Who We Are

Maine Farmland Trust is made up of hundreds of farms, a dedicated staff, a board of directors, and thousands of members, partners, and supporters throughout the state and beyond. Together as a community, we are growing a robust, resilient, innovative local food system that is rooted in Maine farms.

Farmers carrying buckets of apples

Our Farm Network

The Farm Network is a growing group of over 500 farms that have participated MFT’s programming, including nearly 300 protected farms across the state.The farms in our network are representative of Maine agriculture, spanning all 16 counties and all scales and types of farming, from dairy to vegetables, orchards to potatoes, flowers to blueberries, grain, livestock, hay, maple and much more! Our staff listen and understand the needs of farms in the network, and offer relevant ongoing support for farmers, their farm businesses, and their farmland at every stage of the farming journey.  

Our Members

Our members share in our vision to grow the future for farming – and help us make it possible. Our members are farmers, future-farmers, business owners, conservationists, advocates, policymakers, artists, community-builders, food-lovers, and people who love Maine. Our members are people like you.

Over 2,200 members power our work each year with a membership and join us in taking action to support farms, whether it’s writing to legislators to advocate for farm-friendly policies or supporting local farm businesses.

Our Staff

Our staff bring a diverse range of experiences and skills to our community from across the state. We are big picture thinkers and creative problem solvers, strategists, experimenters, and collaborators. Most of all, we share a vision to grow the future for farming in Maine and beyond. We work throughout the state, with main offices in Belfast and Portland.

Leadership

Amy Fisher

Amy Fisher

Title: 

President & CEO

Location: 

Bio: 

Amy joined MFT as President & CEO in August 2021. Since that time she has transformed MFT by restructuring to center farmer voices in the organization with the launch of MFT’s Farm Network, Farmer Engagement & Organizing efforts, and growing MFT’s focuses on both climate resilience and municipal planning. Amy is a chief architect of Maine’s response to the PFAS crisis in agriculture, which is serving as a model for how states and land trusts nationally should address PFAS and support farmers. She brings significant leadership experience to the President role having served for the previous seven years as Executive Director of the foundation for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). Prior to joining VIMS, Amy was based in New England, with roles at Boston University, Simmons University, and St. Francis House. She led the Center for Environmental Citizenship’s electoral skills training and organizing efforts, including on campuses and ballot initiative campaigns in Maine. She is a graduate of Bates College and holds an MBA from Boston University.

Adam Bishop (he/him)

Adam Bishop (he/him)

Title: 

Vice President of Programs

Location: 

Bio: 

Adam Bishop is the Vice President of Prorams for Maine Farmland Trust, and coordinates the efforts of MFT’s land protection team in addition to working on conservation projects in the midcoast region. He been with MFT since 2013. Adam has experience working with a number of local and regional land trusts in Maine, including Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Coastal Mountains Land Trust, and Blue Hill Heritage Trust. Adam holds a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, and currently resides in Lincolnville, Maine.

Kristin Varnum (she/her)

Kristin Varnum (she/her)

Title: 

Vice President & CFO

Location: 

Bio: 

Kristin has been working for MFT since 2000, as one of MFT’s first two employees. She lives on Verona Island with her husband, David, and two children, Caleb and Hannah. She grew up on a small farm in Bucksport, where her family raised all their food and ran a bustling farm stand. She received her degree from Husson College in Paralegal Studies. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with family, including camping, hiking and kayaking.

Erin Baltes

Erin Baltes

Title: 

Director of Engagement

Location: 

Bio: 

Erin joined MFT in 2022 with a professional background in advancement and a particular love for working with individuals to bring them closer to the organizations and work they care about. Originally from Holden, ME, Erin's interest in agricultural issues and farmers’ success stems from her family’s history in farming and the importance of farms and farmers in Maine’s communities, environment, and economy. She graduated from the University of Maine in 2003 and immediately began her career in fundraising. In prior roles, she worked at Thomas College in Waterville, supporting and leading the Advancement team through two comprehensive campaigns, and served as a development team member at Maine Public. Erin lives in Brunswick with her husband, daughter, cats, and dog, and enjoys gardening, long and ambling walks, crushing family members at Scrabble, and finishing the myriad puzzles she was given during the pandemic. (Still.)

Shelley Megquier (she/her)

Shelley Megquier (she/her)

Title: 

Policy & Research Director

Location: 

Bio: 

Shelley manages MFT’s federal, state, and municipal policy work and oversees the design, completion, and dissemination of its research work. She brings to her role as Policy & Research Director a deep commitment to using solid evidence and compelling storytelling to inspire lasting political change. Before joining MFT, Shelley spent more than 10 years working on international health and development policy including managing research and advocacy projects and partnerships at Population Reference Bureau in Washington, DC. As a native of Hampden, Maine and a lover of all things dirt, farm, and food, Shelley is committed to advancing evidence-based policies that protect Maine farmland, support the state’s diverse farming communities, and advance the future of Maine farming and local food systems. Shelley holds a Master of Arts degree in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from Saint Lawrence University. She lives in Belfast with her partner and daughter and, when not working, can be found exploring and admiring Maine’s woods, fields, and waters.

