The Gestes family began breeding Australian Labradoodles in 2011. Then they became a Bernedoodle breeder in 2017. They are fortunate to have two locations to serve the clients with fabulous Bernedoodles- a beautiful farm near Ocala, FL, and also a 5-acre park-like setting in Illinois about 15 minutes from St. Louis, Missouri.
Terry and Darah have been married for 16 years. The couple has 3 children: 12-year-old twin daughters, Claire and Morgan, and a 10-year-old son named Parker. The entire Gestes family is involved in taking care of the dogs and puppies!
Terry and Darah have spent their entire personal and professional lives working with animals. Terry was a professional thoroughbred racehorse trainer, while Darah worked at Alexandria Animal Hospital (in the Emergency Animal Medicine Unit) through Veterinary Technician college. She also worked as a groom and exercise rider with Terry at Fairmount racetrack.
Darah received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and 2 Master’s degrees- Education Administration and Literacy Specialist. Darah taught for a local public school district as a middle school, 5th grade, and then a Reading Specialist teacher for 11 years. Darah has resigned from teaching in 2016 to provide the dogs and puppies with top-notch care and attention. Darah also has an interest in animal genetics and dog training and continues to learn best practices through workshops and research.
Terry was raised on a local Illinois farm. He is one of 11 children. His family raised all sorts of animals including chickens, cows, pigs, rabbits, ducks, dogs, and cats. He began his career in the thoroughbred racing industry as an exercise rider in high school; Terry galloped horses before his school day began. Shortly after high school, Terry began training thoroughbred racehorses full-time. Terry has a wealth of knowledge in animal husbandry as well as breeding confirmation. He is an invaluable part of Florida Bernedoodles.
The Gestes family has made a commitment to providing excellent family companions with outstanding health and temperaments. They also make helping other families find their “perfect match” one of the main objectives of their breeding program. The family is also interested in providing Bernedoodles for use as therapy dogs for children with special needs.
The Gestes believe that because of their longtime breeding experience and expertise coupled with the attention, love, and socialization that their dogs and puppies receive, they are the BEST Bernedoodle breeder in the Southeast and Midwest United States.