At Jim and Jessica Yance’s home, when someone asks what’s for dinner, the answer usually includes beef. 

With a freezer full of beef raised right on their farm in Haleburg, a tiny town just outside Columbia, the Yances are always ready to whip up a home-cooked meal for their two boys, Tye, 5, and Reid, 8-months.

Jim and Jessica, who were Alabama’s Outstanding Young Farm Family for the Beef Division in 2013, own JYJ Red Angus, a breeding operation that has produced some of the nation’s most sought-after Red Angus genetics, including top-selling bull Redemption Y1334. They also run a commercial cattle operation and are active in the Henry County Farmers Federation. 

“A lot of times, we’ll hold back some steers, and we’ll finish those out and sell them for freezer beef,” Jessica said. “And of course, we keep some for ourselves, too. We eat beef almost every night of the week. I don’t shop for meat because I have my own.”

Having nearly an unlimited supply of beef saves money and ensures meals are eaten at home around the dinner table. 

“As a stay-at-home mom, I prefer home-cooked meals for my boys, and just having the time to sit down as a family and have our meals together is important to us,” Jessica said. “We want them to know meal time is family time together and should be a priority.”

Jessica, a graduate of Auburn University’s nutrition science program, loves to experiment with cooking. The enchilada casserole recipe she shares was created as an assignment for a nutrition class, and it’s been a family favorite ever since.

“At Auburn, we had to do cooking labs, and I used to come home from school and try out all my recipes on my family,” she said. “I ventured out and learned some new things. They loved it.”

Another favorite recipe is a steak marinade developed by Jim’s mother, which was used for the steaks served at Jim and Jessica’s wedding rehearsal dinner. 

“The steaks were seared with a personalized meat iron with our ‘JYJ’ emblem on it,” Jessica said. “It was so special.”