April 09, 2018
Jenni Tilton-Flood is a FarmHer through and through. Raised in a family and by a father who ran a John Deere dealership, she grew up helping farmers. She met her husband at the Flood Brothers Farm on a parts delivery when she worked for her dad as a parts person. The rest is history. In the early days, Jenni did just about every job on the generational family farm. As the farm grew and changed, so did Jenni’s role. Today Jenni spends much of her time advocating for the industry that feeds not only her family but families across the Northeast. As Maine’s largest dairy, the family-owned and run operation is one of the largest employers in the county. The dairy produces 17,000 gallons of milk a day that goes to become milk on dinner tables and cheese on boards around the Northeast.
On my visit to Flood Brother’s Farm, I was greeted by a warm smile from the FarmHer of the farm. We quickly made our way into the milking parlor, so we could catch the end of the mid-day milking. I had never seen anything in person like the huge round, rotating platform that the cows were on. It became clear very quickly that the efficiency gained by the machinery literally makes their world go round. As the machine rotated, the workers could stay at eye level, and stay in one spot to hook or unhook the milking machines and keep an eye on the cows. I even took a quick peek in the middle, getting eyed by the cows rotating up above. How cool!
We then continued our tour through the farm, seeing where the final product is stored, visiting the expectant mothers and newborn calves. It was all very efficient and extremely interesting to see how milk production on a large scale happens. One thing I could easily tell, there are a lot of moving parts. From feed trucks coming in and out, tractors with loaders constantly passing by, milk being moved and babies being born almost constantly, it takes a lot of coordination, effort, care and concern to keep the farm running. We finished the day by trying a taste of Cabot cheese that Jenni had tucked away in a cooler….and that started a new “thing” for me! That Cabot cheese, a cooperative of which the Flood Brother’s is a part of, is DELICIOUS!
While Jenni may not spend her days on those John Deere tractors anymore, she is firmly rooted in agriculture. Her love of the land, care for the community and desire to provide good food to her neighbors drives this passionate and funny FarmHer. The Flood Brothers farm lucked out on the day the @deeremilkmaid delivered a tractor part to the farm, as it gained a smart, strong and downright amazing FarmHer.
September 18, 2018
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