CLINTON, Maine — One of seven dairy farms in Clinton — Flood Bros. family dairy farm — was honored recently as the recipient of the 2011 Maine Commissioner of Agriculture’s annual award of excellence. The award was presented by then-Commissioner Seth Bradstreet of Newport at the traditional commissioner’s luncheon during the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta.
Flood Bros. family dairy farm has been in agricultural production for more than 200 years and is currently operated by three generations of family members, according to Judy Blaisdell of the agriculture department.
The dairy first shipped milk as a commercial operation in 1927 under George Flood Sr., who was 14 at the time, and over the past 80 years the farm has grown and changed with the times, Blaisdell said.
The farm is now owned by George Flood Jr. and William Flood, the founder’s sons, and operated by them, along with their families and more than 40 employees.
When they purchased the farm from their parents in 1980, George Jr. and Bill Flood both had young families and were keen on continuing the tradition of quality milk production and growth. At the time of the transfer of the farm, the dairy was milking about 300 cows.
“Over the next 20 years another 10 buildings and barns were constructed, the milking herd increased to 1,700 with 3,900 head overall, corn acreage quadrupled to 1,400 acres and a 100-stall rotary milking parlor was built,” Blaisdell said. The farm also cultivates about 2,280 acres of grass.
“Being truly a family farm, there are three generations of Floods carrying on the family tradition,” Blaisdell said, referring to four children and six grandchildren of George and Bill Flood who work on the farm.
Daily milk production is currently averaging 140,000 pounds per day, with cows averaging 85 to 90 pounds per day.
“The Floods have consistently earned quality awards from their co-op Agri Mark,” Blaisdell said. They also have been generous to fellow farmers and the community, she said, pointing out how the family in the past had helped neighbors with crops at times of crisis or need and loaned equipment during breakdowns. They also have helped sponsor local athletic teams and youths in agriculture and donated land, gravel and funds for community projects and endeavors.