s” For sure. There is a process for everything from start to finish and nothing can be brushed over, forgot, or guessed on. From the measurements of cleaning the equipment to the time of day, the Girls are milked. Everything matters.
What should our readers know about your business?
We are 100% pasture grazed. Our cows graze on grass 365 days a year on our farm. We grow our grass and hay so nothing is ever outsourced and we know where everything comes from, transparency is a key factor in everything we do. Farming is a labor of love. You have to love what you do and have a passion for it. Nothing worth having is ever easy, the hours are endless, the work is straining, & nothing is a quick fix. Rather it is dealing with sick/wounded animals, broken machinery, customer service, etc., there is no time to pull yourself together when you are dealing with animals that must be maintained and cared for no matter the cost or the solution. It may not be the one that you have practiced as usual, but you still have to keep moving. This is the life we chose & failing is not an option. This is also carried through to our family life. You choose to be who you want to be, you may not always get to choose your path, but your end destination and how you lead your life is up to you. Our brand is our family, our customers, & our partnerships.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Our family is from Coolidge, AZ and even though we are technically a City, Coolidge thrives on our Small Town way of living, Tag’s Restaurant in Coolidge, AZ is the best ma and pa diner in AZ. Food is local when possible and the vibe is a family, community atmosphere.
When looking to for fun, great food, events & Food Trucks in the Greater Phoenix, Peoria, Glendale areas we look to Get Local Arizona Events-All the best markets in the valley, with a farm-to-table vendor list, local artisans from all over AZ, Freshest produce, Raw Milk, and Grass-fed Meat sources.
If you are planning a wedding or just looking for an unforgettable venue, Nardini Manor Events- This Venue is Stunning! Complete with lush hedge maze, beautiful courtyards, & unspeakable views.
Our favorite Butcher & Meat Market is Arcadia Meat Market. Family-Owned & Operated, Arcadia is stocked with local, quality, Grass-Fed Meat, & a variety of locally sourced must-haves for your kitchen, bone broth, eggs, bread, cheeses, etc. Fun, friendly, and energetic atmosphere.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Honestly, our family as a whole would be the most general answer. Our Entire family is everything to us and rather they work on the farm or just support us on our journey they are a big part of who we are.
On a more specific spectrum Our Customers, Host Homes, & Partnerships is a huge part of our success. Our Customers are our biggest Fans & Family, and in the “The Clean, Traditional Eating” world, word of mouth is key. Our Host Homes serve as pick-up locations where stores are not available and to offer to their home to us and others is a blessing, not only to us but to so many customers as well. Our Partnerships also kind of fall under family. We are very particular about where we stock our Milk. Raw Milk can be controversial to some and is important that the Partnerships that we choose are knowledgeable about our product and have like-minded beliefs & practices in their own field. We are local and we believe in supporting local, so it is not likely you would find us in big name stores that are corporately operated. We want to be where our customers are.
Personally speaking, my husband is the backbone of our Farm & Family. How he manages to get everything to do all that he does, will always be a mystery to me. He is a Realtor, a Custom Home Builder, Farmer, Dad, Husband, & Mentor, One job has never been the norm for him. Our family has always been in Cattle, but Dairy was a new venture for us and we knew that our family would need to be on board or it wouldn’t work. While farming is our life, school, family/community involvement must fit in somewhere to tie it all together. Sometimes it makes things hard to get to or commit to, we work around our cow’s schedule for sure. Our daughter Emillia, is our calf manager and the growth, expansion, and health of our up & coming herd are in her hands. Our middle son Brodee, in addition to his full time job and Godson Johan milk, and take care of the farm in general, alongside my husband of course. Farming is definitely a passion for us. We love what we do. It is not always easy, convenient, but in our eyes and hearts, it is always worth it.