Thank you for visiting Cooperative Extension’s Growing Maine! Growing Maine is a video storytelling series about farmers and food producers. Hear the stories from the farmers themselves.
Watch these short videos to learn more about:
- Family farms and how they start
- How Maine family farms and food producers make decisions
- What’s really important to help a family farm business succeed
- “How do they do that?” Behind the scenes of local food production.
Stories about farm families and food producers wanted!
We’re always looking for Growing Maine stories. If you know of a farm or local food producer in Maine with a great story, fill out the suggestion form below!
Developed by a team of family and consumer science teachers and UMaine 4-H staff as part of the Maine Ag in the Classroom program, this toolkit features activities aimed to help youth identify and develop habits of mind, learn about the multi-faceted Maine Food System, and develop career aspirations and identify training and education pathways for reaching their goals. These activities incorporate videos from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Growing Maine project featuring Maine families and their stories of developing successful businesses.
Heather and Doug Donahue moved to Maine after farming in New York. They purchased 100 acres in Pittsfield and grew their dairy herd to 12. This herd provides the milk for their farmstead creamery, where they produce yogurt and hard and soft cheeses. They are in a partnership and working relationship based on kindness and “consideration for your coworker, to give them space if they need space.”
Originally from Peru, and despite being a novice chocolatier, Monica Elliot built a successful chocolate business, selling truffles and other chocolate confections. Even after an early cancer diagnosis, she persevered. Monica shares her personal journey, her passion for the business, and her aspirations for the business itself to stay in Lubec long into the future.
Young Maine entrepreneur Jaelin Roberts, founder of Simply Macarons, shares the story of her business and some of the science behind making macarons. Winner of the 2018 entrepreneurship award from Hardy Girls, Healthy Women!
Meet blueberry farmers Lee and Everett Worcester in Orneville Township, Maine. From the bees to the berries to the value-added products, lowbush blueberries are the “sweet ones” that are the name of the game.
A Lifetime of Farming!
The latest video in our Growing Maine series tells the story of Cedar Run Farm in Bradford, Maine, a natural grass-fed beef and pork operation. Leanne and Billy Waters started the farm when their kids were young. Their children, Cierra and Colby, are active in the farm operation. Their participation started in the UMaine Extension 4-H program and grew into a full-scale beef operation. Leanne, Cierra and Colby talk about the past, and the vision for the future, as each of the youth plan on staying connected to agriculture when they finish high school.
Mentorship is Key in Grassfed Beef Production: Heartstone Farm
Dan Kaplan and his family are relatively new to farming — Heartstone started just a couple years ago. And as the grass fed beef business began, they learned quickly to not reinvent the wheel. In this video, Dan introduces Fred Sherburne, a former dairy farmer, who mentors Heartstone in many ways. The video also features farmer Tara Hesseltine and her son Logan, who are part the farm family and love the farming life.
Start Small, Grow Big: Treworgy Family Orchards
Hear the story of Patty and Gary Treworgy and their children on their second-generation orchard and family farm.
Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant had a rough start after the first planting of apples failed. But they persevered and learned to “start small.” With that philosophy, the farm grew to what it is today, a destination for over 35,000 visitors each year.
Maine Maple: Jillson Family Farm
Meet the Jillsons from Sabbatus. It was Maine Maple Sunday of 2014 and barely above zero as crowds waited for the annual Sunday breakfast. Even in the cold, the crowds arrived.
Pat and Ed talk about the farm, their kids, and the hard work it takes to succeed. It’s a story that’s about more than maple.
Dogs are Family Too: Stoneheart Farm
Doreen and John Simmons of Stoneheart Farm in South Paris have two invaluable members of their farm family — border collies Gwen and Bea. Without the dogs, the farmers say they could not do what they do.