Danielle Olsen

Danielle Olsen

Title: 

Chief of Staff

Location: 

Bio: 

Danielle Olsen is the Chief of Staff for MFT, working across all MFT programs with the Leadership Team to develop and advance the strategic objectives of the organization. Danielle comes to MFT from a small land trust where she was the Executive Director, and previously as the Director of Watershed Planning at a statewide nonprofit in Pennsylvania where she worked alongside USDA, PASA, and many farmland preservation groups. She has over a decade of experience developing and implementing strategic plans and working across a broad range of organizations, agencies, and community groups. Danielle has a strong interest in local food systems, climate resiliency, and land and water quality protection. She lives in Westbrook with her partner and their two small children and enjoys hiking and paddling, cooking and eating, and knitting when she has a minute.

Ellen Sabina (she/her)

Ellen Sabina (she/her)

Title: 

Director of Farmer Engagement and Organizing

Location: 

Bio: 

Ellen brings her love for rural communities, good food, and compelling design to her role at MFT. After graduating from Bates College with a degree in History and several summers of farming and fisheries work under her belt, Ellen spent years away from Maine, working for food and farm-related businesses and nonprofits in Vermont and Washington. She moved back to her home state in 2013 to work with MFT and lives in the small town of Morrill. When not amplifying the stories of MFT’s work and of Maine farms, Ellen can be found in the garden, exploring Maine’s mountains and coastlines, or in the field at the tiny flower farm she co-owns, Half Hitch Flowers, located at Calyx Farm.

Tricia Rouleau (she/her)

Tricia Rouleau (she/her)

Title: 

Farm Network Director

Location: 

Bio: 

Tricia has been working for MFT since 2013. Prior to working for MFT, she was a Senior Project Manager at FB Environmental Associates, an environmental consulting firm specializing in GIS mapping and watershed and land use planning. Since moving to Maine in 1998, she’s been actively involved in farming and food systems work in Maine, and has worked with farms in a variety of capacities. Tricia spent her first 9 years at MFT in the Farmland Protection Department, working with farm families to preserve productive agricultural lands in the state before moving into her current role as Farm Network Director. She attended University of Vermont and University of Maine and has a BS in Ecology and Environmental Science. Tricia lives with her family in Hancock County.

Engagement

Erin Baltes

Erin Baltes

Title: 

Director of Engagement

Location: 

Bio: 

Erin joined MFT in 2022 with a professional background in advancement and a particular love for working with individuals to bring them closer to the organizations and work they care about. Originally from Holden, ME, Erin's interest in agricultural issues and farmers’ success stems from her family’s history in farming and the importance of farms and farmers in Maine’s communities, environment, and economy. She graduated from the University of Maine in 2003 and immediately began her career in fundraising. In prior roles, she worked at Thomas College in Waterville, supporting and leading the Advancement team through two comprehensive campaigns, and served as a development team member at Maine Public. Erin lives in Brunswick with her husband, daughter, cats, and dog, and enjoys gardening, long and ambling walks, crushing family members at Scrabble, and finishing the myriad puzzles she was given during the pandemic. (Still.)

Katie Boss (she/her)

Katie Boss (she/her)

Title: 

Assistant Director of Engagement Strategies and Operations

Location: 

Bio: 

Born and raised in Bangor, Maine, Katie Boss has been involved in agricultural land protection and food systems work in Maine both personally and professionally for decades. Her background is in development and nonprofit management in Maine and Massachusetts with prior roles at Healthy Androscoggin, Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, the Boston University School of Public Health, and Management Sciences for Health in addition to serving as Grants Manager at Maine Farmland Trust. Katie just finished a two-year term on the Auburn City Council and is the former Chair of Auburn’s Agriculture Committee. Through her work as an elected official Katie championed municipal land use policy issues and has been a vocal advocate for the support of farm businesses, preservation of natural resources, protection of watersheds, and the prudent use of land. Katie has her master’s degree in public health from Boston University, is continuing her education in agriculture law and policy, and is a board member for the Androscoggin Land Trust. She attended Mount Holyoke for her undergraduate degree and Katie’s first job was working on a small diversified organic farm in Orland, Maine at the age of 14. Katie and her husband grow diversified vegetables on leased land in Auburn to donate to their local food pantry.

Kristina Buckley

Kristina Buckley

Title: 

Content Creator & Digital Communities Associate

Location: 

Bio: 

Kristina has a background in printmaking and design, graduating from MECA with a BFA in printmaking in 2015. She is an active, long-standing member of the Portland based community printshop Pickwick Independent Press with a focus on Risograph publishing. Kristina was excited to join the Maine Farmland Trust team in Summer 2022, having grown up in a small agricultural town in New Hampshire where she spearheaded an after-school program at a community garden. Since moving to Maine nearly 12 years ago she’s worked on farms and farm-to-table restaurants, having always valued agricultural labor and our relationship to local food systems. When not at MFT or in the printshop, Kristina can be found reading by the ocean (no matter the weather), hosting dinners for pals, dropping postcards in the mail, or driving up the coast singing car karaoke. They are interested and invested in the intersection between the arts, agriculture, and community-building and hope to continue to find ways to bridge those while at MFT.

