Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Congratulations – June 2018

2018 Russell Libby Agricultural Scholarship winners, shown with MOFGA's associate director Chris Hamilton (right).
Tide Mill Farm's Aaron Bell (right). Heather Spalding photo
CR Lawn, shown here with Eli Rogosa.
Melissa Law, Benjamin Whalen, Abigail and Jeffrey Fisher (left to right) of Bumbleroot Organic Farm LLC in Windham
Frank Drummond

June 1, 2018

Jacki Martinez Perkins, MOFGA’s organic dairy and livestock specialist, and Rafael Martinez Soto on their marriage in March.

the winners of the $1,500 Russell Libby Agricultural Scholarships, generously supported by Lee Auto Malls. August DeLisle (left) is a MOFGA journeyperson who, with his wife, Torie (next to August), owns WoodHaus Farm in Damariscotta. He plans to use the scholarship money toward building a poultry processing facility. Zenaide McCarthy (middle), a senior at Morse High School, plans to study sustainable agriculture. Sarah Fallon (second from right), a sustainable agriculture student at Kennebec Valley Community College, plans to enroll at UMaine after finishing at KVCC. The scholarships were presented by Chris Hamilton (far right), MOFGA’s associate director, at the annual Source Maine Sustainability Awards reception. Thanks to Anna Libby of MOFGA’s educational programs department for coordinating the scholarship process.

MOFGA-certified Tide Mill Organic Farm, which was honored in April by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry with a $50,000 Agricultural Development Grant. Commissioner Walt Whitcomb announced the Tide Mill award along with four others, totaling $187,735, during Ag Day at the Maine Legislature. Funds for Tide Mill will improve climate control in the farm’s organic poultry processing plant, increasing shelf-life, reducing bacteria and helping the farm meet regulatory hurdles. Tide Mill Farm owner Aaron Bell, pictured on the right, urged a crowd of event attendees in the Hall of Flags to buy more local food whenever possible. Other award recipients included LaJoie Growers, LLC to develop a dehydrated beet for global markets; Blue Sky Produce for wild blueberry marketing; the University of Maine for blueberry washing research; and the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine to expand frozen blueberry sales in U.S. public schools. Photo by Heather Spalding

CR Lawn on his retirement from Fedco Seeds at the end of June. CR started Fedco Seeds 40 years ago. He credits the blizzard of 1978 with his desire to have a job (and a place to stay) at Fedco during the coldest three winter months so that he could do more than “just sit around trying to survive all winter in an isolated, cold place” – his cabin in Canaan “with no plumbing, no running water, no electricity, uninsulated, and heated only with a wood cookstove.” His experiences with coordinating a seed order with 60 families in Canaan and Clinton provided the idea of a seed-ordering coop. You can read about CR (and John Bunker’s) involvement with Fedco and MOFGA in “Fedco: Thirty Years Old and Still Growing” in the summer 2008 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. CR served on the MOFGA board for many years and has volunteered at the Common Ground Country Fair for decades. His keynote speech from the 2000 the Fair, “Mow Me Less: Tales of a GE-Resistant Lawn,” appears in the winter 2000-2001 issue of The MOF&G.

Melissa Law, Benjamin Whalen, Abigail and Jeffrey Fisher (left to right) of Bumbleroot Organic Farm LLC in Windham for being awarded “Maine Young Entrepreneurs of the Year” by the U.S. Small Business Administration. And further congrats to Jeff and Abby on the March birth of their daughter, Josephine.

Frank Drummond, an internationally recognized entomologist, who was named the 2018 University of Maine Distinguished Maine Professor by the UMaine Alumni Association. His research on wild blueberry insects has resulted in recommendations focused on minimizing impacts on the environment while saving growers money, increasing yields, improving the quality of the fruit, and making Maine wild blueberries more competitive in the global market. He and his colleagues also researched and developed the only complete organic insect pest management plan for wild blueberry production in North America.

Cheryl Wixson, Stonington chef and MOFGA-certified organic farmer, who received the Katherine O. Musgrave Public Service Award from the Maine Nutrition Council in April for her "outstanding contributions to nutrition and health for Maine people." Wixson has advocated for local and healthy foods in a number of capacities, including, for several years, as MOFGA’s organic marketing consultant and resident chef. Her kitchen licensing workshops have inspired over 500 small businesses to bring safe, Maine-produced products to market.

Kathy Murray, integrated pest management (IPM) specialist at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, for being designated as a “Healthy Kids Hero” by Ellie Goldberg for demonstrating “an extraordinary sense of responsibility and commitment to the safety of children and their communities.” She has worked with schools and farmers on practices for reducing risks of pests and pesticides. FMI: https://medium.com/@ellie.goldberg/ipm-is-a-team-effort-70032e257c79

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