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MOFGA’s Agricultural Services

All staff can be reached by calling the MOFGA Office (207) 568-4142 directly or visiting the Ag Services page at:  www.mofga.org/Programs/Agricultural-Services 

Agricultural Services Director – coordinating department activities and specializing in production advice. Dave has 35 years of experience in farming, primarily vegetable and hoophouse production. Farm systems including crop rotations, weed management, soil fertility, crop planning and record keeping are particular areas of expertise. Dave Colson, dcolson@mofga.org

Aroostook County Coordinator – serving Aroostook county producers by helping with crop rotations plans, pest and weed management, crop fertility plans, as well as helping to connect farms to various markets. John Chartier, 207-521-1200, jchartier@mofga.org

Low Impact Forestry Specialist – provides education about low-impact forestry to farmers and other woodland owners interested in forest stewardship. Hands-on workshops in chainsaw safety, logging with draft animals, home firewood production, carbon sequestration, and more – forestry@mofga.org

Organic Crops and Conservation Specialist – working with farmers to develop soil and pest management plans, crop rotation using green manures and help solve disease and insect problems. Caleb compiles pest reports regularly during the growing season. Caleb Goossen, 207-568-6029, cgoossen@mofga.org

Organic Dairy and Livestock Specialist – primarily assists dairy farmers will all aspects of dairy farming, but can also answer questions about other livestock issues. Jacki Perkins, 802-595-9866, jperkins@mofga.org

Organic Livestock Specialist – providing information on livestock and poultry management, including: housing, nutrition, pasture management, health care prevention and treatments. Diane Schivera, dianes@mofga.org

Organic Marketing and Business Specialist – assisting farms with market research and developing marketing and business plans. Also offering programming to support organic farm viability such as price reporting, technical assistance grants, and consumer education materials. Heather Omand, homand@mofga.org

Organic Orchard Specialist – helping fruit tree growers build orchard health and establish methods of pest and disease control. CJ Walke, cjwalke@mofga.org

MOFGA’s Farmer Programs & Resources

Shared Use Farm Equipment – Subscription-based program maintains a pool of specialized equipment at MOFGA for farmers to borrow. Equipment currently includes a seedbed cultivator, mulch layer/bed former, subsoiler, ridge tiller, and strip tiller. FMI – mofga.org/Publications/Shared-Equipment

Fact Sheets – MOFGA publishes fact sheets on a variety of crop and livestock production topics, as well as conservation and organic certification. FMI – mofga.org/Publications/Fact-Sheets

Organic Price Reporting – The organic price reports are published a few times per year and can include; prices from different regions, wholesale and retail, produce, meat, dairy, and more. FMI – mofga.org/Programs/Agricultural-Services/Marketing-Business-Services or contact Heather Omand at homand@mofga.org

Pest Reports – these reports are a compilation of short discussions of pests and diseases either working the fields or soon to be seen. The discussions include biology of the pest organism, effects on the plant, and recommended solutions. FMI and to sign up to receive them – mofga.org/Publications/Pest-Reports

Organic Farmer Toolkit – This toolkit helps organic producers at any stage in their business development find crucial business management resources. FMI – mofga.org/Programs/Agricultural-Services/Marketing-Business-Services/Farmer-Toolkit or contact Heather Omand at homand@mofga.org

Organic Farmer Loan Fund – The loan fund provides loans to small and medium-sized businesses seeking to expand or enhance their farm or processing operations. Funds in this program may also be used for re-strategizing, working capital or equipment purchases.  Loans from the Organic Farmer Loan Fund are in the range of $2,000 to $20,000. FMI – mofga.org/Programs/Organic-Farmer-Loan-Fund

Kiva Zip Loans – MOFGA is a Trustee and partner of Kiva Zip, which offers 0% loans up to $10,000 for farmers. The Kiva loan review team prioritizes loans endorsed by Trustees, so be sure to apply via MOFGA’s portal (http://www.kiva.org/borrow/MOFGA) and notify education@mofga.org of your application

Comprehensive Farmer Training Programs

FMI: mofga.org/Programs/Education or contact Ryan Dennett, rdennett@mofga.org

Farm Apprenticeships – This program connects people wanting to learn organic farming with experienced farmers willing to share their expertise. Typical arrangements may involve an exchange of labor for room, board, a stipend, and informal, intensive training and experience in farming.

Journeyperson Program – Provides 2-years of hands-on support, training, and mentorship for people serious about pursuing careers in organic farming in Maine.

MOFGA Farm Beginnings – Series of fall/winter workshops that supports development of a whole farm plan through realistic goal setting and assessment of resources, skills, and markets – and develops the business planning tools necessary to implement your plan.

Maine Farm Resilience Program – application-based program providing technical assistance, mentorship, financial support, and business planning support for farmers with 3+ years of experience working to ensure the long-term viability of their agricultural business.

MOFGA Educational Events – MOFGA hosts hundreds of meetings, workshops, conferences, dinners, and festive gatherings throughout the year on a wide range of topics and skill levels. Events take place at our Common Ground Education Center in Unity, and on farms, businesses, and other venues statewide. FMI: mofga.org/Events or contact Anna Mueller at events@mofga.org

There’s so much more… visit mofga.org, call 568-4142, or email mofga@mofga.org FMI!