Anna Fiedler (she/her)

Anna Fiedler (she/her)

Title: 

Grants Officer

Location: 

Bio: 

Anna grew up gardening in the prairie soils of southeast Wisconsin. She has experience in food systems through work with University Extension, Growing Power in Milwaukee, and via a Master’s degree from Michigan State University focused on beneficial insects at native plants to promote pollination and biological pest control in agriculture. Anna has a background in conservation, ecology, and systems thinking; she also holds a PhD in Entomology from MSU focused on conservation biology and habitat restoration. She has lived in Maine (and learned to grow gardens in rockier soils) since 2011. After helping form Midcoast Conservancy from five founding organizations in 2016, she was previously director of land conservation there. She brings a passion for bringing together the land, people, ideas, and funding needed to support healthy communities to her work as Grants Officer with Maine Farmland Trust. In her off time, you are likely to find Anna berry-picking, dancing, cross country skiing, or in/on the waters of Midcoast Maine.

Emily Gherman-Lad (she/her)

Emily Gherman-Lad (she/her)

Title: 

Assistant Director of Engagement

Location: 

Bio: 

Emily grew up in the Bangor area, with the sweet smells of farms and hayfields in every direction and her very own horse (along with four cats, two dogs, two cockatiels, and two fish). She has always loved the farming community that can be found in Maine and is thrilled to join Maine Farmland Trust, where her work focuses on building meaningful relationships with individuals and businesses in the MFT community. Her background includes a BA in Peace and Justice Studies with a concentration in Environmental Justice from Tufts University, and a decade of experience building and supporting nationwide corporate and community partnerships at Year Up, a national workforce development nonprofit focused on racial and economic justice. She believes in engaging the power of people and organizations within our communities to build sustainable and just futures for us all. Currently, she resides in Portland with her husband, her one-eyed cat, and the hope that someday soon she’ll realize her dream of having a small homestead (or at least a flock of chickens!).

Courtney Peed (she/her)

Courtney Peed (she/her)

Title: 

Engagement Operations Associate

Location: 

Bio: 

Courtney Peed joined MFT as the Executive Assistant in April 2022. Prior to her arrival at MFT, she was counseling students on their college expenses as the Administrative Assistant for Financial Aid at Maine Maritime Academy. Courtney’s career history began as a Naturalist with Baltimore County Rec & Parks where she instilled a love of the outdoors into thousands of Maryland school children and their families while also managing a bustling park. She eventually became Director of Oregon Ridge Nature Center and had a variety of administrative and educational responsibilities. She and her husband moved to Maine in 2012 to escape the clutter that is the mid-Atlantic after vacationing in Lubec for years and falling in love with coastal Maine. After some time as an Ed Tech, she landed at MMA first as their Facilities Coordinator, and then AA for FA, gaining skills and experience there for 6 years. She is very happy to be returning to her roots in conservation and enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, a myriad of crafting hobbies and spending time with her husband and dog.

Henry Trotter (he/him)

Henry Trotter (he/him)

Title: 

Engagement Analytics & Marketing Manager

Location: 

Bio: 

Henry joined MFT as Outreach & Communications Associate in March 2021. Before coming to MFT, Henry worked in digital marketing for nonprofits in Washington, DC, and he hopes to bring his experience building websites and online advocacy campaigns to advance MFT’s mission. As a lover of food, nature, and connecting with the places that sustain us, Henry is excited to use his digital skills to tell the stories of MFT’s work and Maine farms. After visiting Mount Desert Island every year growing up, Henry moved to Maine in 2020 and now resides in Portland. You can also find Henry paddling, hiking and camping in Maine’s forests and mountains.

Farmland Protection Access

Adam Bishop

Adam Bishop

Title: 

Vice President of Programs

Location: 

Bio: 

Adam Bishop is the Farmland Protection Program Director for Maine Farmland Trust, and coordinates the efforts of MFT’s land protection team in addition to working on conservation projects in the midcoast region. He been with MFT since 2013. Adam has experience working with a number of local and regional land trusts in Maine, including Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Coastal Mountains Land Trust, and Blue Hill Heritage Trust. Adam holds a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, and currently resides in Camden, Maine with his two children.

Chris Cabot

Chris Cabot

Title: 

Southern Maine Senior Project Manager and Assistant Director, Farmland Protection

Location: 

Bio: 

Chris has worked to protect Maine’s natural landscapes since 2008. After 3+ years with MFT from 2016-2019, he returned to the Farmland Protection staff in October 2022. Through his work with a few organizations and agencies, he has assisted many Maine families with important land protection decisions. Chris earned a master’s degree in conservation biology from Antioch University New England where he focused on field naturalist skills and forest ecology. He lives with his young family in North Yarmouth.

