The founder, James J. Warren, was born on October 10th, 1892 in Batavia, New York. His family ultimately moved to North Brookfield, Massachusetts from Batavia, New York and established a small dairy farm there. James Warren went to college at what was then Massachusetts Agricultural College, graduating in 1917. It was somewhat accelerated in order to join the Army. After serving in the American Expeditionary Forces in France he returned in 1919. He spent a year or two as a poultry extension agent for the State of Iowa where he used to travel to all 100 counties twice a year. When his father died he went back to North Brookfield to sell the farm. It was not a really good dairy farm and he felt a different approach was needed to make the sale. He came up with an idea to convert the dairy farm to a poultry farm. The sale plan was put to a former railroad engineer and by the time he got him convinced, he realized he ought to start poultry breeding himself. And so the Warrens started poultry breeding in 1923. He formed a Rhode Island Red (RIR) population made up of a number of different backgrounds, one strain came from New Jersey and also there were a few birds from the Massachusetts College strain that Dr. Hubert D. Goodale had been working with. From this collection of RIR strains a breeding program was started. He also went into the national plan, the Records of Performance (ROP), as that was developed, but his standards were much higher than national standards. He was married in 1927 to Mary Jane Savage. There were five boys and a girl of whom James J. Warren Jr., born on February 10th 1929, was the eldest; he was followed William, George, Neil, Richard and Katherine. J.J. Jr could be regarded as a second founder through his establishment of the Warren Sex-Sal-Link the legendary brown layer that was later sold to Mme Studler and became the Warren-Studler Sex-Sal-Link. Gradually the business grew and the farm gained prominence when he won the North Eastern Poultry Council Hen of the Year in 1938. The farm continued to breed RIR and sold day-old pullets. During the 1940’s they were selling 1 million pullets a year. The business sales were largely in the New England area, but day-old chicks were shipped all over the country mostly by railway express but also by parcel post. The business and the breeding program kept expanding and in the 1950’s the farms housed 25,000 breeders. The company won hen of the year again in 1947 and finally in 1956 when it won hen of the year champion of the 1955-56 egg-laying contest. The main products were Warren Reds and production crosses. A very successful cross was the Warren Red females and the Bennett Barred Rock Male (this was opposite to the old classic sex-link female) that had very high production and a smaller egg.
The author visited the Madbrook Farm, in North Brookfield in 1999 (ably guided by Roger Temple) and interviewed Mr James. J. Warren Jr. in 1997 on a visit to DeKalb. There he provided a lot of archive material and many of the Warren marketing brochures from 1933/34, 1940, 1948, 1951 and 1962 that were in the DeKalb Poultry Research Inc. archives.
The story is told in 17 A4 pages of text, photos and tables of data.