singing to garlic: MAINE’S FARMER MUSICIANS BY CARRIE BRAMAN PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOLLY HALEY
One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1999, MFT has been doing just that for the people of Maine, protecting the farmland that nourishes Maine communities. Now MFT announced it has achieved national recognition – joining a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.
“Accreditation demonstrates MFT’s commitment to farmland conservation in Maine,” said Erica Buswell, MFT Vice President of Programs. “We are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program. Our strength means that farmland from Aroostook County to York County will be protected forever, making Maine an even greater place for us and our families.”
MFT provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that MFT’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land across the country – the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
This national recognition comes as we are celebrating our 20th anniversary year,” says Buswell. “Thanks to the support of our community, we’ve accomplished so much over the last two decades. We’ve permanently protected 300 farms and helped to keep over 60,000 acres of farmland in farming. We know that this accreditation will only bolster our work to grow the future for farming in Maine.”
“It is exciting to recognize MFT with this national mark of distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
MFT is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found here.