CREATING A FAMILY FARM LEGACY
RAISING HAPPY RED STARS, HATCHING A FAMILY BUSINESS
The McMurry Family—Jeff, his wife Cathy and their son Joe—produces Five Acre Farms Local Eggs from cage free hens on their 80-acre farm in Argyle, New York. Their eggs are gathered to order and packed by hand.
The flock at McMurry’s Sunset Farm is made up of Red Star hens, which are friendly and curious by nature. The hens have their own personalities, greet Jeff by perching on his shoulder or playfully pecking at his hat and make a gentle purring sound when you pick them up.
Jeff always wanted a farm of his own, and in 2006, he began farming full time on a leased farm in neighboring Fort Ann. He and Cathy started by raising chickens, turkeys, cows and goats. By 2012, having outgrown the 11-acre property, they moved to the larger farm in Argyle where they now live and work. They leased the farm for a year, began to specialize in producing eggs from cage free hens and purchased the farm in 2013.
Jeff dotes on his hens. He is meticulous in monitoring their cage free barns to ensure the proper temperature, airflow and level of sunlight to make the animals happy and comfortable. With the help of a nutritionist, Jeff keeps a careful eye on the hens’ diet. He makes sure that they get plenty of protein and calcium for strong, healthy eggs with a golden yolk, and that even the texture of their feed is just how they like it. The hens snack on ground oyster shells for extra calcium to produce stronger shells. The McMurrys never give their hens any hormones or preventive antibiotics.
Joe McMurry began to work with his father shortly after graduating from the University at Albany in 2013, with a degree in Environmental Science. A lifelong animal lover with a knack for connecting with people, Joe makes invaluable contributions to managing and growing the business. He eats a dozen eggs a week, usually in the form of hard-boiled jumbo eggs for breakfast. (His dad, on the other hand, eats a couple of dozen a week, preferably fried.)
Like Five Acre Farms, the McMurry Family is committed to responsible animal husbandry, transparency and continuous improvement while building businesses that produce great-tasting fresh food. Five Acre Farms is committed to seeing the farm’s third generation.