For St. Pierre, being a dairyman is a labor of love that pays little yet pays a lot

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Dairyman Daniel St. PIerre with his wife, Linda, along with Finish, and her mom, Elliot. (Rochester Voice photo)

ROCHESTER - For Daniel St. Pierre of Berwick, Maine, cows are far more than a business or even a hobby: they're a passion, a therapy and a way of life.

St. Pierre grew up on a dairy farm before moving to Berwick about 20 years ago where he owns about 20 Guernsey cattle. His cows are on display through Sunday at the Rochester Fair.

Guernsey, which originated in the Isle of Guernsey off the coast of France, are known for their rich milk and docile temperament, something that endears them to St. Pierre, who choked up when asked about his favorite thing about being a dairy farmer.

"To see a cow chewing on grass out in a field is just the most peaceful thing there is," he said as tears welled up in his eyes.

"I'd rather watch a cow eat hay then watch sports, and I like sports, but watching a cow eat hay is better," he said.

St. Pierre said he gets a little government subsidy, rents out cows to 4Hers in exchange for farm labor and even has his milk for sale in local stores, but it's not a money maker for sure. To make ends meet he runs a trucking company out of Berwick.

But he'll never stop having cows to care for.

"It's in my blood," he says.

He said Guernsey are his favorite type of cow, adding they make the best butter and cheese and have the highest percentage of A2, which makes them more palatable to many of those suffering from varying degrees of lactose intolerance.

His milk-producing cows are kept at Roux Farms in Shapleigh, Maine, and can be bought retail at Allard's Market in North Berwick, Maine, Jerry's Market on Route 202 in Sanford, Maine, and One Earth Market in Shapleigh.

"It's raw milk, so they got that nice bit of cream at the top," he smiles, adding that testing for raw milk is more rigorous than for homogenized and very safe.

You can see many of St. Pierre's Guernsey cows in the large animal exhibition house just inside and to the left of the main fair ticket gate.

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