Babcock Poultry Farms founded
Munroe Babcock was born in 1907 in Fredonia, New York near the shores of Lake Erie. His father had a poultry breeding farm and hatchery in the orchard and grape district of Western New York State. His father was a mechanical engineer who started a poultry business in 1905 primarily because of his health. Chickens were Munroe’s only playmates and he could tell all his father’s White Rock roosters apart by their looks and their crow. He started breeding chickens when he was 12 and continued into his college days and had a goal of being the best chicken breeder in the world. He studied poultry husbandry and breeding and agricultural economics at Cornell University graduating in 1931. His first job was the executive secretary for the New York State Poultry Breeders Cooperative and had charge of the Association that ran the Record of Performance and Certification in New York State. In 1935 he left the Breeders Cooperative to start a hatchery in a leased building in Ithaca financed with $2,500 from his father. In the first year of operations he sold 111,000 chicks.