MOFGA's Public Policy Platform

MOFGA promotes legislation that is critical to organic farmers and gardeners, addresses climate change, and supports a healthy environment, a strong rural economy, and a socially just, healthy society. MOFGA creates opportunities to educate and engage our members, our partners and the general public in the legislative process, promoting the health and environmental benefits of organic farming and sustainable land management, and advocating for safer alternatives to synthetic pesticides.
MOFGA organizes its policy priorities under the following themes: Climate & Energy; Farm Viability; Human Health & Environment; Organic Integrity; Organic Research & Education; and Social Justice & Equity. Examples of policy goals are: minimizing and phasing out the use of synthetic pesticides; eliminating the use of genetic engineering in agriculture; increasing access to organic food; promoting incentives for climate-friendly agricultural practices; creating markets for organic producers; promoting fair and equitable international agricultural trade mechanisms; developing infrastructure for production, processing and distribution; establishing scale-appropriate food safety standards; conserving farmland; promoting safer alternatives to toxics in foods and consumer products; farmer autonomy and consumer choice; defending the integrity of the organic label; and securing funding for organic research in the public interest.
Our collective policy efforts will help people in Maine and beyond gain access to healthy, locally produced food, and an overall reduction of toxic chemicals in our food, air and water.

Climate & Energy

MOFGA calls attention to the critical role that organic management and low impact forestry practices have in addressing the adverse effects of our dramatically changing climate. Healthy soil is the cornerstone of organic agriculture and is interdependent with healthy and sustainable forest growth. MOFGA advocates for public policies and funding mechanisms that promote carbon-sequestering soil-building practices and improve farmers' and foresters' ability to tolerate, adapt to, and recover from extreme weather conditions. We envision a Maine where farmers and foresters are helping mitigate climate change while making a good living that allows them to support their families and their communities. MOFGA more broadly supports energy conservation, and Governor Mills’ goal of reducing carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and at least 80% by 2050, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2045.

Farm Viability

In order to build a more local, more organic Maine agriculture, we need to ensure that Maine farmers and farm businesses can make a comfortable living through sustainable management practices. MOFGA policy initiatives complement the technical assistance efforts of our Farmer Programs. We advocate for policies that strengthen viability and market share of existing farms as well as those that create training and assistance for new farmers.

Human Health & Environment

In the interest of creating a healthy and vibrant Maine, MOFGA works in close partnership with environmental, conservation and public health organizations throughout the state and nationally. MOFGA collaborates with organizations whose missions align with ours, identifying strategic legislative and rulemaking campaign opportunities to amplify our voice in the policy arena, and to illuminate the connections among carbon sequestering soils, organic management practices, and healthy people. MOFGA recognizes that our community is one small part of nature's complex web and that a sustainable organic farming system in Maine cannot happen without clean air, clean water, healthy soils, biodiversity and vibrant natural ecosystems around the globe. MOFGA believes that all people should have sufficient access to local, organic food regardless of geography or income. We stand in solidarity with communities struggling against extractive capitalism and industrial pollution.

Organic Integrity

MOFGA, along with allies throughout the U.S., is dedicated to strengthening the national organic standards in order to prevent fraud. Strong and consistently applied standards are essential for building consumer trust in the marketplace and for creating a level playing field for producers. MOFGA regularly communicates with the National Organic Program staff and members of the National Organic Standards Board urging strict adherence to the original intent of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. Of critical importance to MOFGA is the long-overdue implementation and enforcement of the USDA's Origin of Livestock rule, which would prevent continuous introduction of conventionally managed dairy cows in organic dairy operations. MOFGA also seeks consistency in enforcement of USDA's Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule to require all organic poultry and egg operations to provide meaningful outdoor access for chickens.

Organic Research & Education

As an educational organization at its core, MOFGA is committed to securing public education and technical assistance opportunities that promote the benefits of organic management practices. We believe that a healthy Maine agriculture relies on a well-educated farming and gardening community as well as informed consumers. Throughout MOFGA’s history, our partnerships with the University of Maine System, Cooperative Extension and other institutions of higher learning have provided countless opportunities for our farmers and gardeners. Extension research has helped our growers improve their crop and livestock management skills, protect their produce from pests and diseases, ensure safe handling of fresh and value-added farm products, and promote the Maine-grown brand. MOFGA works closely with national partners advocating for ample and consistent Farm Bill funding to promote organic management practices. We are committed to ensuring that the University of Maine System and its Cooperative Extension have ample funding to carry out the essential research and technical assistance needed to secure a thriving Maine agriculture.

Social Justice/Equity

MOFGA staff members, board members, and Public Policy Committee volunteers are on a path of exploration to understand and implement values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all of our policy organizing work. We hope to achieve such understanding and enlightenment to model those values as we advance MOFGA's mission. Social justice and equity depend on strong local communities. MOFGA supports state and local policy measures that strengthen civic engagement and support economic prosperity across the state's diverse rural communities. MOFGA will apply an economic, environmental, social justice lens to all of the policy initiatives that we embrace as we work to correct the adverse impacts of historic and present-day systemic oppression. While MOFGA is based in Maine, we support sustainable, organic farming regardless of geographic and cultural boundaries. Recognizing our interdependence, MOFGA is committed to building relationships, when appropriate, with farmers and movements who share our mission. Fostering such solidarity benefits Maine farmers and consumers.