CH Header Logo
Augur-Doody Farm

One of the core strengths of American agriculture is the family farm, according to the USDA’s 2017 Census of Agriculture, about 96% of the 2.04 million farms in the United States are family-owned. Despite economic and technical changes, family farms continue to be the backbone of American agriculture. The farm of Patrick and Amy Doody in Jordanville is a great example of the importance of families that work together to ensure the success of their operations. The farm is home to them, their three children, 40 milking Holstein and Jersey cows, poultry and several Golden Retrievers that greet farm visitors.

Cows in field
Augur-Doody Farm
calves drinking milk
Augur-Doody Farm
tractor pulling hay bales with dog in foreground
Augur-Doody Farm

Both Amy and Patrick started planning their family farm a long time before they moved to Jordanville in 2007. They are both from Connecticut, Amy having grown up on a fifth-generation farm and they both graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with Ag degrees. They chose to start their farm in Herkimer County because it has fertile land that is relatively flat, plenty of clean water, and is close to markets in the Mohawk Valley and beyond. As Patrick said, “You can change equipment or switch breeds of cattle, but the land is something you’ll have to work with for as long as your farm.”

As a small family farm, they have diversified and took every opportunity to expand their offerings to grow their business. During the COVID years, there was a tremendous desire to purchase food from local sources, including chicken and beef. So, they started raising meat breed chickens and beef cattle that they could efficiently grow to feed their community. They also built a small store building on the farm and expanded their sales offerings to include jams, jellies, locally processed dairy goods and honey. Customers responded by driving out to their farm from local communities like Cooperstown and Richfield Springs as well as the occasional person driving in from Albany or Syracuse. Demand built for their products such that they started a small wholesale operation selling to stores throughout the region.

To keep the pace, everyone on the farm needs to pitch in. It is an exhausting schedule that has everyone responsible for their own chores. The day starts early with the morning milking at daybreak and prepping the barn for the day’s work before school for the kids, and going to off-farm jobs for the parents. Amy is an RN at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown and Patrick works for the school driving a bus route. This has a split shift which allows him to get farm work done after the morning run.

The kids are very enthusiastic about farming and their future. They realize the importance of their contributions. One son has saved up money from his work to buy a ram so he can build up a herd of sheep to call his own and the other just bought a cow to show at the Junior Livestock Show of The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. Their daughter has taken to greeting people at the store and helping them with their purchases. The basic lessons of the farm are that everyone’s work is needed and valued, and that the animals on the farm eat before the family does so that they are healthy and well.

Words to live by in today’s chaotic world.

By Garet Livermore, Cornell Cooperative Extension Herkimer County

Augur-Doody Farm