Brett Sykes

Brett Sykes

Title: 

Senior Project Manager and Assistant Director, Farmland Protection

Location: 

Bio: 

Brett began working at MFT in the fall of 2015. Growing up in upstate NY, he was surrounded by farm and forest land and was always intrigued by working landscapes. Brett worked on several farms when he was younger and became interested in the protection of farmland from non-farm development after witnessing the division and sprawling development of nearby agricultural land. Prior to working at MFT, Brett assisted with similar land protection efforts at the Columbia Land Conservancy in Chatham, NY.

Charlie Baldwin

Charlie Baldwin

Title: 

Senior Project Manager

Location: 

Bio: 

Charlie has been working for MFT since 2016. Growing up in saltwater farm country in Eastern Maine, he understands the vital connection between environmental and human sustainability. He received his degree in History from Beloit College in Wisconsin and has spent his working career protecting resources and creating connections between people and the land. Charlie and his family homestead on a suburban lot in Southern Maine. After purchasing the property he restored the soils to productivity, and planted apple trees, highbush blueberries, and a kitchen garden. When he is not working Charlie can be found in the garden, or on the bay.

Stacy Brenner

Stacy Brenner

Title: 

Senior Advisor for Farmland Access

Location: 

Bio: 

After many years serving on our Board, Stacy Brenner has joined MFT as our Senior Advisor for Farmland Access. In this role, Stacy focuses on building pathways to increase access to farmland for new and emerging farmers, and for established farmers looking to expand or relocate. Stacy lives and farms at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough with her husband, John Bliss and two daughters, Emma and Flora. They raise vegetables and flowers, and host weddings. Stacy envisions a future that offers viable pathways for farmers to establish their businesses without having to accumulate the capital needed to purchase a farm, and connect farm businesses with available and affordable land that meets their needs as their businesses grow or change. Her resume includes work as a barista, an orchid greenhouse caretaker, a cotton farmer and a nurse-midwife. She holds a BS in Agriculture from the University of Arizona, and BSN and an MSN in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She’s been settled in Maine since 2002. Stacy also serves on the board of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), and a Maine State Senator representing District 30, which consists of Scarborough, Gorham, and part of Buxton.

April Costa (she/her)

April Costa (she/her)

Title: 

Farmland Protection Project Manager

Location: 

Bio: 

April brings over a decade of land management and natural resources expertise to her role as a Land Protection Project Manager at MFT, where she has worked since 2017. She has a background in supporting and protecting working rural landscapes and conservation easement stewardship, as well as roots in ornithological field research, fine art, and horsemanship. In her work as a Project Manager, she makes connections and builds partnerships with farmers and others in the community through a communication based, equitable approach to MFT’s land protection options. April calls Montville, Maine home where she is making slow but steady progress sprucing up her small, old farm house. She is based in MFT’s Belfast office.

Sean Hagan (he/him)

Sean Hagan (he/him)

Title: 

Farmland Protection Project Manager

Location: 

Bio: 

Sean joined MFT as a Farmland Protection Project Manager in 2022 after a career working on farms in Maine, California, and British Columbia. Having owned and operated a diversified vegetable farm in Bowdoinham for 8 years, he brings an understanding of the ins and outs of running a farm in Maine. He received a Masters in Ecological Design from the Conway School, and believes ecological thinking has a role in how we shape all aspects of creating livable, equitable communities, including how we approach farmland protection and viability. He currently lives in Portland.

Sue Lanpher

Sue Lanpher

Title: 

FarmLink Coordinator

Location: 

Bio: 

Sue started becoming involved with MFT around 2005 when the office was in Bucksport, ME. She volunteered her time helping with mailings and even going out with MFT staff to the farms that are protected with easements, taking photographs and talking with the farmers to help with stories for the newsletters and other publications. In early 2007 she was brought on board part-time as Administrative Assistant and was soon moved up to the FarmLink Coordinator, the position she still holds today. Growing up on a small island in Maine, the youngest in a large family of seven – helping to grow much of their food in the garden was a staple activity during the summer. She currently resides on the same small island with her beau Erik, and in her off time, she enjoys any kind of fun adventure, photography and spending as much time with family and friends as possible.

Grace Romania (she/her)

Grace Romania (she/her)

Title: 

Farmland Protection & Stewardship Administrative Assistant

Location: 

Bio: 

Grace joined MFT as the Land Protection and Stewardship Administrative Assistant in April of 2022. She grew up outside of Albany, NY, and spent much of her childhood camping, paddling, and skiing in the Adirondacks. In 2021, Grace received dual BAs in Environmental Studies and Sustainable Food Systems from the University of Rochester. Prior to joining MFT, Grace served as an Americorps volunteer with Maine DACF’s Agricultural Resource Development Division, providing support to the Ending Hunger Plan. Outside of work, you can find her rock climbing, biking around Portland, gardening, or working on a knitting project.

