Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

MOFGA works closely with many organizations committed to developing a healthy and economically sound Maine agriculture. Below are links to the groups with whom we are collaborating now:

The Accredited Certifiers Association, Inc., (ACA) was formed in 2004 – an outgrowth of the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Certifiers Council. ACA seek to build upon the work of the Organic Certifiers Council and the informal networks of certifiers that have developed across the country. MOFGA has been a member since ACA's start.

The Agricultural Council of Maine provides a forum for all statewide agricultural organizations to meet and discuss how to move Maine agriculture forward. Members of the Council include commodity group representatives, MOFGA, Maine Farm Bureau, Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society, Maine Farmland Trust, and, ex oficio, representatives from the Maine Department of Agriculture, the University of Maine, and University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine is a diverse coalition of nine Maine-based organizations that have embarked upon a multi-year public health campaign to phase out the long-lived toxic chemicals that build up in the food web and our bodies. MOFGA is an active member of the Alliance. Our staff and volunteers serve on the Organizing, Policy, and Communications Committees of the Alliance.

The Eat Local Foods Coalition (ELFC) is a nonprofit coalition of individuals and organizations committed to promoting and increasing in-state consumption of Maine farm products. ELFC carries out its mission through a combination of networking, media activities, and occasional projects designed to: raise public awareness about the multiple benefits – social, environmental, economic, health, gastronomic – of eating local foods; change consumer behavior; remove institutional barriers; and create alternative marketing and distribution systems. Membership is open to any organization that ascribes to ELFC's mission and purposes.

Maine FarmLink is a farm transfer program that connects farmers seeking farmland with farmers and farm owners who are selling, transferring or leasing their farms and farmland. Currently, the "highest and best use" of most farmland is considered to be in housing lots and shopping malls. As farmers retire or move on, they are often forced to divide up their farmland to pay off debt. In other cases, the land is worth so much more as a "development" site that the farmer finds it impossible to refuse this option. Maine FarmLink's goal is to curb this trend and maintain the state's agricultural heritage for generations to come.

Farms for the Future (FFF) is a two-phase business assistance program that helps Maine farmers plan for the future of their agricultural enterprise. FFF is a program of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources and is currently administered by Coastal Enterprises Incorporated. Farmers are eligible to participate in the program if the own and operate five or more acres of productive farmland, and have an idea for change that will increase the long-term economic viability of their farm.

The Independent Food Project (IFP) is working to improve local food security by helping to increase production and broaden distribution of sustainably-grown local foods. The only requirement for participation in the Independent Food Project is a willingness to work and cooperate. IFP does, however, give priority to those facing food insecurity or who are experiencing poverty-related hunger.

The Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs (MAAF) represents 25 licensed Fairs. The Association evaluates each fair, and holds educational meetings to help improve the quality of fair offerings. In 2006, MOFGA's Common Ground Country Fair received MAAF's Most Educational Fair award.

Maine Businesses For Social Responsibility (MEBSR) is a diverse community of Maine business people who believe in the unparalleled power of business as an agent of positive social change. MEBRS's mission is to educate, advocate for, and encourage profitable and sustainable businesses in Maine. MEBSR takes a leadership role in defining, demonstrating, and recognizing innovative socially responsible business practices, and works toward public policies that support such practices.

The Maine Cheese Guild supports and encourages the Maine Cheesemaking Community. It does this through development of a collective voice to: promote Maine cheese and cheese makers; educate cheese makers and consumers; coordinate resources; share the joy and art of regional cheeses.

The Maine Council of Churches coordinates many environmental initiatives. MOFGA is working with the Council to promote the "Be a Good Apple Project," which offers opportunities for learning about how the food choices we make and our consumption habits impact our environment and affect our futures. The project encourages people in Maine to make a pledge to purchase at least $10 each week of locally grown foods. MOFGA estimates that if all Maine households made such a commitment, more than $100 million would be pumped into our state's agricultural economy.

Maine's Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources promotes and regulates many aspects of farming and food production in the state. The Department has set the following goals: to expand Maine agriculture by making the state a leader in innovative approaches to profitability; to create opportunities for Maine citizens to succeed in agriculture; to ensure a safe, wholesome and high quality food supply; to educate the public about the importance of Maine agriculture; to promote the stewardship of Maine's natural resources; to protect the integrity of commercial and consumer transactions; to foster a work environment that encourages teamwork, trust, creativity and professional development.

