To mark Oakhurst Dairy’s centennial this year, the company will partner with other Maine companies for special events and hold an Oakie kids challenge. Contributed / Oakhurst Dairy

Oakhurst celebrates a century in business

Only a handful of Maine companies have lasted 100 years, and Oakhurst now joins that iconic list. Long known as the “The Natural Goodness of Maine,” President and CEO John Bennett says the 100-year anniversary is more than just a celebration.

“When most companies celebrate an anniversary, it’s usually just a look back, but Oakhurst wants to celebrate a little bit differently and make it more about who we serve,” Bennett said. “We have the opportunity during a very trying time, to encourage everyone around us to pour on the kindness, goodness and Maineness.”

Oakhurst Dairy was founded in 1921 and started delivering milk in glass bottles to homes on two routes in Portland via horse-drawn wagons. One hundred years later, Oakhurst processes nearly half a million gallons of milk products per week that is sourced from local Maine dairy farmers and delivered to more than 1,800 grocery stores, convenient stores and schools throughout Maine, New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts.

In 2003, Oakhurst made national news by being the first dairy company in the U.S. to ask its farmers to take the first farmer’s pledge not to use artificial growth hormones in milk and started including the pledge on its packaging.

As part of its Small Footprints initiative, the company has embraced many alternative energies and has been recognized through a number of awards for its efforts to treat the environment responsibly for the next generation.

Over the years, Oakhurst has also donated more than $5 million to nonprofit, educational and research organizations and helped launch a Maine-based chapter of a national program, the Great American Milk Drive, to deliver milk to hungry families.

Oakhurst has multiple initiatives planned throughout 2021 for its “Celebration Activities: 100 Years of Kindness, Goodness, Maineness,” including partnerships with several iconic Maine companies to pour on the kindness and co-host events and programs throughout the year. The company will also host events on social media and an Oakie kids challenge encouraging children to do 100 Acts of Kindness, Goodness, and Maineness throughout the year.

“My family started this company with a vision that was much more than just bottling and distributing milk – Oakhurst has always been about standing up for and doing what’s right,” Bennett said. “I am proud to say that this fundamental truth is still alive and well at our company.”

Recognition

Of the five categories in the Wolfe’s Neck Center annual photography contest, three were won by local residents: Amanda Powell of Peak’s Island won the At Your Campsite category, Stacie Maddox of Cumberland was the winner of the Scenic Landcapes category and Tanya Johnston of Freeport took the top prize in the Sunrises & Sunsets competition.

The University of New England chose two Maine firms to design, engineer and construct a new facility for its College of Osteopathic Medicine, to be relocated to the university’s Portland campus. SMRT Architects and Engineers is providing full design services, while Ledgewood Construction is acting as construction manager. The new, 110,000-square-foot facility will integrate the university’s physician education course of study with programs in dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistant, nursing, dental hygiene, social work, nurse anesthesia programs, physical and occupational therapy.

Southern Maine Community College has received the 2021-2022 Military Friendly School designation, given to institutions for their commitment and dedication to students who have served in the military. The designation was awarded by Military Friendly, which evaluates colleges and universities using public data and responses from a proprietary survey. Institutions are measured on student retention, graduation, job placement, repayment, persistence and loan default rates for all students, with an emphasis on student veterans.