The Maine-based Quimby Family Foundation has awarded $250,000 to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, according to a news release from the association.

“Most of the funds will go to the organization’s educational programs endowment. This is an extraordinary gift from an extraordinary family with deep roots in Maine. We are humbled by and grateful for the Quimby family’s generosity,” said Ted Quaday, MOFGA’s executive director, in the release.

MOFGA provides educational resources, events and training courses for those interested in organic farming and gardening. Its flagship education program focuses on beginning farmers — apprentices who seek a short-term farming experience, and journey persons who receive hands-on support, training and mentorship, and are serious about pursuing careers in organic farming in Maine. More than 200 new farmers have come through MOFGA’s Journey person Program.

The Quimby gift is a contribution to MOFGA’s campaign to raise $1 million this year to build its educational programs endowment. In 2014, the New York-based Partridge Foundation awarded $1 million to MOFGA to seed its endowment. The Foundation pledged another $1 million if MOFGA could raise a matching amount.

“With this generous gift from the Quimby Family Foundation, we have now raised $640,000 and hope to secure the balance of the challenge match in cash and pledges in 2015,” said Quaday in the release.

“I learned a great deal about marketing and branding as an exhibitor at the Common Ground Country Fair,” said Roxanne Quimby, founder of Burt’s Bees, an international personal care products company. “The enthusiastic reception by fairgoers to our emerging product line gave us the impetus we needed to reach out to a broader national market. MOFGA gives me hope for the future. I am thrilled that the Quimby Family Foundation was able to support MOFGA’s educational programs, and I hope others will step forward and support this influential organization.”

The Quimby gift provided support in two ways — $50,000 is dedicated to MOFGA’s operations while $200,000 will go to the endowment.

MOFGA’s endowment funds are managed by Boston-based Trillium Investment Management using a socially responsible investment strategy.

Individuals and foundations interested in providing gifts to support MOFGA’s Educational Endowment may contact Chris Hamilton in MOFGA’s Development Department at [email protected] or 568-4142.

MOFGA will present its annual Common Ground Country Fair on September 25 through 27 at its home in Unity.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA, www.mofga.org), formed in 1971, is the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country. The purpose of the Association is to help farmers and gardeners grow organic food, fiber and other crops; protect the environment; recycle natural resources; increase local food production; support rural communities; and illuminate for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices.


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