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  You are here:  PublicationsMaine Organic Farmer & GardenerFall 2006MOFGA Notes   
 MOFGA Notes – Fall 2006 Minimize

Two New Faces at MOFGA; One More Sought
MOFGA Hires Marketing Staff
Maine Meals Menu Contest
Volunteer Dinner a Delicious Success
Unity College and MOFGA Partner to Offer Sustainable Agriculture Practicum
MOFGA – El Salvador Sistering Committee News



Two New Faces at MOFGA; One More Sought

With growth comes change, and MOFGA has two new faces to introduce this summer.

We are very fortunate to have Abby Sadauckas as our new database manager. Sadauckas has taken the reins from Dawn Flanzer, who is going back to school. Thank you, Dawn, for all the great work you’ve done! We wish you success on your new path.

Sadauckas brings excellent office and database skills to her job and has plunged right into the challenging responsibilities of keeping MOFGA’s databases current and in good order for mailing lists, membership correspondence, fair details, event reports, income and data analysis. She has used her talents in a variety of work environments, including barns, gardens, offices, summer camps, darkrooms and classrooms. Sadauckas is also an artist and photographer. In addition to working at MOFGA, she is pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts. She lives peacefully in Thorndike with her dog, Chicory, and two chickens.

As we move closer to Fair time and get busier, this year’s summer Fair intern, Dana Llewellyn of Monroe, has come on board. Llewellyn has lots of experience with the daily operations of farms and markets and will be using her office and organizational skills in the MOFGA office. Three days a week she will take on some of the administrative workload, Fair logistics and whatever else needs attention. Llewellyn has been a local poultry farmer and processor for over 30 years and was market manager at the Orono Farmers’ Market for a stint.

After the Fair, MOFGA will be looking for a personable, competent and skilled, half-time administrative assistant for the front desk. If you or someone you know is interested, please visit www.mofga.org for a brief job description or contact Ann Haskell, the office manager, for more details.


MOFGA Hires Marketing Staff

MOFGA now has two people working on marketing issues that affect organic farmers as part of our Agricultural Services team. Melissa White, currently MOFGA’s educational programs assistant, has begun working part-time as our organic marketing coordinator, and will transition to spending most of her time on this project after the Fair. White will focus primarily on our project to increase the number of CSA farms in Maine, and the number of families getting their food through CSAs. She’ll also be developing improved price information for farmers, a job she started this summer with organic price reports.

Cheryl Wixson will also be providing marketing support on a contract basis. The first woman agricultural engineer to graduate from U. Maine, Wixson has been a chef, run a restaurant, hosted two TV series on Maine foods on Maine Public Broadcasting, and writes regularly on food in the Bangor Daily News. She’ll be developing a long-term marketing strategy, helping Colby College as it converts a dining hall to local and organic foods, and working to expand a pilot educational program targeted at good food for school kids.

Welcome to both Melissa White and Cheryl Wixson in their new roles!


Maine Meals Menu Contest
What Meal Can You Make With $10 Worth of Maine Food? Submit Your Ideas – Win a Prize!

For more than a decade, MOFGA’s Executive Director, Russell Libby, has been encouraging Mainers to set aside at least $10 a week for Maine-grown foods. If we could start there, Maine’s agricultural economy would get a boost of roughly $100 million. It’s hard to quantify how many of us (consumers) have heeded the call, but the concept certainly has caught on among local farmers, businesses and even nonprofit organizations. The number of farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs in Maine is growing steadily.

Libby continues to promote the campaign in all of his public speaking engagements, and now MOFGA is going to have a little fun with it.

This summer and early fall, we are having a menu contest for folks who plan “$10 Maine Meals,” featuring $10 worth of Maine-grown or Maine-raised food.

This contest is rather free form. The meals can be for an individual or for as many people as the chef thinks he or she can feed. Ingredients aren’t restricted, but the higher the percentage of Maine-grown, organic foods, the more likely the contestant will be to win a $10 admission ticket to the Common Ground Country Fair, or a $10 gift certificate to the Common Ground Country Store, or – the grand prize! – a gift basket of Maine-grown, organic foods valued at $100.

We will post winning submissions at www.mofga.org and will share results with the Maine media in order to spread the word even further.

