It Starts with the Land
SECURING A FUTURE FOR FARMING
“Farming in Maine defies any single label. It is at once robust, thriving, threatened, modern, ancient, venerable, dirty, tedious, and hip.
It is as diverse and complex as the thousands of Maine farmers whose labor and love steward a million acres of working landscape.”
J o h n P i o t t i
After decades of decline, farming in Maine is growing and poised to bloom.
Maine is building a vibrant farm and food economy—thanks to the work of thousands of creative and committed farmers, coupled with the interests of tens of thousands of Mainers who care about what they eat and where it comes from.
Maine could be the “food basket” of New England. We have abundant land, plenty of water, better growing conditions than most people think, handy access to good markets, and great farmers—including many beginning farmers who want to farm here.
But just because farming is well-positioned does not mean that farming’s future is certain—far from it.
Farming here is in a critical period of transition, facing multiple challenges.
Much is at stake. Our economy. Our environment. The viability of our rural communities. Our ability to feed ourselves and help feed others.
We need to take action—and it starts with the land.
“The best land trust in the northeast—because their programs actually get farmers on the land.”
K a t i a H o l m e s
M i s t y B r o o k F a r m , A l b i o n
PROTECT MORE FARMLAND
It starts with the land.
Farmland supplies the food that sustains us. And each acre of farmland we lose threatens our future.
MFT is the major force behind farmland protection in Maine, completing dozens of projects a year, both on our own and in partnership with local land trusts.
It’s impactful work. But we need to do more—much more!
FROM THE LAND
HELP FARMERS THRIVE
Yes, it starts with the land—because without the land, there can be no farms or farmers. But protecting farmland is only the beginning.
We need farmers to work that land.
MFT offers a wide range of critical and innovative services, helping farmers develop smart business models, access new markets, extend growing seasons, “scale-up” production, and find land. It’s all good.
But given the demand, far more is needed.
MEET YOUR FARMERS
Let’s take this work to a whole new level!
To maximize Maine’s potential, we need to make sure that our farmland will be available to support our growing food economy. Now is the time to invest in the next generation of farming by protecting more farmland and helping farms develop smart business models, access new markets, extend growing seasons, and find farmland.
MFT has been given an exciting opportunity to help make sure that farming remains a cornerstone of our economic landscape — but it comes with a challenge. In 2015, a very generous donor who recognizes the difficulties surrounding protecting farmland pledged $16 million to protect farms and help farmers thrive, but in order to access those funds, MFT must raise a matching $16 million between now and 2020. To do so will not be easy, but that’s what’s needed to alter the trajectory of farming’s future here.
This tremendous gift is a reflection of the many years of hard work that all of you — MFT’s members and supporters — have dedicated to protecting farmland and supporting farmers. This is our chance to have a significant, lasting impact. While we’re on our way in raising the match, we still have a ways to go. To realize the full power of this transformative gift, we need everyone to pitch in to support the future of farming. Every bit helps, and we simply can’t do it without you.
“No one is doing this kind of work elsewhere. Maine’s pretty special.”
A n d y S m i t h
T h e M i l k h o u s e , S o u t h M o n m o u t h