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MOF&G Cover Spring 1997


 


  You are here:  PublicationsMaine Organic Farmer & GardenerSpring 1997MOFGA Notes - Spring 1997   
 MOFGA Notes - Spring 1997 Minimize


Greenpeace Activist Joins MOFGA Staff
Permanent Site Update
In Memory: Andy Wynn
Board Members Elected
MOFGA Officers and Staff – Spring 1997


Heather Spalding: Greenpeace Activist Joins MOFGA Staff

Heather Spalding, originally from Waterville, has traveled far, done considerable environmental work, and has now come full circle by returning to Maine and joining MOFGA as Assistant Special Events Coordinator.

After growing up in Waterville, Heather went to Dartmouth College, where she earned a B.A. in geography and environmental studies. She then did an internship with the National Wildlife Federation for six months, followed by a 2-1/2-year stint with the Sierra Club, doing wilderness mapping and geographic research. Next she worked for Greenpeace, both as a field activist and as publicity coordinator for Greenpeace’s International Toxics Campaign. MOFGA members may have read some of her articles in the International Toxics Investigator.

After eight years with Greenpeace, Heather says she was ready for a change, and so applied for the MOFGA job. “I’ve traveled a lot, but I’m just so happy to be back in Maine,” she told The MOF&G. “Maine was always in my heart.” She started at the end of January and is “really excited about the new [permanent] site.”

When she isn’t at the MOFGA office doing her 3/4-time job, Heather will be working part-time for the Military Toxics Project in Lewiston, which helps communities that have been affected by military pollution. She is also looking for a place to settle – perhaps a farm someplace in Central Maine that she and her husband could rent with the option to buy.

Heather’s husband, Will Sugg, produces The Green Disk, a monthly, computerized environmental journal that includes an index of literature from environmental organizations and, in each issue (disk), covers a particular theme, such as sustainable agriculture or ecological design. In her spare time, Heather helps Will with the disk.

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Permanent Site Update

We’ve had a busy few months, trying to put together all the pieces needed for our site applications to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Town of Unity. Starting with an intense series of meetings the first three Thursdays in November, we’ve moved from a few crude sketches to some fairly sophisticated designs of what the permanent site might look like eventually.

At the heart of our discussion has been the broader vision of what Unity represents for MOFGA. We are not developing just a fairgrounds to replace Windsor for the few weeks we need for the Common Ground Country Fair. We are working to develop a place where people can learn enough about organic agriculture and related skills to take them home and put them into practice. Education is at the heart of our mission, with Unity one of the central points where people might gather to get pieces of that education, and our member farms as places to get hands-on experience.

The Site Plan

We’ve been fortunate to have a number of MOFGA members present their ideas, formally and informally, over the past six months. David Neufeld, Conrad Heeschen, Tom Hepp, and Brian Kent made huge commitments of time and energy to move the process forward. The Permanent Site Coordinating Committee, made up of the Executive Committee plus Rick Kipp and Ellis Percy, has been pulling together the many different ideas for the February 8 Board Meeting. They asked Brian Kent to work with them to turn the Committee’s ideas into a more coherent design.

After Board review, and any necessary revisions, the plan will go to Keith Whitaker of Plymouth for engineering work as required by the application process. Our goal is to have the applications submitted during March.

Fundraising

The annual appeal generated a lot of interest from MOFGA members. Over 150 members have made donations in the past month, averaging $85 each! If we could broaden our support to the entire MOFGA membership, we’d be well on our way to meeting our target of $2.4 million to develop the whole site. With contributions and pledges received to date, we’ve moved to about 10% of the total project. We’re operating on the Scott Nearing “Pay As You Go” principle, so the only way we’ll be opening the Unity site soon is by raising the money. Any support you can give the project, in money or in time, will move us that much closer.

Next Steps

We’re hoping to form some subcommittees to tackle everything from building design and materials to plantings to road surfacing options over the weeks ahead. If you have an area of expertise, or a particular skill, please don’t hesitate to call Russell or Susan at the office so that we can keep you informed.

As Mort Mather says, this is supposed to be fun! And it is. We’ve had some wonderful discussions over the past few months, and some great visions exist of how we can make MOFGA and the Unity site leaders in both teaching and implementing the principles of organic agriculture. Your participation will make it even better.

– Russell Libby

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In Memory: Andy Wynn

Andy Wynn, co-coordinator of the Greening of Technology Area at Common Ground Country Fair, died on January 29 while cross-country skiing. Andy had been essential in helping to broaden the scope of what used to be called the “Appropriate Technology” Area over the past few years.

Andy was a standout in Maine’s alternative energy field for years. For the past nine years he’d worked as an Energy Specialist with the Department of Economic and Community Development, but his interest and experience with alternative energy goes back to the 1970s. Conrad Heeschen remembers working with Andy on solar greenhouse workshops at U. Maine Farmington and relied on Andy as a person who had a good perspective on a wide range of energy issues. Andy’s presence will be missed, not just at the Greening of Technology Area, but wherever people in Maine are working on energy conservation issues.

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Board Members Elected

Congratulations to the following, who were voted in as board members at MOFGA’s annual meeting at the Agricultural Trades Show in January.

President: Bob Sewall

Vice President: Joann Clark

Treasurer: Steve Plumb

Secretary: Ellin Sheehy

General Members of the Executive Committee

CR Lawn (representing Fair Steering Committee)
Sharon Tisher
Matthew Strong

Board at Large

Jason Kafka
Laura Merrick
Debbie Doten
Paul Volckhausen
Ellis Percy
Gregory Moore
Frank Raftery
Paula Roberts
Spencer Aitel
Nanney Kennedy

Committee Representatives

Apprenticeship: Rosey Guest
Certification: Dave Colson
Fair Steering: Matthew Strong
Public Policy: Richard Rudolph

Chapter Representatives

Foothills: Sandy Tyner
Hancock: Chris Hurley
Sagadahoc: Hal Bonner
Waldo: Paul Bernacky

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MOFGA Officers and Staff – Spring 1997

OFFICERS

President
Bob Sewall

Vice President
Joann Clark

Treasurer
Steve Plumb

Secretary
Ellin Sheehy

Executive Committee
C R Lawn
Sharon Tisher
Matthew Strong

BOARD MEMBERS AT-LARGE

Spencer Aitel
Michael Cline
Debbie Doten
Jason Kafka
Nanney Kennedy
Laura Merrick
Gregory Moore
Ellis Percy
Frank Raftery
Paula Roberts
Paul Volckhausen

COMMITTEE HEADS

Apprenticeship
Rosey Guest

Certification
Dave Colson

Fair Steering
Matthew Strong

Fundraising
Debbie Doten

Nominating
Chris Hurley

Public Policy
Richard Rudolph

CHAPTER DIRECTORS

Foothills
Sandy Tiner

Hancock County
Chris Hurley

Sagadahoc County
Hal Bonner

Waldo County
Paul Bernacky

STAFF

Executive Director
Russell Libby

Office Manager
Janice Clark

Director of Special Events
Susan Pierce

Assistant Events Coordinator
Heather Spalding

Director of Technical Services
Eric Sideman

Secretary/Receptionist
Gail Flagg

Administrative Assistant
Jolene Gamage

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