"The power of a movement lies in the fact that it can indeed change the habits of people. "
- Steve Biko

The Partridge Challenge
In January the Partridge Foundation awarded $1.0 million to establish an endowment to support MOFGA’s New Farmer Programs. It also pledged an additional $1.0 million if MOFGA can raise a similar amount before 2016. Read more.
Please join MOFGA in meeting this exciting challenge!

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Suzanne Balbo and Clint Towle
of Crooked Door Farm in Whitefield

Know Your Organic Producers!

Meet Suzanne Balbo and Clint Towle of MOFGA-certified organic Crooked Door Farm in Whitefield. The two MOFGA journeypersons raise vegetables on permanent beds using minimal tillage, a biodiesel walk-behind tractor and a variety of hand tools, including a broad fork. They also use organic seed and local, organic compost on the 3 acres they have in rotation. An unheated greenhouse, a seedling house, caterpillar tunnels and low hoops help extend the growing season. Laying hens and guinea hogs root around, while a neighbor's goats and sheep rotate around Crooked Door's nearly 14 acres of pasture. Balbo and Towle market through their CSA, at the Gardiner Area Farmers' Market, the Gardiner Co-op & Café, the Sheepscot General Store and from their farm. Learn more on the farm's website and on Facebook. Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on MOFGACertification.org.

Organic and Sustainable Agriculture News
LePage looks to merge state’s Conservation, Agriculture departments
Bangor Daily News - 9/30/2011.
By Christopher Cousins – Augusta: Gov. Paul LePage announced Thursday that he wants to merge the Departments of Conservation and Agriculture in an effort to better serve the farming, conservation and forestry sectors and enrich the economy.
Officials: merger of departments worthwhile idea
Kennebec Journal - 9/30/2011.
By Rebekah Metzler – Augusta: Gov. Paul LePage aims to merge the Departments of Agriculture and Conservation, but his goal is a more "robust natural resource economy," not a budget savings. "The key fact is that we're not out to destroy anything, it's just the other way around. If it was a part of a budget-reduction discussion, then I would be firmly planted on the other side," said Walter Whitcomb, commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, in an interview.
USDA offers help to beginning farmers. Will it be enough?
Grist - 9/30/2011.
By Tom Laskawy – Back in the heady days of our youth when anything seemed possible – you know, 2009 – USDA Chief Tom Vilsack called for 100,000 new farmers. He even followed it up the next year with $17 million dollars in grants for the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Training Program designed to help educate and mentor young farmers and ranchers.
LePage proposes merging Maine Conservation and Agriculture departments
Maine Public Broadcasting - 9/29/2011.
By Susan Sharon – Gov. Paul LePage today announced a plan that would merge the Maine Department of Conservation with the Agriculture Department. It's an idea that has been proposed and rejected by the Maine Legislature before. The governor says the move would strengthen Maine's natural resource-based economy. But there is concern that it could shift priorities.
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December 8 - QuickBooks Training presented by Farm Credit East

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March 5 - MOFGA’s Spring Growth Conference: Soils


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