In 1804, Alexander Cochran, an immigrant from Ireland, purchased the first track of land from the Holland Land Company in Ripley, New York, located in Chautauqua County on Lake Erie. He and his three brothers farmed for a living, and their families continued to farm the same land in Ripley for the next two hundred years.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Cochrans were raising a variety of crops but seem to have focused primarily on sheep. This continued until 1875, when cattle, milking, and butter production became much more prominent. In 1982, the Cochrans were producing dairy products and keeping fields for hay. Today, the Cochrans are raising Holstein cows and have vineyards on their farm.