Starting anew by turning the pageby Enrico Villamaino

Joy and Tim Bueschen were doing well – very well, in fact. As corporate executives based in Munich, Germany, the pair spent over eight years globetrotting and “meeting with success at every level,” according to Joy. “All the while we were becoming more and more miserable!” As they ascended the corporate ladder and oversaw ever larger projects and groups of people, they increasingly desired a chance to turn the page to a simpler, more rewarding chapter in their lives.

“That’s where we got our name,” Joy explained. “Turning Page Farm.”

Natives of Ohio, the Bueschens started Turning Page Farm in 2016 on a 25-acre, mostly wooded, plot of land in Monson, Maine. “It’s just Tim and me,” she explained. “We were tired of working in such large groups. We really enjoy being a small operation.”

Operating as a goat dairy, Turning Page is home to a small herd of eight goats. They are currently using five of those goats for milking. According to Joy, “We started out offering cheeses and goat milk soaps. But we’ve expanded! We now have pigs and a brewery with its own beer garden.”

The Bueschens keep a sounder of swine on the farm, which they feed byproducts of the goat and brewery operations (whey and spent grains, respectively). At the end of the season, customers can purchase pork boxes on site. As for the brewery, Tim has made good use of his extensive background in sales and has produced red, pale and brown ales. “The brewery has been great. It incentivizes people to come here,” he said.

A very local business, most of Turning Page’s sales are done on site and, according to Joy, almost all of their business is conducted within a 20-mile radius of the farm.

A new initiative at Turning Page is its “Goat School.” A graduate of the biochemistry department at the University of Toledo, Joy is a lifelong student. One of the first things she did when arriving in Maine in 2016 was enroll in the Goat School in St. Albans, Maine. Soon after she completed Goat School, the program’s administrators announced their retirement. “I inherited the program,” Joy laughed.

Turning Page conducts two sessions of Goat School a year, in May and in October. Enrolling 20 to 30 students, the two-day curriculum includes instruction on feeding, caring, giving injections to and trimming the hooves of the goats on the farm. “Our students come from all over the country,” she explained, “especially Texas. There’re a lot of goats in Texas!”

Another recent development at Turning Page is its receipt of a $2,500 grant for pasture improvements from the Food Animal Concerns Trust, a small national nonprofit which promotes humane farming and food safety by addressing farm animal welfare. “We’ll be using the grant to put up electric and hard fencing on our pasture lands,” Joy said. She explained how important it is to constantly rotate the goat herd from one grazing spot to the next. “If the goats are left to graze in any one spot too long, they’re at risk to worms and parasites located close to the ground. By using the fencing to help with rotational grazing, we can keep the goats grazing where the grass is taller and minimize their exposure to these parasites.”

What’s next for Turning Page? “This year we’ll be offering our own salad dressing for sale. We’ll also be adding a food cart, so that visitors to our beer garden can pair their ales with local, organic pork sausages,” Joy said.

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