Farms across Maine are opening their barn doors to let neighbors and visitors in to meet their animals, learn about farming practices and get a little more in touch with the origin of their food and fiber. If you want to visit a dairy farm (because you haven’t lived until you’ve been licked by a cow) several are taking part in Open Farm Day, including Smiling Hill in Westbrook, Nezinscot Farm (home to the James Beard Award-winning café) in Turner, Conant Acres in Canton, Balfour Farms in Pittsfield, and Hart-to-Hart Farm and Misty Brook Farm in Albion. Or if your child’s classroom participated in the Adopt A Cow program and adopted Kendra, Ida, or Glow, you might want to check in on their calf at Brigeen Farms and stop in their scoop shop – Canty Cow in Turner. Open Farm Day is a free event though plan to bring pocket money so you can take home some of the farm-made goodies. Visit to find a farm or farms near you.

Other opportunities to visit farms this summer include weekly family programs at Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment in Freeport ( and Pineland Farms ( in New Gloucester, where you can also simply purchase a 2-hour farm pass for a self-guided tour, or Smiling Hill’s Barnyard is a great place to meet some four-footed (hoofed?) friends.

Also farm-and-food-related, don’t miss the Maine Cheese Festival on Sunday, Sept. 10, in Pittsfield. Visit for information and tickets.

By Jami Badershall, Communication Manager, Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council