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ACAP's impact and service over 50 years celebrated in design and fun of 2022 Goughan's Farm Corn Maze

Aroostook County Action Program’s 50th anniversary logo, and a handful of images that represent the work of the agency to “make life better” in northern Maine have been captured in a six acre corn maze created by the Goughan’s Farm Family of Caribou. 

 

The unique design was unveiled today at a special ribbon cutting ceremony at the maze entrance co-hosted by the Goughan Family and Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce.  The honor of revealing the design and cutting the ribbon went to children attending ACAP’s Early Care and Education Programs at nearby facilities.

 

“Our family is honored to partner with ACAP in helping celebrate their 50 years of making life better. Our corn maze designs have always been based on both entertainment and education. We are so pleased with this year’s design, as well as the games/challenges those who visit the maze will have the opportunity to enjoy. In our effort to provide entertainment for the entire family, this year’s maze will certainly help educate our community on the great impact ACAP has, and can have, in the lives of individuals and families across The County,” said Kelli Michaud, Kristi Goughan, and Katie Shannon – also known as the Farmer’s Daughters of Goughan’s Farm.

 

Surrounding the ACAP 50th Anniversary logo, prominently featured in the center of this year’s corn maze, are five images that depict key areas of service by ACAP.  At the top is the silhouette of a family to represent the agency’s work to help County families achieve economic stability.  ACAP is nationally recognized for its adoption and implementation of the Whole Family approach. 

 

Around the perimeter, children’s blocks with the letters A,B, and C symbolize comprehensive early care and education services offered; the outline of a home represents energy and housing services, as well as work to assist individuals experiencing homelessness; the profile of three individuals signifies ACAP’s workforce development, education and training support efforts; and the shape of an apple stands for the agency’s numerous health, nutrition and prevention programs.

 

This year’s corn maze has the added significance of helping educate the greater community about ACAP’s programs and services, most notably its mission to provide services that support, empower and improve lives.

 

“We are so very grateful to the Goughan Family for their gracious generosity in not only helping recognize this milestone for our agency and recognizing the great efforts of our team members and volunteers for five decades, but more importantly for providing this platform to help educate and inform the community we serve,” said Jason Parent, ACAP Executive Director/CEO.  “The thousands of people who visit the corn maze and take the challenge this fall will not only be entertained, but will better understand all that we do to help families and individuals in Aroostook County become more economically secure and stable.  From our area’s youngest residents, who we ensure get a great ‘Head Start’ by providing a top-quality early childhood education experience and nutritional services, to the thousands of seniors on fixed incomes who turn to us each year for assistance keeping their homes warm each winter and supports to weatherize their homes, we are proud to touch the lives of more than 14,000 people with our programs and services each year.”

 

Those who take the corn maze challenge will be handed a card that includes six games played inside the maze that send participants on different missions to find clues on painted signs found in the field.  The games were developed jointly by ACAP and the Goughan Family, and raise awareness of ACAP’s programs and services.

 

The first asks players to find two like pictures and write down six differences; the second asks them to locate seven agency programs; the third to find the names of five Aroostook County communities where ACAP has office locations; the fourth to identify the four words that comprise the agency’s tag line in four different statements about the agency; the fifth tasks participants to find the four number signs and place the numbers in order that reveal the year ACAP was founded.  A “bonus question” has participants find the four images of fuel tanks found throughout the maze, and the one full fuel tank.

 

The first people to take the 2022 corn maze challenge, before it’s official opening, were ACAP’s 200 employees, who gathered at Goughan’s Farm on August 24 for an annual Agency Day event.  In addition to enjoying the maze, and all the farm had to offer, the ACAP Team filled the letters A-C-A-P in the logo while a drone flew overhead to snap photos and take video clips.

