Albert Fitzpatrick says farming is in his blood.
“You gotta be a risk taker and it’s not always fun but for the most part its not like going to work every day and dreading it..you like it,” he said.
It was 1973 when Fitzpatrick took that risk and started his potato farm. What was first 100 acres, eventually grew to 300. And the endeavor he began on his own, turned into a family affair.
“I’ve had awful good help for a lot of years,” he said.
Each of his four daughters spent time working on the farm growing up. Erica Fitzpatrick Peabody still helps her dad out on the technical side. She has an expertise in agronomy — and says the family has always focused on the health and sustainability of their soil.
“My father is definitely the driving force behind the farm..he oversees everything..My grandmother at 90 she still visits the field at night and makes sure the crew has treats and all that,” said Peabody.
Erica says her mother works for the border patrol but has always helped on the farm when needed. Her grandfather helped out during harvest for many years – and the family farmed his home farm for more than 25 years. A truly multi-generational farm family – that the Maine Potato Board recognized as the 2014 Farm Family of the Year.
“I was very very surprised..honored and humbled..but I’ll tell ya, it’s not a lot me its my family and help,” said Albert Fitzpatrick.
The farm sells potatoes for processing to McCain’s, Frito Lay, And Naturally Potatoes. They’ve had their share of challenges through the years – but Erica says it’s all worth it.
“The farm’s given us a great life we were fortunate to be part of it,” she said.
Their goals going forward are to make this farm more sustainable and pass it on through the generations..and they’d like to see the industry grow.