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June 29, 2024

To Celebrate Maine Dairy Month, King Discusses Future of Dairy Industry on June Podcast

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) today released the June episode of his “Inside Maine” podcast, in which he highlighted June as ‘Maine Dairy Month’ and discussed the importance of the industry to the state economy. During the podcast, Jenni Tilton-Flood, a dairy advocate and farmer, joined Senator King to share her experiences with dairy farming and how it supports rural communities across the state. Later in the podcast, Patricia Henderson, the Farm Superintendent at the University of Maine Franklin Witter Teaching and Research Center, joined Senator King to share her perspective on how some of the school’s current educational initiatives can bolster youth engagement in dairy farming.

“Maine’s dairy industry has a lasting tradition of contributing to our shared identity and strengthening our economy,” said Senator King. “June marks a time of celebration as we recognize the hard work and resilience of our Maine dairy farms. I appreciate Jenni and Patricia joining me to discuss the future of the industry and ways Maine people can support their local dairy farms.”

Jenni Tilton-Flood grew up in Clinton, ME, the daughter of a local John Deere salesman. She originally attended Clark University, studying Comparative Foreign Policy/International Relations and Sustainable Agriculture before realizing she did not want to feed the whole world but rather her corner of it. Jenni returned home to rural Maine, joining her father's farm equipment business, and met her now-husband Dana Flood. The Floods have been farming the fields of central Maine for more than 200 years, with three generations currently caring for 3400 cows. Jenni is an outspoken advocate on behalf of her rural community, agriculture, food systems, equity & justice, and sustainability. She serves as the chair of Volunteer Maine, commissioner of Maine’s Commission for Community Service, chair of Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council, and represents Maine nationally as a director of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB) and Dairy Industry Association (DIA) while also serving on the Waldo County Bounty Board whose mission is to ensure access to nutritious food and work towards an equitable food system. Jenni’s two children, Lilia and Pres, are among the next generation of Floods who will inherit the risk, responsibility, and rewards of the land and the agricultural legacy.

Patricia Henderson grew up in Blaine, Maine, before attending the University of Maine, majoring in Animal Science. She quickly became an integral part of the UMaine Franklin Witter Teaching and Research Center home of undergraduate and graduate education and research programs in dairy and equine science. She got involved with dairy farming after participating in the University of Maine Applied Dairy Cooperative of Working Students (UMADCOWS), a student-run dairy program at the university. After graduation, she took a job as a dairy herd nutritionist before coming back to the UMaine Franklin Witter Teaching and Research Center as the livestock operations manager and is now Superintendent. She and her husband have started a small farm in Corinna, Maine. Patricia also serves on the Maine Dairy promotion board.

Senator King is longstanding advocate for the dairy industry. He is an original sponsor of bipartisan Dairy PRIDE Act which combats the mislabeling of non-dairy products and requires accurate labeling of dairy and non-dairy products as mislabeling is harmful to dairy farmers selling their products in a crowded marketplace. Senator King also cosponsored the Dairy Pricing Opportunity Act to direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to give milk producers a greater voice in dairy pricing. Additionally, Senator King is an annual cosponsor of the federal ‘National Dairy Month’ resolution.

The "Inside Maine" podcast airs on the last Saturday of the month on Portland Newsradio WGAN. The podcast aims to keep Maine people informed about issues affecting life in the state and how they factor into Senator King’s work.


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