LIVERMORE – Castonguay Ayrshires is a family-run organic dairy farm. They are one of two remaining dairy operations in the Livermore area.

The Castonguay family has been farming 400 acres and raising Ayrshire cattle for four generations. The Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District presented the family the 2004 Outstanding Cooperator of the Year Award at its annual meeting in February.

The Castonguays were chosen by the District Board of Supervisors because of the quality and quantity of conservation practices they have installed. The protection and improvement of their family-owned natural resources reflects their desire to be good stewards of the land.

The family has been participating in Natural Resources Conservation Service programs for over a decade. They have built and maintained several conservation practices that include waste storage, a milk house waste treatment system, a rotational grazing plan that incorporates fencing, watering facilities and control of invasive species. They are also implementing a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan.

All four members of the Castonguay family, Adelard (Ed) and Ruth, the owners, and their children, Mary and Peter, are deeply interested in farming. Adelard’s goal is to expand the dairy herd and turn the operation over to Mary and Peter.

Mary is the managing force behind the dairy animals. She handles all of the calves and does more than 90 percent of the milking and serves as the herd physician. In her spare moments she assists her mother, Ruth, with the bookkeeping.

Peter does all the field work with some hired help at the busiest times. Although Ed works full time off the farm, he takes his vacations to help with the harvest, and with Peter’s help, he maintains all of the farm equipment.

Among the four of them, they stay productive, profitable and conserve their natural resources.

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