Help MOFGA Pass a Landmark Law to Ensure the Public's Right to Know
about Genetically Modified Organisms in Food
It's official! - Maine's Legislature has a bill in the works that will require labeling of foods genetically engineered by design.
An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers Right To Know is in the Legislature's Office of the Revisor of Statutes. We expect to see final language of the bill within a couple of weeks and will keep you posted. Please stay tuned.
MOFGA is committing fully on this historic effort for Maine to lead the nation by becoming the first state to require the labeling of GE foods. It is a costly endeavor and your contributions here will help ensure our success. On the "Program Destination" menu, scroll down to "Right to Know - GMO - Maine."
MOFGA will post regular campaign updates as the legislative session progresses. Please contact your legislators today and let them know that you are excited about Maine requiring labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients. Find contact information for your legislators. Tell them that you want their support for this important bill. MOFGA will be in touch regarding developments relating to this case.
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Proposed Rules Could Allow Widespread Spraying for Mosquito Control in Maine
The Maine Board of Pesticides Control is proposing amendments to its existing pesticide rules to allow for public-health, mosquito-control programs. Proposed amendments are posted here.
• relax the need for individual property owner authorization when the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) recommends pesticide spraying due to vector-borne disease threats, such as West Nile Virus (WNV) or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE);
• exempt government-sponsored, wide-area, vector-control programs from Chapter 22—Standards for Outdoor Application of Pesticides by Powered Equipment in Order to Minimize Off-target Deposition;
• exempt government-sponsored, wide-area, vector-control programs from Chapter 51—Notice of Aerial Pesticide Application.
A public hearing is scheduled for Friday, March 1, 2013, at 8:30 a.m., Room 319, Deering Building, 90 Blossom Lane, Augusta. Written comments may be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2013, to Henry S. Jennings, Director, Maine Board of Pesticides Control, 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0028, email@example.com
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Remembering Karen Ireland
Condolences to the family, friends and community of Karen Ireland of Belfast. A psychiatric nurse, activist (most recently demonstrating against the Keystone XL pipeline), permaculturist and former member of MOFGA’s El Salvador Sistering Committee, Karen died of cancer in January. A memorial gathering in Belfast that was scheduled for Sat., Feb. 9, has been postponed due to the snowstorm.
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Volunteer Opportunities at MOFGA
With warmer weather on the way, we have several small carpentry projects for volunteers which can be completed in a day. We have projects for all skill levels. If you have interest in tackling a small carpentry project contact Joe Dupere or Vernon LeCount, or call the main office at 568-4142.
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Get listed in the Maine Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Directory!
If you have a CSA and are not yet in our CSA directory, you are missing out on a valuable (FREE) way to advertise. Here’s what you should do:
1. Register an account on mofga.net and put in your farm’s CSA info: http://mofga.net/signup910
2. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org noting that you’ve done the above, and Melissa will go in and add your farm to the directory
If you need help navigating the process, send an email to email@example.com. IF YOU ARE A CERTIFIED ORGANIC FARM YOU ALREADY HAVE A MOFGA.NET PROFILE! You just need to get your username and password to access it, if you don’t have it already. You still need to let Melissa know to add you to the CSA directory.
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Take a Few Minutes to Complete the MOFGA/NOFA Farm Questionnaire
MOFGA and the Northeast Organic Farming Association invite organic farmers to complete a survey that will help support farms and farm workers in the Northeast. This survey is meant for all organic farms - certified organic, farmers pledge, or self-declared organic, rural or urban - regardless of size or crops. No one has ever collected this information before! The results will help guide the policy and technical assistance work of NOFA and MOFGA. Please fill out the survey at: http://tinyurl.com/NOFAsurvey.
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Maine Senior FarmShare Program Preparing for New Season
Maine’s Senior FarmShare program is gearing up for another season, as application letters are now going out to farmers who took part in the program in the past. Participating farmers get $50 in the spring for each eligible seniors, and seniors can get $50 worth of fresh, unprocessed produce and herbs free from local Maine farmers. To qualify, a senior must be a Maine resident, at least 60 years old and with a household income of not more than 185 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. Last year’s thresholds were $20,665 for singles and $27,991 for a two-person household. Seniors may contract the Area Agency on Aging at 877-353-3771 to find participating farmers once the list is complete, probably by mid-March.
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Emily Horton is New MOFGA Events Coordinator
MOFGA is happy to announce that Emily Horton has accepted the role of Educational Events Coordinator at MOFGA. Emily grew up on one of the early MOFGA Certified Organic farms in Montville, Maine and has been working as MOFGA’s Administrative Assistant for two years and before that as the Common Ground Country Fair Assistant. She will continue to cover her Administrative Assistant roles until we find her replacement. You can continue to contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org or, regarding MOFGA Educational Events, at email@example.com. Congratulations Emily!
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Immediate Opening For Administrative Assistant
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) has an immediate job opening for an Administrative Assistant in the office in Unity. Primary responsibilities include answering phones, opening and delivering mail, and providing other administrative support to staff. A detailed job description is available on MOFGA's website. If you are interested in applying for this position, please send a cover letter, resume and list of three professional references to MOFGA, PO Box 170, Unity, ME 04988. The position will remain open until we find the appropriate candidate.
