COVID-19 impact on milk sales may force Robertson County dairy farm to close

Posted at 8:48 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 23:39:53-04

ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Robertson County dairy farm is weeks away from shutting down because of the impact of COVID-19 on milk sales.

For the last 9 years, cows at Groves Family Dairy have helped supply milk to customers across Middle Tennessee, but then the owner says COVID-19 changed everything.

"It's like pouring gas in your car every day, and never moving," said Randall Groves, owner of Groves Family Dairy. "I've never experienced anything like it."

Groves says the farm has gone from selling 4,000 gallons of milk a week, to just 250. The result has cost them around $135,000.

While the 160 cows at the farm keep producing milk, Groves says when restaurants closed due to COVID-19 regulations, he had fewer customers. With no one to buy the milk, a lot of it gets dumped out. Groves says it is illegal in Tennessee to sell or donate raw milk.

"Once we get the milk, we can't process it because we don't have the market for it," said Groves.

In addition, the farm has experienced more financial hardship after their walk-in cooler went out, and everything inside had to be thrown out. Also their delivery truck broke down.

"There are a lot of people out there like us, who are struggling," said Groves. "A lot of farmers are struggling."

The Groves Family decided to open their Farm Store three days a week to help make ends meet, but the air conditioning went out in the store, which impacted the ability to sell certain products.

Cassie Groves said after trying everything, she decided to start a Go Fund Me to see if neighbors and friends would be willing to make a donation to help save the farm. She said she was hesitant to ask for help, but believes this is the last option.

"We have pretty much exhausted every avenue we can to keep bills paid," said Groves.

The Groves family said losing the farm, and their home would be devastating.

Visit the farm's gofundme page for more information or to make a donation.