Vanessa Brey packs eggs on the farm | Photos by Elizabeth Lepro

On Easter, as always, I’m a proud egg farmer

"Many haven’t had the opportunity to get to know a farmer."

KENOZA LAKE, NY — I’d say I’m a pretty typical 26-year-old in most respects, so it’s amusing to see how surprised people are when they find out I’m an egg farmer.

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 that they started with. We’re the last egg farm left in Sullivan County.

We provide for the hens in our care who, in turn, provide fresh and nutritious eggs that Americans love. We also raise cattle, too, about 50 Herefords.

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 shipments 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!

Every day is special on the farm, but the Easter season is a particularly special and happy time for egg farmers. Nearly three billion eggs are eaten annually during this time of year. And that culminates in the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, an American tradition since 1878. This year, as every year, thousands of families—and America’s egg farmers—will come together on the South Lawn to roll, decorate and eat the 64,000 eggs that farmers like us donate.


Vanessa has worked at her family's egg farm her whole life. 

One of the great things about my job is that I’m getting paid to do something that 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 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.

For me, as a proud egg farmer, there is no better time than Easter to continue that conversation.

 

 

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