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Farmer Focus: Florida Farm Family’s Ice Cream Thrives Through Pandemic

August 18, 2021

As America slowed down during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, dairy farmers and other essential workers stepped up. The Rucks family not only took care of their herd of 1500 on Milking R dairy in Okeechobee, FL, they were up until 2 or 3 a.m. each night making ice cream.

Sutton Rucks, his wife, Kris, and their two children, Lindsey and Garrett, started making ice cream before the pandemic to share during farm tours.

“People were just raving about the ice cream,” Sutton says. “We had a bunch of tours in the early spring of 2020, and it felt like we made more ice cream than we could give away in six months. Then COVID hit.”

In the latest Farmer Focus, the Rucks share how they connect with their community through delicious ice cream and sustainable production.

For more Farmer Focus stories, co-sponsored by NMPF and the FARM Program, check out NMPF’s Sharing Our Story page, which also includes its Dairy Defined thought-leadership series and CEO’s Corner, a monthly column from NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern.