Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
MOFGA Notes

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Read about MOFGA staff, board members, the Fair, volunteers, MOFGA members and more!

Amanda Beal to Lead Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

MOFGA Hails Commissioner Nomination as Ideal Choice

January 18, 2019 (Unity, ME) – The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) announced unbridled enthusiasm for Amanda Beal, Governor Janet Mills' choice for State Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF). This was Mills' final nomination of dynamic individuals who will lead the major departments of Maine's state government. Beal has stepped down from her role as board member of MOFGA, where she served for 14 years including two as president, and will now transition from her role as president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust.

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2019 Common Ground Country Fair Poster Unveiled!

January 15, 2019

A highlight during MOFGA day at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show was unveiling the 2019 Common Ground Country Fair poster. The poster features two Dexter heifers posing with oats and red and crimson clover. Dexters are raised for dairy, beef and draft power, making them an excellent triple-purpose breed for homesteads. Local artist Kevin Martin of Vinalhaven created the design – an engaging and fitting image for the 43rd annual Common Ground Country Fair, September 20, 21 and 22. Posters are available through MOFGA's online Country Store.

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MOFGA Staff Changes – January 10, 2019

Ryan Dennett, previously MOFGA’s beginning farm programs coordinator, is MOFGA’s new educational programs director. “She was the stand-out candidate from a thorough process that had a very competitive national applicant pool,” says Sarah Alexander, MOFGA’s executive director, adding, “I look forward to working with Ryan in her new role, and know that her wealth of experience in managing programs at the state and national levels will propel her to success with the education department.”

We are also excited that Anna Mueller, previously our educational events coordinator, is now our farmer professional development specialist. In this role she will create more opportunities for farmer professional development by managing our new Maine Farm Resilience Program while continuing her work on current programming for farmers, including our Farmer to Farmer Conference and Farmer to Farmer in the Field.

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Join the 2019 Volunteer Team and Make a Difference at Common Ground

Do you love the Common Ground Country Fair? Maybe you’ve been coming each year since you were young, or maybe you volunteered for a few shifts last year and want to do so again. We are looking for some dedicated individuals to join our volunteer team. Each year many individuals work hard to ensure that the different pieces of the Fair run smoothly. From the parking lots to the kitchen to the speakers’ tents, volunteers take the lead. Do you love wool and yarn, are you up for taking on a shift in the parking lot, or are you excited about alternative ways to get to the Fair? Perhaps you’ve volunteered many times in a particular area and are interested in becoming one of our hardworking area coordinators, organizing volunteers and scheduling events in a particular area of the Fair. Current area coordinator openings are posted at www.mofga.org/The-Fair/Fair-Volunteers. Whatever your interests, you can have a positive impact on the Fair. Online volunteer registration will open in early June. Contact Andrew Graham, MOFGA’s community engagement coordinator, at agraham@mofga.org or 207-568-4142 with any questions.

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Start Planning for the 2019 Fair

Here are some things you can do now to start planning for the 2019  Common Ground Country Fair:

  • Volunteer as an area coordinator to help manage a part of the Fair that resonates with you.
  • Create a design for the 2020  Common Ground Country Fair poster design contest. Details are posted on the Fair Poster page at www.mofga.org.
  • Order seeds and start plants for your garden. Results could be entered in the Exhibition Hall displays or offered to the Common Kitchen to help feed volunteers during the Fair. Grow Your Own Organic Garden classes are taught throughout the state in early April to help get you started.
  • Work with your local schools and teachers to plan a student field trip to Common Ground. It's never too early to ask, especially because the Fair comes right after the start of the school year. All student groups get into the Fair free on Friday, and we offer mileage reimbursement to help with travel costs.
  • Work with your local adult education program to organize a community bus trip to Common Ground. It’s a terrific way to help conserve resources while getting preferred parking near the Rose Gate! 
  • Tune your bicycle and body to bicycle, partway or all the way, to the Fair. Each year nearly 600 cyclists pedal to the Fair. 

 

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