Don't Bother Waiting: These Cows Aren't Coming Home

Stalls that once housed more than 3,000 cows stand empty following the closing of Abacherli ...

Stalls that once housed more than 3,000 cows stand empty following the closing of Abacherli Dairy at Briggs Road and Old Newport Road in Menifee.
If you live on the east side of Menifee, you may have noticed that the flies aren't quite as bad this summer. Neither is the smell of cow pastures on the early morning breeze.

Take a drive down Briggs Road to Old Newport Road and you'll see why. The cows are gone -- and they're not coming back.

Abacherli Dairy, a fixture in Menifee since 1981, has shut its big iron gates. The stalls where more than 3,000 head of cattle once stood are now empty. Some farm equipment remains, and huge white bags holding feed (right) can still be seen along Briggs Road. Some family members still live on the property.

But since the middle of June, when all the livestock was sold at auction, the Abacherli (pronounced a-BOCK-er-lee) family has officially been out of the dairy business. According to Kim Abacherli, her father Ron decided to retire, putting an end to a business that has been in the Swiss family for four generations.

Arnold Abacherli first got the family into the dairy business around 1917, Kim Abacherli said. The family business was based in Chino and later Anaheim before Arnold's son Frank and his wife Shirley (at left) relocated their home and the dairy to Menifee in 1981. Frank died in 2013 but his wife still lives on the property. Ron, one of five children, has run the dairy in recent years with help from family members, including Kim.

"My dad had two daughters, no sons," Kim Abacherli said. "There are no boys coming up in the next generation. I've been working here for two years and I can't handle any of this any more. My sister is less interested in the business than I am.

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