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DBweekly Conant Acres: GOOD CORN, GOOD COWS & GOOD PEOPLE By Parker Welch I’ve had the good fortune to be able to travel to many farms over the years. Through judging team trips, youth conventions and cattle sales, I have been to farms all over the country and Canada. However, I had never had the pleasure of visiting Conant Acres, Inc. in Canton, ME, until last week. And what a pleasure it was. We arrived at lunch time and the Conant Acres’ crew was waiting for us in the yard next to the “famous corn stand” I had heard so much about. Duane Conant, who has managed the family farm since the early 1970’s with his wife Betty, Steve and Debbie (Conant) Keene, Matt and Natalie (Keene) Sneller along with son Gerrit, and Brian’s wife Sarah Keene, were all there to greet us. I had heard a lot about the corn stand so I was eager to try a few ears. The corn didn’t disappoint and the stand was busy all day with repeat customers raving about how good it was. Also deserving of rave reviews is the group of cows in the barns at Conant Acres. The herd boasts a BAA of 114.2 with 66 EX and 27 VG individuals. The most impressive statistic is that out of 23 first lactation cows scored, 10 are VG-88 and 4 are VG-89. They have achieved great success based on one principle: family. Breeding good cow families and having a truly family-run operation have proven to be the keys for success for Duane Conant and his family. After all, “families come first” at Conant Acres. When walking through the tie-stall barn you could see the influence Brigeen-C Intergrit Robin (EX-95 2E), Swampy-Hollow Elevation Sweet (EX-92 3E) and Pond-Oak Ned Boy Margot-ET (EX-95 3E) have had on their herd. Many of the signs hung above the cows had one of these three in their pedigree. These cows were the results of smart investments by Duane and Dennis Conant and Steve Keene, and have proven themselves as foundation cows. It was a lot fun looking at their herd – like looking at a whole bunch of show cows that just all happened to be a part of the same herd. Duane said he “loves coming down to the barn in the morning and seeing them at 3 a.m. because that’s when they look their best.” Working with cows of this caliber certainly makes things fun for the crew at Conant. 13 Click here to visit Conant Acres website! “We like to have fun when we’re out in the barns. If you’re not having fun, then what’s the point?” Duane said with a wink and a grin. And after being there for a few hours I can tell that there is plenty of fun being had at Conant Acres. The future looks bright for Conant Acres. There is another generation of good heifers and great people on the rise. If you’re ever in the area, stop by the farm and see their great cows, meet the people, and be sure to get some corn!
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