Flewelling awarded Maine Agri-Woman of the Year

12 years ago

Flewelling awarded

Maine Agri-Woman of the Year

By Scott Mitchell Johnson

Staff Writer

    PRESQUE ISLE — Joan Flewelling of Easton was recently honored by the Maine Agri-Women for her many years of service to the farm family, the Maine potato industry and her commitment and dedication to agriculture.

Staff photo/Scott Mitchell Johnson

    JOAN FLEWELLING of Easton was recently honored as the Maine Agri-Women’s 2012 Woman of the Year. She was recognized at the Maine Potato Board’s annual dinner and meeting for her many years of service to the farm family, the Maine potato industry and her commitment and dedication to agriculture. Congratulating Flewelling, center, are, from left: Maine Agri-Women co-presidents Judy Kenney and Mary Anne Buck. BU-MAINE AGRI-WOMEN-CLR-DC-ALL-15

    During the Maine Potato Board’s annual meeting and dinner, the Maine Agri-Women presented Flewelling with the 2012 Woman of the Year award.

    “Joan began her farm career on her parents’ (Walter and Patience Clark) potato farm. She always enjoyed working outdoors whether it was pulling mustard, kale, potatoes or mowing the lawn,” said Mary Anne Buck, co-president of the Maine Agri-Women. “Her Mom took her out to the field when she was 5 years old for the afternoons — when the weather was nice — to pick potatoes.”

    After marrying her husband, Gaylen, Flewelling had the opportunity to hire the crew, count tickets, do payroll, as well as be a nursemaid and surrogate mother to the more than 30 children who were sure they wanted to pick potatoes.

    “At least until after the first day,” laughed Judy Kenney, Maine Agri-Women co-president. “The laws did change and the younger children could not be in the field; they had to be 12 years old or older. She also had the chance to drive truck or run the bin piler if someone was missing. Picking potatoes stopped when she had too many other responsibilities that came along.”

    Flewelling later took complete charge of hiring the harvester and potato house crew, did the payroll and books for her husband, and payroll for their son, Brent.

    “It’s very special to receive this award,” said Flewelling. “Usually I’m one of the ones helping pick out the winner, so I had no idea. It really is an honor. I didn’t expect to receive it while I was still active.

    “I love agriculture and I love the educational aspect of it,” she said. “This was such a surprise and I am truly honored.”

    Flewelling has been a member of the National Potato Board, president of the National Potato Council Women’s Auxiliary in 1994, and past president and founding member of the Maine Agri-Women.

    The Flewellings have three children: Julie, Brent and Nicole, and nine grandchildren.