UNITY — The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association recently announced it has completed its campaign to raise $3 million to support its educational programs through an endowed fund. It is the largest fundraising effort in the organization’s 45-year history.

The Partridge Foundation awarded $1 million to MOFGA in early 2014 and pledged a second $1 million if the organic farming, education and advocacy group could raise a matching $1 million by 2017.

“Completion of this campaign in 24 months demonstrates the commitment of MOFGA’s membership and other donors to the organization’s long-term success,” Alice Percy, MOFGA Board President and organic farmer from Whitefield, said in a news release from the association. “Two years ago the Partridge Foundation provided a strong vote of confidence in MOFGA when it made a $1 million gift to the organization’s educational endowment and challenged us to raise a second $1 million. I am pleased to tell you today that 400 families from 20 states have made gifts that have enabled us to meet this challenge.”

Gifts to the challenge ranged from $5 to a major contribution of $200,000 made by the Maine-based Quimby Family Foundation.

“Our family was thrilled to help answer this challenge put forth by the Partridge Foundation and wants to acknowledge its generous founder Polly Guth,” Roxanne Quimby, Trustee of the Quimby Family Foundation and founder of Burt’s Bees, a personal care products company, said in the release. “MOFGA plays a key role in Maine and nationally in advocating for and supporting organic food and farming. We are honored to help to assure its long-term success.”

“Partridge Foundation is delighted to give MOFGA the second million of its matching-grant in response to MOFGA’s expanding support from believers in organic farming, education and advocacy who back up their beliefs with crucial donations,” said the Foundation in a written statement in the release.

MOFGA’s endowed funds are managed by Trillium Asset Management, a Boston-based firm specializing in socially responsible investment strategies. Distributions from the investments support MOFGA’s educational programs.

“One of MOFGA’s important educational endeavors supported by this campaign is the Journeyperson Program,” Percy siad in the release. “This is a two-year intensive on-farm training program for beginning farmers. To date 250 program graduates have established 185 new farms across the state. The money raised by this campaign will provide the financial foundation that will ensure MOFGA’s educational programs are funded far into the future.”

MOFGA conducted a comparable fundraising effort twenty years ago which resulted in development of the Common Ground Education Center — the association’s permanent home in the town of 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. It hosts the popular Common Ground Country Fair each year in September. 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.

Maine Organic Farmers and

Gardeners Association

Ted Quaday, Executive Director

Office: 207-568-4142, ext. 6005

Cell: 207-505-1998

www.mofga.org


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