Each year, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) awards three scholarships in the amount of $1,500, one in each of the following categories:
- MOFGA Journeyperson program participant (past or present).
- Maine high school senior planning to study sustainable or organic farming (with a preference for colleges in Maine).
- Kennebec Valley Community College student studying sustainable agriculture.
Awards are granted to honor the late Russell Libby, who led the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association for 17 years and dedicated his life to growing the organic food movement. Recognizing, more than 20 years ago, that Maine’s farming population was aging and dwindling, Libby advocated for focusing significant MOFGA program resources on training the next generation of farmers. Through his vision, MOFGA has been instrumental in shifting the demographics of Maine’s farming population. Now Maine is one of the leading U.S. states for creating successful new farmers.
These scholarships support the recipients in their pursuits of agriculture education and projects. Funds have been used for schooling, infrastructure that improves access to programs, new gardens and much more. One of last year’s award recipients, Emma Lovering, planned to use the funds to help expand her infrastructure and allow her to have more members in her CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program). As she wrote in her application, “Though it seems far off to me in some ways, there is so much of this dream I have already accomplished. I believe these funds will really help support my plan for expansion and to reach even more people in the years to come!”
Details about the scholarship program and a link to an online application are available on MOFGA’s website. Applications are due on April 15, 2022. Winners will be notified in late April, and will be featured on the MOFGA website and in MOFGA’s publications.