Greenbrier Dairy LLC History
The founder of Greenbrier Dairy LLC, Trey Yates, received a dairy heifer from his dad for his first 4-H project. A tiny Jersey he promptly named Maybelle. Trey fell in love with the idea of becoming a dairy farmer and soon began buying more cows to accompany Maybelle.
After graduating High School and attending college, Trey was ready to begin milking, unfortunately the numbers didn’t add up and Trey realized that he could not be profitable producing a commodity milk product in West Virginia.
Trey’s only option was to become a farm to table producer of value-added milk products that would take him out of commodity based agricultural system. At the same time, Trey is doing the right thing by pushing farm to table, local, sustainable farming practices and production of an all-natural product.
After talks with his father, Trey learned that his great grandfather and grandfather (who owned Lakeside Farm in Lewisburg) had sold milk in the 1940’s and 50’s to a company called Greenbrier Dairy located in Lewisburg WV.
The company began business in 1918 and was one of the earliest milk processing operations in West Virginia. As the milk processing business expanded, Greenbrier Dairy was pushed out and closed in 1951.
Trey claimed the name in 2014 and Greenbrier Dairy LLC based in Rainelle WV was born. Rainelle was chosen as a ground zero due to its need for economic development and the availability of a workforce.
Beginning in 2014, Trey continued purchasing cows to add to a herd that is housed at a contract milking facility in Frankford WV. He also began gathering funds to build a creamery. After securing a loan from his parents, he purchased a building in Rainelle and began renovations. A 1000-year flood and the issue of being a young person in business made it a struggle.
In 2020 Trey took on partners, Jacob and Alex Massey and Coalfield Development to help complete the project.
Production of butter and cheese began in the spring of 2021.