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CONTACT

LEADERSHIP

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Amy Fisher

President & CEO

afisher@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    Amy joined MFT as President & CEO in August 2021. Amy brings significant leadership experience to the role having served for the prevoius 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, holds an MBA from Boston University, and is enthusiastic to return to Maine.
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Ellen Griswold (she/her)

Vice President & Deputy Director

egriswold@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    Ellen Stern Griswold is the Vice President and Deputy Director at MFT. She oversees municipal, state, and federal-level policy work, as well as research projects that inform that work and support the effectiveness of MFT’s programs. Prior to MFT, Ellen practiced federal energy regulatory law for eight years in Washington, DC, working on the development of energy policy in Congress and advising clients on energy and environmental regulatory requirements. Then her deep personal interest in the structure of our food system – and its implications for agriculture producers, the environment, and public health – led Ellen to pursue a new career in agriculture and food policy. She obtained her LL.M. in Food and Agriculture Law from Vermont Law School, her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and her BA in Public Policy from Brown University. Ellen loves exploring Maine’s beaches, forests, and farms with her family.
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Kristin Varnum (she/her)

Vice President & CFO

kvarnum@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Adam Bishop (he/him)

Farmland Protection Program Director

abishop@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Katie Boss (she/her)

Director of Engagement

kboss@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Tricia Rouleau (she/her)

Farm Network Director

trouleau@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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

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Katie Boss (she/her)

Director of Engagement

kboss@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Erin Baltes

Development Officer

ebaltes@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    Erin joined MFT in 2022 with a professional background in advancement and a particular love for working with individual donors to advance their philanthropic goals. Originally from Holden, ME, Erin cares about agricultural issues and farmers’ success because of her family’s history with farming and the importance of farms in Maine’s beautiful landscape and communities. She graduated from the University of Maine in 2003 and immediately began her career in fundraising. Most recently, she worked at Thomas College in Waterville, supporting and leading the Advancement team through two comprehensive campaigns, and previously served as a development team member at Maine Public. Erin lives in Brunswick with her husband, daughter, and pets, and enjoys gardening, hiking, and finishing the myriad puzzles she was given during the pandemic. Still.
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Emily Gherman-Lad (she/her)

Assistant Director of Engagement

emily@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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!).
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Andrea Denny

Development Operations Associate

adenny@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Anna Fiedler (she/her)

Grants Officer

afiedler@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.

Courtney Peed (she/her)

Executive Assistant

courtney@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Isabel Smith (she/her)

Member Communications & Engagement Manager

ismith@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    Isabel joined MFT as Member Communications and Engagement Manager in October 2021. Before coming to MFT, Isabel worked in environmental and arts-based nonprofits in Boston, MA. She hopes to bring her experience in community engagement, event planning, and volunteer management to further MFT’s mission while expanding and deepening its member base. Isabel grew up in a farming village in rural New Hampshire and feels personally invested in preserving farmland and the farming lifestyle. Isabel now resides in South Portland but finds the most joy exploring this great state with her sketchbook, foraging basket, and soon-to-be husband, Chris.
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Henry Trotter (he/him)

Digital Marketing Associate

htrotter@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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

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Adam Bishop

Farmland Protection Program Director

abishop@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Charlie Baldwin

Farmland Protection Project Manager

cbaldwin@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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April Costa (she/her)

Farmland Protection Project Manager

acosta@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Chris Franklin

Farmland Protection Project Manager

cfranklin@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    Chris has been working for MFT since 2017, he previously spent 12 years as the executive director of the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust.  From a childhood spent in New England he ventured west to Colorado earning a degree from the School of Geography at UC Boulder in 1990, and then spent the next 10 years ‘out west’ before moving back to Maine in the spring of 2000.  With over 20 years of conservation work in Maine the geographer in him still loves working at the intersection of people and place. Finding time for fishing, hiking and family time are his top weekend priorities. Chris, along with his wife and friends also host a quarterly storytelling event at their barn in Cumberland.
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Sue Lanpher

FarmLink Coordinator

info@mainefarmlink.org

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    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)

Farmland Protection & Stewardship Administrative Assistant

grace@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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Brett Sykes

