Neil Young’s Son Ben Looks to Expand Successful Egg Farm
Ben Young's Coastside egg farm is a booming success despite his physical limitations. Ben, son of legendary rocker Neil Young, was born with cerebral palsy but started operating a chicken business on his family ranch on Skyline Boulevard in Calif. at age 21. Now, over a decade later, the local farm hero is considering expanding and taking his love for chickens and the eggs they produce to a new level.
Young has 200 hens (all named Georgette) and they lay about 60 eggs per day, which is considered a relatively low production. However, Young and his business manager Dustin Cline are currently looking into ways to increase their productivity, and given all he's overcome already, we're not betting against him!
The business has grown at a very fast rate, largely due to sales at the local farmers market. Funky and colorful designed egg cartons have Young’s face up in the top left corner, smiling proudly, as the branded graphic for Ben's Coastside Farms.
The farm was certified organic in 2002, and Young says he picked chicks because they are fairly low maintenance. “The whole idea of nurturing animals that can give you something in return without having to slaughter them, just works for me. There is a very (strong bond) between people on the farm and the animals on the farm. Baby chicks are so cute and eggs are one of my favorite foods,” he tells Half Moon Bay Review.
He goes on to say, “These are living breathing creatures that are supplying us with sustenance. We should treat them with respect. Small, local farmers take pride in their animals and their crops. They pay more attention to nature and (that) has a positive impact on whatever the end product is. Which is very important, since the end product will end up in your body.”
Ben’s singer/songwriter father is, of course, also supportive of farmers carrying the torch with his longtime involvement with Farm Aid. So, whether Ben has inherited these points of view from his dad, or if the countless benefits of eating farm fresh eggs appeal to him naturally, when it come to minding the farm with reverence, it's like father, like son.