‘Growing Maine’ shows mentorship key in farming

The fourth installment in the University of Maine Cooperative Extension “Growing Maine” series of short documentaries, highlighting Maine food producers and farm families, tells the story of Dan Kaplan and his family’s grass-fed beef operation, Heartstone Farm, in Charleston.

Kaplan, along with partner and farmer Tara Hesseltine and her son Logan, are relatively new to farming. They quickly learned that the expertise of other farmers could help avoid reinventing the wheel. In this video, Kaplan introduces his mentor, Fred Sherbourne, a former dairy farmer who has made a big difference to a new family farm.

The Growing Maine video series helps consumers get to know their food sources better, as farmers and producers share their behind-the-scenes perspectives on how decisions are made. For those aspiring to farm, the videos are a way to hear directly from farmers and producers about what is most important to them.

UMaine Extension helps support and grow the food-based economy statewide, and is the only entity that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, education, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated.

Videos in the Growing Maine series can be viewed online. Viewers also have the opportunity to suggest future story ideas for new videos that will be released throughout the year. For more information, contact Leslie Forstadt, 581.3487; leslie.forstadt@maine.edu.