Local farmers recognized as 2015 McCain champions

     PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The McCain Top 10 Potato Growers were recognized at the annual McCain Grower Barbecue at the Aroostook County Shrine Club in Presque Isle Aug. 28. Flewelling Farms of Presque Isle was named Champion Grower.   Almost 300 guests gathered to celebrate the top growers and their achievements. Champion grower selection is based on the highest standing quality of the following three delivery categories: field direct delivery, winter storage delivery and refrigerated storage.

     To attain champion grower recognition, Flewelling Farms placed first in the grower storage category and fifth in refrigerated storage. In attendance to accept the award were Jerry, Bruce and Nick Flewelling.

McCain Foods recently recognized its 2015 top 10 growers during its annual barbecue in Presque Isle. From left are, front row: Jake Whitten, Ryan Guerrette, Nick Guerrette, Jerry Flewelling, Bruce Flewelling, Nick Flewelling, Mike Lajoie, Murray Blackstone, Duane Grass and Madeline Good. Back row, Field Department Manager Bart Bradbury, Brian Guerrette, Barry Wolverton, Chris Edgecomb, McCain Foods Director of Agriculture North America David Good, Brian Edgecomb, Mike Hagan, Chris Hagan, Jamie Hagan, Seth Williams, Aaron Turner, Mason Turner, McCain Director of Manufacturing East Germain Pinette, Nelson Chapman, McCain Easton Plant Manager Dave McKenney, Stacy Chapman, Brianne O’Leary, Larry Foster, Kevin Grass, Zack Grass, McCain VP of Integrated Supply Chain for North America Dale McCarthy and Max Good.
(Contributed photo)

 Bruce Flewelling said he was surprised to receive the award and happy that his father and son were both there to accept the award with him.

     Several other honors were given during the event. In the category of field direct delivery, Wil-Turn Farms of Washburn (Aaron Turner and Seth Williams) claimed the top spot. Second place in this category went to Lajoie Farms (Mike, Bradley and Phil Lajoie) of Cyr Plantation, and third place went to Duane and Kevin Grass of Mars Hill.

     In the winter storage delivery category, first place was awarded to Nelson Chapman of Caribou. Second place went to Edgecomb Farms (Brian, Chris and Bobby Edgecomb) of Limestone. Third place was awarded to Murray, Dan, and Bill Blackstone of Caribou.

     In the refrigerated storage category, first place was awarded to Ryan, Bryan, and Andy Guerrette of Caribou. Second place went to Good Farms (Tom and Max Good) of Monticello. Third place went to Hagan Farms (Mike, Chris and Jamie Hagan) of Houlton.

     Dale McCarthy, vice president of integrated supply chain for McCain North America, was on hand to extend personal congratulations to the Flewelling family and all of the McCain growers. In his address to the group, McCarthy shared how people at McCain have a heart for agriculture and he could think of no other place where he would rather be.

      Other McCain personnel on hand to congratulate the growers included McCain Foods Director of Agriculture David Good, Director of Agronomy North America East Leigh Morrow, Director of Agronomy North America Yves Leclerc, Director of Manufacturing East Germain Pinette, Easton Plant Manager Dave McKenney and Field Department Manager Bart Bradbury.

     Other special guests included Walter Whitcomb, Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and Ellis Additon, Director of Animal and Plant Health.

     Each Top Ten Grower received a cash award of $1,000 and a plaque in recognition of their accomplishment.