mofga seeks new executive director!

posted March 3, 2018

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) -fiscal sponsor of the Greenhorns – has launched a search for its next Executive Director. MOFGA’s Board of Directors seeks a dynamic leader and proven manager who shares the organization’s passion for organic agriculture, local food production, a healthy environment, and thriving Maine communities.

Background and Overview

Formed in 1971, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country. MOFGA takes pride in its success in promoting and supporting Maine farmers and a multi-generational agricultural community and has been at the heart of changing Maine’s farm culture. MOFGA’s efforts have resulted in dramatically increasing the popularity of organic local agriculture and healthy living, and its organizational successes and impact have resulted in national and international recognition.

When asked to describe MOFGA, the first response is almost always: “It’s a community.” Today that community includes more than 6,200 memberships, with over 11,000 members, a volunteer corps of more than 2,500, a 20 member board of directors, and a staff of 34. This community is best symbolized by its signature community gathering: the Common Ground Country Fair, which annually attracts more than 63,000 visitors during one weekend in September.

The core work of MOFGA is educating people about how to grow, prepare, and share good organic food. MOFGA’s organic certification program annually reviews the practices of over 500 farms and food processors to help assure the public that food labeled as “certified organic” has been grown according to nationally accepted organic standards. Today, as a result of MOFGA’s support for, and partnership with, farmers in Maine, more than 95,000 acres of farmland in the state is MOFGA certified organic. MOFGA works to grow the market for local organic products and strengthen the economic viability of MOFGA certified producers and local communities.

A more comprehensive description of MOFGA and its many programs and services can be found on the website.

Guided by a recently completed strategic plan, the Executive Director will work with the Board of Directors, MOFGA volunteers and partners, and a talented and experienced staff to lead and grow the organic movement in Maine. MOFGA’s Board is seeking an energetic and trusted leader who can build and nurture essential relationships throughout Maine—a leader who can embrace MOFGA’s culture, honor its grassroots history, and support a highly regarded staff team to achieve ambitious goals for the future.

Organizational priorities to guide the next Executive Director

• Build relationships and strengthen bonds with our members, volunteers and donors, across the state of Maine, while working with the board, staff, and committees to advance the goals of deepening member engagement and building the diversity of our membership.
• Guide and support communication efforts to promote the Maine organic brand, to expand markets for organic products, and bring heightened visibility and recognition to MOFGA.
• Play an active and visible role in ensuring MOFGA’s financial well-being and sustainability while taking a leadership role in annual and capital fundraising efforts.
• Support the staff team, taking steps to empower them in their work, build their capacity, and ensure they have the organizational, technological, and physical infrastructure in place to be successful.
• Partner with the board and staff to advance the strategic plan, bring rigor to the tracking and evaluation of performance, and support the ongoing development of board governance practices.
• Represent MOFGA in Augusta and in Washington D.C, advocating for organic integrity, small farmers, and a healthy, sustainable environment.

Position Requirements

To lead MOFGA requires a comprehensive set of skills and abilities. We expect that the successful candidate
will bring the following to MOFGA:
• A passion for our values, our mission, agriculture and the environment
• A “curious mind” and a hunger for learning
• Senior-level leadership experience, including proven ability to manage and support staff and volunteer teams
• Solid writing skills, comfort in public speaking, and being regarded by all as a “good listener”
• A proven “relationship builder” who can also demonstrate hands-on experience with and a readiness to engage in fundraising
• The highest level of recommendations from references, collaborative partners, and peers

In addition to the expectations listed above, preference will be given to candidates who can also
demonstrate the following:

• A deep appreciation for the value and impact of volunteers and a track-record of successfully working with volunteers to achieve shared goals
• Demonstrated ability in developing organizational strategies and carrying them through to completion
• Nonprofit experience, including working in a healthy and productive partnership with a board of directors
• A global vision coupled with relevant policy and advocacy knowledge and experience at the state and federal level
• Hands-on experience with, and or a deep knowledge of, farming, growing, organic practices, and the realities of rural living
• Ability to engage with our varied and diverse community and develop and nurture essential relationships

Compensation

Comprehensive benefits package and competitive salary commensurate with experience.
This position reports directly to the Board of Directors. The successful candidate can expect a formal review after six months as well as an annual review.

To Apply

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and résumé to Starboard Leadership Consulting at the
following address search1@starboardleadership.com. The cover letter and résumé should contain detailed
information concerning work experience, past successes, leadership experience and qualifications. Please
be prepared to provide contact information for professional references upon request.

Paper copies may be sent to
Lisa Belyea, Starboard Leadership Consulting,
84 Harlow St.,
Bangor, ME 04401,

Electronic submission of materials is preferred.
No phone inquiries, please.
Review of applications will begin on March 28, 2018.

MOFGA also has job openings in expanding program and administration areas. Currently posted positions include: Organic Crops and Conservation Specialist; Low Impact Forestry Coordinator; and Development Coordinator.


mofga charcuterie workshop

posted December 15, 2017

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Join Andy Smith of Smith’s Smokehouse and delve into the basics of charcuterie through a series of four workshops. Learn how to create your own charcuterie goods, and potential business, and then dig deep into a variety of curing processes including bacon, bresaola, beef jerky and more!

