Expand the content and reach of education for gardeners, students, educators, consumers and the general public
• Establish specific strategies to expand content and reach
• Establish and implement specific measurement tools to monitor progress towards goals
• Increase staff capacity and collaborations to develop, coordinate and facilitate non-farmer education and outreach
Support farmers’ long-term viability and success by fostering peer-led training, mentorship and networking, and by providing professional development opportunities to new and established farmers
• Continue to improve the quality, participation, and documented results of the Journeyperson Program
• Refine and expand farmer professional development programming based on farmer input
• Thoroughly review and restructure the Apprenticeship Program
Increase the use and effectiveness of demonstrations to educate and inspire newcomers, enthusiasts, and practitioners alike
• Continue to develop, nurture, and improve the Heritage Orchard, ongoing
• Continue to develop, nurture, and improve low impact forestry modeling
• Expand the number and effectiveness of demonstrations of renewable energy
• Develop a plan to document and disseminate best practices of integrated management demonstrations beyond in-person workshops
• Develop a comprehensive plan for all on-site demonstrations
Support and nurture a networked community of learners, stewards, practitioners, and service providers
• Increase organizational capacity to serve the networked community by updating the farmer directory and redesigning the database
• Establish and publicize a clear framework for participation
• Establish and implement a system for regular communications to, from, and among network members
• Hold at least two regional events in 2017 and three regional events each year thereafter
Improve marketing of MOFGA Certified Organic
• Develop and implement a coherent, long-term strategy to promote the MOFGA Certified Brand to consumers, producers, wholesalers, and retailers
Broaden and deepen technical support to assist farmers and gardeners in growing organic plants and livestock; to support producers throughout the certification process; and to support the long-term sustainability of organic farmers
• Increase ongoing business and marketing education and one-on-one technical assistance to certified producers
• Increase support capacity within the staff or farmer base so that each organic certified producer – as well as transitioning farmers, journeypersons and others – receives at least one proactive, supportive contact each year
• Implement staff transition and maintain science-based crop expertise, within a year
• Increase science-based livestock expertise
• Establish staff capacity to maintain an ongoing directory of available expertise with the expanded internal directory and provide ongoing updates
Increase geographic reach, especially to Down East and southern and western counties.
• Increase capacity to better serve Down East, southern, and western counties
Common Ground Country Fair
Enhance fair participation, experience, activities, and revenues in ways that support MOFGA’s Vision, Mission, Values and educational goals.
• Assemble critical information for Fair planning
• Make a plan for deliberate future enhancements such as (a) increased revenues, (b) reduced congestion in, and approaching, the Fairgrounds, (c) improved branding and marketing, and (d) additional diverse programming
• Implement and evaluate trial projects to reduce congestion and mitigate other carrying capacity limits that are relatively low-cost and easy to do
• Improve clarity, distribution, understanding, and compliance with all guidelines
Increase effectiveness of the Fair as an entry to all MOFGA activities.
• Improve branding and awareness of “MOFGA” at the Fair with more prominent use of the MOFGA logo on tee-shirts, signs, and in other ways
• Capture and publicize census data from Fair-goers so MOFGA can effectively follow up with Fair-goers after the Fair with invitations for further engagement
• Improve integration of MOFGA programming and staff by launching and/or holding sessions of long term education programs at the Fair and by better showcasing MOFGA staff capacity at the Fair
• Improve promotion of the “organic and rural living lifestyle” by requiring vendors to effectively publicize organic and local sources
• Improve promotion of the “organic and rural living lifestyle” by having a museum-type display at the Fair, which explains the value of organic food
Increase volunteer participation at the Fair by enhancing recruitment, retention, and the overall volunteer experience.
• Build a sense of team unity among volunteers by moving the camping location and by providing organized pre- and post- social activities
• Improve perks for volunteers such as on-site showers and non-GMO food
• Provide premiums and special recognition to volunteers for hard to fill shifts and for exceptional service
• Instill a greater sense of pride and responsibility among qualified volunteers
• Effectively collect, analyze, and act on feedback from volunteers regarding their experience and how to improve it
Improve economic opportunities for vendors and participants aligned with MOFGA values.