Senior Project Manager and Assistant Director, Farmland Protection

brett@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Amanda Wheeler (she/her)

Farmland Protection Project Manager

awheeler@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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

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Tricia Rouleau (she/her)

Farm Network Director

trouleau@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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)

Stewardship Program Manager

hchamberlain@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Catherine Durkin (she/her)

Farm Business Planning Co-Manager

catherine@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Alex Fouliard (she/her)

Farm Business Planning Co-Manager

alex@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Garrett Linck (he/him)

Land Steward

glinck@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Emily McCarthy (she/her)

Land Steward

emccarthy@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Sarah Simon

Climate Resilience Specialist

ssimon@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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 & ADMINISTRATION

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Kristin Varnum (she/her)

Vice President and CFO

kvarnum@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Caila Gorniewicz (she/her)

Special Projects Manager

caila@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    Caila joined the MFT team in early 2020. Her personal passion for environmental stewardship and the local movement drew her to the incredible work of MFT. She is excited to meet the donors, farmers, and community that are helping to shape the future of farming and our local food system. Caila recently moved back to New England to be closer to family. As an avid adventurer and explorer she is thrilled to take advantage of the landscape, community, and way of life that Maine has to offer.
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Rachel Grant

Finance Manager

rachel@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.
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Kim Sanborn

Office Assistant

kim@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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

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Ellen Griswold (she/her)

Vice President & Deputy Director

egriswold@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    Ellen Stern Griswold is the Vice President and Deputy Director at MFT. She oversees municipal, state, and federal-level policy work, as well as research projects that inform that work and support the effectiveness of MFT’s programs. Prior to MFT, Ellen practiced federal energy regulatory law for eight years in Washington, DC, working on the development of energy policy in Congress and advising clients on energy and environmental regulatory requirements. Then her deep personal interest in the structure of our food system – and its implications for agriculture producers, the environment, and public health – led Ellen to pursue a new career in agriculture and food policy. She obtained her LL.M. in Food and Agriculture Law from Vermont Law School, her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and her BA in Public Policy from Brown University. Ellen loves exploring Maine’s beaches, forests, and farms with her family.
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Abby Farnham (she/her)

Policy & Research Associate

abby@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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.

ON LEAVE

Ellen Sabina

Ellen Sabina (she/her)

Outreach & Communications Director

ellen@mainefarmlandtrust.org

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    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 fields at the tiny flower farm she co-owns, Half Hitch Flowers.

BOARD

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William Bell, Saco

Bill Bell, a magna cum laude graduate of Yale, is an experienced association manager specializing in natural resource issues. He has served as the executive of groups ranging from the New England Grain and Feed Council to the Maine Association of Conservation Districts. He has also been an owner-operator of a large organic farm in southern Maine and has served as president of the Agricultural Council of Maine and of Maine Farmland Trust board.

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Jason Bolton, Orono

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.

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Stacy Brenner, Scarborough

Stacy Brenner 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 is devoted to understanding and improving farmland preservation, farmland tenancy arrangements and organic agriculture as an economic driver for the state of Maine. 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 as board president of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), and was recently elected to the Maine State Senate representing District 30, which consists of Scarborough, Gorham, and part of Buxton.

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Dave Colson: Vice Chair, Durham

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.

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Meredith Eilers: Chair, Bowdoinham

Meredith Eilers is a practicing litigation attorney and farm partner. Meredith and her family live on a family farm in Bowdoinham on land conserved with an MFT easement in 2014. Meredith’s husband, Dave Asmussen, runs Blue Bell Farm and raises organic mixed vegetables which they sell to restaurants, food co-ops, processors and at the Bowdoinham Farmers’ Market. Originally from Long Island, New York, Meredith has lived in Maine since 2011 and is grateful to now call it home. Before moving to Maine and becoming a lawyer, Meredith worked on farms throughout New England and spent several years working in the conservation nonprofit sector in the San Francisco Bay Area. Meredith and Dave have three young daughters.

