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We're Open Detroit: Dairy farm beating the odds of COVID-19's industry impact

Cook says the store's drive-thru line has been lengthy for three weeks.
Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 20:10:24-04

ORTONVILLE, Mich. — Despite its impact on the dairy industry, the Cook family says COVID-19 hasn't spoiled the drive-thru portion of their business. Quinton Cook, who helps run Cook's Family Farm, says the line for their store's drive-thru has been lengthy for three weeks now.

"We make milk, ice cream right here on the farm; chocolate milk, butter milk, and then we also have a lot of other products that we get from different suppliers," he said.

Cook says the Ortonville-based store is an essential business under the governor's executive order. He says the inside of the store is closed to the public for safety reasons because of COVID-19. Right now, it's a drive-thru only business.

"This COVID virus has actually upped our sales at this time because of those necessary groceries that families need," he explained.

That bucks a trend. According to the Michigan Farm Bureau, most dairy farmers are having to sell their milk for 25 percent less because of the pandemic's economic impact. The organization says demand has dropped because bulk buyers, like schools and many restaurants, are closed.

"I know there's a lot of farms that are having a hard time, and they may be dumping milk," Cook said.

However, he says the 400 gallons of milk per day produced at the farm isn't enough for the locals. He says what sets the family farm apart is the fact they process their own milk products. That's while other dairy farms send their milk to someone else to process before it's sent to a distributor.

"So there's a lot of different steps and logistics that take place where we have everything on the farm from moo to you," Cook said.

Once this is all over and things are back to normal, the Cook family says everyone is welcome to come and pet their calves.

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