We need from contestants: name; contact information; menu with quantities of all ingredients (whether Maine-grown or not), cost of all ingredients, and the geographic origin of ingredients. Please send submissions to: $10 Maine Meals, MOFGA, PO Box 170, Unity, ME 04988, or to mofga@mofga.org, by Oct. 1, 2006.


Volunteer Dinner a Delicious Success

More than 200 MOFGA volunteers gathered in Unity on July 29th for a celebration honoring the wonderful volunteers who provide the backbone of the organization. The event started with a non-violent communications workshop, sponsored by the Maine Nonviolent Communication Network. Then, following a social hour, MOFGA treated volunteers to a huge and delicious feast of local, organic foods. Volunteers then enjoyed a magic show and festive contra dance, capping the night off with a couple of big bon fires. A special thanks goes out to Sam Hayward, Bill Whitman and Amanda Jamison, all volunteers who, again, volunteered to coordinate logistics for this wonderful event. A warm “Thank You!” to everyone who participated!


Unity College and MOFGA Partner to Offer Sustainable Agriculture Practicum
Learn Organic Farming While Earning College Credit

This unique program of MOFGA and Unity College in Unity, Maine, offers a thorough introduction to sustainable agriculture in theory and practice. An intensive, three-week, May practicum provides a foundation in sustainable agriculture through visits to premier sustainable farms, classroom instruction, hands-on laboratory work in the college gardens and greenhouses, and seminars with visiting farmers. The subsequent internship offers a summer farm work experience with a MOFGA farmer-mentor who is expert in both sustainable agriculture practices and education. Students may earn three credits for the course and three for the internship. The course is required for the internship, but students may take the course without doing an internship.

The three-week, intensive course will introduce students to the philosophies, agroecological bases and practicalities of sustainable, small-scale, diversified farming. Students will gain a firm foundation in theoretical concepts of sustainable agriculture, but the emphasis of the course will be on practical tools, techniques and knowledge necessary to operate a successful, small, sustainable farm. Classroom instruction and lectures will be supplemented and reinforced by work in the Unity College greenhouses and gardens and by frequent field trips to local farms and other agricultural institutions, where students will learn from farmers and other agricultural professionals. The course is designed to prepare students for a farm-based internship.

The internship will offer participants an opportunity to earn college credit while learning to farm. Interns will be placed on farms in Maine that have a record of success in mentoring student farmers. In addition to farm work, interns will participate in MOFGA’s weekly Farm Training Project workshops during the summer and will develop a project and original presentation on a relevant agricultural topic. Internships outside of Maine are possible but must be arranged by the student. Unity College internship requirements apply to the Sustainable Agriculture Internship.

For more information, contact Andrew Marshall, MOFGA educational programs director, at 568-4142 or amarshall@mofga.org.


MOFGA – El Salvador Sistering Committee News

Coffee Club and Delegation Planned

The MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee has been working on a Coffee Club to offer fair trade coffee to those who sign up to buy it. This coffee has been grown without pesticides by members of our sistering community and was expected to arrive in Maine as we went to press. Anyone who is interested in buying this coffee can contact Paul or Karen Volckhausen (pkvolck­hausen@panax.com) about payment and about picking up the coffee.

Our Committee is also planning a delegation to El Salvador in late January 2007. For more information, contact the Volckhausens.

New Staff at El Salvador Sister Cities Network

The MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee is a member of the U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Network (US-ESSC), which recently hired two new staff members. Teresa Perez, the US-ESSC co-coordinator in El Salvador, left this position after three and a half years, deciding that it was time to move on. The network will greatly miss her warmth and valuable skills. Jesse Dyer Stewart took over the co-coordinator position in El Salvador in August. Dyer Stewart is from Maine and has been living and volunteering in the Chalatenango region in El Salvador for the last year and a half. He has coordinated the work of anti-mining commissions in Chalatenango and in the United States, and he’s helped develop the region’s fair trade work. He will now work with committees (such as the MOFGA-El Salvador Committee) that have sister communities in Chalatenango and San Vicente.

Jesse Kates-Chinoy, also from Maine, will continue as co-coordinator in El Salvador, working with committees sistered in Suchitoto, Cinquera and La Libertad.

Emily Carpenter began work as U.S. coordinator for U.S.-ESSC in May. She visited with the MOFGA-El Salvador Committee in July to learn about our strengths, concerns and needs.

Link to the El Salvador Sistering Committee page on mofga.org


    

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