Jennifer Young-Hopkins
Kennel Owner

As I sit here, surrounded by the lively energy of our facility, it’s heartwarming to reflect on how it all began over 30 years ago with a little black Lab puppy named Jesse who brought so much joy into our lives.

When Jesse joined our family, I was grieving the loss of my first husband, Jeff. My two-year-old son, Jeffrey, was over the moon to have a Lab puppy. As I struggled through the challenges of single parenthood, Jesse became such a joy and comfort to us. 

Over the years, our family grew, and so did our love for dogs. In 1999, I decided to raise a litter of puppies from our dogs, Jack and Lady. With guidance from our veterinarian, we embarked on a journey to learn how to raise happy, healthy puppies.

Our little kennel blossomed, and soon people started asking us for help with their puppies. We found ourselves taking on the role of trainers, and nothing made us happier than watching puppies from our kennel thrive and helping new owners build bonds with their dogs.

Joining the local Hunting Retriever Club was a game changer for us. We learned so much about the importance of temperament and workability in Labrador Retrievers and began participating in hunt tests. Seeing our dogs shine in these competitions was incredibly rewarding and deepened our commitment to breeding exceptional dogs.

In 2009, I found love again and married Brad Hopkins, a fellow dog enthusiast who shares my passion for Retrievers. Brad brought a wealth of skill and dedication to our kennel, earning numerous Master Hunter and Hunting Retriever Champion titles. His unwavering support has been invaluable, and together we’ve built something truly special.

Fast forward to 2024, and our journey has brought us to this wonderful place. We’ve built a 3,000 square foot indoor facility on our property, complete with cozy cottages and plenty of outdoor space filled with enriching activities for the dogs.

We now offer Dog Day Camp, Dog Boarding, and All Breeds Obedience Training. Our obedience training program has flourished, thanks to our dedicated staff members who have undergone extensive training to ensure that our clients receive the best possible instruction.

We place a high priority on continuing education for our staff, knowing that staying current with the latest practices is essential for providing the highest level of care for our beloved dogs.

Looking around our facility today fills me with pride and a deep sense of accomplishment. From those early days to where we are now, it has been an incredible journey filled with love and dedication. As we look toward the future, I am excited to continue focusing on what matters most: providing exceptional care and service to our furry friends and building strong relationships with their owners.

Here’s to many more years of loving dogs and living life to the fullest!

 

 

 

McKenzie “Young” Anderson
Kennel Office & Operations Manager

McKenzie was born into a family with a deep passion for retrievers, growing up amidst the love and care of Y-Farms. Her journey with these wonderful dogs began early, with her first hunt test at the Louisiana HRC International Grand in 2002.

At Y-Farms, McKenzie wasn’t just an observer.  As a toddler, she would sit in the whelping box while her mom would be caring for a litter of Lab puppies. As she got older, after school and during the summers, she eagerly helped out at the boarding kennel, assisting with obedience and retriever training.

After graduating from high school, McKenzie pursued a bachelor’s degree in psychology at LSU. Though she excelled academically, her heart always remained with Y-Farms. Upon completing her degree and marrying her long-time boyfriend, Blake, McKenzie wholeheartedly dedicated herself to continuing her mother’s legacy at Y-Farms. Her innovative ideas and expertise in office management and customer service have made her an invaluable contributor to Y-Farms’ growth and success. With years of animal care experience, she has developed numerous policies and procedures that have been instrumental in ensuring efficiency, safety, and cleanliness. She has worked diligently behind the scenes, updating our customer service and online programs, and managing communication with our clients. We are excited to see McKenzie lead the next generation, bringing Y-Farms to even greater heights with her fresh ideas and hard work.

When McKenzie isn’t at the kennel, she loves spending quality time with her two small pups, Sophie and Shiloh. She and Blake share a passion for traveling and often enjoy duck hunting expeditions with their beloved Labrador Retriever, Melly.

 

 

Krista “King” Dwyer
Lead Dog Trainer & Project Operations Manager

Krista joined Y-Farms in 2019, bringing with her a rich background from Sparta, Tennessee, and a career as a certified nursing assistant. Initially contemplating further studies in nursing, she started with us part-time. Her journey with dogs began beforehand, as she trained her Labrador Retriever, Roxie, demonstrating an talent for obedience training. Recognizing her remarkable skill and versatility with various dog breeds, Krista soon transitioned to full-time employment with us and was eventually promoted to Lead Dog Trainer. Her impact on our training program’s success has been profound and immeasurable.

As Lead Dog Trainer, Krista has been the cornerstone of our training success. She not only excels in training dogs but also embraces her role as a kennel staff and project manager. Her leadership in overseeing farm and kennel projects and providing invaluable guidance to our team has been instrumental in propelling our business forward. Her dedication and tireless work have truly transformed Y-Farms.

Krista’s professional growth has paralleled her personal milestones. She celebrated her marriage to Kevin Dwyer and embraced her role as a loving stepmother to Marianne and Rory. Her family life flourished as she expanded her cherished Labrador Retriever pack to include Bennelli and Hottie. Krista’s unwavering commitment to both her professional and personal life is truly inspiring.

Outside of work, Krista finds joy in attending hunt tests with her retrievers, deer and duck hunting, and special moments on their beautiful property in St. Francisville, LA. Her passion for life and dedication to her loved ones and her work shine through in everything she does, making her an invaluable and cherished member of the Y-Farms family.

 

 

April Redden
Assistant Kennel Manager & Day Camp Coordinator

 

April joined our team in the summer of 2023, bringing with her lots of experience from her previous role at another day camp and boarding facility. From the moment she became a kennel assistant, April has flourished, showcasing her natural leadership qualities and a deep, compassionate bond with the dogs in our care. Her unwavering dedication and tireless work ethic has earned her a well-deserved promotion to Assistant Kennel Manager & Day Camp Coordinator.

In her new role, April not only helps oversee kennel responsibilities but also ensures the well-being and happiness of our boarding dogs. She meets with our day camp and boarding clients, always taking the time to understand their needs and concerns. Her attention to detail make her an invaluable part of our team, as she coordinates engaging and enriching activities for our “Day Campers.”

Outside of work, April is a devoted mother to her son, Jerryn. She cherishes the unwavering support of her partner, Austin, who stands by her side through every endeavor.

April finds joy in spending time with her dog, Jager, and delights in exploring Louisiana’s festivals and parades. Family is incredibly important to her, and she treasures the moments spent with her extended family in Houma, Louisiana.