Amanda Wheeler (she/her)

Amanda Wheeler (she/her)

Title: 

Farmland Protection Project Manager

Location: 

Bio: 

Amanda has been working for MFT since December, 2019. She grew up in New Haven, Connecticut and spent summers visiting family in coastal Maine. After earning a BA from Hamilton College in 2017, her interest in food systems’ impacts on local communities and the environment led her to work in agricultural consulting in Maine prior to joining MFT. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys riding horses, running, and continuing to explore the Maine coast.

Farm Network

Tricia Rouleau (she/her)

Tricia Rouleau (she/her)

Title: 

Farm Network Director

Location: 

Bio: 

Tricia has been working for MFT since 2013. Prior to working for MFT, she was a Senior Project Manager at FB Environmental Associates, an environmental consulting firm specializing in GIS mapping and watershed and land use planning. Since moving to Maine in 1998, she’s been actively involved in farming and food systems work in Maine, and has worked with farms in a variety of capacities. Tricia spent her first 9 years at MFT in the Farmland Protection Department, working with farm families to preserve productive agricultural lands in the state before moving into her current role as Farm Network Director. She attended University of Vermont and University of Maine and has a BS in Ecology and Environmental Science. Tricia lives with her family in Hancock County.

Hannah Chamberlain (she/her)

Hannah Chamberlain (she/her)

Title: 

Stewardship Program Manager

Location: 

Bio: 

Hannah grew up near rich farmland along the floodplains of the Housatonic River in western Massachusetts. A childhood full of camping adventures led her to a career in the outdoors; she has worked for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Midcoast Conservancy, and various small land trust . She’s excited to bring her experience in the land trust world to supporting Maine farmers. When not visiting farms, Hannah can be found biking, backpacking, working on a sewing project, or weeding her garden.

Catherine Durkin (she/her)

Catherine Durkin (she/her)

Title: 

Technical Assistance Specialist

Location: 

Bio: 

Catherine joined the MFT team in 2017, when moving to her home state of Maine after living in Washington state. In Washington, she was farming full-time for years on a diversified farm with vegetables and seedlings. Catherine received her degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College. In addition to working with MFT, Catherine works on her own farm and loves making time for outdoor adventures.

Savannah Eades (she/her)

Savannah Eades (she/her)

Title: 

Farm Network Admin Assistant

Location: 

Bio: 

Savannah joined MFT as the Farm Network Administrative Assistant in December 2022. Spending summers learning from her family of fruit growers in the Midwest led her to pursue a career in food systems and agriculture. After receiving a BA in Global Environmental Studies from Clark University, she worked on several farms including a non-profit orchard growing produce for local food banks. Outside of work you can find Sav on the hunt for dry ciders, playing a tune with her folk duo Honeymoon, and making cool rocks into earrings.

Alex Fouliard (she/her)

Alex Fouliard (she/her)

Title: 

Farm Business Planning Co-Manager

Location: 

Bio: 

Alex’s favorite things include punny jokes, handspun yarn, third-wave ska, and good food. She came to appreciate the role food plays in our lives and communities while studying sustainable ag and human ecology at College of the Atlantic and farming with her partner’s family in Downeast Maine. She started working for Maine Farmland Trust in 2013 and enjoys working with farmers to figure out the best plans for their individual business. When not doing spreadsheets with farmers, Alex can be found at the farm, growing flowers, listening to punk, eating good food, or probably doing all of those things simultaneously.

Robin Hackett (he/him)

Robin Hackett (he/him)

Title: 

Land Steward

Location: 

Bio: 

After studying Environmental Policy at Williams College, Robin found himself drawn to agriculture and ended up managing a series of diversified vegetable farms across the Northeast. He then transitioned into the non-profit sector and worked for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association running a variety of programs designed to support beginning farmers. Outside of work, Robin spends his time fishing, baking, cycling and hiking with his wife and dog.

Molly Heuss (she/they)

Molly Heuss (she/they)

Title: 

Land Steward

Location: 

Bio: 

Molly grew up in the woods of New Hampshire, inspiring her to study how people interact with the landscape. She brings to MFT a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of New Hampshire and a M.S. in Natural Resources: Forest Science from the University of Vermont. Along the way she found herself working on farms across New England and developed a keen passion for local whole foods. She is excited to be joining MFT in uplifting farmers’ voices and working towards even more resilient Maine food systems. Molly spends her free time cooking, gardening, foraging, and hiking with her wife and dogs.

