At a 300-year-old, cream-line dairy farm, the spirit of America endures as the farmer tirelessly works to bottle his own milk, despite being told to discard it by his processor. People are queuing up to give him support. Ben Brown started bottling his own milk after learning that his dairy processor was no longer able to purchase it.
Since the 1700s, Brown’s Whoa Nellie Dairy Farm has produced premium milk with a cream line. A dairy processor used to purchase most of it from him, pasteurizing and bottling it for distribution to nearby markets and restaurants. He still sells some of it at his on-site farm store.
He couldn’t stand it when he learned he would have to discard hundreds of gallons of milk every week until his 70 milking cows died. He therefore started working literally around the clock to bottle it and pasteurize it in small batches in his 30-gallon vat.
When he announced on Facebook that they would be opening the farm store for extra hours so that customers could purchase milk directly from the source, the response was tremendous. The local news reported that there was a line of at least twenty people deep to enter the store for several hours.
“I know their uncle, Larry Basinger, and we want to help the Brown family through this,” one customer said. “We’re going to buy 10 gallons. I have orders from our whole family.”
After selling out in a matter of hours, they have done so nearly every day since. When they don’t sell out, they give away their fresh, unhomogenized milk to nearby nonprofit organizations.
“I hate waste, and I don’t want to dump milk. People can use it, and I still have to pay my bills,” Brown said. Brown and his wife, Mary Beth, purchased the farm four years ago from Ben’s parents.
He admitted to a local newspaper that his family has “barely been scraping by” in recent years and that, at first, he was afraid the lockdown would be the end of them.“I don’t want us to go under. This farm has been in the Brown family since the 1700s,” he said. Two weeks ago, the farm was able to purchase a second 45-gallon pasteurization vat, so Brown won’t have to stay up all night processing it anymore.