Brazil Family Farm
The Brazil Family Farm, or Lakeside Dairy, is owned by brothers Will and John Brazil. They joined Straus Family Creamery’s group of family-farm organic milk suppliers in the Fall of 2012. Will and John run the farm together with their sister Connie. The operation currently hosts an organic herd of 146 milking cows, 17 dry cows and 62 heifers, which they plan to of build up to 280 milking cows. The picturesque farm is nestled in rolling hills on 1,200 acres of pastureland near Petaluma.
The land that is today’s home of the Brazil Family Farm has been in dairy farming since the 1800s. Back then, the Jewell family bought the 5,500 acres of land, parcel by parcel with gold and recorded it in old county records, which can be viewed to this day.
In 1954, Will and John’s father, Joseph F. Brazil, bought the land from the Guglielmetti family, who had owned the property since 1904. After that, the Brazil Family started to root on this idyllic piece of land, which is flanked by the beautiful Laguna Lake. Siblings Will, John, and Connie are the third generation of Brazils, to follow in their ancestors’ footsteps when taking over management of the farm in the mid 1970s.
Working with Straus Family Creamery
Faced with dropping and volatile prices for milk on the conventional market, the siblings first discussed the idea of going organic 6-7 years ago, and decided to make the move in early 2012. Selling off their conventional dairy herd was not easy, according to Will, as their herd had been built over generations and bred for health and quality. “You get to know them,” he says of the cows in the herd. “And you take good care of them. If you push a cow too hard, you lose her.”
This philosophy is well in line with organic dairy practices, which put a strong emphasis on prevention of disease and minimizing stress. After completing the organic-certification process and purchasing a new organic herd, the Brazils successfully transitioned to organic in November of 2012. We are happy to welcome them at Straus Family Creamery as the seventh family in the group of dairy suppliers.