Farmers focus on better milk

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Coley Jones Drinkwater is similar in many ways to the members of the Rotary Club of Farmville — working hard and taking pride in providing a quality product to customers. But unlike the typical local business, Drinkwater’s most important assets are cows and her product is milk. Drinkwater and her family are dairy farmers. Drinkwater’s family owns and operates Richlands Dairy Farm Inc. outside of Wilsons.

They milk 250 cows twice a day, every day. On 400 owned and 400 rented acres, corn, rye grass, triticale, orchard grass and pumpkins are also raised. To dairy farmers, the ultimate reward is knowing their actions help create a healthy, abundant and affordable food supply for this community. “We love what we do,” Drinkwater said. “Dairy farmers across Virginia differ in how many cows we milk and some of the ways we farm so that our methods work well for the environment, but we all share a passion for what we do. It is our responsibility to take care of the natural resources and animals on our farm and we take that responsibility with a great deal of pride and commitment.”

The family lives and works on the farm and that is a strong incentive for protecting the land, water and air. In addition, cow comfort and health is carefully monitored every single day. Drinkwater’s sister-in-law, Brittany, works with a dairy animal nutritionist to formulate the best diets for the cows and veterinarians come to the farm regularly to check on the animals’ health. Every day, advancements in animal care and milk quality methods result in better milk. “What we do on our farm is the starting point for safe and nutritious dairy foods in the supermarket,” Drinkwater said. “Because of this commitment at the dairy farm, people can count on wholesome dairy foods.”

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Southeast dairy farmers protect their land, care for their animals and produce high quality milk and dairy foods for their families and yours. To learn more about the dedication of the people — dairy farmers — and the milk they produce, visit www., www.dedicatedtodairy. com, www.facebook. com/sedairy or Twitter @sedairy.