Our goal is not just to protect Maine farmland, but to revitalize Maine’s rural landscape by keeping agricultural lands working and helping farmers, and their communities, thrive.
Our four program areas have developed to fill the needs of farmers, land owners, and local food markets in Maine.
Protecting farmland is the only way we will ensure that we have enough land to grow our food in the future. Agricultural easements protect land from non-farm development and often allow the sale of land at its “farm use value,” which is often necessary to make farmland affordable for farmers.
In the next decade, we expect that as many as 400,000 acres of Maine farmland will change hands as farmers age and retire. Connecting landowners with incoming farmers helps keep this land in production, whether through a sale, lease arrangement, or other support of a farmer’s land search.
The growth of the local food economy depends on vibrant farms. We deliver a range of services to the network of over 450 farms that have participated MFT’s farmland protection and other programming that improve the long-term viability of Maine’s farms. We work with farmers of all experience levels as they develop markets and grow successful businesses. And we help to create new markets that connect more Mainers with Maine-grown food.
MFT’s Farm Network Program delivers continued farm-facing services to. The program combines the existing Stewardship, Farm Business Planning, and Soil Health programs under one umbrella, and makes space for future programming based on the needs of farms in MFT’s network. This holistic approach increases the connectivity between farmers in MFT’s network and MFT programs, and allows the organization to more quickly respond to emergent issues that impact farmers, like PFAS contamination. Tricia Rouleau is the Farm Network Director.
MARKET DEVELOPMENT & LOCAL FOOD ACCESS
For local food and farms to flourish, we need an informed and dedicated community of people who are passionate about Maine farms. Events, films, books, art, and public advocacy all help advance farming’s future.