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  You are here:  PublicationsBulletin Board ArchiveDecember 22 2013   



Bulletin Board

DECEMBER 22, 2013

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Jim Ahearne and April Boucher

MOFGA Bids Farewell to Jim Ahearne and Promotes April Boucher to Head Common Ground Country Fair

At the holiday party of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) on Monday, the staff thanked Jim Ahearne for his strong leadership, positive energy, innovation and hard work as director of the past six Common Ground Country Fairs. Ahearne is leaving MOFGA to pursue other professional interests closer to home. MOFGA's executive director Ted Quaday announced that long-time fair coordinator April Boucher would assume the fair director role immediately.

"Jim's leadership and enthusiasm have been the cornerstone of our volunteer-driven fair for years and his presence will be missed," said Bryan McLellan, chair of the Common Ground Country Fair Steering Committee. "I'm happy to have April's experience and dedication to the fair stepping up to continue its long traditions."

The Common Ground Country Fair is MOFGA's signature event, averaging 60,000 visitors each year on the third weekend after Labor Day. The Fair celebrates MOFGA's mission of helping farmers and gardeners grow and sell organic food, fiber and other crops. The dates for the next fair are September 19, 20 & 21, 2014.
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Fair Coordinator Employment Opportunity

MOFGA is searching for its next Common Ground Country Fair coordinator. This is an excellent opportunity for a dynamic, personable, highly organized and dedicated individual. The Fair is unique agricultural event that hosts over 1,400 exhibitors and speakers to celebrate community, sustainable living and local economies while highlighting organic agriculture. The ideal candidate will have experience working on events and with volunteers, excellent verbal and written communication skills, and an unwavering attention to detail. MOFGA will begin accepting applications for this year-round position on January 5. The position will remain open until filled. See the job description for a complete list of needed abilities and knowledge. Send a cover letter, resume, writing sample and a list of three professional references to Fair director April Boucher at aprilb@mofga.org.

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Renew Your MOFGA Membership - Before the Rates Increase in 2014 

In 2014, MOFGA membership rates will increase slightly. This will be the first membership rate increase since 2004.

We appreciate the generosity of MOFGA's supporters and hope you will join or renew at the highest level that fits your budget. We continue to offer a $20 Seeding membership for students, seniors on fixed incomes and other people who may need the reduced rate. Thank you for any support that you can give. We are happy to have you as a member!

Renew now at the MOFGA Country Store!
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MOFGA Day at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Each year at Maine's Agricultural Trades Show, MOFGA offers a series of presentations and discussion groups covering a wide range of sustainable agriculture subjects. All presentations are free and open to the public. Schedule.

MOFGA has an information exhibit during all three days of the Trades Show. Staff and Committee members are available to answer questions about MOFGA's ongoing programs.

MOFGA members are encouraged to attend the Association's Annual Meeting, which will be held at 1:30 pm in the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Rooms.
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Katie Hammonds of The Apple Farm 

Know Your Organic Producers! 

Meet MOFGA certified organic The Apple Farm - and Katie Hammonds, who was staffing the farm's booth at the Common Ground Country Fair. Owners Steve and Marilyn Meyerhans sell MOFGA-certified organic cider and apples, grown in the organic section of their orchards, in Manchester, Maine (www.lakesideorchards.com). They market their crops through senior farm shares, at the Waterville Farm Market, the Common Ground Country Fair, Uncle Dean's and from The Apple Farm and Lakeside Orchards.

Please support MOFGA certified organic farmers and producers!

Search for local certified-organic food on MOFGA.net
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We have the 2013 Common Ground Country Fair oxen design on T-shirts, nightshirts, tote bags, aprons and more ON SALE now through December 24th.

Share the Fair with friends and family members this holiday season and support MOFGA.

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Cole's Quince, a Maine heritage apple variety.

Contribute to MOFGA's Fruitful Future!

The farmers at Blackbird Rise in Palermo are pleased to announce a fundraiser to support our educational programs.

For every $25 you contribute to MOFGA, you will receive a 2-year-old, grafted, MOFGA certified organic apple tree as thanks for your support! Trees will be available for pick-up at MOFGA's April 12, 2014, orchard planting event. There you can learn how to plant and care for your tree. More details.

Download the donation form from Blackbird Rise.

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One-Stop Shop for Organics
Looking for USDA programs and services that support the growing organic sector? USDA has created a centralized resource center containing all its programs, services and data.

The new site gives access to

* conservation programs, flexible microloans and other financial resources for farmers and ranchers
* organic price reports, cost/revenue comparisons and other economic and market data
* improved crop and livestock insurance and other programs tailored to the organic sector
* production and conservation assistance and research on organic agriculture
* benefits of organic certification and information on how to get certified
* USDA staff at your local field offices and more

USDA is committed to helping organic agriculture grow and thrive by removing obstacles for organic farmers and businesses.

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Thanks for Your Support!

Training the next generation of farmers and gardeners is essential to the future of Maine agriculture. Each year MOFGA works with dozens of established farms to begin training new farmers through our apprenticeship and journeryperson programs. This work is possible only because of financial support from our members.

