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Hannah, Stacy, Marcia and Hunter Dean of Cooley Farm with two calves Photo courtesy of Gary Anderson
MOVING FORWARD: The Dean family, the second and third generation running Cooley Farm, will be recognized at this year’s Big E in Massachusetts. Pictured are Hannah (left), Stacy, Marcia and Hunter Dean.

After cutting logging, Cooley Farm focuses on dairy

Cooley Farm in Ripley has been chosen as the 2019 Maine Dairy Farm of the Year.

Cooley Farm started in 1968 with six cows, some logging and Janice Cooley working in a shoe shop to supplement the farm’s income.

Today, dairy is king on the farm with a mixed herd of Brown Swiss, Holsteins and Jerseys. Cooley Farm is the 2019 Maine Dairy Farm of the Year and will be recognized at the upcoming Eastern States Exhibition (Big E).

Rufus and Janice Cooley bought the farm in 1968. Like many farms in the area, the farm started as a tie-stall operation. Over time, the Cooleys increased their herd size. 

In 1990, the original barn burned and was rebuilt as a tie-stall with 95 stalls. 

Changing things up

In August of 2003, Marcia Dean, granddaughter of Rufus Cooley, moved back to the farm with her husband, Stacy, and they built a new heifer barn. A free-stall barn was built in 2004, followed by a new dry cow barn with bedded pack and manure storage in 2011. 

The tie-stall barn was converted to loose housing for young stock in 2014.

Mixed herd success

Currently, the farm is milking 160 to 170 cows that are a mix of Brown Swiss, Holsteins and Jerseys. Production averages 71 pounds of milk per cow per day. The rolling herd average is 22,400 pounds of milk, 3.73% fat and 3.00% protein. 

The farm is run by Marcia, Stacy and their two children, Hunter and Hannah, along with two outside workers. 

Milk is shipped to the Dairy Farmers of America Garelick plant in Massachusetts. The cows are milked in a double-8 herringbone parlor twice a day and fed a total mixed ration of haylage, corn silage and free-choice grain.

A small amount of hay (2 pounds per day) is added to the TMR.

The forage program consists of 180 acres of grass, 154 acres of corn and 20 acres of pasture. 

Hunter and Hannah are active in area sports including football, softball, soccer, basketball and baseball. The family have served on the local planning board, worked with the local historical society, and have been involved with local softball and basketball for the past five years.

Source: University of Maine, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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