Every month, the Phelps Chamber of Commerce recognizes a member as our business of the month. This month we are pleased to recognize J. DeBoover Farms. This local family farm has a long standing successful business and history rooted in our Phelps community.
John DeBoover (the first) arrived in the U.S. from Holland in 1900 at the early age of seven. He married Molly and together they had three children. In 1920, at the age of 27, they bought a farm house atop Melvin Hill where they milked two cows and worked 55 acres of land.
John (“Jack”) Deboover II, was John’s only son, and joined his father farming in 1947 after attending high school in Phelps. In 1949 they built the new barn and by 1950 were milking 16 cows with new milking equipment for the first time. No more milking by hand! They raised 200 chickens and had two horses.
In 1955, Jack married Joellen and proceeded to raise a large family: Judy, Jim, Joe, John, and Julie. In 1963, Jack bought the farm out from his father, John, and officially named it, J. DeBoover Farms. Of all the children, Jim and Joe were the only two who remained on the farm.
In 1968, Jack bought the Gridley Farm, where the current facilities are located, and in 1972 began milking 50 cows in a double 4 Herringbone parlor, while also raising cabbage and kidney beans. In 1988, Jack, with the help of Jim and Joe, expanded the barn and increased the herd to 125 cows,
In the summer of 1996, Jim and Joe began their expansion of the farm which consisted of buying heifers and raising them. In the fall of that year they built a heifer barn, which included 252 stalls where heifers ranging from 6 to 15 months in age and would also be bred in this barn. A bunk silo was also constructed that year to store feed for the growing herd. In the spring of ’97 the construction of the new parlor began and cows were moved from the old facility to the new parlor shortly thereafter.
Jim and Jill have three children, Jesse, Josh and Jamie. Jill works as the farm book keeper. Jesse and Josh began working on the farm full time after completing college. Jamie is a senior in high school and plans to attend college at Keuka where she will play lacrosse and major in history. Joe and Brenda have two daughters of their own, Claire and Anna. Claire is a junior in high school and is active in sports and shows dairy cows at the fair. Anna is a sophomore and has been acknowledged in the community for her impressive work with wool which she spins and cleans herself and makes into clothing.
We here at DeBoover Family Farms are currently milking 1,060 cows three times per day in our newly renovated double twenty parallel parlor. In this parlor, we are comfortably able to milk, on average, 160 cows per hour. We ship approximately 80,000 lbs. of milk daily to our co-op, Land O’Lakes. There are twenty people employed here at the farm who work daily to provide our community with a quality product in a most efficient manner. We generally grow alfalfa, corn and wheat on roughly 1,800 acres of land which allows us to provide and feed our entire herd. The herd consists of 1,800 animals in total (cows, heifers, and calves), all of which are raised and housed on site.
As a family, our favorite part of living in Phelps is the small town atmosphere. The community is close knit. Everyone knows everybody and we know firsthand, having had a barn fire this past fall, how quickly the members of the community will stop what they’re doing and come together to help a neighbor in need. There is no other place in the world we would rather grown our business and forever thankful for having been given the opportunity to do so. Thank you for recognizing DeBoover Family Farms as our community business of the month and God bless!