Emily McCarthy (she/her)

Emily McCarthy (she/her)

Title: 

Land Steward

Location: 

Bio: 

Emily joins the MFT team with a background in vegetable farming, beef cattle ranching, and collaborative land management. Since graduating from the University of Vermont with an environmental degree in 2019, Emily has farmed and ranched in Senegal, Maine, and California. In her work, Emily aims to facilitate and strengthen farmer-to-farmer learning and community-led conservation efforts. As a Land Steward, Emily looks to connect with landowners over a shared love for Maine’s farmlands. Beyond her work with MFT, Emily seeks out a good potato harvest, morning hikes, and a swim in Moose Pond.

Garrett Linck (he/him)

Garrett Linck (he/him)

Title: 

Land Steward

Location: 

Bio: 

Garrett has been working for MFT since 2021. He grew up in Hinesburg, Vermont, and spent much of his childhood backpacking, hiking, and canoeing in the northeastern and western United States. After receiving a degree in Environmental Studies from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Garrett worked for the Mendocino Land Trust in Fort Bragg, California, and for the Department of Environmental Protection in Bangor, Maine. On the weekends, he can often be found listening to records, restoring vintage guitars, or hiking with his partner Sara and their dog Prune.

Sarah Simon

Sarah Simon

Title: 

Climate Resilience Specialist

Location: 

Bio: 

Sarah grew up in Massachusetts and first made her way to Maine in 2014 as an apprentice on a diversified vegetable and dairy farm. She then spent five years as the director of a community farm and food justice organization in New York’s Hudson Valley. There she managed five acres of produce grown for food access initiatives and developed new programs, including mobile markets, healthcare partnerships, nutrition incentives, and farmers’ market management in two different cities. She’s thrilled to be back in Maine working to support the farms and farmers who contribute to the state’s strong local economy and land ethic. Before farming captured her interest, Sarah received her undergraduate degree in comparative literature, creative writing, and dance from Princeton University.

Finance & Admin

Kristin Varnum (she/her)

Kristin Varnum (she/her)

Title: 

Vice President and CFO

Location: 

Bio: 

Kristin has been working for MFT since 2000, as one of MFT’s first two employees. She lives on Verona Island with her husband, David, and two children, Caleb and Hannah. She grew up on a small farm in Bucksport, where her family raised all their food and ran a bustling farm stand. She received her degree from Husson College in Paralegal Studies. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with family, including camping, hiking and kayaking.

Rachel Grant

Rachel Grant

Title: 

Finance Manager

Location: 

Bio: 

Rachel has been working for MFT since 2011. Growing up on the Coast of Maine, she has always had a strong connection with the land and sea. She graduated from Husson College with a degree in Paralegal Studies. When she is not working, she likes to spend time with family, watching her kids’ sports teams, hiking, and of course time at the beach.

Amanda Kaler

Amanda Kaler

Title: 

Assistant Director of Finance and Administration

Location: 

Bio: 

Amanda Kaler joined MFT as a Finance Manager in May 2022. Amanda has 15+ years of experience in finance prior to joining the MFT team. As the owner of a small hobby farm and a master gardener, she has a passion for farming and preserving land for future generations. In her free time, Amanda enjoys hiking, beekeeping, gardening, foraging, macramé, wine making, stained glass and classic car restoration.

Kim Sanborn

Kim Sanborn

Title: 

Office Assistant

Location: 

Bio: 

Kim started working at Maine Farmland Trust in 2013 after many years in the retail business. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three hound dogs at her country home.

Policy & Research

Thacher Carter (he/him)

Thacher Carter (he/him)

Title: 

Municipal Policy Associate

Location: 

Title Text

Bio: 

Thacher joined MFT as the Municipal Policy Associate in 2022. Born and raised in southern Maine, Thacher graduated in 2020 from St. Lawrence University where he received a bachelor’s degree in English and Environmental Studies. Before beginning at MFT, Thacher worked as a reporter for The Times Record, a daily newspaper covering Maine’s midcoast region. Prior to that, he spent four summer seasons on the Appalachian Mountain Club’s backcountry Hut Crew in the N.H. White Mountains. Thacher now resides in Portland.

Andrea Denny

Andrea Denny

Title: 

Senior Data & Evaluation Associate

Location: 

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Bio: 

Andrea has been with MFT since 2011. Originally from the Boston area, Andrea attended Bates College and then enjoyed a few years in California working for an environmental consulting firm. However, she was soon drawn back to the east coast. After completing her graduate degree at the University of Rhode Island School of Oceanography, she worked as a marine scientist first in Maryland and then happily moved to Maine in 2000. She truly appreciates the landscape of Maine and all it has to offer. Andrea and her husband Eric keep busy raising their four children. Whenever time allows, you will find her running the local trails with her dog.

Abby Farnham (she/her)

Abby Farnham (she/her)

Title: 

Assistant Director, Policy & Research

Location: 

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Bio: 

Before joining MFT in 2016, Abby worked in both the community planning and anti-hunger fields. She attended the University of Vermont for Environmental Studies, and earned a graduate degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. Abby grew up in Waldo County, exploring the woods and fields with her brothers, and enjoys any chance to experience new parts of Maine.

