Wes Jarrell and Leslie Cooperband are the proud owners of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. In 2003, we moved from an urban and academic life in Madison, Wisconsin to Champaign-Urbana Illinois. Through great friends and serendipity, we found our home and small farm just outside of town. That first year, we planted all of the land previously in cash grain (about 5 acres) with a lush cover crop of buckwheat to begin restoring our prairie soil. In 2004, we planted over 350 fruit trees and 600 berry plants AND purchased our first four Nubian goats (three does and one buck).
In August of 2005, we received our licenses for our Grade A goat dairy and farmstead creamery. Since then, we have expanded our herd to 70 milkers and installed a pipeline milking parlor with a 14-doe stantion. We have also expanded our working acreage with an 8-acre pasture, a 5-acre hay field and a 2-acre restored prairie to the east of our original 7 acres. All of these changes move us along the path to greater sustainability.