Russell Libby Agricultural Scholar Awards

Apply for a Russell Libby Agricultural Scholar Award

Three $1,500 scholarships are awarded each year in the following categories:

To apply: Please submit an application HERE. The deadline for 2024 applications is May 9. 

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. The scholarships offer support to students seeking to deepen their knowledge of organic and sustainable farm systems.  Please note, a given individual will only be chosen as a winner of the scholarship one time.

For further information about Russell Libby Agricultural Scholarships, contact Anna Libby: [email protected]. For details about the Source Sustainability Awards, contact Peggy Grodinsky: [email protected].

The Russell Libby Agricultural Scholar Awards are a joint project of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Maine Sunday Telegram/Source and are generously supported by the Belfast Community Co-Op and Lee Auto Malls.

Russell Libby dedicated his life to growing the organic food movement in Maine. He served as MOFGA’s executive director from 1995 to 2012, and his vision was instrumental in creating MOFGA’s innovative organic farmer training programs.
Portrait of Russell Libby by Robert Shetterly
Russell Libby at the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair
MOFGA's logo: a green tree with the words Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners circling it
Maine Sunday Telegram Logo
Bcoop Logo Primary Stack Tag

Meet the 2023 Winners of the Scholar Awards

Headshot of Nickie Deschaine

High School: Nickie Deschaine

Nickie’s love for agriculture began while working potato harvest at LaJoie Growers in Van Buren, Maine, during the three week “potato vacation” from Central Aroostook High School. On the farm she has run the bin piler, racked a variety of potatoes, beets, and carrots, and also worked on the harvester. She was the Maine FFA State President for two years (2021-2023). Being in FFA taught her how broad the agriculture field is and how important it is to educate students to promote the future of agriculture. She plans to study agriculture and plant science at Cornell University in the fall.

Photo courtesy of Nickie Deschaine

Students stand in hay paths between prepared beds.

Educator: Colleen Maker

Colleen works at the Washington Academy Community Garden and is glad to be this year’s recipient of the Russell Libby Agricultural Scholarship. The funds will support increased produce for the Machias Food pantry this growing season. The main objective of the garden is to educate high school students on  sustainable practices, empowering them to grow their own food and foster a strong sense of community service in the fight against food insecurity.

Photo courtesy of Colleen Maker. 

two farmers smiling in front of a bike rack

Journeyperson: Wild Few Herb Farm

The mission at Wild Few is to get high-quality medicinal herbs to the people, to strengthen community resilience through education surrounding  plant allies, and to do it all in celebration. With the assistance of these funds, Wild Few Farm can start making herbs more accessible, and encourage people to come out to the farm by investing in marketing, offering a sliding-scale CSA and providing materials in our workshops so that people can have hands-on experience

Photo courtesy of Wild Few Farm.

Read more about this year’s Russel Libby Scholars in the Portland Press Herald. 

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