• Engage market analysis expertise and provide findings and recommendations to vendors to help them improve profitability
• Increase the number of vendors
• Provide a “job fair” at the Fair to help match employers with potential employees
Model ecologically sound practices and maximize positive human impact on the environment.
• Develop and implement a plan for incrementally reducing impact each year and simultaneously modeling ecologically sound practices
Certification Services, LLC
Improve customer service to our certified organic and transitioning clients and continue to offer services that are affordable and equitable to farms and processors across the state.
• Work in partnership with Agricultural Services and Education to bolster support for organic transition and technical outreach to existing certified organic growers and processors
• Provide a thorough, easy to understand, and respectful inspection process for farmers and processors
• Increase educational materials and outreach to certified clients to help them comply with the organic standards and value the certification process
• Ensure clear, consistent and fair communications and interactions with MCS clients
Improve standards enforcement procedure and action.
• Increase capacity to perform adverse actions as needed in a manner that is timely and equitable
Improve the working relationship among MOFGA, MCS and USDA National Organic Program.
• Complete a business plan to work towards a self-sustaining business
Increase the number of MOFGA Certified Organic farmers and processors.
• Build capacity to market the value of the MOFGA certified organic label to Maine’s organic farmers
Diversify services offered to meet consumer need and set the precedent for future labels.
• Conduct a business plan analysis of add-on labels suggested for consideration to date
Improve effectiveness and capacity to develop and advocate for a broad range of public policies that support MOFGA’s Vision, Mission and Values. This includes effectiveness and capacity to be reactive to proposed detrimental policies. Advocacy issues to include: pesticides, genetic engineering, organic food access, climate, trade, infrastructure for production and processing, food safety, land use and access, toxics, and farmer autonomy and consumer choice.
• Increase staff capacity to track legislation and regulations, recommend proactive policy positions, prepare and present testimony, organize outreach to MOFGA membership and the public, staff the Public Policy Committee, and maintain a repository of MOFGA public policy positions
• Increase volunteer capacity by assessing policy priorities of members, building a team of volunteers, and implementing an on-line mechanism to update members on the work of the Public Policy Committee
• Increase the number and effectiveness of Maine leaders in positions of influence throughout the state to advocate for MOFGA issues
• Strengthen MOFGA’s effectiveness among policy-makers as a source of science-based information for responsible public policy development
Develop and strengthen relationships and collaboration with state and national organizations, coalitions and movements that embrace our mission and provide reciprocal support for policy initiatives.
• Types of organizations to include: farming, gardening, environment, government, education, forestry, fishing, food justice, health, farm workers, trade, economic development, rural, and food movements.
• Continue building working relationships with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the National Organic Coalition, the Organic Farmers Alliance, and other groups as appropriate.
Improve coordination among staff, other committees and the Public Policy Committee, with guidance from the Board, to focus advocacy efforts on top priority issues balanced with harnessing volunteer enthusiasm for a wide variety of issues.
• Ensure appropriate cross-program representation (from other MOFGA committees and programs) on the Public Policy committee
El Salvador Sistering
Increase awareness of and engagement in sistering activities in El Salvador.
• Lead a delegation to El Salvador in 2017 and every other year after that
• Educate Maine people about food and farming, here and in El Salvador
Membership and Development
Increase long term financial stability of the organization and day-to-day financial ability to achieve our mission and program objectives.
• Increase development capacity and maximize the productivity of our fundraising efforts by adding staff
• Launch a multi-year capital campaign
• Establish and implement mechanisms to target high-level donors
• Engage more members in giving and increase the total amount of member giving to annual fund appeals
Serve and engage members
• Establish and implement a mechanism to understand member desires and potential economic and other contributions
• Define what we mean by "membership," perhaps different categories of membership, such that membership characteristics, expectations, and benefits are clear
• Establish and implement a plan for achieving targets for specific numbers of members, diversity of members, and deeper engagement of members
Coordinate and increase overall effectiveness of communications throughout the organization, internally and externally.
