Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Meet Jennifer Morton – MOFGA Administrative Assistant

Meet Jennifer Morton – MOFGA Administrative Assistant

December 1, 2017

Jennifer Morton grew up in Connecticut, where she spent many years as support staff for a button factory. Moving to Maine in 2006, she quickly fell in love with the beauty and history here. For nine years she worked in customer service for MOFGA-certified organic Avena Botanicals, where she learned about MOFGA and the Common Ground Country Fair. Since joining the MOFGA staff a few weeks before the 2015 Fair, she says, "It has been a wonderful experience seeing the amount of love and effort put forth each day by staff and volunteers. It's truly heartwarming."

Q. For many, you are the face and voice of MOFGA – the first person they see when they walk in the door, the first voice they hear on the phone. In addition to serving as MOFGA’s receptionist, you have (and have taken on) many other jobs. Can you describe a few of them?  

The other jobs I have at MOFGA are helping coordinate both the year-round and Common Ground Country Store. From fulfilling orders during the year to running a register at the Fair, it’s been a great learning experience. I’ve heard lots of feedback – most about what past year items people would like in order to mark anniversaries and birthdays or to complete a collection. I’m happy to say we can now reprint past year items and are thoughtfully considering the design we’d like to reprint next. (You can let us know what past year you’re passionate about seeing! Find the online country store at www.mofgastore.org and let us know what you think should be the next reprint.)

Q. What is the most common question people have when they call?  

It really depends on the seasons: Spring is all about gardening and compost; summer, where can I get organic strawberries, tomatoes or chicken (check out the yellow pepper logo on www.mofga.org); fall is everything Common Ground Country Fair; winter seems to be a great time to access the past year and ask all those random questions about possibilities for the coming season.

Q. We can’t think about a button factory without thinking of the children’s song, “Hi, My Name is Joe” – shown here, for example. Did your years at the button factory help train you for the administrative assistant job? In other words, how do you keep all those buttons operating and maintain such a calm and pleasant demeanor?  

I have to laugh at Joe’s plight … I certainly feel like that at times. Ultimately, I love what I do and the people I work with! However, the button shop was pivotal in my administrative assistant job. It allowed me the opportunity to learn and grow from an entry level database clerk to the administrative assistant to the COO (chief operations officer). That’s where I learned that I really liked to handle the daily variety of questions from coworkers, suppliers and customers. Today I still like the fact that each day comes with new and different questions and tasks to do. 

Q. To top off all the demands that the MOFGA community and staff request of you, you also have a fairly new baby. How’s that going?  

Having another addition to our family has brought us great joy. Big brother, Thomas, has been excited from the start. We’re blessed to have little Adeline, literally just starting to run around.  

Q. You’ve mentioned a dream you have of a MOFGA museum. Would you like to elaborate on that a little?

I love visiting museums with the kids. I feel a museum not only preserves the past but holds the present and gives possibility to the future.  

MOFGA has its own history, as well as a history as part of agriculture in Maine and beyond. MOFGA’s library of books and people holds much to glean about the past and present. The Common Ground Country Fair has its own place in this story. There are many memorable talks, special people and long-held memories of those who have come to guide, teach and entertain us.  

A museum would hold it all; help educate and spark imagination. That’s the dream.

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