Don’t forget to register for this course, there are only 10 spots available. The complete series is $350 for MOFGA members and $400 for non-members. Each course will take place at Smith’s Smokehouse; bring your own lunch.

Click HERE to register and please contact Anna Mueller at events@mofga.org if you have any questions.


apply to work with mofga!

posted July 23, 2017

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Credit: MOFGA

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) are hiring! They have just announced two  new exciting full time positions, Director of Development and Community Engagement Coordinator.

Both roles will remain open until MOFGA find the best candidate possible for the position, however the first review of candidates for the position will begin on September 6th for the Director of Development, and August 14th for community engagement coordinator position. So if interested in either post, be sure to get your application in before the relevant date!

To find out more information about these roles or to how to apply, click HERE 

thank you uncle sam!

posted October 29, 2015

USDA Awards Millions to Support New Farmers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on October 8th, 2015 awards totaling $17 million through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). BFRDP is the only USDA program exclusively dedicated to training new farmers and ranchers, particularly in sustainable production practices.

This year, 34 organizations received BFRDP grants for projects supporting beginning farmers in 25 states. In total, about $10.7 million in grant funding will support 22 projects spearheaded by community-based and non-profit organizations, while $6 million will go towards 12 beginning farmer programs housed within public universities or cooperative extension. Here are the winners!

Dakota Rural Action

Farmer Veteran Coalition

Hmong National Development

Land for Good

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service

World Farmers

To read more, click HERE!


apply for the mofga journeyperson program today! deadline sept 21st

posted September 16, 2015

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Rich Lee (JP ’15) of Tender Soles Farm hitching his team for a henhouse move

Are you a new farmer serious about pursuing a farming career in Maine?  Could your farm business benefit from 2 years of free hands-on training, technical support and mentorship from some of Maine’s best organic farmers and experts?

If so, submit an application to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Journeyperson Program!

Over the past 15 years, MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program has supported over 250 new farmers to successfully bridge the transition from apprentice/farm worker to independent farmer.  While most new farms fail in the first 5 years of operation, 93% of MOFGA JPs are still farming today.  Boost your odds and apply today!

The next deadline is right around the corner: Monday, September 21!

MOFGA offers each Journeyperson a 2-year package of support, including:

  • $500 annual educational stipend
  • Pairing with a paid farmer-mentor of your choice
  • Free access to more than 50 educational workshops, trainings, and conferences
  • Access to the MOFGA Farm Beginnings® intensive whole-farm & business planning course
  • Personal technical assistance from MOFGA staff
  • Priority assistance with land access and tenure issues through partnerships with Land For Good and Maine Farmland Trust
  • Discounts on seeds and supplies
  • Access to a shared-use farm equipment pool
  • A supportive and active network of new and established farmers

For more details and an application, please visit MOFGA’s JP webpage.

Don’t hesitate to email any questions you have about the JP program or other new farmer support or educational opportunities at MOFGA.


MOFGA’s farmer to farmer conference

posted October 7, 2014

Every year farmers and other agricultural experts from Maine and beyond gather at MOFGA’s Farmer to Farmer mofgaConference to share their expertise about organic cultivation and marketing.

This year the conference takes place fromNovember 1 to 3 at Point Lookout in Northport. It includes tours of the draft-powered North Branch Farm in Monroe and Bahner Farm’s mixed vegetable operation in Belmont.
Dan Brisebois will deliver the keynote address, “Integrating Seed Production into a Market Garden.” Brisebois farms at Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm in Quebec and co-authored “Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers.”

The core of the conference – two full days of educational workshops – maximizes peer-to-peer information sharing. More than 30 workshops are scheduled on topics ranging from farming with draft animals to learning the pros and cons of value-added food processing. (more…)


upcoming mofga events

posted July 27, 2014

unnamedAvena Botanicals
Tuesday, July 29 5pm 219 Mill St Rockport
Join herbalist and biodynamic herb gardener Deb Soule for an informative walk through Avena Botanicals’ medicinal herb gardens. Deb and a crew of three gardeners collect over 1800 pounds of medicinal herbs by hand each year from 2 1/2 acres. These herbs are then immediately processed on-site into a variety of tinctures, teas, oils and salves. Avena is the first Demeter-certified biodynamic farm in Maine and Deb will include an introduction to biodynamics as part of this tour.  (more…)


maine’s mofga receives $1 million for farmer training

posted July 25, 2014

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, A farming organization with a strong grassroots history, announced Wednesday that it received a gift of $1 million to help support and train new farmers, the largest financial donation in its history.

Officials from the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association said that they were thrilled with the gift from the New York City-based Partridge Foundation, which also pledged an additional $1 million to MOFGA if the Maine group can raise a matching amount over the next 18 months. All the monies are to be used for MOFGA’s new farmer programming.

To read more about this amazing news, click HERE!