Yak Ridge provides an agricultural setting that allow visitors to learn about growing and raising fresh, healthy, and delicious food. The acreage includes a small herd of Himalayan yaks along with honey bee hives, produce, free-range chickens, and the natural flora and fauna of the Black Hills. Owners Julie and Jim have been supporters of local foods for many years, and their agricultural roots grow deep in the state. Generations of homesteaders have given them a love of the South Dakota way of life, from farm to table.

Tours of the farmstead are available throughout the year and can be scheduled most, but not all, Mondays at 5pm (4pm November thru March) and Thursdays at 8:30am. If you are interested in touring the farmstead during your stay, please contact Julie as soon as possible after making your reservations and at least 48 hours in advance. For the safety of our guests and the safety of our animals, visitors are not permitted on the farmstead unless accompanied by Yak Ridge owners.

Himalayan Yaks

Farmstead-Yak-Bull

Himalayan Yaks in South Dakota?

We are proud of our small herd of Himalayan yaks! We chose yaks for a variety of reasons surrounding sustainability. Yaks are very efficient and have one of the best feed-to-weight-gain ratios for meat animals, resulting in fewer emissions and less environmental impact. Yaks are multipurpose and can be raised to produce meat, fiber, and milk as well as be used for packing. Our yaks are grass fed and enjoy local organic hay, yielding healthy, low fat, and delicious meat. Yaks have been domesticated for more than 5,000 years and make for friendly and entertaining pasture pets. We can’t imagine life without yaks! Guests can schedule a tour and enjoy observing our yaks.

Chickens

Farmstead-Olive-the-Hen

What farm isn’t complete without chickens?

Our lively ladies are busy laying farm fresh eggs year-round. These happy hens spend their days free-ranging on the farmstead. We also provide them with organic feed and organic grain from South Dakota farmers. In the winter, they are treated to sprouted organic grain from South Dakota. Nearly twenty varieties of chickens call Yak Ridge home. They produce delicious and healthy eggs in a variety of sizes and in a rainbow colors, ranging from white, to brown, blue, green, terra cotta, and rose. They also contribute to the health of the farmstead by eating insect pests and providing nourishing manure which produces compost for our gardens.

Honey Bees

Farmstead--honey-comb

What’s the buzz?

Our honeybees are beneficial for so many reasons.  They produce the most delicious floral honey from wildflowers growing on our property and on the thousands of acres on the adjacent Black Hills National Forest. We are dedicated to being good stewards of the land and Mother Nature’s creatures. In return, our bees produce hundreds of pounds of natural honey each year for us to enjoy and share. They also serve to pollinate local trees and shrubs generating increased fruit for birds and other wildlife. Guests will likely see our bees buzzing about and can learn more about bees and honey production by scheduling a farm tour.

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