Ga. dairy farmers hit hard by pandemic

Like many businesses during this pandemic, Georgia dairy farmers have been hit especially hard.

Ga. dairy farmers hit hard by pandemic
A photo shows milk that can't be sold being poured out. (Source: Ga Dairy Farmers)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Like many businesses during this pandemic, Georgia dairy farmers have been hit especially hard.

Executive Director of Georgia Milk Producers, INC. Farrah Newberry says milk was flying off shelves during the first few weeks of panic-buying. Now, not so much.

Even though people aren’t out to purchase it, the cows are still producing milk.

Since most states have closed their schools and restaurants during the pandemic, dairy farmers have no other option: they’re having to dump the milk.

“I’ve been with Georgia Milk Producers for over 20 years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this happen on this scale," said Newberry. "We’ve almost dumped close to 100 tanker loads of milk and one tanker load is worth ten thousand dollars, so we’ve lost a lot of money. Close to a million dollars.”

They’re hoping the government will aid by buying product and donating it to food banks. They’ve donated some milk to healthcare workers and the Ronald McDonald House already.

“You can’t turn a cow off. Once a cow starts producing milk, she’s going to do it for about eight months, so they have to continue to milk her twice a day, feed her, take care of her, so they’ll just continue milking and farming, and we’re hoping that the government will help us by buying some product and donating it to food banks," Newberry added.

Georgia is home to 130 dairy farms.

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