Pearl River dairy farm keeps afloat by keeping up with the times

By Sheri Falk - bio | email | Twitter

POPLARVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Dairy farmers may be a dying breed in Mississippi, but the Smith Farm in Pearl River County isn't letting that spoil their way of life.

Farm owner Diahnell Smith has seen a major change in the industry over the last year-and-a-half, " The dairy industry has been tough. The prices of feed and fertilizer have gone up and the price of milk has gone down. A lot of farm owners are just retiring."

For the three generations of Smith men retiring is no where on the horizon. Everyday consists of hard work said Smith, but "it's rewarding and the 150 cows on our farm are a part of the family."

Dianhell and his son Butch spend two-and-a-half hours twice a day using an automatic milking system to get 150 gallons of milk from the cattle.

The milk at 104 degrees, straight from the cow is pumped into a holding tank that can store up to 500 gallons. Butch Smith said, "the tank rapidly cools the milk down to 36 degrees to preserve it until we are ready to pasteurize it or ship it.

Country Girl's Creamery isn't just shipping milk to local stores, they have even come up with a new line of products to go along with the traditional glass of milk. The family owned farm also makes an assortment of cheese, cheese spreads and bath products all made of milk which you can also buy on the farm at the Country Girl's Creamery store at the farm.

Tending to the daily work on the farm has been the Smith's way of life for 30 yrs. Both Father and Son say, it's an industry over run by commercialization. It's a way of life they hope other local farmers will continue to embrace.

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