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Poultry Farmer Spotlight, Fall 2021 Issue

"Leaving Orlando for the Poultry Life"

For many people, the prospect of packing up their family and moving to a different state, while simultaneously launching a new career and starting their own business, would be cause for stress. But Yeni Cordero is doing all of that, and she describes the experience not with trepidation but rather with the giddy excitement of a schoolgirl about to meet a favorite pop idol. “It’s a new adventure!” she exclaims.

Yeni and her husband, Yendrys Rodriguez, are selling their house in Orlando, Fla., leaving solid jobs there—hers in health care and his in trucking—and taking their two boys to north Georgia, where they have bought a poultry farm. They will operate four broiler houses for Pilgrim's Pride in Dalton, Ga., north of Atlanta near the Tennessee border.

Yeni and Yendrys are quintessential examples of the American immigrant success story, having settled in Florida after immigrating from Cuba, and establishing themselves in their careers and as homeowners. Married for 15 years, they are parents of two sons: Raylan, age 13, and Bradley, age 8.

They always had their eye on another part of the American Dream—being in business for yourself. And the pieces began to fall together after Yeni and Yendrys visited his sister in Georgia, who herself had bought a six-house poultry farm and loved the business. “When we visited her, we fell in love,” Yeni recalls. “We’d always dreamed of having our own business, being able to spend more time with family.” But part of their journey toward entrepreneurship in poultry farming involved a higher power.

“If this is something for us, God is going to show us,” Yeni remembers thinking. “I said, ‘God, if you think this is the best thing for our family, then help us find the right farm.”

Within just a few days after the visit to Yendrys’s sister’s farm, Yeni did a search on the internet and at the top of the results she discovered American Poultry Company and a particular four house farm in Georgia.

The farm looked so perfect that she was sure it would be sold already. But she checked with American Poultry Company and was delighted to learn it was indeed still available. An in-person visit sealed the deal. “We fell in love with that place,” Yeni said. “It was so beautiful and quiet, and the people around it were so nice and friendly.”

Sellers Donny and Mary Ann Newton had been farming for 32 years and raised both of their children on the farm. "I'm so glad when it came time to retire someone as excited as we were wants to continue the farm." says Mary Ann.

Yeni and Yendrys had looked at another farm previously, but the chemistry wasn’t right. “I just didn’t like it. Something about it was not right,” Yeni recalls. The second time was the charm, however. “When I saw this farm, I had a feeling. I knew this was the one for me.”

Using a metaphor of human relationships and chemistry, Yeni said about the farm, “It was like when you’re dating and you find the right person—‘This is the one.’” And she definitely sees her and Yendrys’s “new adventure” as more than accidental. “God absolutely played a part. Because everything came around very easily, and it worked out well.”

Yeni studied dentistry in Cuba and worked in the U.S. as a dental hygienist. But she’s a self-described country girl. And she says that her husband is an animal-lover. So the move from big-city Orlando to rural Georgia shouldn’t be too much of a culture shock.

As for the boys, a natural concern of parents making a long-distance move would be the happiness of their children, who might not be thrilled to leave familiar surroundings and their friends, or to have to make new friends in an unfamiliar place. But on the contrary, Yeni and Yendrys’s sons are taking it all in stride. Raylan especially is looking forward to the move; Yeni describes him as a “wild one” who loves the country and hunting.

The family expects to run the farm on their own. Especially for Yendrys, the long hours shouldn’t be anything unusual. In his truck-driving days, he was used to getting up at 3am and not returning home until 5 or 6pm. But the couple is after something more important than money.

“We don’t want to be rich,” Yeni explains. “We just want to have more time for our kids. They grow up too fast and I want to enjoy them as much as I can.” Not long before the family’s move, Raylan, the couple’s older son, said to Yeni, “Mommy, I’m looking forward to moving to Georgia. I support you a hundred percent.” Let the adventure begin!

Article above from American Poultry Farmer magazine, c/o AmericanPoultryCompany,Inc
American Poultry Farmer Magazine

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