Jade Archer grew up in the Hudson Valley where she began working in the culture and community of the small dairy industry. She has worked from calving to creamery, the milking shift to the farmers’ market. She worked on several vegetable farms because she likes vegetables, but has always returned to the dairy. Jade moved to Maine to work at Straw’s Farm in Newcastle, then subsequently returned to New York in semester stints to study veterinary technology. She now lives in Alna, with her husband, on their small farm where they grow and process organic chicken for the local market. Jade began working for MOFGA Certification Services a few years ago and has been conducting organic farm inspections all over the state.
Caitlyn is originally from Dixmont, Maine, where she grew up exploring the forests and fields with her two sisters, planting herb and flower gardens with her mom, and birdwatching with her dad. She attended the University of Maine in Orono, and then moved with her husband to southern Maine for a number of years before returning to settle in Dixmont.
Caitlyn is a hobby beekeeper who has served on the boards of the Penobscot County Beekeepers Association and the Maine State Beekeepers Association. That interest in education led to her obtaining her teaching certification and working as a fourth grade teacher in a local elementary school. While there, she helped develop and implement a garden program.
Caitlyn has also worked for Peacemeal Farm for several years. She credits her time there, both on the farm and at markets, to connecting her to the work that she finds most rewarding. She very much looks forward to working for MOFGA.
Caitlyn and her husband, Shane, live in Dixmont with their two children.
As a Sierra Club volunteer, Andrew Blunt worked closely with Maine Farmland Trust Policy and Research Director Ellen Griswold and MOFGA Deputy Director Heather Spalding to develop and pass LD 437 — An Act To Establish the Maine Healthy Soils Program, sponsored by Sen. Stacy Brenner, MOFGA’s board president. Blunt is a youth climate organizer in South Portland and has worked alongside a range of environmental groups to further Maine climate policy including Maine Youth for Climate Justice, the Sierra Club and 350 Maine. Blunt is a lifelong Maine resident. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 2019 with a dual degree in environmental studies and government and legal studies.
Erika Boynton hails from Southern Maine, grew up in a rural environment and was encouraged by nature to admire the ferns, flowers and trees, and to make the best mud pies, complete with maple seed “helicopters” and acorn toppings. Her grandmother and adopted grandmother showed her the wonder that lies within a seed and the bounty of flowers and vegetables they can create.
Boynton has traveled across the United States and has been fortunate to explore a bit of Europe and the South Pacific, admiring the botanical diversity and its use in the local cultures as food and medicine at every turn. She received her associate’s degree in plant and soil science and has worked as a landscaper and in organic farm production for market and restaurant sales in Maine, Washington and British Columbia. This botanical passion led her to study herbal sciences at Bastyr University in Washington state, where she received her bachelor’s degree. After working with the university’s Eastern and Western herbal dispensaries, she worked with an esteemed herbal tincture company, in sourcing and production, creating a wide variety of fresh herbal extracts.
With family centered in Maine, she shifted gears and returned to her roots. She reunited with the local farming community, helping dear farmer friends with weeding, propagation, harvesting and the occasional farmers’ market. Unable to break away from her passion for all things botanical, Boynton has surrounded herself with the bounty of what Maine’s farming community provides and supports with sustainable and organic growing practices. She is excited to be a part of MOFGA and all it represents.
Holli first apprenticed on a MOFGA-certified organic farm in 2005 while completing a bachelor’s degree in environmental writing at Unity College in Unity, Maine. Since then, she has immersed herself in organic agriculture as a farmer, advocate and storyteller. She has worked on organic farms in Maine, Vermont, Scotland and Italy and, in 2010, as MOFGA’s farmer-in-residence, she founded a small farm focused on celebrating open-pollinated and heirloom vegetables. As the former general manager of a national nonprofit dedicated to organic seed growers, she authored a peer-reviewed handbook on GMO avoidance strategies for seed growers. Holli has also been a steward at Forest Farm, the iconic last home of “The Good Life” authors Helen and Scott Nearing; an interim host for “The Farm Report” on Heritage Radio Network; and a long time contributing writer for The MOF&G.
