Meet Art Courville, Grimes County's last dairyman

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NAVASOTA, Tex. (KBTX) - "Dairy is just a way of life," said Art Courville, owner of Lynn Grove Jersey Farm in Navasota.

"My mother and father-in-law started this farm in 1949," explained Art. He took over in 1973. Art wasn't alone back then.

Art said there used to be a dairy farmer named Ronnie Floyd over in Roans Prairie. When Art took over the farm, Floyd told him there were about 150 dairy farms in Grimes County.

"There's not many dairyman left in the county. I am the last dairyman left in the county and my brother in-law, he was the second to last dairyman left in the county" explained Art.

Art says there's more than one reason for the drop off. First off, the hours are long.

"Seven days a week. Starts at 4:30 in the morning. Usually ends on a good note at 6:30, maybe 7:00 in the afternoon" said Art.

Second, the industry is moving away from family farms.

"Not enough money in it and the younger generation doesn't want to work everyday anymore and the milk industry has moved more to big business where it's more of a business, not a family operation" said Art.

Art still puts in the hours, because it's what he knows.

"Drink milk, does the body good," said Art.

The milk from Art's farm is trucked to Houston every other day and is processed by Oak Farms.