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Farmers with retail facilities get coronavirus sales boost

Two farm families that operate retail stores say business has changed since the onset of coronavirus.

Ken Heiman’s family operates dairy farms, makes cheese at Nasonville Dairy and operates Weber’s Farm Store in Marshfield, Wisconsin.  He tells Brownfield the farm store is a lot busier now, and the traffic is spread out instead of getting swamped right after school is out.  Heiman says they bottle their own milk, and sales volumes are high. “The stores downtown had put down that, you know, one gallon limit per call and I don’t care. You can come out by us and if you want twenty gallons, I’ll give you twenty gallons. If you want thirty, I’ll give you thirty. I don’t care.”

Jake Feltz with Feltz Family Farm and Dairy Store in Stevens Point, Wisconsin also tells Brownfield they noticed a change in consumer buying once the cancellations and isolation began. “It was busier with the number of people, so there were more people. At this point now, I would say there are less people but their transactions are larger, so its less people but they’re buying a lot more at a time.”

Feltz says since the outbreak, they’ve sold a lot more milk, eggs, and their own black Angus beef sales have surprised them. “The first two-and-a-half months of the year, that was a very rare sell. Kind of once the virus started coming on, we sold all of them. We had about fifteen boxes and those sold out really fast.”

Feltz says they can’t get their beef processed and packaged fast enough to keep up with demand, but other meat and dairy products are selling well.  Heiman says their milk bottling plant is busier than normal, and he’s glad they invested in a drive-up window at their store.

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