Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association
For Immediate Release
Organic Farms Contribute Substantially
To Maine's Economy
January 12, 2011 (Unity, ME) - The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) released an economic study today indicating that organic producers generate at least $36.6 million in sales, support 1600 jobs, and keep 41,000 acres of farmland in organic production.
Maine's Organic Farms - An Impact Report, written by Jed Beach, analyzes the current state of organic agriculture in Maine using U.S. Census Data. Key findings of the report include:
- Farm level sales of organic products are $36.6 million. Indirect impacts of those sales take that figure to $91.6 million.
- Organic farm numbers continue to increase rapidly. MOFGA certified 339 organic farms in 2008, and 582 farms report selling organically in the Census report. (This figure includes small farms not requiring certification under Federal law.)
- Organic farms create more jobs per farm than do conventional farms. The average number of positions on organic farms in 2007 was 2.7 per farm, compared to 2.3 for other farms. Organic dairy farms support an average of 4 jobs per farm.
- Organic farmers are younger, and more likely to be women.
- Maine's organic farmers manage 38,767 acres with organic production - a doubling since 2002.
"Organic agriculture represents a real opportunity for Maine's economic future," said Russell Libby, MOFGA's Executive Director. "Young people are choosing to farm here, and they're creating jobs and businesses that support their local communities."
MOFGA's new farmer training programs support more than 200 people each year, with 50 enrolled in the organization's Journeyperson Program. Almost all of the Journeypersons go on to farm in Maine, contributing substantially to the growth of Maine's organic farming community.
MOFGA also operates a USDA-accredited organic certification program, MOFGA Certification Services, LLC. The program certified almost 400 Maine farms in 2010.
Download the report PDF (1mb)
Russell Libby, MOFGA Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 568-4142
Jed Beach, Report Author, email@example.com, 390-0614