Shelley Megquier (she/her)

Shelley Megquier (she/her)

Title: 

Policy & Research Director

Location: 

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Bio: 

Shelley manages MFT’s federal, state, and municipal policy work and oversees the design, completion, and dissemination of its research work. She brings to her role as Policy & Research Director a deep commitment to using solid evidence and compelling storytelling to inspire lasting political change. Before joining MFT, Shelley spent more than 10 years working on international health and development policy including managing research and advocacy projects and partnerships at Population Reference Bureau in Washington, DC. As a native of Hampden, Maine and a lover of all things dirt, farm, and food, Shelley is committed to advancing evidence-based policies that protect Maine farmland, support the state’s diverse farming communities, and advance the future of Maine farming and local food systems. Shelley holds a Master of Arts degree in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from Saint Lawrence University. She lives in Belfast with her partner and daughter and, when not working, can be found exploring and admiring Maine’s woods, fields, and waters.

Our Board

Our Board brings deep expertise and varied perspectives to help guide our work. Board members are rooted all over the state and are farmers, conservationists, business owners, experts, and most importantly: they are deeply committed to growing the future for farming in Maine.

Dave Colson, Chair

Dave Colson, Chair

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Co-owner & operator, New Leaf Farm, Durham

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As co-owner/operator of New Leaf Farm, Dave was an early advocate for local and organic foods. For over thirty years Dave and his family produced vegetables and herbs for natural food stores and restaurants, marketing their Certified Organic products since 1985. Dave has a BA in Agriculture and has presented at numerous farm conferences over the years as well as being a featured farm in the Northeast Organic Network (NeON). The Colson Family has hosted dozens of farm apprentices, many of who have gone on to start their own organic farm operations in Maine. New Leaf farm was an early adapter of green manure rotations for fertility, utilization of hoophouses for tomato production as well as introducing mesclun salad mix to Portland area restaurants. In 2011, Dave took a position with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) to utilize his experience in agriculture to work with farmers in Maine to access resources to help make their operations successful. As the Director of Agricultural Services, Dave worked along with the MOFGA Ag Services Staff to provide assistance in production, marketing, business planning and food safety challenges to farmers and processors. Dave retired from his position at MOFGA in 2020. Dave serves as the President of the Organic Farmers Association (organicfarmersassociation.org). Dave’s current farming involves vegetable and flower gardens, hay production, and a small orchard.

Justin Jamison, Treasurer

Justin Jamison, Treasurer

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Commercial Loan Officer, Katahdin Trust Company, Bangor

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Justin is a Commercial Loan Officer with Katahdin Trust Company and resides in Bangor, Maine with his wife Eliza and two daughters, Zoe, and Pippa. A life-long agrarian and entrepreneur, he caught the farming bug early on his parents diversified farm in Orono, Maine where he was encouraged to develop micro enterprises. His first “real” job began at the Maine Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station where he worked into the roles of Farm Superintendent of the Highmoor Farm Apple, Small Fruit, and Vegetable Research Station in Monmouth, Maine, and Farm Superintendent of the J. F. Witter and Rogers Farm Teaching and Research Center in Old Town, Maine. His interest in enterprise scaling and finance eventually lead to a career in Commercial Banking. He holds a B.S. in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Maine and a M.B.A. from the Maine Business School.

Margot Kelley, Secretary

Margot Kelley, Secretary

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Author; Executive Director, K2 Family Foundation, Port Clyde

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Margot Kelley has a PhD in American Literature and an MFA in Media and Performing Arts. She spent twenty-five years working with students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including teaching courses on nature writing and on environmental literature and art. In 2000, she started her first garden. The experience was transformative—leading her away from that academic focus on representations of the world and toward the land and air and water themselves. Now, she writes nonfiction, grows food, serves as E.D. for the K2 Family Foundation, and works with a variety of non-profit organizations, including the St. George Community Development Center, which she co-founded in 2017. She has served on the Boards of the Midcoast Maine Fishing Heritage Alliance, Unity College, and Orion Magazine, among others.

Nick Armentrout

Nick Armentrout

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Manager, Spring Creek Farm, Lyman

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Nick has managed four small businesses for others, and two of his own, throughout start-up phase to maturity. A recent highlight was the 10 years spent sourcing and supplying domestic wool for the commission manufacture of 100% American grown and sewn, knit and woven wool clothing fabrics, as well as goods certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard – GOTS, and Cradle to Cradle Certified™ for the U.S. company Ramblers Way Farm, Inc. He holds a BA in English from Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland, where he went to play lacrosse but studied the Romantic Poets instead. He is proud to be a University of Maine Master Gardener, and a Saltwater Institute Values-Centered Leadership graduate. Nick has spent most of his adult years somehow engaged with animal agriculture and organic farming. Initially ranching in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, he returned home to Maine to start Spring Creek Farm with his wife and childhood friend, Sarah, in 1998. Nick manages Spring Creek Farm, a mixed-power, organic, horse, sheep, hay and small grain farm that also serves as the host facility for Carlisle Academy Integrated Equine Therapy & Sports. When time allows, he is most happy behind his draft horses working the farm.

