Farmland preservation starts with you! 

Our beginnings 

Newark, DE has been home to our family since 1855. Over the years many generations of ancestors have been stewards of the land and each passed it down to the next. Frances Romaine (Gab) McCoy and Herman Wallace Cook are pictured with their three kids, Boyd, Caroline, and Hap. Gab was raised here on the family dairy farm, she attended college at the University of Delaware where she met Herman who was in the college of agriculture and rented some land to farm nearby. The two married and raised their children on the dairy farm. 

While running the farm, Herman was also a part of the 198th unit of the Delaware National Guard and was activated in the fall of 1940 at the beginning of World War II. While Herman served oversees, the young Cook kids were left to keep the dairy farm running. Boyd (10) and Hap (6) learned to tend to the farm with their mother and milk the cows. Their sister, Caroline, began to cook dinners for the family to enjoy after a long day outside. 

Hap along with his wife Martha took over the family dairy farm with their four kids Herman, Betsy, Linda, and Stephen. The family grew up at the farmhouse on Frazer Rd where the farm still operates today. Years ago, the family farmed over 1,200 acres in the Newark area. Unfortunately, as their farm friends began to sell the ground that the Cook's rented, they continuously saw the average they covered decline as more developments popped up. Until 2014, Hap and the family continued to milk about 80 dairy cows. Eventually, it became too challenging to find reliable labor and the family had to sell the milking herd. 

Family farming today

Martha and her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids all play a role in the farm's success. It's all hands on deck when it comes to caring for heifers, bailing hay, growing crops, and tending to the farm. We are proud to partner with several surrounding dairies such as Woodside Creamery, the University of Delaware, and Emerson Farms. The farm is full of dairy replacement heifers and the family's small dairy show string that they continue to enter at the Delaware State Fair. Together we are able to keep farming in New Castle County and contribute to Delaware's agriculture.

While many family members have pursued careers outside the farm, they still strongly value the family farm and agriculture industry. From teachers and optometrists to ag lenders, marketers, and salespeople the family remains rooted in ag. The farm, along with a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility, has continued to be passed down. Today, Stephen and his brother-in-law Richard manage the daily operations of the farm with the help of the family and the Appoquinimink FFA chapter. Year after year we continue to evolve our farming practices and sources of farm revenue to make farming a viable option for future generations. In 2008 the farm began to sell meat products, a result of Cool Rock Stock, our livestock operation rooted in raising projects for local 4-H and FFA members. Selling the products of past show animals allowed the Cook Cousins and other youth to grow their projects and raise money towards furthering their education. 

Building longevity

While the seventh generation has aged out of youth programs, they passionately give back to others in the community sharing their farm and expertise with those willing to listen, and work! The eighth generation of Cooks enjoys being farm kids, playing in lots of dirt, and riding on the tractors. We look forward to 2022 when they can officially begin to join youth agriculture programs and building their own destiny and farming future. 

Our family is passionate about the land on Frazer road, but will that be enough to ensure its longevity? As developments have begun to pop up around the farm our land is considered to be an area for future housing growth. Both developments located West of us have dead-end roads that stop at our property line with signs that at one time read “Road to Future Development”. Is this our destiny? We hope not, but it will require the partnership of our neighbors and community to help us preserve our farm. Next time you are looking for quality dinner for your family, come visit ours and purchase some of our frozen USDA inspected meat. Help preserve open spaces, maintain a beautiful country view, and come visit your community farm, and farmers. We look forward to your visit and thank you for helping preserve our family's heritage.


Meet the family