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Caverlys Honored With 2007 Maine Dairy Shrine Pioneer Award
Caverlys’ philosophy: “There are good ones in every breed.”
The Pioneer Award posthumously recognizes individuals whose foresight, dedication and lifetime achievements will forever impact Maine’s dairy industry. The 2007 winners of the Pioneer Award were Brainard E. “Pudge” and Edgar E. “E.C.” Caverly, of Caverly Farms, in Clinton, Maine.
Brainard and Edgar, along with their older brother Francis, grew up on the Clinton farm purchased by their parents to teach the boys the values of farming and rural living. The boys gained a passion for farming and cows from their uncle Edgar Wyman who worked family farm next door to where the boys grew up. Exposed to Jerseys, Holsteins and Ayrshires at an early age, they quickly learned, “There are good ones in every breed,” a sentiment they repeated many times throughout their lives. This philosophy enabled them to recognize good cattle and admire the cattle that others had bred. They graduated from Lawrence High School and “E.C.,” the youngest, graduated from the two-year dairy program at the University of Maine.
After finishing school the boys return to the family farm in Benton and quickly began increasing the size of the herd. By 1972, the herd had outgrown their facilities and the boys purchased the land where the present farm is located from the Goodwill School in Hinckley. With additional acreage and space the herd continued to grow to its present size of about 430 cows.
Over the years, Caverly Farms built up a reputation for quality cattle. Cows were bred using the top AI sires from the US and Canada along with some home-raised bulls. At first the cattle carried the “Benton’s” prefix later followed by “Caverly Farms”. One outstanding cow was Benton’s Sylvia whose bloodlines can still be traced to cattle today. The Sylvia family produced several branches know for their type, longevity and production. One branch produced Forever Schoon Cornelius, who was an extremely popular AI sire in Canada. Caverly Farms Star was a popular bull that the brothers sold semen from and used for their own herd. Star sired numerous outstanding daughters, many of which were sold to PEI.
The brothers had a keen eye for good cattle and purchased many outstanding animals from breeders throughout North America. One purchased bull, Oak Ridge Highlander was one of the first bulls accepted into the Ayrshire Breeders Association Young Sire Program. A cow Mor Ayr Bel Beladina received a nearly perfect classification score of 97.1 after her purchase.
The Caverly’s took great pride in their animals and took every opportunity to display them by exhibiting them at local, state, regional and national shows. For many years Caverly Farms was listed among the farms receiving the most All American nominations. A highlight of their showing success was the 1978 World Dairy Expo where two animals owned by the farm, Fred-Ave Klondike Flossie and Oak Ridge Bruis Helga were Reserve Junior Champion, Senior and Grand Champion respectively.
The farm has always had an “Open Door” policy. The farm was a common stop for 4-H clubs, university judging teams and farm tours. Numerous breeders and visitors from throughout the world have passed through the farm doors and there was always time to show anyone the cattle and facilities.
Pudge and E.C., along with their brother Frank, were extremely close and worked well together. For this reason it is difficult to separate out the individual accomplishments of any one of them. Pudge loved the showing while E.C. did much of the breeding, however, all three were important to the farm’s success. Both Pudge and E.C. were active members of the Maine Ayrshire Club, the U.S. Ayrshire Breeders Association and the Benton Grange. E.C. served as chair of the county ASCS committee and later worked for NRCS on a number of special projects. Pudge served as master of the Benton Grange and received an award for his bravery because of his actions.
E.C.’s family consists of six children Sarah, Richard, and Anita with his first wife, Charlee; and Robert, Russell and Leah with his wife Donna. Pudge’s family included his wife Vicky (now MacDonald) and three children; Judy, Brian and Vanessa.
Though both left this world prematurely, they both touched the lives of so many, Pudge passed away on November 10, 1977 and E.C. on January 1, 2001. The motto of Caverly Farms has always been “Where Faith in the Future Means So Much”. That faith is the reason Maine’s dairy industry honors Brainard “Pudge” Caverly, III and Edgar “E.C.” Caverly with the 2007 Dairy Shrine Pioneer Award.
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