The Dougherty family has been involved in agriculture in the Sutter Basin, near Robbins, since the before the Great Depression. Neil F. Dougherty came to the area in 1920 and was employed as Assistant Agricultural Superintendent for the Sutter Basin Corporation. When the company liquidated its holdings, Neil purchased 1,700 acres land and began farming. Upon his death in 1957, his son-in-law, Bill Dougherty, took over the operation. Bill grew rice and wheat at that time. In the late 1970s, Bill’s sons Neil and Dan began working on the ranch too.
Until Neil and Dan began farming, Dougherty Farms was primarily a rice growing operation. They expanded the business, established Dougherty Brothers, and increased the size of the farm. Neil and Dan were early innovators and the first farmers in the area to use lasers to level the land and adopt drip irrigation. Now, in addition to rice, they produce processing tomatoes, wheat, rice, corn,beans, vine seeds and sunflowers.They are also certified organic growers.