Jason Bolton

Jason Bolton

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Food Safety Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Orono

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Jason Bolton, Ph.D. is the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Food Safety Specialist and Associate Extension Professor, where he works with food/beverage companies in Maine/U.S./Internationally on facility design, HACCP implantation, thermal process validation, and regulation interpretation. Dr. Bolton is the area coordinator of Innovation Engineering, in the Maine Business School, where he teaches courses on systems thinking, idea creation, problem-solving, communication, and commercialization. He is also a cooperating faculty member with the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture, where he performs research in the areas of food processing and brewing sciences and teaches courses on commercial brewing and food safety. Dr. Bolton provides process authority services in the areas of seafood, and acidified canned food products and offers industry courses on Meat and Poultry HACCP, Seafood HACCP, Better Process Control School, PCHF, and Sanitation. Dr. Bolton holds Train-the-Trainer certificates as Lead Instructor for PCHF, Better Process Control School, Meat & Poultry HACCP, and Seafood HACCP.

Steve Crane

Steve Crane

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Co-Owner & Operator, Crane Brothers, Inc., Newport

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Steve is the co-owner of Crane Brothers, Inc. in Exeter, Maine. Since Steve joined the farm in 1988, Crane Brothers has grown from an 800-acre farm operating in 2 towns to farming 4,000 acres in 6 counties in Maine. Steve also married his wife Becky in August of 1988 and they have 3 children. In 2017, Steve’s son Matt joined Crane Brothers. Most recently in August, 2020, Steve and Becky purchased Dragonfly Farm & Winery in Stetson, Maine, which is now being operated by Steve’s two daughters, Megan and Chelsea, and their families. Steve has been active with the Maine Potato Seed Board, MPG Board, SAD#46 School Board, and National Potato Council where he served as President in 2012. Steve holds a B.A. in Agriculture Mechanization from the University of Maine.

Caitlin Frame

Caitlin Frame

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Owner & Farmer, The Milkhouse, Monmouth

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Caitlin Frame grew up in various parts of the Northeast including New York, Connecticut, and Ontario, Canada. She has a degree in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College. In 2008, while still in school, Caitlin farmed at a vegetable operation in Saratoga Springs and then worked at various, diversified farms in Maine. She and her partner Andy Smith started the Milkhouse Creamery in 2012 in South China, where the owners of Two Loons Farm generously incubated their business for 3 years. In 2015 Caitlin and Andy moved the business to Monmouth when they started their own farm. This was made possible through a conservation easement with MFT. The Milkhouse Farm & Creamery is a 330-acre MOFGA certified organic farm, and consists of a pasture based dairy operation, cows and pigs for meat, and a state licensed on-farm creamery. Milkhouse products are available at an on-farm store, and also sold in much of the state at supermarkets, independent grocers, camps, school districts, and colleges. Caitlin works in pursuit of providing delicious, nourishing, and accessible food to the people of Maine, and to ensure that the dairy industry and all farming in Maine remains viable for the future by advocating for farmers and beneficial farm policies on the state and federal level.

Susan Morris

Susan Morris

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Blueberry Farmer, Waldoboro

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Susan Morris grew up amongst horses, cows, hens, pigs, and authors (her father was a publisher) in Massachusetts. After she returned from serving in the Peace Corps in India, she married her husband John, taught and studied in Philadelphia, and moved to Maine in 1970. Susan has been managing her family’s organic blueberry farm in Waldoboro since 1970. She was a founder of Medomak Valley Land Trust, which merged with Midcoast Conservancy in 2019. Susan was also a founding member of MFT’s board.

Taylor Mudge

Taylor Mudge

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Founder, State of Maine Cheese Co., Camden

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Taylor Mudge is a hop farmer in Lincolnville. He has a master’s degree from Boston University in geochemistry. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Taylor bought his farm in 1970 and raised 300 ewes for meat and wool, as well as research animals for Yale Medical School. He founded the State of Maine Cheese Company in Rockland in 1984, where he made cheddar cheese with milk from local dairy farms. After selling the business, he moved into consulting and founded a software company. Taylor currently serves as a board member for the Maine 4H Foundation, Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove Camps, and was the board chair of MFT for six years.

Jon Olson

Jon Olson

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Former Executive Director, Maine Farm Bureau, Mount Vernon

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Jon Olson grew up on a farm in Iowa. After graduating from St. Olaf College, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa. After completion, he moved to Maine where he married his wife, Alice. He was Executive Director of Maine Farm Bureau for 35 years until his retirement, and was a co-founder of the Agricultural Council of Maine. He also served on the University of Maine Board of Agriculture. Jon has an M.A. degree from UMO and an M. Div. degree from Bangor Theological Seminary. He currently serves on the boards of the Eastern States Exposition and the Maine 4H Foundation.

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