Neshoba Central teacher Priscilla Lee, right, helps her students feed milk to a baby calf at Beason Family Farm. Clockwise, from left, are Haley Eakes, Claydi Willis, Marshall Miles, Lee, Jacob Goodwin and Delilah Crocker.
Neshoba Central teacher Priscilla Lee, right, helps her students feed milk to a baby calf at Beason Family Farm. Clockwise, from left, are Haley Eakes, Claydi Willis, Marshall Miles, Lee, Jacob Goodwin and Delilah Crocker.
After being open for only a few months, Beason Family Farm in the Fork community is producing 45 gallons of milk a day with the whole family having a role in the operation.

The milk is sold not only on the farm but also in several area grocery stores.

The farm is owned by Shelby and Marlo Beason, who are fortunate to have lots of help from their children: Micaela, Cole and Landon.

"We graze the cows as much as possible," Marlo said. "We milk them twice a day, three at a time."

The idea to open a dairy farm came a year ago. They tossed around the idea and after visiting a farm in Oxford, they reached a decision.

The family broke ground in March and by August had finished construction. They currently have nine Jersey cows to milk.

"As sales grow we'll add more cows for production," Shelby said. "It's easy to add but you don't want to get over as we are permitted for 50 cows."

They've even got the kids involved.

"The kids have chores and do their part," Shelby said. "A family growing up on a farm is good."

Even 5-year-old Landon is involved, helping water the bulls and calves and even sitting at the counter and asking people if they "want some milk," said Marlo.

The Beasons' operation can produce 45 gallons of milk a day, five gallons from each cow.

Shelby noted the decision to use Jersey cows was made because the breed is smaller but more efficient. They also produce a higher quality milk, i.e. higher in fat, protein and nutrients.

"They are also easier on the environment and easy to clean up after," he said.

Shelby described the process as going from the cow to the bottle.

The process begins with milking the cows. Then the raw milk is transported to a storage container that holds up to 250 gallons.

The milk is then moved to the pasteurization process, which involves 50 to 100 gallons of milk being processed at 145 degrees.

This is also when the cocoa, sugar and other ingredients are added to make chocolate milk, noted Marlo.

"The chocolate milk has been a big hit," she said. "We sell as much as we can."

The Beasons also sell reduced fat (2 percent fat) and whole milk (4 percent fat).

They noted that their milk is non-homogenized.

This type of milk can be determined by its cream line at the top of the bottle. It has to be shaken before poured.

Marlo said that non-homogenized was better for cakes and recipes.

"It is also better for those who are lactose intolerant," she said.

Both Shelby and Marlo said they were happy with their operation.

"We're taking grass and producing food," Marlo said. "We take pride in this."

Currently Beason Family Farm milk can be purchased at a few businesses, including Williams Brothers, Vowell's Marketplace on East Main Street, Piggly Wiggly in Union and Cater's Market in Meridian.

"It's slow at first but it will pick up," Shelby said. "The more people know and try it, the more popular it gets."

The milk can also be purchased at the farm, located at the Beason's home at 10141 Road 1343 in Philadelphia, at any time of day.

"We've even had someone call at 9 p.m. asking if we were open," Marlo said.

Prices for milk are $6 for a gallon, $4 for a half-gallon, $1.50 for a pint and $4 for a pint of cream.