Meet Brian Mahany: a 3rd generation New York potato farmer
Growing a better future: fueling the passion for potatoes and advancing variety research
Brian Mahany, a New York potato farmer specializing in chipping potatoes, was born with a passion for farming, a legacy passed down from his ancestors who came to America from Ireland during the Irish famine. In the 1950s, his grandfather relocated the family farm from Maine to New York, where Mahany Farms continues to operate and is run by Brian, his dad, and his uncles. Growing up on a farm, Brian has fond memories of spending Sundays working in the fields, harvesting, and sorting in the warehouse, followed by a family brunch. He has enjoyed his fair share of potato dishes, too, but particularly loves to fuel his mind and body with fresh-cut fries because he only needs potatoes and salt; no condiments or sauces are necessary.
Brian is passionate about sharing the importance of potatoes and his family’s dedication to the industry. As an active member of the potato community, Brian is a Potatoes USA board member and a member of his state association. Involvement in these organizations allows him to understand the dynamic potato industry and help bridge gaps between state and national initiatives. He strongly advocates for his fellow potato farmers and always works to improve the industry for everyone involved, including advancing potato research. Mahany Farms plays an essential role in developing new chipping potato varieties by participating in on-field trials for Cornell University’s breeding program. These trials help test new potato varieties’ viability in different regions.
Brian’s passion for potatoes and commitment to the industry is a testament to the hardworking spirit of his family’s legacy and a testament to the importance of perseverance and dedication. He continues to make a difference in the lives of fellow potato farmers, just as his grandfather did before him. Brian’s story is one of hope and determination, reminding us that anything is possible with hard work and a little Irish luck.