Dairy farms feeling the effects of coronavirus

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“We’re having some hard times in the dairy world,” said John Maxwell, the owner of Cinnamon Ridge Farms.

Cinnamon Ridge is one of many dairy farms in the region that work hard year round to make money.

But that hasn’t been easy lately because of the coronavirus.

“But it is a challenge for us to make ends meet, because our foreign exports have gone down to next to nothing,” said Maxwell.

And those are their biggest customers.

“The exports make up a good share of our dairy,” said Maxwell. “And especially the USMCA. There’s not a lot of people movement, there’s not a lot of trade movement right now so everything is kind of on freeze.”

Except for one thing.

“The price of milk has really gone down,” said Maxwell.

To about $1.25 a gallon.

They need closer to $2.00 to break even.

“Cut your expenses down. You can’t control your price, so you got to control your expenses,” said Maxwell.

And they thought things were on their way to getting there.

“December, January, prices were starting to come up a bit,” said Maxwell. “Then the coronavirus hit. The light at the end of the tunnel might have been a gorilla with a flashlight. We don’t know.”

And tough times down on the farm started well before the coronavirus outbreak, so situation like this aren’t new to farmers.

But Maxwell says there’s one thing that makes it worth it.

“These girls right here are super fun to be with,” Maxwell said pointing to his many cows. “And I don’t need to practice social distancing with a cow. We just love what we do and how we do it.”

Times are tough.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Maxwell.

But he hasn’t lost hope.

“I’m sure better times are ahead.” said Maxwell. “I just don’t know when. And we just have to hang on until when.”

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