Our Story

In 1999, a small group of farmers and farm advocates planted the seed of an idea: farmland matters for Maine’s future and should be protected.

Tomatoes packaged for sale

Word spread, meetings were held with like minds, and soon, Maine Farmland Trust began as the first and only land trust in the state focused on protecting farmland and supporting farmers. Thanks to the early vision of our founders, partnerships with farmers all over the state, the hard work of volunteers and staff, and the steadfast support of our members, that seed took root and grew. 

Today MFT is still rooted in the belief that the future of farming depends on farmland, that the future of Maine communities depends on thriving farms. We’ve continually adapted our programs to meet the complex and evolving needs of Maine’s farm community. In the face of increasing development, a changing climate, market pressures, and a wave of farmers retiring, our work to protect farmland and support farmers is more important than ever. Let’s keep growing!

Farmer using horses to pull wood
Paul Birdsall

The Paul Birdsall Award

Paul Birdsall Award recipients are members of the state's farming community who demonstrate the qualities that Paul Birdsall embodied: vision, tenacity, great generosity, and a deep passion for farming. Birdsall arrived in Maine in 1972 believing small-scale farming had a future – and that something needed to be done to ensure farmland would be available to small farms. An early proponent of farmland protection and training the next generation of farmers on the Blue Hill Peninsula, in 1999, he joined with other farmers and advocates to found MFT, expanding his vision and passion for farmland and the future for farming statewide.

2022 Recipients

Nell Finnigan and Justin Morace of Ironwood Farm, Albion

Scott and Ashlee McCormick of McCormick Family Farm, Jackson

Brendan and Katia Holmes of Misty Brook Farm, Albion

Adrienne Lee and Ken Lamson of New Beat Farm, Knox

Adam Nordell and Johanna Davis of Songbird Farm, Unity

Fred and Laura Stone of Stoneridge Farm, Arundel

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