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"When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers therefore are the founders of human civilization."
- Daniel Webster
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 MOFGA Journeypersons

MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program provides hands-on support, training, and mentorship for people who are serious about pursuing careers in organic farming in Maine. The program is designed for farmers in their first three to five years to further develop the skills they need to farm independently and successfully.

 


  

  

First YearSecond YearGraduates

 

Randy and Nathaniel Canarr and Peggy Hoare – Souder Station Farm, Winterport

We are a small, diversified family farm. We operate year round, offering locally produced, natural pork and chicken products. In 2016 we bought a new farm in Winterport and have begun overhauling and creating our dream life. We strive to produce food and products that are of the highest quality, naturally produced following organic principles, and fairly priced. From our family to yours. Humanely treated animals, land vitality, clean water ways, healthy forests, and long term solutions over the quick fix underline our approach to living with the seasons. Come with us as we build a future based on good health, balance, and long term sustainability. Visit us and learn more at: http://souderstationfarm.com; on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouderStationFarml and Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/c/Heritagefarmmaine
   
Laura Casserly and Chris MacDonald – Good Land Farm, Freedom

Chris and Laura have apprenticed in Freedom for the last two seasons and 2017 will be their first season running their own operation, Good Land Farm in Waldo. As they search for a farm to steward for the long haul, they’re starting with raising sheep and rabbits on friends’ pasture with plans to expand their offerings in the seasons to come. They are excited to feed their community with food that is ethically and sustainably raised as well as delicious and nourishing. Some of their favorite farm tasks include: rising with the sun for morning chores, letting sheep onto fresh pasture, shoveling manure, and watching lambs frolic.
   
Anna Davis and David Levinson – Beech Hill Farm, College of the Atlantic, Mount Desert

This is Anna and David's first year managing College of the Atlantic's Beech Hill Farm together. Anna and David have been in Maine farming for the college since 2014 and are excited to be taking on the new challenge of overseeing the 73-acre property and expanding Beech Hill Farm's vegetable and pork production and educational programs. They are thrilled to be a part of Maine's inspiring local food system and hope to, eventually, play a role in helping to train the next generation of farmers.
   
Ron DiGravio and Cindy Townsend – Cranberry Rock Farm, Winthrop

Cindy and Ron started Cranberry Rock Farm in 2013 on a historic homestead in Winthrop. Prior to buying the Winthrop property, Ron had been a ski coach and Athletic Director at Carrabassett Valley Academy, and Cindy had been a full time mother. Since neither of them had any farming experience, and the property had not been farmed or even used as pasture in over 50 years, they faced difficult growing conditions and a steep learning curve. For the first two seasons, they had a small vegetable CSA. In subsequent years, they have added pork shares, meat birds, and turkeys. In addition to the CSA, they currently sell at four farmer’s markets, their farm stand and one small general store. Cindy and Ron use a permanent raised bed system to grow vegetables on about an acre and a half, and their focus continues to be improving the soils and biodiversity of their property. From a marketing perspective, they are planning to focus more on vegetables, gradually shifting away from livestock and towards a value-added product line that minimizes waste and maximizes the earnings potential of their growing area.
   
Khristopher Flack – Veggies For All/Sight Unseen Woods, Swanville

Khristopher Flack manages Veggies For All, a 2.5 acre food bank farm in Unity. With the help of a dedicated crew and over 150 volunteers, he raises organically grown vegetables for 1,500 food pantry clients in and around Waldo County. When he’s not in Unity, Khris is usually at home with his fiancee Lizzie piecing together Sight Unseen Woods, a woodland farm and homestead-in-the-making on 28 acres of recovering clearcut in Swanville. He is excited for the wisdom and experience available through the JP program, as well as the opportunity to connect with other young growers who have dreams of their own.
   
Cooper Funk – Dooryard Farm, Camden

Cooper is a West Coast boy who grew up and began farming in California. In 2010 he and two partners started a farm in the Sierra Foothills raising pastured poultry, pork, niche crops and cut flowers. In 2012, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose when the farm that his wife grew up looking at out of her bedroom window became available from Maine Farmland Trust. Now 4 seasons and 2 kids later, Dooryard Farm cultivates 3 acres of certified organic vegetables for its farm stand and delivery in the Rockland/Camden area. Fully enamored with Maine, Cooper is still trying to figure out summer rain. Please feel free to stop by or follow us on Instagram (@dooryardfarmer).
   
