Loy’s Farm, a compound of 225 acres was a form of independence for Elder George and Jane Loy. With nine children, the farm was seen as a way to improve their livelihood. Chickens, beef, pigs, apples, eggs, and vegetables were readily produced on the farm. Various grains and hay were grown for crops to support the farm’s growth.
The history of Loy’s Farm begins in Germany with Johannes Loy, who was born in the United States, and Maria Kumpf. Born in 1712 in Germany, Maria emigrated and married Johannes, following his parents’ immigration in the early 1700s. Both families were seeking financial independence and religious freedom. In what was then Pennsylvania, generations passed, until Elder George Loy was born in what was then Augusta, Hampshire, PA, in 1817. Agriculture and religion continued to be important to each generation. On January 7, 1852, Elder George, a Baptist preacher, and Jane Loy purchased a 180 acre farm and Loy’s Farm was created.
Turn off Route 50 onto Ford Hill Rd. in Augusta, WV, and head six miles south towards Kirby, WV. You will find a barn built in 1903 and a farmhouse built in 1901. Situated by the Short Mountain Wildlife Management Area is 225 acres known as Loy’s Farm. The farm began in 1852 with just 180 acres. Another 45 acres were added April 30, 1930, when Robert Loy purchased 45 acres on Clay Lick Ridge. Called the Lower Place, this area of Loy’s Farm is divided by Tearcoat Creek. This 18-mile-long free-flowing tributary stream of the North River is a part of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.
The centerpiece of the farm is hidden on the hills overlooking Hampshire County. A rock fence, built by slaves, provides a beautiful overlook that reaches Nathaniel Mountain and other landmarks as far as you can see. A mixture of generations is highlighted by old and new buildings; springs, creeks, and ponds full of clear water; remnants of a large York apple orchard; two ponds; standing hardwood timber; and plentiful pasture. The farm is frequented by bears, bobcats, fox, eagles, deer, and other wildlife.
Loy’s Farm serves the region with high-quality Angus beef, raised primarily on grass. The farm is a cow/calf operation, which was born from a herd of registered Angus. Recipients of the feeder calves are private farmers in the region and the Farmers Livestock Exchange in Winchester, VA, where calves are traditionally sold at one of the State Graded Feeder Sales. Hay for the cattle is also produced on the farm and in the local community.
Loy’s Farm is currently owned and operated by Beth Loy, Ph.D. Her mom, Betty M. Loy, works with Beth to monitor livestock and suggest improvements. She retired from the state of West Virginia after 30 years as an executive secretary. She went on to work part-time for the WV Schools for the Deaf & the Blind for 25 years. At age 80 she finally retired. They lost Beth's father, Gary R. Loy, on October 30, 2014, when he was 82 years old. One of his hopes was to have the farm approved as a WV Century Farm, which it was in the months after his passing. Gary was a Navy veteran who spent 43 years working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
During Beth's youth, she and her Border Collie Blondie would spend summers and evenings after school with her grandparents, Ersel B. and Glenna M. Loy. Both were lifelong egg, apple, and Angus producers. They sold fresh eggs to federally-funded establishments (nursing homes, jails) and wealthy homeowners in Winchester, VA. Beth would ride with them on Fridays. Their apples and feeder calves were sold at the Farmers Livestock Exchange in Winchester, VA. Beth would also ride along to the Exchange, French's Feed Mill, and to various farm stores to pick up supplies. She would usually get a small toy for every trip! Beth still has her grandparents' 1955 John Deere 40 tractor and 1967 Chevy truck.
After the farm had been leased by other producers, Beth made up her mind that she wanted her Mom to see the farm run by the family again. This happened in April 2017 with the support of Farm Credit of the Virginias. Beth purchased a starter herd of 18 Angus cow/calf pairs to go along with her 2 hand-raised heifers. The herd continues to expand with each passing year.
Beth is employed by West Virginia University (WVU) where she is a Principal Consultant at the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). In this capacity, she provides leadership to teams of service delivery and information systems. Beth has been with WVU since 1996 and is a member of the Management Team. She is also a member of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) and HTML Writers Guild. Beth also holds certificates in Project Management, ADA Coordination, Grantsmanship, Web Technologies, and Web Graphics/Multimedia. Beth is a national speaker that has traveled throughout the United States and its Territories, Canada, and Mexico.
Beth Loy, 2009
Gary R. & Beth Loy, 1990
Glenna M. Loy, 1978
Ersel B. & Glenna M. Loy, 1932
Robert J. & Melissa J. Loy, 1889
Elder George & Jane A. Loy, 1852
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