Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) is the nation’s oldest and largest state-based organic agriculture membership organization. Its community of more than 11,000 members is passionate about growing, eating and increasing access to locally grown, organic foods.
In the late 1980’s MOFGA became the first farming organization to hire an organic agricultural specialist. MOFGA has added seven organic agricultural services staff who have experience in crop production, livestock production, orchard management, marketing, business planning and transitioning to organic methods. Additionally, MOFGA Certification Services LLC provides USDA-accredited organic certification services to over 450 Maine farmers and food processors, comprising 5% of all Maine farms.
At the core of MOFGA’s educational mission are its New Farmer Programs designed to train and support the next generation of organic farmers to find success through on-farm training, educational programs, close mentorship and community support. Each year MOFGA’s Apprenticeship and Journeyperson programs enroll over 200 participants, and up to 30 farms participate in Farm Beginnings, an intensive 6-month whole-farm planning and farm business development course. Across programs, MOFGA relies heavily the peer-to-peer training model, in which farmers assist one another in solving the challenges inherent in growing food, getting it to market, and all the steps between.