Committees and Chapters

Committees

Since its inception volunteers have played a vital role in the spirit and success of MOFGA. As the organization has grown over its first 50 years the types of roles that volunteers play has shifted as the staff, and organization, have grown. There are many ways to interact and meaningfully contribute to various programs year round. One way to participate is by serving on a committee. Volunteer committee members adhere to the organization’s volunteer and program committee guidelines and assist program area staff in an advisory capacity. MOFGA invites volunteers of diverse backgrounds and views to join our committees and offer valuable perspective to our staff as we work toward our strategic impact goals.

Buildings & Grounds

The Buildings & Grounds Committee develops long-term planning strategies for the facilities at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center and the 250+ acres that go along with it. The Committee develops and oversees a budget for maintenance and new projects, and meets regularly to help the administrative staff prioritize projects. For information, contact our Buildings & Grounds Director Jason Tessier.

This committee maintains a relationship between MOFGA and two Salvadoran grassroots organizations working toward sustainable agriculture. The committee explores issues such as organic certification, free trade, marketing and more that affect farmers in both countries. Several delegations from Maine have visited El Salvador. Anyone interested in joining the El Salvador Sistering Committee, which meets monthly, should contact Paul & Karen Volckhausen.
Fair Planning Team
The Fair Planning Team is comprised of every person who coordinates some aspect of the Fair. Membership is open to any volunteer wishing to assume a leadership role in coordinating Fair volunteers for a specific area of the Fair. The Fair Planning Team is always looking for new members and for just about every area of the Fair, there are small subcommittees that meet anywhere from once to several times a year. Anyone interested in joining the Fair Planning Team should contact Common Ground Country Fair Director April Boucher.

Fair

The Fair Committee works in coordination with staff to put on the annual Common Ground Country Fair. For more information contact Common Ground Country Fair Director April Boucher.

Low-Impact Forestry
The Low Impact Forestry Committee oversees MOFGA’s woodlands for the purposes of sustainable harvesting, instruction about safe and appropriate woodsworking skills, and demonstration of proper forest management practices. These activities take place primarily during the Common Ground Country Fair in September and the Low Impact Forestry Workshop in November. Anyone interested in joining the Low-Impact Forestry Committee should contact Low Impact Forestry Specialist Noah Gleason-Hart.
Orchard
Through workshops and demonstration orchards, this committee teaches organic orcharding to the MOFGA membership and the public at large. Volunteers may help maintain the demonstration orchards at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center and may also assist with organizing workshops. Anyone interested in joining MOFGA’s Orchard Committee should contact Orchards Coordinator Laura Sieger.
Public Policy
The Public Policy Committee reviews existing and pending federal and state legislation relevant to organic gardening and farming, sustainable agriculture, natural resource protection, and food safety, and, makes the results of this review known to the Board of Directors. The Committee may introduce and support legislation and it occasionally drafts and disseminates action alerts to MOFGA’s membership. The Committee often needs help writing op/eds and letters to editors, and drafting and circulating action alerts relating to specific pieces of legislation or committee hearings. The committee also takes a leadership role in organizing the Public Policy Teach-in at the Common Ground Country Fair. Anyone interested in joining the Public Policy Committee should contact Deputy Director Heather Spalding.

Many MOFGA committee meetings are being held via Zoom currently. This offers a great and easy way for new members to explore a committee of interest. Meetings are called and facilitated by staff and many take place monthly.

Chapters

When MOFGA was founded in 1971, the founding members conceived of a statewide organization. In the first few years the structure of a chapter in each county was developed and implemented. At present there are two active chapters of MOFGA. Chapters are open to new members. Chapter activities vary from region to region, but may include educational talks and demonstrations, social events like dances and pot-luck suppers, cooperative buying orders, and fundraising efforts. Information on forming a chapter can be found below.
Penobscot County
Contact Galen Young
Sagadahoc County
Sagadahoc MOFGA is one of the oldest chapters. The group holds monthly meetings with potluck meals. Annual events include a community work day in Bath Housing Authority’s vegetable gardens, a public educational presentation, and a food booth at the Common Ground Country Fair featuring prized baked beans and switchel. Russell Schneider, President and Alicia Romac, Secretary. Jeremy Blaiklock represents the chapter on the MOFGA board of directors.
Western Maine
Based in the Farmington area, the Western Maine chapter of MOFGA is a nascent chapter in the process of being organized. For more information and to be a part of it, please contact Jason Hawkins.
Starting a MOFGA chapter
If you are interested in starting a new MOFGA chapter, please send a written proposal to MOFGA’s Board Secretary, Jo Ann Myers, stating the geographic or economic sector to be served, the number of active and potential participants in the proposed chapter, the proposed frequency of meetings, and any other relevant information to assist the Board in determining approval of the chapter.
Any MOFGA member may request that the Board of Directors recognize a new chapter to serve his or her local area. Likewise, any group of members may ask the Board of Directors to recognize a new chapter that is focused on a particular agricultural economic sector. Such chapters may have membership requirements that are more restrictive than the general membership requirements for MOFGA, as long as said requirements focus on clearly defining the membership of the chapter based on agricultural economics or activities.
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