Whoopsy Daisy Farm
About Rachel Hester
Rachel began farming with her husband Kyle when they purchased an abused, foreclosed 8-acre property in 2017. After the obligatory homestead entry poultry purchases, Rachel began to ponder the possibility of ruminants.
She had tasted sheep milk cheese while doing Missions work in Romania as a young adult, and so unlike most homesteaders contemplating goats or cows as dairy animals, she was intrigued by sheep. After researching dairy breeds and seeing how expensive and rare they were, she and Kyle assumed dairy sheep wouldn’t be possible for several years yet.
However In 2020 when everyone else hoarded toilet paper and pasta, she bought a pair of non-dairy breed sheep, stanchion trained them, milked them, and the rest is history. She and Kyle became acutely aware that working with the resources they had was more important than waiting for a specialized breed. As a result, they learned a lot about milk volumes, cream percentages, and the pros and cons of non-specialized breeds vs specialty breeds.
They now have a 20-head flock which includes dairy-specific sheep, dairy crosses, and critically endangered purebred Gulf Coast Native sheep. Their animals serve multiple purposes including dairy, fiber, meat, and breeding stock.
The Hester’s operate Whoopsy Daisy Farm in south central Kentucky where they seek to allow their sheep, milk cow, pigs, rabbits, chickens, geese, ducks, and bees to live in peace, harmony, and mutual benefit with one another. Their goal is to create an ecosystem that helps heal the land as well as peoples’ bodies and spirits during our crazy times.
Rachel has a passion for educating others on the numerous benefits of shepherding sheep, especially using them as a source of delicious dairy.
2024 Homesteaders of America Conference
TOPIC: Dairy Sheep
DATE: October 11-12, 2024