The Maine Fair Trade Campaign (MFTC) opposes unjust, unsustainable international trade policies and works for the creation of socially, economically, and environmentally just trade policies and a fair global economy. The purpose of the MFTC is to educate, organize and mobilize organizations and individuals to work for the creation of just trade policies and a fair global economy that respects working people, family farmers, our environment, and our democracy.

Maine Farmland Trust works to permanently preserve and protect Maine's agricultural land; to assist landowners, land trusts, and municipal and state agencies in identifying and protecting agricultural land; and to make those agricultural lands available for farmers in the future.

The Maine Grass Farmers Network is a cooperative effort among MOFGA, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Offices, the Maine Department of Agriculture, and Maine livestock farmers who are learning about potential advantages of growing grass as managed pasture for livestock. Grass farming can increase profitability helping to keep farms viable. It also maintains the rural character of Maine communities. Growing grass in Maine takes advantage of our short growing season and cool climate. Grass farming and pasture raised livestock utilize our pasture lands effectively, while improving animal health, product quality and market advantage.

The Maine Landscape & Nursery Association (MeLNA) is a non-profit professional trade association with members in all aspects of the green industry, including landscape designers and contractors, nurseries, garden centers, maintenance experts, turf growers, educators, researchers and other horticultural industry professionals.

The Maine Organic Milk Producers (MOMP) advocates for the State's organic dairy farmers with processors and regulatory agencies. MOMP also strives to overcome barriers to organic milk production, focusing particularly on access to better and more affordable sources of organic grain.

Maine Rural Partners brings together the various Federal, State, community and non-profit agencies working on rural development issues.

The Maine Women's Agricultural Network (WAgN) enables women and other underserved people to successfully own, operate and support agriculturally-related enterprises. WAgN is a collaborative effort of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Time & Tide Resource Conservation and Development.

MaineShare promotes workplace giving to 35 statewide charitable organizations. Since 1990 MaineShare has raised and distributed $1.85 million for social change in Maine. MaineShare provides an easy way to donate to Maine organizations working for good health, environmental protection, engaging students in the arts and civic involvement, animal rights, defending civil liberties and more.

MOFGA/El Salvador Sistering Project. A committee of MOFGA volunteers maintains a relationship between MOFGA and Salvadoran grassroots organizations working toward sustainable agriculture. This effort is referred to as the MOFGA/El Salvador Sistering Project. The committee explores issues such as organic certification, free trade, marketing, etc. that affect farmers in both countries. Several delegations from Maine have visited El Salvador.

The National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture is a diverse nationwide partnership of individuals and organizations cultivating grass roots efforts to engage in policy development processes that result in food and agricultural systems and rural communities that are healthy, environmentally sound, profitable, humane and just.

PANNA is the North American Regional Center of the PAN International network. Other Centers include Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Latin America. PANNA works to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives, linking local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens' action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.

Restoring Our Seed is a collaborative effort to help farmers get more control over seed production. The project helps farmers learn basic seed saving and plant breeding techniques. A major focus is selecting disease resistant strains for several selected varieties.

Unity College and MOFGA have developed an academic program offering a thorough introduction to sustainable agriculture in theory and practice. An intensive three week May practicum course provides a foundation in sustainable agriculture through visits to premier sustainable farms, classroom instruction, hands-on laboratory work in the college gardens and greenhouses, and seminars with visiting farmers. The internship offers college credit for a summer farm work experience mentored by a MOFGA farmer expert in both sustainable agriculture practice and education.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Sustainable Agriculture Program. University of Maine Cooperative Extensionis the major educational outreach program of the University of Maine, with offices statewide. UMaine Extension provides Maine people with research-based educational programs to help them live fuller, more productive lives. Coop Extension's Sustainable Agriculture Program program offers educational opportunities that address economic and environmental aspects of commercial agricultural production systems. The long-term goals of the program are to allow farmers to be financially rewarded for their management decisions, and protect the integrity of resources used in agricultural production.