HISTORY HEARTACHE

Central Florida Ag News|April 2020

HISTORY HEARTACHE
Beleaguered Lakeland Dairy Farm Among Many in Struggle to Survive Virus Fallout
MARY TOOTHMAN

THE H.C. DAIRY has seen hard times before.

Like most farming operations, the family-run dairy farm operated by Mike and Freda Carey has struggled to make ends meet. Built roughly 100 years ago, it is thought to be the last remaining commercial dairy farm in Polk County. Somehow, they have managed to stay afloat, but just barely, they say.

What may finally take them down is something no one saw coming but we are all too familiar with now: Covid-19.

Customers are hurting and will be hurting even more in days to come. With schools closed, milk doesn’t go to lunchrooms. When restaurants close, there’s no call for milk.

And the demand for milk had already dropped considerably, she says. People just do not drink milk the way they used to.

The trickle-down effect continues.

She worked for a dental practice, and the governor mandated that dental offices close and only see patients for emergencies.

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April 2020