Located off a quiet country road, at first glance dk Farm seems like it’s a bit off the beaten path. This farm, however, has hundreds of fans, followers and customers, thanks to social media and some creative storytelling from owner Kimberly Lovelace.
Kimberly has been operating her diverse, 25-acre farm in Walnut Grove, Mo., since 2013, with the help of her husband, Dale. She started out with just a few critters, but as most farmers know, “the animals multiply fast,” she said.
Today, dk Farm is home to rabbits, chickens and other poultry, pigs, cattle and dairy goats.
Each of Kimberly’s animals plays a significant role on her farm. Her pigs – a combination of Duroc, Yorkshire and Old Spot breeds – are bred and raised for live sales and for meat.
Some of the pork Kimberly raises is used for farm family consumption, and she will also sell whole and half sides of pork to the public.
Her Old Spot boar is also available for stud service. The dk Farm cattle are also sold on the hoof, or as wholes and halves. The herd got its start from five dairy heifer calves Kimberly purchased shortly after moving onto the farm that she bottle fed. Her breeding bull is a black Angus and the resulting calves are half beef and half dairy crosses. A variety of poultry breeds – Buff Orpingtons, Sussex and Cornish, to name a few – also call the farm home.
Their main jobs are to function as pest control and, of course, to lay eggs. Kimberly uses the eggs in her home kitchen, sells them by the dozen, and also gathers and sells hatching eggs for specific breeds.
The 12-head dk dairy goat herd (Lamancha, Nigerian Dwarf and other dairy breeds) contributes to the value-added products Kimberly sells off the farm. She milks twice a day, and the resulting milk is used to make a variety of farmer’s cheeses (basic, unripened white cheese that is made by pressing cottage cheese curds) and numerous scents of goat milk soap, as well as being bottled fresh for drinking and baking. The billy goats are also part of the dk stud service Kimberly offers.
One of the more unique species of livestock Kimberly raises is pedigreed Californian (also known as California White) rabbits. While the primary role for the rabbits is meat, some of the rabbits that Kimberly has sold have gone on to make appearances in the show ring due to their good genetics and breeding.
Even though most of these animals never leave the farm, they have dozens upon dozens of fans. Through her dk Farm Facebook page, Kimberly offers her more than 1,000 followers a glimpse into the daily life of farming – and all the ups and downs that go with it. With names like Kermit, Stinky, Miss Piggy, Big Donna and Blondie, it’s easy to see how the dk critters win people over! Kimberly, through her social media platform, shares the stories of piglets being born, catching early morning sunrises while milking, customers trying their first jar of fresh goat milk, and farm dogs bonding with new baby goat kids.
She also shares the hard, frustrating and often dirty side of farming, always with an irresistible sense of humor – cow/calf pairs wandering off, goats coming to the milk stand with an udder injury, or untimely equipment repairs that must be made.
In the future, Kimberly has plans to expand her turkey operation, and she hopes to continue increasing her on-farm sales, and keep building more and more relationships with her community through her social storytelling.