MFT is thrilled to celebrate the promotion of Policy & Research Director Ellen Stern Griswold…
In 2020 we worked with farmers to protect a total of 20 farms, totaling almost 2,000 acres. Learn more about some of our most recent farmland projects:
Talbot Farm, Arundel
On December 23rd, farmer Mark Pinette closed on the sale of an easement to MFT to protect the ~130-acre Old Talbot Farm in Arundel. The farm shares a boundary with Mark’s Hardscrabble Farm, a highland cattle operation which is also protected with an easement. When MFT and Mark first started working together in 2016, Mark shared his vision of a permanently protected corridor of farmland. This easement realizes that vision of ensuring that a total of 334 acres of Arundel farmland will be available for agriculture forever!
Maxwell Farm, Cape Elizabeth
MFT worked with Nate and Kathy Maxwell and Cape Elizabeth Land Trust to purchase an easement on the iconic 76-acre Maxwell Farm in the heart of Cape Elizabeth, ensuring that the land will never be developed for non-agricultural use. Maxwell Farm is the largest parcel of protected farmland closest to Portland, and making sure this land stays in agriculture helps bolster future food security in a rapidly developing part of the state.
Lovejoy Farm, Westbrook
On December 30th, Laurence Lovejoy closed on the sale of a conservation easement to MFT on Lovejoy Farm in Westbrook. The farm is 58 acres and straddles both sides of Pride Street, just minutes from Portland. The easement permanently protects the agricultural attributes of the property and contains an Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value (OPAV), which helps insure that, when sold, the land will stay in active agriculture. Laurence raises a small herd of beef cattle, cuts hay, and grows pumpkins to sell from the farm. He grew up on the farm and has been slowly purchasing land adjacent to his home farm. The farm is located in Presumpscot Regional Land Trust’s service area and they helped connect Laurence with MFT! At the closing Laurence said, “I’ve been dreaming of something like this for awhile,” and he’s happy that his farm will never be developed and will stay farmland forever!
Elwell Farm, Unity
On December 21st, MFT closed on the sale of the Elwell Farm in Unity to Northeast Farm Access, an organization that aims to conserve working farms and improve land access through long-term leases to farmers. The 480-acre farm is located right across the Sandy Stream from the MOFGA fairgrounds and has a mix of cropland, pasture and managed woodlot. Bob and Erma Elwell owned and operated the Elwell Farm for many years, using the fields and infrastructure to support a successful dairy operation. Recognizing the importance of this farm to the region, MFT purchased the property from the Elwells in 2011 when the Elwells decided it was time for them to retire. After the closing of the easement, 470 acres of this farm will now be protected for generations to come.