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Executive Director Search
We are looking for an inspiring and visionary leader to advance our goals. We are a vibrant organization of members in 7,000 homes and businesses, more than 1,500 highly involved volunteers, and a staff of more than thirty. The successful candidate will have a commitment to organic agriculture, to increasing the availability and affordability of locally produced organic food, and to building strong communities and a safe environment. A detailed job description is posted at www.mofga.org. Review of candidates will begin on February 11, 2013. The hiring process will remain open until MOFGA finds the appropriate candidate. We anticipate filling the position by June 2013.
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|A bowl made by Christopher Signorino of Belfast for the Empty Bowl Supper.
MOFGA-El Salvador Committee Seeks Bowls for Empty Bowl Supper
The annual Empty Bowl Supper, a fundraiser for the MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee, is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Miller St. in Belfast. For just $15 ($35 maximum for families; tickets at the door), attendees enjoy delicious soups, breads and desserts, live music, get to see friends and take home a beautiful bowl, handcrafted and donated by a Maine potter.
The committee is seeking bowls made by Maine potters. Seconds are fine! To donate bowls, please contact Jean English, firstname.lastname@example.org or leave bowls at the MOFGA office. Thanks!
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Talks on Medicinal Herbs to Raise Money for Russell Libby Memorial Fund
Avena Botanicals herbalist and owner Deb Soule is hosting "Our Living Earth, Living Soul Series" of four talks about herbs to honor and raise funds in memory of Russell Libby.
The speakers are donating their time, and all proceeds go directly to the Russell Libby Memorial Fund. Classes are by donation only, with suggested donations of $5 to $500.
Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. For information and registration call Avena Botanicals at 207-594-0694.
If you are unable to attend and wish to make a tax-deductible donation to the Russell Libby Memorial Fund, please contact MOFGA at 207-568-4142 or visit www.mofga.org.
February 16, 10 to 11:30 a.m. - Herbs for Easing Stress and Building Resiliency, with herbalist Deb Soule
March 16, 10 to 11:30 a.m. - Seeds, Soil, and Spirit, with CR Lawn from FEDCO Seeds
April 13, 10 to 11:30 a.m. - Herbs and Meditation for Calming the Mind and Easing Despair and Grief, with herbalists Deb Soule and Kahadish Waadabi
April 27, 10 to noon - Cancer Prevention and Treatment with Herbs and Whole Foods, with nurse practitioner and herbalist Kristina King
Mark Your Calendar
February 9 - Cancelled: Meeting of the Sagadahoc MOFGA Chapter. For more information contact Ann Schneider - 882-6763.
February 16 & 17 - NOFA-VT Winter Conference 2013: Generations of Innovation. University of Vermont, Burlington Vt. Information here.
February 20 - Winter Workshop for Farmers. Workshops include: Forage Improvement, Online Farmers' Markets and Buying Clubs, EBT on Smart-devices, Unity Food Hub briefing and discussion. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, 294 Crosby Brook Road in Unity. Hosted by MOFGA and the Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets, Maine Farmland Trust and Western Mountains Alliance. Update session for all organizations, with "open office hours" with MFT, WMA and MFFM to follow. Lunch is provided. To register, call 207-948-6575 or see: http://winterfarmingworkshops-estw.eventbrite.com/. For more information, contact Tricia Cook, Western Mountains Alliance, 207-778-3885, email@example.com.
February 25 and 26 - ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network) Greenhouse Conference. Delta Beauséjour, Moncton, New Brunswick. Information.
February 25 & March 1-3 - Meet Your Farmers and Fishermen: A Celebration of Community Supported Agriculture and Fisheries
Coming to a location near you on March 1-3 (and Feb. 25 in Auburn)
These events are part celebration and part education, as local farmers, fishermen and other food producers tell community members how to enjoy local foods and support local businesses in a meaningful way. Each location will have plenty of local flavor, whether live local music, tastings featuring local foods, sales of food and other products from local farms and businesses, film screenings and more. The current list of locations, dates and times of these events can be found on MOFGA’s website.
February 27 - Waldo Organic Growers meeting. Wednesday, 6 pm with potluck (bring your own table service), at MOFGA's Education Center in Unity. Speaker: Michael Gendreau of Maine Community Health Options, a new non-profit health plan in Maine. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
March 16 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding Workshop: Pruning. $30. Locations: Jefferson, Unity. Snow date March 17. Also in Blue Hill on March 23 (no snow date). Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality fruit yield. For beginners and experienced growers. Additional workshops in March, April and July at various locations on renovating old apple trees and grafting, with an Orcharding 101 course led by Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower. For dates and more information, go here.
March 22-23 -2013 New England Meat Conference. Graponne Conference Center, 70 Constitution Avenue, Concord, NH. Co-sponsored by MOFGA. Registration is now open! A wide array of topics for producers, processors, and consumers of meat in New England. Registration includes access to 2 full days of events and activities, including Educational Sessions & Workshops, Networking Activities, Live Demonstrations, Meat Industry Trade Show, Meat Ball with live music by the Hickory Horned Devils! The conference is brought to you by a steering committee of producers, processors, cooperative extension, non-profits (including MOFGA) and state government from across the six New England States. Information at www.newenglandmeatconference.org, or contact Lori Walter - (603) 573-3306 or email@example.com
March 24 - Seed Swap & Scion Exchange. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. A special all-day event this year! Bring seeds, scionwood and cuttings to share. Participate in educational workshops. Free. Details.
March 30 - MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference: All About Garlic! 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Speaker: David Stern of Rose Valley Farm and the Garlic Seed Foundation. After lunch, a panel of growers will share their knowledge. Call the MOFGA office for more information.
Many other events are posted on MOFGA's on-line Calendar.