About 45 minutes southeast of Maine’s famous Sugarloaf ski area in the eastern foothills of the Appalachians, sister and brother Mary and Pete Castonguay manage their family farm. Originally consisting of approximately 50 acres back in 1986, the farm has grown to 415 acres with a herd of 72 Ayrshire cows. The Castonguays began the organic transition process in May of 2002. “We’d been on a grass program for eight years at that point,” Mary says, “So our pastures could be certified right away.” Pete and Mary work well together, each with complimentary skill sets. Pete manages the crops and the feed program, while Mary does the milking and takes care of the cows and the calves, which is her favorite part. Mary’s business background positions her perfectly to handle the business and accounting aspect of the farm.
When Mary isn’t farming she volunteers at a local living history center, skis in the winter and goes to the beach in the summer. Mary says, “I think it will be great to teach kids about farming because today most kids don’t know where their food comes from.”