In April hundreds of people gathered at the State House, testifying for seven hours in support of labeling food made from genetically modified organisms (GMO). Once Governor LePage signs this bill in January, Maine will be the second state to have passed a GMO labeling law. We did this by working together.
Nearly one-third of our budget comes from our members, who are passionate about locally grown, organic food - and sensible public policy. Thank you for considering a year-end gift. If you want you can give online at donatenow.networkforgood.org/1434514.
Events in Maine and Beyond - Mark Your Calendar!
January 3 - MOFGA's Common Ground radio show. 10 to 11 a.m., on WERU, 89.9 and 99.9 FM and weru.org.

January 5 - Beginning Women Farmer Holistic Management Classes start.
Contact Gail Chase, Maine's WAgN coordinator, wagnmaine@gmail.com

January 6 to February 20 - Permaculture Design: Fundamentals of Ecological Design, an online certificate course offered through Cornell University's Department of Horticulture distance learning program. More about the 6.5-week-long course online. The program will offer two other online permaculture design courses in March-April and April-May. Completing all three gives students the portfolio necessary to apply for an internationally recognized certification in Permaculture Design though the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute.

January 7 - Tri-State Greenhouse IPM Workshop, Longfellows Greenhouses in Manchester, Maine; January 8, UNH, Durham, N.H.; January 9, Gardeners Supply, Burlington, Vermont. Special guest: Carol Glenister, IPM Laboratories, Inc., Locke, N.Y., speaking on the wild side of biocontrol and banker and guardian plants. FMI: Chery Frank, cfrank@uvm.edu. Details.

January 7 - MOFGA annual membership meeting. 1:30 p.m., Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center. Hear reports from MOFGA board members, staff and committees; vote on a slate of board members. Q&A period. This is also MOFGA Day at the Trades Show - a full day of presentations and workshops on organic production in Maine. Free.

January 7 to 9 - Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center. Free admission. www.getrealmaine.com

January 9 - Free community screening of "The Next American Revolution: Beyond Capitalism and State Socialism." 6:30 p.m., Belfast Free Library, with historian, political economist, activist and writer Gar Alperovitz, whose illustrated presentation points to efforts already under way in communities across the U.S., from co-ops and community land trusts to municipal, state and federal initiatives that promote entrepreneurship and sustainability. Rob Brown, Maine Cooperative Development Specialist with CDI, will lead a post-film discussion.

January 11 - NOFA-Mass. Winter Conference.
7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Worcester State University, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. Includes an all-day seminar and keynote by Restoration Agriculture author, Mark Shepard, as well as the annual Lawn & Turf Course. Information: call (508) 572-0816; email wcregistration@nofamass.org or register online.

January 17 - Deadline to apply for new enrollment in the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for federal fiscal year 2014. CSP participants receive an annual land use payment for operation-level environmental benefits they produce. Information and a link to a checklist that can help you determine if the CSP is right for you.

January 22-25 - The Ecological Farming Association's 34th Annual EcoFarm Conference, Gather & Grow, Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California. More than 65 workshops featuring educational and technical sessions for farmers, ranchers, distributors, retailers, activists, consumers, students and educators; exhibitor marketplace, live entertainment, discussion groups, mixers, delicious meals and libations. Visit www.eco-farm.org for more info and to register.

January 26 - Maine Farmers' Market Convention, Maple Hill Inn and Conference Center, Hallowell. Co-sponsored by MOFGA. Details.

January 30 to February 1 -  Seventh Organic Seed Growers Conference. Corvallis, Oregon. This is a unique opportunity to trade knowledge, techniques and ideas that strengthen our rapidly growing organic seed community. The agenda includes 70 experts in organic plant breeding, seed research, enterprise development, seed economics, policy and more. Register.

February 5 to 8 - Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference, State College, Penn. Details.

February 18 - Organic Orcharding Workshop. 6-8 p.m., Belfast Free Library. Presented by C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchardist. Free presentation about organic orcharding techniques to grow apples, pears, plums and peaches, focusing on soil requirements and methods of tracking and trapping fruit pests. No-spray pest management and how various materials boost the health of fruit trees. Plenty of time for discussion. Co-sponsors: MOFGA, Belfast Free Library and the Belfast Co-op. Free.

February 21-23 - Camden Conference: The Global Politics of Food and Water. www.camdenconference.org

February 24 - Deadline for applying for Value-Added Producer Grants.
This program helps agricultural producers create new products, expand marketing opportunities, support further processing of existing products or goods, or develop specialty and niche products. Grants may be used for working capital and planning activities. The maximum working capital grant is $200,000; the maximum planning grant is $75,000. Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and agricultural producer groups. Funding priority is given to socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers or ranchers and to small- to medium-size family farms, or farmer/rancher cooperatives. Details.

February 26-27 - Sustaining the Living Landscape, Ecological Landscaping Assoc., Springfield, Mass. Keynote: Dr. John Todd, "Healing the Waters: A Tale of Ecology and Living Technologies." Brochure.

March 12 - Climate Solutions 2014 Expo and Summit, Augusta Civic Center. http://climatesolutionsme.org/
Many more events are posted on MOFGA's on-line Calendar.


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