Tag Archives: 20th Anniversary

20th Anniversary Member Voices

This year, we are celebrating 20 years of growing the future of farming and reflecting on all the good work we’ve accomplished over the last two decades. We simply could not do this work without our many members! Throughout 2019 we’ll be talking with some MFT members about why they participate in this work to protect farmland and support farmers. Click on the videos below, and check out more member stories on our 20th Anniversary website.

John Crane of Portland Food Co-op

The Portland Food Co-op is a Business Member of MFT. General Manager John Crane shares why they support MFT’s work to protect farmland, support farmers and advance farming in Maine.

Jim Buckle of Buckle Farm

Jim and Hannah own and operate Buckle Farm in Unity, Maine in Waldo County where they grow mixed vegetables. This winter they sat down with us to talk about why they appreciate MFT’s work, and what it means to them as farmers.

Andrew Ketch of Ketch Organics

Andrew Ketch and his family own and operate Ketch Organics in Woodland, Maine in Aroostook County. The Ketch family decided to protect their farmland with MFT a few years ago. In this video, Andrew shares his hopes for the future of his farm.

Tommy Drew of Drew’s Organic Dairy

Tommy Drew runs an organic dairy farm in Woodland, Maine in Aroostook County. The land he farms on was purchased by his grandfather in 1947 for $1. He shares why he supports MFT’s work to protect farmland.

Help us celebrate 20 years! We’re asking our members to share their hope for the future of farming in Maine. Share your story here.

20th Anniversary: Member Voices

MFT is a member-powered organization. Throughout our 20th year, we are highlighting some of these amazing members. Read the first batch of member profiles below:

Warren & Helen Balgooyen

Wishing Well Farm. Norridgewock, ME

Our friend Jim Hastings introduced me to MFT at an early meeting at his house in Skowhegan. As a career naturalist and environmental educator, much of my incentive comes from an interest in wildlife and conservation education. I’ve always been an avid land protector, and we worked with MFT to protect our 272-acre farm in 2004, and hope to add another nearly 200 acres in the near future. Over the last 20 years, development has swallowed up prime agricultural land.  Climate change is having an effect via drought, new insects, and invasive plants. At the same time, we see more young people getting into farming- mostly small produce farms.  MFT’s Farmlink and Farmland Protection programs have helped those who can’t afford the rising price of farmland. We hope MFT will continue to keep up the good work!

Warren Balgooyen passed away in January 2019, a few months after this interview.

Member since 2000. Protected their farm in 2004, and protected another 110 acres with 7 Lakes Alliance in December 2018.

Francis Kilea

Appleton, ME

I support MFT’s mission in the abstract because I have long believed in the importance of a strong web of local commerce and food production, but I’m pretty personally invested, too. The livelihoods of former and current employers and mentors—not to mention their customers— depends on the health of that system.  I love that Maine Farmland Trust has a multi-pronged approach to the goal of growing the future for farming.  All of it’s important, too. I grew up in a small town in the midwest and have watched, over the years, patches of land be purchased and developed. MFT’s efforts to keep arable land in the hands of farmers are really important.

Member since 2016.

Troy & Brenda White

Lil Bit Organic Farm. Lagrange, ME.

Some of the fields that we leased for hay went up for sale. We knew these fields would appeal to a developer for house lots. Also, if we lost these fields, it would be detrimental to our bottom line and Maine would lose more farmland! However, the cost was way out of our reach. Without MFT, we would not have been able to secure the farmland and to protect the farmland for future generations.

The landscape of farming has changed in Maine and in our country for many reasons. Developers are buying farmland to turn to house developments. It is imperative for everyone to support MFT so we can all continue to work together to protect our farmland and to help farmers.

Member since 2014. Protected their farm in 2014.

Rob Tod

Allagash Brewing Company. Portland, ME.

There are so many benefits to bringing industries like farming back to local communities: jobs, profits, sustainability, the value in knowing where ingredients are coming from, etc. Much like the craft beer movement, and Allagash, in particular, is bringing beer back to local communities, we see that MFT is working to bring farming back to local communities.

Supporter since 2015.

Visit our 20th Anniversary website to learn more about our 20th year!

Let's grow a bright future for farming in Maine, together.

Two new videos to celebrate our 20th year!

This year, we are celebrating 20 years of growing the future for farming in Maine! Throughout the year we’ll be releasing a series of six videos that illustrate our history, our work, and where we’re headed. So far, we’ve released two videos: one about our founding, and one about our work to protect farmland.

Our Roots

Twenty years ago a small group of farmers and farm advocates started talking about this idea: that farmland, and farming, matter and should be protected. Soon, that little seed of an idea took root, and MFT began as the first and only land trust in Maine dedicated to protecting farmland and supporting farmers.

Farmland Protection at High View Farm

Protecting Maine’s precious farmland is the only way to ensure that we’ll have the land we need to grow food in the future. Several years ago, MFT worked with Bill and Darcy Winslow at High View Farm in Harrison to protect their farm, making sure that that land will continue to be available for farming for the next generation and beyond. High View is just one of the hundreds of farms MFT has helped to protect since 1999.


Stay tuned for more videos coming soon! All of the videos were produced in partnership with the Knack Factory.


Be sure to check out our 20th Anniversary website, where you can find events, a timeline of our milestones, and membership profiles.

Let's grow a bright future for farming in Maine, together.

This June: Maine Farms Listening Tour!

This June, we’re hitting the road to visit Maine farms! There’s no better way to celebrate our 20th Anniversary than with an epic road trip and listening tour that will bring us straight to the fields and barns of the farmers we serve.

During this anniversary year, our staff and board are working on strategic planning and setting a course for the coming years. The listening tour will help us to dig into what is happening on the ground in Maine’s farming community and inform our work in the future. We want to focus primarily on rural parts of the state, visiting and talking to farmers and friends in their homes, at kitchen tables and in dooryards.

We invite you to join us! Where should we go? Who should we visit? Want to host us? We want to hear from you!

If you’re interested in connecting with us during the tour, send an email to ellen@mainefarmlandtrust.org  or call us at 207-338-6575.

Let's grow a bright future for farming in Maine, together.