Walter Fletcher

Walter Fletcher, Pittsfield

Walter grew up on a family dairy farm in Westford, Massachusetts. After high school Walter enlisted in the US Navy and was assigned to the aircraft carrier John F Kennedy until his release from active duty in 1970. He and his wife Edna were married the same year and returned to the farm in Westford. In 1980 they moved to a rundown farm in Pittsfield, Maine with two kids, Pamela and Walter, six cows and the family dog. Walter and Edna worked together to improve the soils, renovate the buildings and run a successful dairy farm. Their son Austin was born in 1983, and grew up on the farm. After a short career off the farm, Austin rejoined the farm in 2009 as a partner and manager of Fletcher Farm LLC. The farm purchased additional farmland that became available, some with help from Maine Farmland Trust. The dairy herd has grown to 250 milking cows with 230 head of young stock that support a modest rate of growth necessary to sustain the business. In 2021 Fletcher Farm was sold to a neighboring dairy farm. Walter and Edna are now retired dairy farmers. Throughout their careers Walter and Edna were active with many farm groups. Walter has been involved with Eastern Breeders Co-op, Massachusetts Farm Bureau, and is a past director of Maine Farm Bureau. He served on committees for Agway Co-op and Yankee Milk Co-op. He was active with the Maine Dairy Industry Association and was a participant in a working group that developed the Maine Tier Program, a program that supports the milk price paid to Maine dairy farmers. For 25 years he was a director of Agri-Mark Dairy Co-op (owners of Cabot Co-op Cheese Company), which currently has 920 member farms.

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Eleanor Kinney: Secretary, Bremen

Eleanor is an organic farmer, impact investor and mother of three. Her focus is on building local, sustainable food systems, and she invests in farms and food businesses across the state. Eleanor has served on the steering committee of Slow Money Maine, the Impact Investment Committee of Maine Community Foundation, and the Board of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. In 2019, Eleanor opened River House Maine, a wood-fired, farm-to-table restaurant in Damariscotta. She is passionate about growing and sharing local food, raising awareness, and aligning her investments with her values.

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James Lawrence, Rockport

A graduate of Harvard University, James has a strong background in finance, investments, and strategy consulting developed over almost two decades in the fields of investment banking and private-equity investing. He also serves on the board of Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union, the only fully-regulated financial institution focused on growing a healthy, local food system through government-guaranteed deposits. James has acted as an advisor and consultant to public and private companies and non-profit organizations in the United States and Europe. His family runs Allandale Farm in Boston, MA, the last working farm operating within metropolitan city limits in the United States.

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Susan Morris, Waldoboro

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.

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Taylor Mudge, Camden

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.

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Jon Olson, Mount Vernon

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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Henry Whittemore: Treasurer, Readfield

Henry Whittemore retired as Executive Director of Maine TREE Foundation in August 2020. Prior to leading Maine TREE, he worked for thirty years as a manager of large-scale timberland, with experience in North America, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Eastern Europe. He served as senior director of an international timberland investment fund based in Boston and Northeast Regional Manager of a Boston-based Timberland Investment Management Organization that managed lands in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and Victoria, Australia. Henry has served on many non-profit Boards in Maine – including the Maine Farmland Trust, Forest Society of Maine, Center for Woodland Education, the Northern Forest Center, Kennebec Land Trust and the Maine Forest Products Council. From 1978-1981, Henry served in the United States Peace Corps in the Kingdom of Tonga as an agro-forestry volunteer. He holds a BA from Williams College and a Masters in Forestry from Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He and his wife, Darcy, have lived in Readfield since 1990 and have two grown children, and a young grandson. Together, they own and manage a 100-acre woodlot in Mount Vernon.

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Nick Armentrout, Lyman

Nick has a professional background in small business and supply chain administration and sales, land and livestock management. Over the course of his career, 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.

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Steve Crane, Newport

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.

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Justin Jamison, Bangor

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.

Maine Farmland Trust

mail: 97 Main Street, Belfast, Maine 04915

call: (207) 338 – 6575

fax: (207) 338 – 6024

email: info@mainefarmlandtrust.org

Belfast & Gallery: 97 Main St, Belfast, ME 04915

Portland: 509 Ocean Ave, Portland, ME 04103

Gallery and offices are open Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm

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