WINSLOW — The Hapworth Farm has been around since the early 1800s, and it sold milk commercially from 1927 to 2014.

Wayne Hapworth is the fourth generation to farm the land, and thanks to his agreements with the Maine Farmland Trust and the Winslow Agriculture Commission, his family won’t be the last to farm there.

Hapworth’s is one of the two farms that applied to Winslow’s new Voluntary Municipal Farm Support Program. The support program was established under a June 2007 state law in an effort to help keep farmers in business and keep open land in Maine towns.

Winslow is the first town in the state to implement the program, which places 20-year easements on accepted properties that, in exchange, get property tax relief from the town.

Hapworth applied for Winslow’s support program to help the next farmers that will take over the farm after he and his son are finished, he said during the commission’s site visit Friday morning. The visit was the second step in Hapworth’s application process, which started with the application itself. After receiving a letter of intent from his bank, the commission will decide whether to recommend his farm for the program to the Town Council, which will decide whether to accept the recommendations.

The Hapworth Farm, which became a Forever Farm under a Maine Farmland Trust easement two years ago, sprawls back about a mile from Heywood Road and crosses the Winslow-Benton town line, passing by a Central Maine Power station. Hapworth and his son, Kevin, mostly grow and bale hay, but they also raise beef cattle.


Wayne said he’s looking at a new breed of beef cattle, called “beefmaster,” as his next venture.

“If you wanna make money, you’ve got to do things just a little bit different,” he said, quoting advice another farmer once told him.

Wayne used to run a dairy business on his farm as well, but he stopped two years ago because of the decline in milk prices, which are set federally.

“It was a hard decision to stop, but it was time,” he said.

The commission toured the entire farm, stopping to look at the cows, the manure storage area and the old milking room. Then up by the CMP station, they looked over the fields.

The farm sells hay to people with llamas, goats, Angola rabbits and even rats, Wayne said. He also makes mulch hay, which can be profitable.


“There’s not very many people who can actually make good hay,” he said.

Wayne, now 70, said he didn’t always work on the farm. For about a decade he left and worked in construction and other jobs in Boston and New York City.

“But I cam back,” he said. “It wasn’t what I wanted. I came back home.”

His goal was to live to 70, and now he hopes to continue working at the farm for another 10 years before “retiring.”

Someday he hopes that someone will be able to take over the farm from his family. Kevin Hapworth, 49, is the last family member interested in running the farm. Joining the support program sets up the property to help those who come in after him, Wayne Hapworth said. Also, he said, the nearly 95 acres is enough to feed the whole town, if need be.

“If something bad ever happens, people could grow all the vegetables the town of Winslow could ever need,” he said. “We feed people. This farm’s been feeding people since the 1800s.”


Kevin Hapworth, who said he knew he wanted to work on the farm since high school, said the program is great because they never want to see the land developed.

“It’s the closest farm to town,” he said, adding that people walk, hunt and snowmobile around the property.

Wayne Hapworth said he’s confident that someone would want the farm, though he was doubtful that it ever would be a dairy farm again.

“I’m excited about the future,” he said. “I’m not excited about the dairy business. I think dairy’s over.”

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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