Maine Farmland Trust is an award-winning statewide organization that works to:
- Protect farmland
- Support farmers
- Advance farming
Structured as a land trust, MFT’s is the state’s leading force in protecting farmland, often working in partnership with local and regional land trusts. But MFT is equally engaged in keeping farming vital. Through FarmLink, we place next-generation farmers on land. Through our Buy/Protect/Sell program, we help make farmland more affordable for farmers. And through our Farm Viability projects, we help existing farmers prosper, through both direct assistance and innovative community projects. We realize that part of our challenge is to “get the word out” about the great promise of Maine agriculture that can be realized if we are smart in retaining the land base, maintaining our farm infrastructure, and providing opportunities for young farmers. Your membership adds to the growing numbers of people (from across Maine and beyond) who are committed to this cause. It is only through a large, informed, and totally committed group of people supporting MFT’s critical work that farming in Maine will ever realize its full potential.
A Proven Track Record of Success Since our founding in 1999, MFT has participated in over 225 land transactions that have preserved more than 36,500 acres of farmland. MFT is leading the efforts of farmers, landowners, local land trusts, farm groups, towns and state agencies collaborating to keep Maine’s productive agricultural land available for farming now and in the future. Though proud of our accomplishments, we realize that so much more needs to occur.
MFT has set an ambitious goal: to preserve 100,000 acres. Though ambitious, the goal is reachable. More importantly, the goal is necessary. MFT estimates that as much as 400,000 acres of Maine’s best farmland (or about one-third of the state’s farmland resource) will be in transition in the next few years, simply because of the age of the landowners. Much of this land is at risk of not being available for farming in the future unless MFT and its partner groups successfully intervene. MFT’s goal to preserve 100,000 acres is supported by a detailed plan to get us there, and by a major fundraising campaign that was publicly launched in late 2010.
A Trusted Leader in Farmland Protection MFT works closely with local and regional land trusts that want to protect farmland. We provide such groups with technical support (conceiving projects, drafting, easements, etc.). Where possible, we also provide financial support. We increasingly partner on project fundraising, and also operate the Farmland Protection Grant Program to help local and regional land trust cover up to $10,000 in costs to permanently protect farmland.
Nonprofit Excellence Maine Farmland Trust received the 2009 Dirigo Award for Nonprofit Excellence from the Maine Association of Nonprofits. This award is presented annually to Maine organizations that have achieved significant results by combining ingenuity with sound management practices and principles.