Matt Carey and six generations of the Carey family have called the dairy farming town of Burke in Northeast New York home since 1891. Located near the northern foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, the property is just 12 miles from the Canadian border. Matt was a senior in high school when he started working on the farm full-time after his father became ill. The young man made arrangements with his school in order to take care of the farm work while finishing up his degree. “I had to do everything, but it worked for me,” says Matt. “I proved I could do it, both to myself and to my father.” Right after he graduated, his family made him an offer to become a partner.
Matt prides himself on being a hands-on guy. He raises all of his own cows and, while he’ll hire a hand or two to help bale the farm’s hay, he milks all the cows himself. Over the years, Matt has also modernized the farm: improving milk yields through carefully managed feed, upgrading infrastructure and keeping buildings in shape. “The improvements have helped us become as efficient as possible for our size,” says Matt. “The best thing about farming is you get to do things your own way. You are the center of your business, and it teaches you so much about yourself.”