Highland Farms, Inc.
Jersey Journal Article
Portland Press Herald
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Highland Farms is located atop a scenic hill in Cornish, Maine, in the southern part of the state near the border with New Hampshire. The herd is the oldest Registered Jersey herd in the country, dating to 1886.
Genetics from Highland Farms can be found in Jersey herds across the globe, through descendents of one of the farm's initial purchases, Perty W. 41721, and the bull Highland Magic Duncan and his son, Highland Duncan Lester.
Highland Farms milks 260 cows and raises 240 replacement heifers. The farm is situated on 1,200 acres and rents another 100 acres. About 150 acres are planted with corn for silage and 150 acres with grass for hay and silage. About 1,000 acres of the farm is woodland.
The herd is enrolled on REAP and has a 2015 lactation average of 17,056M, 848F and 598P on 224 lactations.
We are pleased with the genotyping results of several members of the herd. Three cows rank among the top 1.5% for GJPI after the July 2016 genomic evaluations.
Highland Farms is a member of New England Jersey Sires and a contract advertiser in the Jersey Journal. We celebrated 30 years of contributions to Project Equity in 2010.
Over the years, the family that operates Highland Farms has earned several prestigious awards, including the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) Master Breeder Award in 1987 and the National Dairy Shrine Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award in 1995. John Palmer received the AJCA Distinguished Service Award in 2012. CLICK HERE to read more details about John's award.
The farm was featured in an article in the April 2009 issue of the Jersey Journal. CLICK HERE to view the article.
Highland Farms was founded by David C. Pike and his two sons, Wyer W. and Fred B. Pike. Registered Jerseys were brought to the farm in 1886, when the family purchased two cows - Perty W. 41721 and Guilet W. 40984 - from George Blanchard of Cumberland Center, Maine.
Perty W. proved to be an exceptional investment as she provided the farm with 10 daughters. Much of the present-day herd at Highland Farms traces to Perty W. From her descend several cow families with names that are familiar to Jersey breeders today, including the "Aletta," "Candy," "Fernetta," and "Jean" cow families. Also in this group is the "Miss Letty" family which yielded "Lester."
Wyer's son, Robert, bought out his uncle in 1925 after he graduated from the University of Maine at Orono. He farmed in partnership with his father until 1937 and then as sole proprietor until 1957.
Highland Farms then became a family operation, with Robert's son, Robert L. Pike, and his daughter and son-in-law, Allaire Pike Palmer and John Palmer, joining the work force. The farm was incorporated in 1962, with Robert S. Pike sitting at the helm as president.
Robert L. retired from the business in 1995 and Allaire and John retired in 1998.
Highland Farms is now managed by fifth-generation stockholders, David W. Pike and Lorie L. Pike, Libby Palmer Bleakney and Daniel M. Palmer. David manages the field work and the logging business, which cuts and chips wood from the farm and does custom logging for other businesses. Libby and Dan manage the dairy herd. Lorie is a full-time teacher and milks part-time and one day on the weekend.
Dedicated spouses help out whenever and where ever they are needed and enable everyone to have one day off each week.
The sixth generation of young people at Highland Farms are showing a great deal of interest in the farm as well. Jennifer Kimball and Johanna Chapman, Libby's daughters, both earned associate's degrees in applied animal science, with a major in animal science, from the University of New Hampshire and are working full-time. They have assumed most of the responsibilities of their grandparents, John and Allaire Palmer.
Chad, David's son, has an associate's degree in precision welding from Southern Maine Community College and is working full-time alongside his father. David's daughter, Katie, is in her second year at Virginia Tech's school of veterinary medicine and works at the farm on summer breaks.
Andrea Sturgeon, Lorie's daughter, is working part-time on the farm.
Two other family members, John Bleakney (Libby's son) and Michael Sturgeon (Lorie's son), chose careers off the farm but lend a hand when it is needed.
|Highland Farms, Inc.
The Pike, Palmer and Bleakney Families
152 Towles Hill Road, Cornish, ME 04020
207/625-3329 - 207/625-3305 (Libby) - 207/625-4752 (Fax/Answering Machine)
HIGHLANDFARMSDAIRY@GMAIL.COM - firstname.lastname@example.org
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