Crawford County Indiana family fights to keep dairy farm

A southern Indiana family is going to great lengths to keep a six-decade-old tradition alive.

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- If home is really where the heart is, there's no denying Jerry Brewer’s love for farming.

"It's more than just a business. Or losing a job.  It's a way of life," he told WHAS11.

Brewer is a second-generation Crawford County, Ind. farmer.  His dad bought a 20 acres property in Marengo after World War II. 

"Whatever little bit he come out of the war with, is what he bought this farm with," Brewer said.

The dairy farm would become one of more than 350 in the county employing more than 400 people during the past six decades. Early mornings and long hours were required.

"There's something to a family farm.  The whole family is involved. There's just no other way to do it. It's not a normal business," he said.

With milk prices and profits declining, Brewer knew he wouldn't be able to compete with larger farms. 

"They have a little more buying power and it's just tough to compete on a family level with a large farm and that's OK," he explained.

The financial pinch forced Brewer to make some tough choices.  The only home he's ever known is now up for auction.  The thought of losing it all would make anyone uneasy.

"I don't think we stop thinking about that," said daughter-in-law Samantha Brewer.

She's raised four children on the farm.  "This means everything to us," she said.

Family friends hope to keep the farm in the family. They've created a GoFundMe page trying to raise enough money to become the highest bidder to buy back the land.

It's a show of support for the only family-owned dairy farm left in Crawford County.  Brewer isn't ready to close this chapter just yet.  He wants to see his grandkids, the fourth generation, be able to call the farm home, too.

"The grandkids just love being with papaw, petting the calf and riding the tractor.  They just love it. That's probably one of the toughest things.  It may not be here for that generation," he said.

 

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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