Even before they took over full ownership of the family’s dairy farm – Twin Brook Dairy in West Minot – in 2010, brothers Aaron and Adam Trundy had made cow comfort a top priority.
“The more comfortable they are, the better their milk production is and they’re happier,” Adam said.
Apparently they’ve been successful; their cows average 90 pounds of milk per cow per day – that’s a little more than 10 gallons of milk, and they have one of the top herds in the state. Cows live in spacious free stall barns with optimal ventilation, large stalls for the cows to lounge in, each filled deep with sand – it’s like lying on the beach. In another effort to improve cow comfort and health, the Trundys started milking the cows three times a day in 2013.
This year, they were recognized for their efforts with the New England Green Pastures Award for the state of Maine. Each year, one farm from each of the New England states is selected. These farms are chosen based on “pasture quality and forage management, production, herd/milk quality, financial stability and community involvement.”
Aaron and Adam’s parents Maynard “Sonny” and Susan Trundy started the farm with just two milk cows in 1976. Over time, the herd was increased to 80-100 cows. After school, Adam stayed on the farm, while Aaron worked off the farm. Their father passed away in 2008, and Aaron returned to help Adam run the dairy operation. That fall saw the construction of the first heifer barn so that heifers and dry cows could be kept at the home farm rather than at another facility.
The herd has continued to grow (currently at 150 milk cows) and so have the facilities with the new freestall barn in 2010 – the same year the brothers officially took over ownership of the operation and established Twinbrook Dairy LLC- and another heifer barn this year as the former one houses dry cows and younger milk cows now.
Twinbrook belongs to the Agri-Mark Coop (Cabot), and the milk is shipped to HP Hood in Portland. The Trundys have successively won milk quality awards in the past several years, and the farm has a handful of cows that receive top production honors from DairyOne, the regional dairy herd improvement organization, each year.
The farm is operated by a crew of four in addition to the two brothers, and their mother Susan does the books. Adam also serves off the farm on the county Farm Service Agency committee.
Some additional photos from around the farm: