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Husson graduate named 'Young Farmer of the Year'

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Young Farmer of the Year Young Farmer of the Year

MONTICELLO - Sara Corey of Monticello is used to the secluded, peaceful and slower pace ofliving that comes with growing up on a farm in Aroostook County. But the 23-year-old was thrust into the spotlight this year when she was named the 2013 Young Farmer of the Year by the Maine Potato Board. Corey is the first female and the youngest recipient ever to win the award.

"It's an honor and it has opened so many doors for me," Corey said. "I've even had girls ask to job shadow me. It's just great."

Corey, a recent graduate from Husson University, said she had no plans to return to farming after college, but something inside her called her back to her roots.

"There were times I'd come up here from Bangor and think, 'What was I thinking?' but it's more than that. My family is up here and I love the work," she explained.

Corey earned her bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 2012, which has helped her when it comes to plant and do soil analysis on her family's 1,000-acre seed potato farm. She said her actual day-to-day job though changes depending on the season.

"I'm mainly in the office and soil sampling when it's warm. In the harvest I'm in the potato house doing quality assurance, and in the summer I'm in the fields scouting," Corey said.

Scouting, which is checking plants for diseases and insects, has been something Corey has enjoyed doing since the age of 15. Now she visits other farms to help them assess their crops and give area farmers tips and recommendations on what they should be looking for to get the most out of their crops. 

"Growing up on farm definitely influenced my farming choice," she said. "I don't think I would've gotten into it if I hadn't. It's not easy."

The Maine Potato Board will honor Corey as the 2013 Young Farmer of the Year at its annual meeting in March. It's an event she's both nervous and excited about attending.

"I've got to get up and give a speech. It's a little nerve wracking, but I'll get through it," she said. "My dad got the award back in 1992, and because I strive to be as successful as he is, it's nice to be recognized for all the hard work I'm doing."

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