Molly Griffin McKenna – Apple Acres Farm, Cornish

Molly Griffin McKenna is a manager at Apple Acres Farm in Cornish, Maine. The farm offers pick-your-own fruit, cider, a farm cafe and store with Maine-Made gifts and specialty foods. The farm also hosts events such as weddings, musical events, school trips and workshops. Since 2014 Molly has been working to restore the orchards to health, so that the farm can begin the organic certification transition, which it is slated to start this year. She also works as the farms’ sales and marketing director for value added products. She is also the co-director of the Ossipee Valley String Camp and Ossipee Valley Music Festival. Molly has a certificate from the Resilience Hub for Permaculture Design, and graduated from Bennington College in 2013. She likes to sea kayak, plays cello, and has two dogs.
   
Heather Holland – Outland Farm, Pittsfield

Heather owns and operates Outland Farm on 73 acres in Pittsfield, Maine. She and her husband purchased the property in the Fall of 2015. The farm was formerly known as Christmas Orchard, a small pick-your-own orchard. Being the mainstay of the farm, the 6-acre orchard includes multiple apple varieties, peaches, pears, plums, and nuts. Heather has started to diversify to the farm to create a more sustainable food system focusing on the overall health of the land, and in turn the food resulting from it. Currently, Outland Farm raises broiler chickens on pasture, pigs on pasture and woodlot, hosts a community garden that is free to the public, and maintains the orchard for pick your own and wholesale while transitioning it to holistic practices. The coming years will bring further diversification of the farm and increased community engagement via added educational and recreational opportunities. This year construction will also begin on an integrated farm brewery located on the property that Heather and her husband will own and operate.
   
Andrew Ketch – Ketch Organics, Woodland

Farmer Ketch comes from a long line of Swedish farmers up in Aroostook County. He was fortunate to live right next door to his grandfather's farm in Woodland – which is part of the Maine Swedish Colony – and spent his childhood picking potatoes and working in the garden. He purchased the farm in 2014 and immediately put the farm into a transition from conventional farming to organic farming. He added Icelandic sheep, Icelandic chickens and Swedish Flower hens to the farm and has been selling vegetables from his farm stand, delivering from Fort Kent to Portland, and is hoping to go back 100 years by switching over to horse drawn equipment in the near future.
   
Chris Lord – Swell Farm, Rockland

Chris Lord grew up in Maine and left after college to pursue a career in wildland fire. After a decade of working in the dirt fighting fire he decided to return to Maine to learn more about agriculture and to become more grounded in a community. Following his sisters lead out in Alaska, Chris has been growing cut flowers the past three seasons and is now ready to step into the marketplace. Changing careers has been both challenging and rewarding. He continually is learning more about the land and what is has to offer and hopes to slowly grow the farm beyond flowers. He is very thankful to MOFGA and the Journeyperson program for the generosity and support in his new career path.
   
Carole Mapes – Flywheel Flowers, MOFGA Farmer-in-Residence, Unity

In 2013 Carole moved to Maine from the Midwest. She intended to stay for a summer and making a home here. It was farming that brought her to Maine as a MOFGA apprentice. She found the farm work and lifestyle suited her well. What kept her was the community around the local food movement. Carole grew-up on a 400 acre corn and soy farm in Iowa. When she left for college, she never dreamed she’d find herself in agriculture. In Maine Carole has spent most of her time working on a diversified organic veggie farm that raises a few pigs. In 2016 she had the opportunity to raise a third of an acre of flowers on her own. Through this experience she found flower farming was a great fit for her interest and future goals. In the first year as Flywheel Flowers, Carole is excited to be selling her bouquets at farmers’ markets in Northeast Harbor, Camden, Ellsworth, and Bangor, along with whatever wedding work comes her way! She is thrilled to be MOFGA’s Farmer-in-Residence. You can find her on Instagram @flywheelflowers or contact her at flywheelflowers@gmail.com.
   
Liesel McCleary – North Island Botanicals, North Haven

Liesel grew up on the great plains of Nebraska. Her love of foraging combined with an idealized vision of her grandparents’ farm inspired her to study permaculture, and led her to pursue farming as a way of life. It’s been eight years since her first apprenticeship in Kansas City. Since then she has traveled far and wide across the country, picking a new farm and climate to learn and grow with each season. In 2016 she moved to Maine with her partner to co-manage Turner Farm on North Haven Island, where they care for 2 acres of diversified vegetables, cut flowers, a small dairy herd, pigs and laying hens. Liesel studies herbalism and grows or wildcrafts herbs in her spare time. She is currently developing an organic medicinal herb business – North Island Botanicals, and is working toward building her own medicinal herb farm.
   
