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Coronavirus impacts: Manatee County dairy farmer seeking help to get excess milk to those in need

Coronavirus

MYAKKA CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on those in Florida’s agriculture industry. Farmers are being forced to mow down ripe produce and dump fresh milk due to low or no demand.

Dakin Dairy Farms in Myakka City has been dumping 7,000 gallons of milk daily, adding up to about $12,000 in losses each day.

Owner Jerry Dakin has owned the farm since 2001 and has seen plenty of ups and downs in the market.

“I am 51 years old and I’ve never seen nothing like this,” said Dakin.

Dakin says the community is coming out strong, supporting the local farm during this difficult time. It’s something that he says is incredibly humbling to see.

“Usually we have 20 to 30 people come through the store, I think we had probably 400 to 500 people this Saturday,” said Dakin.

Even with the outpouring of support from people near and far, he still has to dump truckloads of milk coming from his 2,200 cows. Dakin tells 8 On Your Side his hope is to stop dumping and start donating. The only obstacle is the cost of packaging.

Dakin says his farm is the last dairy farm in Florida that produces and packages its milk. Ideally, he wants to find a partner to cover some of the processing expenses so he can donate more fresh milk to those who really need it.

“We are looking at people that we can partner up with that will help us on the processing side; to pay for the jugs and the processing. We will work with anybody to try to get families drinking more milk,” said Dakin.

Dakin asks anyone who may be able to help to contact him directly.

Dakin Dairy Farms is selling milk for $2.50 per gallon with no limit on how much you can buy. Cream is now discounted to $5.00 per gallon. The dairy also sells half and half and cheese. It is open six days a week. You can find the hours and location here.

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