Jessica and Steven Alsobrook of Alsobrook Farms are poultry farmers in LaFayette, Georgia.
The Alsobrooks own two chicken houses where they raise broilers for Pilgrim’s Pride.
In the beginning…
Since he was young, Steven knew he wanted to raise chickens. He grew up on a chicken farm and his grandfather owned a four broiler chicken houses. It was just a matter of time until he could realize his life-long dream.
Jessica’s story is a little different; chicken houses are a whole new world for her and, at first, she wasn’t very excited about the thought of owning and working her own. “I actually tried to pray us out of this for eight years,” she said. “And then it just happened. The timing was right. Everything made sense.”
What changed for Jessica was an alteration of her mindset. Instead of thinking of herself first, she started thinking of her children first. “We had to give up a mindset of ‘me, me, me,’ and look to the future of what we wanted,” she said. “And that was land to run for our kids.”
Help from Farm Credit
When Jessica and Steven were just getting started, they turned to AgGeoriga Farm Credit for support. What they found wasn’t just a financial institution looking to make a loan and push them out the door. Instead, Jessica and Steven found a family.
“Since this process started, gradually every single day, AgGeorgia became a family to us. They really, truly became a family,” Jessica said.
The relationship with their loan officer and the other staff at AgGeorgia made all the difference for the Alsobrooks. “If something goes wrong, if we don't know a step, all we have to do is make a phone call,” Jessica said.
While working with AgGeorgia, it became obvious to Jessica that their priority wasn’t the bottom line, but instead, how they could support rural communities and agriculture. “AgGeorgia has an agenda across the board: what are they going to do to improve Georgia agriculture?” Jessica said. “Why wouldn't you want to work with somebody supporting your home state?”
Part of something bigger
Despite her hesitancy to get into the broiler chicken business, today, when Jessica thinks about life on the farm, she can’t help but smile. “We love farm life down to its very core,” she said.
Farming for Jessica is more than raising chickens and turning a profit, it’s about feeding people. “When I walked through those chicken houses, I feel an overwhelming sense of, 'Do you realize how many people you're about to feed?' That’s huge,” she said.