Delano, Calif. – The story of AYO Almondmilk Yogurt begins in 1913 on the Billings family farm. Fast forward sixty-five years. As a boy, Matt Billings had the best seat in the house: riding around with his dad and grandfather in the family pickup truck, three generations of Billings exploring their fields. Life on the farm taught Matt that a good reputation requires a steadfast commitment to doing the right thing, even when it isn’t easy or popular. Now a father, farmer, and founder of AYO Almondmilk Yogurt, Matt brings a passion for innovation, healthy living, and sustainability to the practice of farming almonds – a legacy he plans to pass down to his own children.
“Growing up in agriculture has given me an enormous appreciation for nature, the seasonal rhythm of life, healthy nutritious food, and lifelong friendships,” says Matt. “Today, the use of new technology takes it one step further, enabling us to innovate our farming techniques, helping us to conserve inputs such as water and plant nutrients and at the same time develop a healthy living soil that we will be proud to pass along to the next generation.
For Matt, being a good farmer means being a responsible steward of the land. “ you have to think of the future generations.” He continually seeks creative ways to modernize and more thoughtfully use resources. He is working on tilling in the ground trees from older orchards before replanting. This approach will store carbon in the soil for the future there by bringing his carbon footprint close to negative. His multi generational relationship with the same bee keeper for pollination and his use of composts to feed good micro organisms in his soils and reduce the reliance on commercial fertilizers shows his eye is not on next years crop but the one his children haven’t harvested yet. It is these steps that build symbiotic relationships on the farm, partnering with nature to produce a higher quality almond and superior yogurt flavor.
Likewise, Matt states, “This isn’t my land. I am just taking care of it for the future generations. I want to make sure I pass it along in better condition than I received it.” This is why we allow natural ground covers to grow in our orchards, they provide a diversity of flora and promote healthy soils To that end, Billings makes every effort to maintain the farm’s most precious resource: water. Over the years we have become increasingly efficient with our water usage in the orchards and in turn be better stewards of the land we farm.
As Billings watches his oldest son (age 17) show interest in farming, he understands that the greatest gifts he can give his three kids are the lessons, morals, and expertise passed down from his own father and grandfather. Plus, he now has his own distinct legacy to offer: the production of creamy, probiotic-rich AYO Almondmilk Yogurt, backed by a 100-plus year tradition of responsible cultivation and successful almond farming. With his solid foundational expertise and vertically integrated capabilities, Billings carried out a lifelong vision of building a quality consumer brand that delivers on what customers want: a delicious, clean-crafted delicious tasting almondmilk yogurt. It’s an almond yogurt that actually tastes like almonds. Visit ayoyogurt.com to learn more and shop AYO Almondmilk Yogurt at your local store.
About AYO Almondmilk Yogurt:
“From farm to spoon, from us to you,” AYO Almondmilk Yogurt is the only non-dairy yogurt crafted using organic almonds produced by fourth-generation farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Run for more than 100 years by the Billings family, Billings Ranches is committed to forward-thinking practices of sustainability, traceability, and vertical integration, which nourish the land they are proud to call home. In new AYO Almond Yogurt, lightly-toasted almond flavor is enriched with live active cultures to produce a probiotic-rich, vegan treat the whole family will love. You can find AYO Almondmilk Yogurt at your local store. Learn more at ayoyogurt.com.