Jenny grew up in Montville, Maine, on a homestead with her parents and older sister. Though the many chores involved with their way of living seemed challenging at first, she has grown to appreciate her roots enough to want a homestead of her own someday. After graduating from the local high school, Mt. View, and moving to southern Maine for a few years, she moved back home. Upon returning, she worked at Fedco Trees, where she learned about the position of orchard assistant at MOFGA. Jenny grew up around 40-plus fruit trees and orcharding has always been a passion of hers.
Elizabeth grew up in rural Pennsylvania, playing in her neighbors’ strawberry fields and attending Beyond Pesticides meetings with her parents. Elizabeth is quickly approaching a decade of development experience, and she is thrilled to be combining her love for Maine, and passion for healthy food systems and food justice with her fundraising skills in this new role at MOFGA. Before joining MOFGA, Elizabeth worked as the senior development department coordinator at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City and as a Fulbright grantee in Kolkata, India. She has also worked at Skylight Pictures, Sofar Sounds, Idealist.org and Human Rights Watch. Elizabeth is a graduate of Lafayette College where she earned a degree in international affairs and photography. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys informally studying herbalism and foraging for mushrooms and edible plants.
A native of Skowhegan and now a resident of Monroe, McGuire focused on digital arts at College of the Atlantic and then fell into farming and programming. She is enjoying having her own little farm.
Originally from Michigan, Meghan Metzger first made her way to Maine as a new student at Bates College. She graduated with honors majoring in French, and went on to earn her master’s in arts administration with a certificate in fundraising from Boston University. While working in grant writing, special events, membership, annual fund giving, corporate sponsorship and major gifts fundraising, Meghan has lived in Boston, Washington D.C. and Jordan — but the call to return to Maine only grew stronger. She made her way back in 2016 to work as a leadership gifts officer at her alma mater, and, now with nearly 15 years of fundraising experience, is thrilled to start this new adventure of leading MOFGA’s development and membership team.
Meghan’s passion for protecting and honoring our planet, ecosystems and communities was formed early on in her Michigan roots, growing up around the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Meghan loves spending time in her perennial and herb gardens, fretting over pollinators and living by the wise words, “weeds are a matter of opinion.” Meghan’s favorite non-weeds are wild strawberries, clover and mint.
Meg Nadeau grew up in Maine enjoying all the outdoors had to offer. As a child she loved to go camping, ice fishing and hiking with her family. She inherited her appreciation for nature, flowers and wildlife from her grandmother and treasured trips to visit her grandmother’s backyard labyrinth.
Meg completed her undergraduate degree from Saint Joseph’s College where she discovered her passion for sustainable business which led her to attend the University of Vermont where she earned her MBA in sustainable innovation. She couldn’t stay away from Maine for long, though, and has spent the past two years working at Unity College in multiple capacities.
In her free time, you can find her traveling with her fiancé, Evan, and trying to go to as many live concerts as she can. If she isn’t on the road, she will be home trying to grow vegetables in her modest garden or playing with her dog, Asher, and two cats, Burly and Basil. She is excited to begin the next step in her professional journey as the coordinator of the Common Ground Country Fair, a position that aligns with her values and passions.
Lydia Pendergast is a current student at College of the Atlantic, class of 2023. She grew up in upstate New York and is living in Waldo while interning with the Maine Heritage Orchard and with Super Chilly Farm. Her favorite fruit is apples.
Laura grew up in Massachusetts and Texas and has had a passion for flowers, berries and trees since childhood. In 2012, after working for two seasons on a vegetable farm in New Hampshire, she moved to Maine and attended College of the Atlantic where she developed an interest in apples and became involved with the Maine Heritage Orchard. She has worked for MOFGA and Fedco Trees since 2016. Laura lives in Waldo with her partner and a menagerie of animals. They have a young uncultivated orchard and tend a small garden.
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, John has lived in New England since 2012, with much of that time working for and managing certified organic farms. He also holds a master’s degree in communication from the University of Maine and has taught English there for years. He is joining MOFGA Certification Services as a certification specialist and looks forward to working with organic producers across the state.
Since her very first camping trip to Acadia in 1980, Ruth Zumstein longed to live in Maine. Finally, after a career as a professional violinist in New York City for over 30 years, Zumstein happily moved to Harpswell and then Brunswick. Living close to the ocean and experiencing a healthier lifestyle alongside so much natural beauty is a lifelong dream come true.