Huff Family Farm named 2019 Outstanding Cooperator of the Year
WELLINGTON — Located down a quiet dirt road in Wellington, you will find Huff Family Farm a small conventional dairy farm tucked away among the hills of Piscataquis County. Joel and Wendy Huff own and operate the farm, which has been passed down from generation to generation and they continue to care for the land with best management practices and programs offered through Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Each year, the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District recognizes and honors a cooperator (land manager) in Piscataquis County who has implemented exceptional conservation practices on their land. This year, the PCSWCD will be honoring Joel and Wendy Huff of Huff Family Farm as the 2019 Outstanding Cooperator of the Year.
Please join the PCSWCD to honor Huff Family Farm on Friday, Sept. 27 when the family will receive the award. Guest speakers will include Jaime Sandoval, district conservationist from the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Doug Dimento, director of corporate communication from Agri-Mark.
As you turn up the drive to the family farm, not only will you notice the stunning views, but also the weathered sign that was awarded in 1995 for Piscataquis County Outstanding Cooperator to Dana and Ethel Huff. In January 2003 Joel took over the family farm from his parents. Joel is following in his father’s footsteps, who at 83 still works at the farm as much as he is able.
“The farm is all family run and hard work,” said Wendy to Sarah Robinson, executive director of the PCSWCD. “The neighbors laugh when they say they’ve seen the tractor lights last night.”
With over 100 animals, including 33 milking cows that are averaging 66 pounds of milk per day with an equivalence to just under eight gallons of milk from each cow every day, the Huff family pays attention to caring for the cow’s nutrition and their land to provide quality milk.
The farm sits on 430 acres that consists of forests, wetland, and grazing pastures that provide the animals with the sunshine and exercise needed. One hundred and 30 of those acres are tillable with corn, oats and hay that are managed with a nutrient management plan, crop rotation and with soil health in mind. The manure from the animals goes back to the land after it is stored in the manure pit. This system provides environmentally-friendly storage for animal waste and then an opportunity to use their own product for fertilization, resulting in grass establishment and ultimately erosion control on their land. If that didn’t keep the Huff family busy enough, they also sell thousands of square bales of hay to a wholesale dealer.
So how can you purchase Huff Family Farm milk? Right in your local dairy cases you will find dairy products from Agri-Mark, who is the Northeast’s premier dairy farmer cooperative and is who Huff Family Farm sells their milk to. Agri-Mark owns and operates several milk processing plants and merged with Cabot Creamery Cooperative and McCadam Cheese. So, when you buy Cabot and McCadam dairy products, you are directly supporting more than one third of the dairy farm families in New England, including the Huffs. You can also purchase Hood milk which is processed right in Portland and is the processor that the Huffs directly sell their milk to.
Starting at 1 p.m. on Sept. 27 the Huffs will lead a tour of their dairy farm, highlighting their farming practices and projects. After the tour, special guests from Natural Resource Conservation Services and Agri-Mark will speak about the specific best management practices the Huffs have implemented and dairy production on Maine’s landscape. PCSWCD will be offering light refreshments prior to the award ceremony. The ceremony will be led by the PCSWCD board of supervisors and staff and will honor Huff Family Farm and all the incredible work they are doing in Piscataquis County.
Registration for the tour and award ceremony is open to the public and required for attendance by Friday, Sept. 20 with a $10 registration fee which supports conservation education. Transportation will be available leaving from the USDA Service Center building in Dover-Foxcroft for the event. For more information and to register, visit www.piscataquisswcd.org, contact the PCSWCD at 564-2321 extension 3, visiting the office in the USDA Service Center at 42 Engdahl Drive in Dover-Foxcroft or email firstname.lastname@example.org.