Patten Community Comes Together for Local Dairy Farmers who Lost a Barn to Fire 

The Patten community has come together for local dairy farmers who lost a barn to fire.As Meghan Hayward tells us, if it wasn’t for all the support, they wouldn’t be able to continue doing their jobs.”He ran towards me and said, it’s your barn and it was just terrible. I’ve never had that feeling before and I hope I never have it again.”Robert Guptill is talking about the fire last week that gutted the barn on the dairy farm he and his wife Louise own.”The milking parlor had grains stored overhead and that kind of saved that room. But all the rest of the milk house, utility room and cat pin area and about 1/3 of the barn burned.”Robert is the fourth generation to own the farm.”And it was homesteaded when they had the Homestead Act in 1866, my great-grandfather. But it’s not a lot of generations because all my ancestors didn’t have kids until they were older.”The barn fire has forced them to switch up their daily routines around the farm.Robert says the community has been a huge help.”Oh my heavens, it just makes me so happy. Over this tragedy it makes me happy. I can’t believe how everybody turned out.”A big contribution the Guptills have received is a mobile milking unit that the Maine Livestock Association is letting them borrow.”I am so thankful for this unit because it has saved the family farm.”The unit allows them to milk their cows, since their own milking equipment was destroyed in the fire.Louise says in rough times, it’s good to have the kind of people they have behind them.”I mean in the tough economic time, this is the community to live in.”Their son, Benjamin, will soon be the fifth generation to take over the farm.He too is amazed by everyone’s support.”Really appreciative. We wouldn’t be where we are if we didn’t have all the help.”Thanks to that help, the Guptills aren’t letting the fire stop them from doing their job.”I don’t want to be the generation to quit.”