The History of Dublin Farms
Original Land Documents Dating Back to 1872
Dublin Farms, Inc., a leader in the Virginia potato industry, traces its origin to the mid-1870’s when Edward Thomas Hickman began raising potatoes on his home farm, “Dublin.” “Dublin” was the name given to this 300-acre tract in Horntown, VA, on the north side of Mosquito Creek, when it was separated from an original land grant from England.
Potatoes have been grown on various parts of this farm every year since 1876. The current owners, E. Phillip Hickman, Jr. and David L. Hickman, are fourth generation potato farmers on this land. Their sons, Matthew, Mark and Phillip, comprise the fifth generation and are actively involved in all aspects of the operation. Dublin Farms, Inc. currently produces potatoes, corn, soybeans, wheat and green beans in Accomack County.
Dublin Farms has always been at the forefront of innovation in the Virginia potato industry. We were the first to fumigate fields to reduce nematode and disease pressure, and the first to build large cooling rooms (18 trailer loads) to eliminate field heat and increase shelf life of fresh market potatoes. Our 25,000 sq. ft. facility is filled with the latest packing and grading equipment. In 2009 we became the only potato producers in Virginia to incorporate an Odenberg Titan color sorter (upgraded to the Titan II in May 2013), ensuring that only the highest quality potatoes make it to the final package. A Volmpack 12000 is used for all of our small pack, allowing us to pack up to 50 bags a minute, all within 4 ounces of its targeted weight. Our small pack bags are a half mesh half plastic, helping to reduce condensation in the bag and increase shelf life. Here at Dublin Farms, everything we do from start to finish - from planting to packing - is done to exceed industry standards to ensure the customer receives only the highest quality potatoes.
Innovative measures are also applied in our fields; we use the latest in auto-steer technology so as to maximize field production and reduce the over use of pesticides and fertilizers. Double LL equipment is used to plant and harvest our potatoes. The planter is equipped with the lastest technology to ensure accurate seed spacing, which results in maximum yields. The 4-row windrower and two 4-row harvesters are extremely gentle on the product so it isn't bruised or excessively skinned which would reduce the product's shelf life.
Today, food safety is top priority at Dublin Farms. GAP certified since 2010, we strive to meet and exceed the standards required by our customers. Only food grade grease and oil is allowed in any equipment that is used in the production of the potatoes. Smoking and eating is not allowed in the fields or packing facility, and only water is allowed to drink (in secure containers). Bathrooms and handwashing stations are avilable to all employees. All packages are coded for our traceability program; each code gives the day the product was packaged and the field from which it was harvested. If there were to be a quality or health issue, it could easily be traced and rectified.
We ship approximately 12-15 loads of potatoes daily from late June through mid August. Shipments cover the entire east coast, including Canada and as far West as Cincinnati.