By Vanessa Brey, 4th Generation Egg Farmer. Brey’s Egg Farm, Jeffersonville, NY.
I’m a fourth-generation farmer, working with my dad, Daniel and my mom, Nancy, on the upstate New York farm my great-grandfather, Harold, founded in 1932. I think he would be proud to see how we have grown and evolved over the years from the 10 cows and 200 chickens they started with. We’re the last egg farm left in Sullivan County, in fact.
We provide for the hens in our care who, in turn, provide fresh and nutritious eggs that Americans love. We raise cattle, too.
One of my earliest memories as a little girl is standing on a milk crate in our egg room. I did this a lot, helping package eggs for shipment to stores and homes here in Sullivan County, as well as New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut. It’s hard work, but more than that, it’s satisfying and rewarding, because we know we are doing our part to feed people!
One of the great things about my job is that I’m getting paid to do something I love. I don’t mind the manual labor; it’s like I’m getting paid to work out and it’s better than sitting behind a desk all day (although I do have to do my share of paperwork). This is an around-the-clock, 365-days-per-year job because our hens depend on us, just like we depend on them.
We blend their feed mixture right here on the farm, and we use grains and minerals to ensure they get the freshest and healthiest ingredients during each stage of their development. We do this not only because it’s the responsible and right thing to do, but also because the result will be enjoyed by someone like you and me.
My job is one that many people aren’t that familiar with. Many haven’t had the opportunity to get to know a farmer. That’s one of the reasons it is important to share my story. I want people to know that I work hard not just during this busy Easter season, but every day to provide eggs. And, I’m not alone. I’m one of countless farmers across the country who do their best every day.