One of the most difficult things for small farms to deal with during the COVID 19 pandemic is the way that is has affected the food distribution system. Many small businesses that the farms rely on to sell to have been closed and they're out of ways to sell their produce. There have been many news reports of crops being left to rot in storage facilities and farmers desperate for relief. Dairy farms have been pouring gallons of milk down the drain, unable to get them to marketplaces.
One farm in Pennsylvania, the Whoa Nellie Dairy Farm, decided to open their farm to the public to sell their milk directly. The farm owners, Ben and Mary Beth Brown, used to sell predominantly to Schneider Dairy.
Many of the other dairies are dumping their excess product down the drains, but the Browns decided to sell directly to the community. They advertised that they'd sell through their local store and the couple stayed up for 24 hours pasteurizing the milk from their 70 cows.
The community support was incredible. People from all around the county came to support the small farm, with lines of customers keeping social distancing rules as they wait to buy milk, cheese, and other delicious dairy products.
A local couple, Linda and Tom Goodin, were eager to get in line for the farm. “I know their uncle, Larry Basinger, and we want to help the Brown family through this. We’re going to buy 10 gallons. I have orders from our whole family.”