Situated in the picturesque Androscoggin River Valley in the western Maine foothills, four generations of the Conant family work together. The slogan at Conant Acres is “Where Families Come First” and this is evident not only in the deeply pedigreed herd, but also in the people who care for the cows. In the early 1970’s, Duane Conant concentrated his efforts on purchasing promising young registered Holsteins, which led to a worldwide reputation and many awards for the family farm. Duane and his wife, Betty, had two children, Dennis and Debbie, who both joined the family operation with their spouses, Heidi and Steve, respectively. Several members of the next generation work on the farm. In addition to her farm responsibilities, Debbie also happily provides “Grandma daycare” services for her younger grandkids.
Beyond top-quality breeding stock and milk—which they starting selling direct to local consumers through a fully stocked farmstand Conant Acres also produces bushels of a sweet summertime favorite. By mid-July, Debbie Keene says the phone starts ringing. “Everyone wants to know,” she says, “‘Is the corn ready yet?’” During the average year, all those callers will have to wait another couple weeks, but apparently plenty of folks think Conant Acres’ sweet corn is worth the wait. “We’ve done sweet corn for as long as I can remember,” Debbie says. “I can remember as a kid being in the back of the truck before we were big enough to pick.”