Soil & Water Conservation District
2010 Outstanding Conservation Farm of the Year
Orchard Hill Farm
Stan & Gail Maynard
Leigh Morrow (left) presents award to Stan & Gail Maynard
Stan & Gail Maynard began 20 years ago with 2 Scottish Highland beef cattle in Oakfield, ME. They now have about 120 head of cattle on their farm in Woodland, ME, where they have been for 11 years now. This is one of the largest herds of pure bred, registered Highland cattle in Maine. Scottish Highland is one of the oldest pure breeds of cattle known and is perfectly adapted for the cold Maine winters, needing little shelter. Their primary focus is on breeding stock, but they also sell USDA Inspected, MOFGA Certified Organic beef at the Presque Isle Farmersí Market or at their farm.
Stan Maynard with one of his Scottish Highland cattle
The Maynardís farm itself is on high land, giving them a beautiful 360 degree view and can see Mount Katahdin on a clear day. They have about 160 acres of their own and lease an additional 140 from their neighbors. On their ground, they practice rotational grazing by moving paddocks frequently, which gives a rest period for the pasture to recover before it is grazed again. This type of management typically produces higher-quality feed, benefits herd health and reduces the concentration of nutrients (manure). It is also much more time intensive and requires more handling of the animals, which leads to the already docile cattle to become more accustomed to people and associates them with fresh pasture.
During the winter and spring, their herd is fed about a 2:1 ratio of hay to silage that is grown on the farm. Because of the high cost organic grain, they feed their cattle very little, but are thinking of growing oats in the near future. As Stan states, ďIf you arenít feeding them grain, then they need good grass.Ē
The Maynards recently had a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) written, which combines conservation practices and management activities to ensure production and natural resource protection. They spread woodash sourced from New England Organics in Fort Fairfield as a liming agent and fertilizer, as well as manure.
In 2010 they worked with the NRCS through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to design and construct a concrete Heavy Use Area and manure storage, diversion ditches, and vegetated filter strip as recommended in the CNMP. This system is designed to collect, slow, and filter the runoff from the HUA and manure storage with the diversions and vegetated strips. The filtered runoff then gets treated further in a small storage pond. There will also be structures in place to collect and control runoff from the barn roof and fencing to keep the cattle out of the waterways. The new HUA also controls soil compaction and erosion by putting a concrete surface over soil that was exposed before. This entire project will control and filter runoff, reducing the risk of surface and groundwater contamination.
Heavy Use Area Before Heavy Use Area After
On top of following the recommendations in their CNMP, they believe that the principles of organic agriculture that they employ are some of the most important practices that benefit the environment and are better for the animals. This past year they tried some no-till seeding, which is difficult to do organically, but tried intensive grazing and seeding into that and had positive results.
We appreciate all that Stan & Gail do for their cattle and the environment. For these reasons, among others, the Central Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation is pleased to present Orchard Hill Farm with the 2010 Conservation Farm of the Year Award. Congratulations to Stan & Gail Maynard.
2010 Forest Landowners of the Year
Bull Run Tree Farm
Arnold, Joyce, Bob & Kathy Davis
Bruce Wilkins (right center) presents award to Davis Family.
From left, Joyce, Arnold, Betsy, (Bruce), Bob, Kathy Davis.
The Davis Family of Presque Isle received the 2010 Forest Landowners of the Year for their stewardship of the Bull Run Tree Farm on the Parsons Rd. The original farm was first planted back in 1920s by the Bull Family, for who the farm is named. Since Arnold and Joyce to the farm in 50s, they have been dedicated to its proper management. Bruce Wilkins, consulting forester and District Board Chair, has been working with Arnold and his son Bob now for over a decade now. He believes that the Davises have done as much, if not more, than any landowners that he has worked with on the management of their woodlot.
Bob and his son Mitchell are now taking the lead role of caring for the farm. They have been involved with the NRCS and Bruce writing and implementing a forest management plan. As Bob says, itís nice to see land stay in the family over multiple generations because it ensures the same care and management will be maintained for years to come.
2010 Outstanding Service Award
Leigh Morrow (right) accepts award from Benji Lynch
The 2010 Outstanding Service Award goes to Leigh Morrow of Washburn. Leigh has been on the District Board of Supervisors since 1999 and was most recently Board Chair. Leighís background in agronomy and vast knowledge of Aroostook agriculture were indispensible to the Districtís mission during his time on the Board. We regret that he will be stepping down as Chair and Supervisor, but are grateful that he will still be giving his input and sharing his knowledge by remaining an Associate Supervisor. We wish him luck and thank him for his decade of dedicated service to the District.
The District would like to congratulate and thank all of the award winners for their dedication and commitment to conserving and protecting the natural resources that we all share.
To protect, conserve, and improve our area's natural resources for future generations by utilizing available technical, financial and education resources.
The Central Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation District is a Non-Profit Organization all proceeds from our fundraising efforts are used to promote conservation and the wise use of our natural resources. The Central Aroostook County SWCD is an equal opportunity provider and employer
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