• Improve the flow, usefulness, and consistency of information among board, staff, committees and the general public
Serve and coordinate specific communications needs of specific programs and initiatives.
• Support communications needs of various MOFGA departments including Development and Membership, Education, Public Policy, Marketing, Fair and Ag Services
• Support communications needs related to organic farmers
Establish governance matters as a regular aspect of Board activity and implement recommendations derived from MANP Board Assessment and May 2016 Board retreat.
• Immediate Action Items: create a governance calendar, develop a skills matrix for Board recruitment, develop training and orientation program for new Board members, present Board training in understanding organizational finances, and ensure a pathway for new ideas, consider timing and location of Annual Membership Meeting, clarify Vision, Mission, Values as aspect of 2016 Strategic Plan
Examine, clarify, and honor our organizational structure to improve overall effectiveness and efficiency and improve board functioning.
• Understand the current roles, aspirations and challenges of various groups of stakeholders in MOFGA, such as Management staff, Program staff, Committees, Chapters, Volunteers, Donors, Members
• Clarify and document the roles of Chapters and Committees including their specific responsibilities and how they relate to the Board
• Clarify and document expectations of board members and committee members
• Clarify and document the optimum size and composition of the board and committees, and how board and committee members are appointed and for what terms
• Board and Committee members participate in regular training to maintain awareness and compliance with MOGFA governance policies and with non-profit governance best practices in general
• Continually monitor governance practices and when practice is out of alignment with policy, either adjust the practice or adjust the policy
Establish strategic direction, promote shared understanding of it throughout the organization, maintain accountability to it, and perform regular evaluations and revisions.
• Establish and implement a plan for widespread dissemination and understanding of the strategic plan among members and other key stakeholders
• Establish and implement an ongoing mechanism for regular progress reports organized according to the Strategic Plan
Board members and leadership staff maintain a clear understanding of what is being achieved throughout the organization.
• Establish ongoing mechanisms for web-based fair statistics, staff capacity information, and other key types of information including a Board Calendar
• Board members and leadership staff keep themselves regularly informed of organizational activity and progress toward Goals and Objectives as articulated in Strategic Plan
Ensure adequate staffing to achieve the mission and program goals objectives
• Staff positions organized (an organizational chart) in a way that best serves the vision and mission, including specific job titles and accountability
Optimize our use of human and financial resources via careful planning and diligent oversight.
• Establish and implement systems and/or departments to maximize efficiency, effectiveness in finances and in personnel management
• Create a Human Resources Department to focus on all aspects of employee relations
Increase earned income
• Establish and implement a plan to increase earned income
Establish, encourage, and coordinate the use of standardized protocols to be used throughout the organization to ensure organizational sustainability and to track and evaluate performance and community impact.
• Establish, promote, and enforce protocols for performance and community impact tracking and evaluation
• Prepare and disseminate to the Board, Committees, and members regular reports of progress on the Strategic Plan
• Promote and enforce use of the Project Proposal Protocol
Buildings and Grounds
Develop and implement an Existing Infrastructure Completion and Maintenance Plan that will result in completion, maintenance and upgrades to existing buildings, grounds, and utilities such as water, electrical, and information technology systems to adequately support all current programs and activities.
• Develop and implement plan
• Inspect infrastructure annually to identify maintenance needs
• Ensure Unity Headquarters Grounds are appropriately landscaped
• Complete standard operating procedures
• Finish buildings we’ve started
• Ensure that all utilities are compliant with applicable standards
• Create a comprehensive and accessible map of facilities
Support the goals that come out of the strategic planning process with the development and implementation of a Facilities Master Plan that includes using existing facilities to their full potential and developing new facilities as needed.
• Require project proposal form in a timely manner
• Develop calendar of optimal times for implementation of Buildings and Grounds tasks
• Engage Board and other departments in developing Facilities Master Plan
Identify needs for replacement of all significant assets and request support from the Board in their role of providing financing for appropriate reserve funds.
• Work with the Finance Committee and the Board to create reserve account to maintain Fair infrastructure
• Create list of needed reserve funds
• Request reserve emergency fund
• Build communication with Board into our calendar
• Present at annual meeting