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2022 Green Pasture Award Winner – Paine Farm

Photo Credit – Gary Anderson

The Maine Green Pastures committee visited two Maine dairy farms on Friday, July 1, 2022, and selected Paine Farm as the recipient of the 2022 Maine Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year. The Paine’s will represent Maine dairy farmers over the next year. Dean and Juanita Paine are the current owners of this outstanding dairy farm, and their son Josh along with 2 part-time employees run the farm.

The Paine farm has a rich family history which begun in the early 1920’s when Dean’s great grandmother, Elsie Stoutamyer, bought the land the farm currently sits on for $1,800 and moved from Virginia to Madison, ME. The family even received a visit from President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was visiting Maine in the 1930’s, and Virginia (Dean’s mom) got to meet and shake the President’s hand at 4 years old.

In 1952, Virginia married Gerald Paine and in 1955 bought the farm from Dean’s grandfather. The Paine’s raised chickens until the 1970’s. From 1981 to 1984, Gerald and Virginia raised heifers after deconstructing the chicken barns and in 1984 began milking 11 heifers in a tie-stall barn. Dean bought the dairy farm in 1996 from Gerald and milked 42 cows.

In 2014, the farm suffered a barn fire which caused them to rent a farm in Norridgewock to get by. This began
the rebuilding of the new and current free stall facilities, and the conversion from a pipeline to a double 8 parallel milking parlor.

Currently, the farm milks 130 cows, mostly Holsteins but sprinkled with a few crossbreds. The herd produces just over 25,000 pounds of milk per cow, testing 4.2% fat and 3.3% protein.

The farm has an active cropping program that produces feed for the cows and young stock with 250 acres of hay crop, 220 acres of corn and 25 acres of alfalfa. The Paine’s have a self-propelled mower and sell excess silage and hay to local farms.

They have a farm stand with vegetables and sell beef locally. Their son Josh also had a business of creating pig hide for lobster bait.

Gerald passed earlier this summer but was an integral part of the family farm. He was recognized as the oldest farmer in Madison and loved to decorate a float to participate in the Madison/Anson days.

Congratulations to this family on their continued hard work. – Glenda Pereira, UMaine Extension.

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