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Richlands Dairy Farm making changes to survive COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:31 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 18:34:26-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- Farmers and ranchers all around the country are having to make changes in order to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, Richlands Dairy Farm and Creamery is no exception.

Owner Hugh Jones say the pandemic has not changed the continuous work load.

"Here at the farm, it's a very stressful time, because we just simply don't have the labor we use to have. We had to cut out a lot of labor. So, we're basically working sunup to sundown,” said Jones.

"We cannot afford to be sick, so we are limiting our social outings off the farm," added Brittany Jones.

There is even social distancing in the milking parlor.

"When there's two people in the milking parlor, we make sure everybody tries to stay six feet apart,” said Brittany.

The Jones Family Farm, located near the Dinwiddie, Nottoway line, has been in the family for more than a century, but tough times over the last few years meant tough decisions.

The Jones Family has staked everything they own on the creamery which opened less than a year ago.

"We've been very fortunate to be able to stay open so far through all this,” said Coley Jones Drinkwater.

The success at the creamery means the farm will continue, but the pandemic has meant making a few changes, starting with a drive-thru line in the parking lot.

In fact, the pandemic is actually bringing some new business.

"We just so happened to start delivering to 10 area Food Lions and it's kind of that 2nd week of the pandemic. We were the only supplier that was able to consistently get milk there,” Coley explained.

Local are supporting the family farm, which is also a way for customers to get out of the house.

“You can get ice cream, get your milk, you can get supper while you're here. So, it's become a nice little outing for folks to maintain a little bit of normalcy I think.”