Michael Pecoraro – Mulberry Farms, Raymond

Michael was born and raised in Maine; he spent his youth working in his grandparents’ gardens. His grandfather developed just over an acre of land that was meticulously organized and maintained. The produce from these gardens was pickled, canned, dried and frozen for meals throughout the winter. Working in these gardens showed him just how instrumental the weather can be to the success of the garden. This unpredictability started his love of growing plants in Maine’s harsh yet beautiful environment. Michael's family now owns 350+ acres in Raymond with about 50 acres of field. We have an established MOFGA certified farm that is beginning its third year of production. This year field production will be increasing 7 acres to just over 10 acres. Mulberry Farms currently has a farm stand, you-pick berries, a CSA, and sells to wholesale.
   
Andrea Price – Helios Horsepower Farm, Guilford

Andrea Price runs Helios Horsepower Farm with her partner Lizzy Koltai. Andrea starting farming as a MOFGA apprentice in 2006, and has since worked in farming and retail vegetable sales in midcoast Maine. In 2015 she put down roots with Lizzy in central Maine on an abandoned farm in Guilford. She is currently calling on her breadth of experience in organic farming, retail vegetable sales, and renovation of old houses, as they begin to restore vibrancy to untended hayfields, neglected cropland and still-worthy infrastructure. Andrea’s passionate commitment to draft animal powered, organic vegetable farming is focused on connecting the local community with foods that are delicious, healthful, affordable, and sustainably produced.
   
Kyle Rana – Two Roads Farm, Sangerville

Kyle followed an unconventional path into agriculture. He is originally from a small island in Southeast Alaska where agriculture is almost non-existent. It was while attending the University of Maine that he began to acquaint himself with farmers and their livelihood at a local farmers’ market. Interacting with Maine’s farming community and gaining insight into where and how produce is grown, kindled his interest. It was during this time that he also met his now wife, Meghan. Her family often had a garden in which they grew their own vegetables and so she too had a keen interest in growing food and so helped to shape and foster Kyle’s interest in farming practices. The couple maintained personal vegetable gardens as they bounced around following college until settling in Sangerville, Maine. In 2014 and 2015, Kyle and Meghan began to develop their personal garden into a market garden and Two Roads Farm was born. Their flagship product is mixed veggies, but they also raise heritage meat birds, free range laying hens, and pastured pork. They market their produce through local farmers’ markets, wholesale, and a small CSA.
 
   
Alaena Robbins and Dylan Watters – Old Wells Farm, Limington

Alaena and Dylan live in a 1985 Shasta Camper on family land in the Limington woods where they run Old Wells Farm with Dylan's brother Stowell and partner Marina. The farm focuses on growing organic vegetables on 1 acre of intensively managed no-till beds for a small CSA, a few farmers' markets, and a cooperative winter CSA. Old Wells Farm also produces organic pork, seedlings, flowers, and shiitake mushrooms. Alaena grew up in New York, spending many days as a child playing "colonial girl." In 2014 she moved to Maine to live out her dreams. She started working at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough as an apprentice and now is a stalwart full time employee there helping with all things floral. Dylan studied and worked in agriculture at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina before moving back home to build Old Wells Farm. In his free time he works at Broadturn Farm and herds his many pigs. Together they enjoy cooking, eating, making up words, and pestering their cat. They are really excited about it all.
   
Ashley Savage – Belladonna Floral, Knox

After 13 years vegetable farming, Ashley decided to take the leap with a friend and begin flower farming! Having lived in Waldo County, Maine, her whole life, surrounded by her family, friends and farms, the roots just naturally planted themselves leaving Ashley with a deep appreciation for her home state. Heading into their fourth season in Knox, Maine, Belladonna Floral primarily focuses on growing flowers for weddings, markets and wholesale. Flowers are grown at New Beat Farm, a horse-powered farm. Belladonna Floral focuses on organic and biodynamic farming practices that help to enliven the soil and the flowers that are grown.
   
Annielyn and Eric Woodbury – East-West Farm, Verona Island

Eric and Annie came to organic farming in Maine via Ethiopia. Eric was in the Peace Corps and Annie was in the VSO, both assigned to a special needs teacher’s college that had only organic food. East-West Farm on Verona Island specializes in what its operators eat and know: Eric is from New Hampshire/Boston and Annie is from the Philippines, so the focus is on New England and Asian produce. Katahdin sheep and poultry are also raised. Eric and Annie think long-term and have fruit trees and grapes planted, too. Eric has a legal background, an active law practice in Bucksport and teaches literature at Husson University. Annie has an IT background and also has a hand-made and imported crafts and bamboo instrument venture.

    

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