 

The Goughan’s Farm corn maze has become a late-summer/early-fall much anticipated attraction and challenge for the over 4,000 people each year from across Aroostook County, neighboring New Brunswick, and beyond. In the 17 years since the family started the tradition, the announcement of the specific theme for each year’s maze has also been something folks in the area have been anxious to learn.  Over that time, they have featured themes that reflected nature, agriculture, local efforts to combat food insecurity, a Presidential election, and even family patriarch and matriarch Mark and Gloria Goughan.

 

Goughan’s Farm and ACAP have been partners over several years in hosting a farmer’s market in Presque Isle during the summer and early fall months as part of a collaborative effort with the agency’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC as it is commonly known.  ACAP administers the WIC program locally and Goughan’s has provided on-site seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables for WIC participants to purchase with benefits provided through the program, as well as for members of the general public to purchase.

 

The Goughan’s Farm Corn Maze collaboration is part of a year-long celebration commemorating 50 years since the then Central Aroostook Action Program and St. John Valley Action Council formally merged to form ACAP.  It is one of two significant projects that pay tribute to The County’s deep agricultural roots.  The other, ACAP’s 50th Anniversary Potato Plot partnership with G. B. & D. Pelletier Farms and Northeast Packaging, will be celebrated on September 9 in St. John Plantation when the community helps hand harvest the field.

 

The corn maze will be open to the public daily between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Saturday and 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Sundays through the end of October. The cost is $9 per person, and includes a free farm made ice cream.

 

Speaking of ice cream, the newest flavor made on-site by the Goughan’s, “Aroostook Dream,” also has a tie-in with this year's corn maze theme.  An agency-wide contest of ACAP employees was held last month to dream up a new flavor to be scooped up at the dairy bar this season. 

 

Goughan’s Family members received all of the 27 suggested flavors, and selected the unique flavor dreamt up by ACAP’s Penny Horne, an early care and education professional that works at the agency’s Head Start classroom located at MSAD 1’s Presque Isle Tech Center.  Inspired by her own sweet tooth and a favorite dish at a popular Presque Isle restaurant, Horne shared the inspiration behind the flavor concoction and name.

 

“I like the 7-layer bars at Governor’s Restaurant, so I envisioned an ice cream would incorporate those flavors featuring a vanilla base with some butterscotch and chocolate chips with small graham crackers swirled throughout with coconut chunks,” said Horne. “ACAP offers something for everyone. If you need help in the community, or applying for a job, ACAP is there for you.  My ice cream flavor offers something for everyone too by combining all the flavors we love.”

“Aroostook Dream” is the featured flavor in honor of ACAP, and is now available for sale in the Goughan’s Farm Dairy Bar.

 

Goughan’s Farm is located at 875 Fort Fairfield Road in Caribou.  This year’s corn maze is located on the far western side of the property, nearest to Caribou.  Directional signs help guide attendees to maze. 

 

About Goughan’s Farm

For 40 years, Mark and Gloria Goughan and their children have been working toward the ultimate goal of creating an entertaining destination point for families to enjoy a working farm. The motive through the years of planning has been to capture the agricultural tradition of Aroostook County, while providing affordable family fun in a clean, safe, and worry-free atmosphere. 

 

About Aroostook County Action Program

Celebrating 50 years of service to the people of northern Maine in 2022, Aroostook County Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and workforce development services. Aroostook County Action Program continues to accept new clients as well as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more about available services available, contact ACAP at 207-764-3721.

 

About Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce

Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce has been serving the business community for over 75 years. Expanding from one to 22 communities, the Chamber provides a sustainable support system to foster economic and community growth within our membership. With an arm of tourism and a 24-hour information center, the Chamber is the hub for information for visitors and for families that are relocating to be part of our vibrant central Aroostook area. The Chamber holds many long running community events and participate in other events and programs as a supporting partner. Other programs such as Business After Hours, Eggs n’ Issues, Lunch n’ Learns, Mondays with the Chamber and The Chamber Presents offer promotions, visibility and  education to businesses. If an entity would like to partner with the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, contact our office and we will be happy to serve you.