2013 Young Farmer of the Year Announced
Maine Potato Board Announces 2013 Young Farmer of the Year, Shawn Doyen.
The Maine Potato Board is pleased to announce the selection of the 2013 Young Farmer of the Year - Shawn Doyen of Willard C. Doyen & Sons Farm. Doyen lives in Mapleton with his wife Christi and their two children, Taylor, 7 and Charles, 3 (all pictured below).
Growing up on the family farm sparked an early agricultural interest in Doyen. He started assisting in daily tasks beginning at age 11. "I would always help out after school and I remember really enjoying it", said Doyen. His first taste of tractor work got him thinking about joining the family industry. However, after spending his youth in Mapleton, Doyen decided on college rather than jumping right into business at the farm. He traveled down to the University of Maine at Orono where he broadened his horizons with courses seemingly distant from the world of farming.
"I actually majored in Political Science. I think it does relate to life on the farm. I think it's really important to understand how the government works and to know how government decisions affect farmers. Taking classes that weren't agriculture related really helped me become more well-rounded. I think that's helpful to anything you do in life."
Doyen believes that farming is essential to the fabric of our Maine history and culture. He sees the agricultural industry as a vital piece of our collective identity - part of what makes us Mainers. For Doyen, farming is particularly rooted in tradition. "My grandfather Willard started out, followed by my father, Ross, and my uncles, Keith and Bill. It's always been a Maine tradition and it should continue to be." However, while both tradition and family involvement are key, he also believes that technology has an important part to play.
"We have to embrace technology. We can't ignore it. For example, GPS tools are now playing a role in our operations and making things more accurate and easier to keep track of. New farming technology can really increase productivity."
It's obvious from speaking with Shawn that he is not only an advocate for farming as a livelihood, but as a lifestyle. He is committed to ensuring the sustainability and future of Maine potato farming - and he is doing his part to accomplish just that. Doyen has been a member of the Maine Potato Board for 5 years as of this March and is currently serving as the Vice President. He is also on the Board of Selectmen in Mapleton.
In his free time, Doyen enjoys hunting, a good game of golf, or spending time with his wife and young children. Overall, it is clear from his committee involvements to his outright passion for his craft that Shawn Doyen is an asset to both his community and trade.
Don Flannery, Executive Director of the Maine Potato Board, expressed his enthusiasm for this year's "young farmer" honoree.
"Shawn represents the blend of traditional values, superior work ethic, and forward thinking that the Maine potato farming industry thrives upon. His commitment to excellence speaks volumes about his character and his dedication to the future of the Maine potato industry. Shawn's involvement in his community as well as the industry exemplifies the qualities of the Young Farmer of the Year and we are proud to honor him with this title."
The criteria for honoring a grower as the Young Farmer of the Year includes:
- Forty years of age or younger
- Have outstanding farming practice
- Show growth and advancements in their farming operations
- Leadership within the industry
- Involvement with MPB activities
- Willingness to explore new methods, technologies, and advancements in the potato industry
- Participation in the local community, church, and other civic groups
The 2013 Young Farmer of the Year will be recognized and honored at the Maine Potato Board annual meeting in March.
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2013 Young Farmer of the Year Announced