Jenningston, WV – Kendra Waybright has been an entrepreneur from a very early age. As a homeschooled teenager, West Virginia native, and country girl, Kendra has been milking and tending to goats and cows since she was four years old. She has always loved making all-natural products, cultured food, herbal medicine, and healthy recipes for her and her family and has combined all of this into a business, Simply Natural, LLC. Kendra’s most recent venture is participating in a herdshare program. For the second year in a row, Simply Natural herdshares are now available to the public, but the herdshares are limited!
Kendra loves sharing her journey and knowledge of sustainable agriculture, natural health, self-sufficiency, living off the land and more. In 2020, “I purchased two pregnant twin Jersey heifers. I purchased them to produce milk for me and my family,” Kendra said. “Before they calved, I realized with two cows we were going to have a lot of extra milk! I heard about herdsharing, but I really didn’t know anything about it. I decided to do some research and I found that there was a large demand in our area and so I decided that it was something that I wanted to do.”
She used to raise goats, but now focuses on Jerseys. “I wanted to get Jersey cows because they are a relatively small breed, and are known for their high butterfat content, as well as being great mothers, having docile temperaments, and they have superior grazing abilities compared to other breeds of dairy cattle. Jersey cow milk has a higher protein content and is naturally higher in nutrients and vitamins compared to most other milks. As of right now, I have four Jersey cows.”
Imagine reaping the benefits of owning a cow without having to do all of the work? With a heardshare you can do just that. Owning a heardshare is like purchasing a membership or a “cow share”. It allows you to get raw milk from “your own cows” (which Kendra owns and tends) by making you a partial owner of her herd of cows. Because the direct sale of raw milk is illegal in the state of West Virginia, distribution of raw milk from off the farm is legal only through herdsharing. The concept is easy: a herdshare is the purchase of a milk interest in the herd in which one herdshare is one-twenty-fifth (1/25) or four percent (4.00%) of a cow, allowing the herdshare purchaser to receive raw milk according to their level of milk interest purchase.
The herdshare agreement requires a written agreement signed by all parties that must be filed with the West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture, and must be renewed annually. A buy-in fee and boarding fee must be paid at the time of initial contract signing. Kendra offers a half share, which has a buy-in fee of $20 and $15 per month boarding fee. This half share entitles the buyer to one half gallon of milk every week. A full share has a $20 buy-in fee and a $30 per month boarding fee. The full share entitles the buyer to one gallon of milk every week. Kendra’s raw milk is put into glass bottles that Simply Natural provides. Delivery is not available, so the milk must be picked up at a designated area. Each week participants bring their bottles back to be sterilized and reused.
Kendra even offers Farm Tours for shareholders. “When herdshare participants come on a tour they will get to see the cows that will be producing their milk, the milking parlor, etc. As I show them around the farm, I will explain the milking process in detail. A tour is for the shareholder only and is no extra charge,” she said. Farm Tours must be arranged in advance and by appointment only.
As an added bonus, her mother Marsha Waybright, who is property manager for the Laurel River Club B&B, offers a temporary herdshare only for guests of her B&B. “This allows guests to experience farm life on a whole new level,” said Marsha.”For a small fee, guests can buy a temporary herdshare, drink their own milk, and learn how to make butter or cheese or other dairy products while staying at LRC B&B. When they check out, their herdshare goes back to Simply Natural. The herdshare is a LRC B&B guest privilege that no one else gets offered.”
Due to state laws barring her from the direct sale of raw milk, “we do not serve any products to guests unless they have a herdshare and make products while they are here,” said Marsha. “They are taught to make their own products and are able to eat them while here. They also take the knowledge home with them.” She said it’s not only “a learning experience, but a way for some to bring back old memories of life on a farm with their grandparents, etc. It’s an experience you don’t find just anywhere. It’s pretty unique these days.” Make a reservation with Laurel River Club Bed and Breakfast to experience farm life at http://lrcbnb.com.
To learn more about Kendra’s Simply Natural herdshare program email her at email@example.com, visit her website at http://simplynaturalwv.com, or find her on Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/simplynaturalwestvirginia,
https://www.instagram.com/simply_natural_llc, or You Tube at Simply Natural West Virginia.
*All photos provided by Simply Natural, LLC.