PIFFARD — At a time when many Americans are facing unprecedented hardships as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Kirsty Northrop, owner of Lawnel Farms in Piffard, is working to provide nutritious dairy products to those in need.

“With so many members of our community in need of food assistance, I feel passionately that we come together to support our neighbors,” said Kirsty Northrop, owner of Lawnel Farms and member of Dairy Farmers of America. “It is hard for food banks and community organizations to provide dairy in food assistance programs. By bringing together many groups we were able to do just that.”

Currently, some dairy processors have capacity to produce dairy products as a result of surplus milk due to the declines in foodservice. Northrop, through a partnership with her cooperative, DFA, and her alma mater, Cornell University, was able to secure approximately 5,800 half gallons of fluid milk to be distributed throughout Livingston, Wyoming and Genesee Counties.

“As a dairy cooperative owned by family farmers across the country, we are dedicated to helping provide nutritious food for family tables,” said Jennifer Huson, Senior Director Marketing, Council Affairs and Industry Relations for DFA Northeast.

“We are very excited to partner with DFA to produce fluid milk for donations to foodbanks. We have already worked closely with foodbanks in the Ithaca areas to donate products made at the Cornell dairy plant to them,” said Professor Martin Wiedmann from Cornell University, who currently helps coordinate activities at the Cornell Dairy plant.

“There are feeding programs throughout Livingston, Wyoming and Genesee Counties distributing food to families in need, but unfortunately many of them do not include any dairy,” explained Northrop.

To assist with distribution, Chicago-based Coyote Logistics covered the transportation costs and leveraged their carrier network to move the shipment of packaged milk from Cornell University to various drop-off points throughout Livingston, Wyoming and Genesee Counties.

“We are proud to support this cause in order to get dairy products into the hands of those who need them most,” said Jason Knight, Sales Manager at Coyote Logistics.

“Livingston County would like to thank Kirsty Northrop, Dairy Farmers of America and Cornell University for the wonderful donation of milk to add to our distribution sites.” Angela Ellis, Deputy County Administrator.

“As a multigenerational farm, our family has always been community conscious and in a time like this, what better time to share a little of what we do with our neighbors and friends,” said Northrop.