Nominations, Foundation + Presentations
Join the Board: Nominations Open
Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative is seeking for two people to serve on our board of directors. We are interested in bringing in new board members from the community of farmers and producers, with experience in areas like; accounting, nonprofits, grassroots efforts, philanthropy, governance, non-traditional organizational structures, and impact investment.
Interested members will be interviewed by the Nominations Committee and the final slate will be presented to the membership at the Annual Meeting on May 20th.
A Message from President Joanna Benoit
Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative has remained active during another COVID-19 year and is keeping as busy as ever. We continue to work hard in our three pillars of work, bringing local food to Maine institutions: training food service providers, local food assessments, and project/grant management and utilizing our 9 step plan for best practices. Also, we continue to dive deeper into our strategic planning to make sure we stay true to our mission, our membership, and the ever changing food landscape. As we endure these cold bitter days of February, we longingly wait for the warm days of summer and local bounty.
Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative and the Sewall Foundation
A long time supporter of Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative, the Sewall Foundation, held a workshop for organizations interested in applying for the Healthy People Healthy Places grants this spring. Maine Farm & Sea staff attended the event and made new connections, learned about the new grant application process and the future of philanthropy at the foundation. Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative is in the process of writing an application for the 2022 grant cycle and planning for the 2023 cycle.
Maine Agricultural Trades Show Roundup
Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative hosted remote workshops at the 2022 Maine Agricultural Trades Show. Scaling from Production to Processing featured services we offer for processing operations. The workshop featured a panel of speakers: Abby Snell of Snell Family Farm Kitchen, spoke to processing in a licensed commercial kitchen, processing farm grown produce into value-added products to boost revenue, attract customers, and reduce waste. Sam Miller of Maine Food Group spoke about processing as a co-packer producing 200-600 gallons per day of value-added sauces, condiments, and custom recipes. His operation in Brunswick is one of the few at this scale that will process fresh, local sourced crops into final products in one stop. Dave Seddon spoke about food safety and gave tips on how to develop the culture of food safety.
Farm to School Opportunities for Local Producers. Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative outlined the USDA Farm to School Program and the opportunities for farmers and producers to develop relationships with local schools to provide products for the nutrition programs. The presenters offered tips to connect with schools during the winter season, focusing on garden planning, farmer visits and Harvest of the month marketing. Maine Farm & Sea Cooperatives grant funded work in the Sheepscot Valley and Western Foothills School Districts was covered by Mike Flynn, Director of Student Nutrition Services at RSU, Mike highlighted the work he's been doing to get kids engaged in nutrition at the schools.
Presentations are available at: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/market_promotion/ats-conferences.shtml