Local farm holds auction as it faces closure

An auction was held at Greenbacker's Farm as it faces closing (WFSB)

A local farm is forced to closed, which is something happening to some dairy farms in New England.

With the rising costs of maintenance and taxes, many farmers have no choice but to sell their cows.

That’s what was happening at Greenbacker Farm in Durham on Thursday.

Selling close to 250 hen on Thursday was Richard Greenbacker, who owns part of the family farm.

He said they had no choice but to do this.

“Yes, it bothers us because we are selling our livelihood for generations,” Greenbacker said.

The Greenbackers have been farming since before the 1700's.

Recently, the dairy farm has been losing money.

The price of milk, which is set by the federal government, killed their bottom line.

The price is much lower than it was.

Maintenance costs and rising taxes haven't helped either.

“The writing is on the wall that milk is so low, we are losing money every day we are in business so it has to come to this,” Greenbacker said.

While it might be a business, the family cares about the animals on their farm.

Richard Greenbacker’s niece has taken great care of the cows. They've all been born and raised there.

“She is probably one of the best herd people taking care of cows, health and breeding wise she is the one to talk to here on the farm. Her cows are her children,” Greenbacker said.

On average, the cows are selling for upwards of $900, but usually they’d sell for more than twice that amount.

“In the height of things, these animals would be upwards of $2,000 a piece, you know, it’s a little depressing but everyone is in the same boat as we are,” Greenbacker said.

Most buyers on Thursday came from nearby Massachusetts and New York.

Once the cows are bought, they'll be milked and then taken to their new home.

“My family’s farming here since 1723 and before that so it is the end of an era but not much we can do about it at this point,” Greenbacker said.

The family will keep about a few cows that will be shown at local fairs.

Other than that, the family plans to sell hay.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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