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Virginia dairy farm hoping for a miracle to keep their doors open

Richland Creamery.jpg
Posted at 5:05 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 09:26:21-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- A historic family-owned Virginia dairy farm is desperate for a miracle to allow them to keep their doors open after facing a year of adversity.

"Sometimes you have to be brave to see a cow," 7-year-old visitor Evan Wheeler said.

For many visitors, the highlights of a trip to Richlands Dairy and Creamery are seeing the baby cows and getting a scoop of freshly-made ice cream.

"It's important for everyone, kids and adults alike, to see and understand all that goes into the things you get at the grocery store. Without small, family-run businesses, those things might cease to exist," Sarah Wheeler with the Goddard-School Walton Park said.

The beloved farm could soon be closing its doors. The family believed that building a creamery and using their own milk could keep the farm afloat.

However, the combination of a natural disaster, a pandemic and the cost of running a business could see the two-century-old farm cease to exist.

"In the last four months, every feed we purchase has doubled, fuel has gone from agricultural grade at $1.60, is now up over $3. Everything we're buying is almost double," Brittany Jones, who works at the farm, said.

The creamery also struggles to find large contracts for their milk. If the farm has to close, the members of the Jones family are set to lose their homes.

While a solution may be available, it's not an easy decision to make. The lifeline for their farm could be selling off 140 of their dairy cows.

"To sell down the herd, I think that is literally our only option to survive at the moment," Jones said. "That gets us through this year, maybe buys us a few more months."

The creamery has a loyal following. TR Jones also has a significant following on the social media app TikTok, with almost 950,000 followers. One of these followers is Wilma Harris from Arkansas who stopped by the creamery on Tuesday morning.

"I would do whatever I could to help this farm succeed," Harris said.

Despite the support from the community, the Jones family said that they are in need of a miracle.

"It's one of those things where you just keep trying until you can't try anymore and hopefully somewhere along the way, a small miracle happens, something goes the right way," TR Jones said.

Wilma Harris isn't the only fan to stop by and visit the creamery but ultimately, it will take a lot more for the Jones' family farm to survive.

With the cost of producing milk higher than what it sells for, the Jones are hoping that a miracle comes soon.

If you would like to help to support the farm, you can visit a GoFundMe link that has been set up.

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