Home About Philosophy The Project Our Farmers Contact Info  

About Us
Maine Alternative Agriculture Assoc.

Maine Alternative Agriculture Assoc., MA3, was formed in 1999 by a small group of farmers and agriculture professionals who shared a common love for the Maine farming community and a concern for its future.

Because the great majority of Maine farms are small and because our climate and geography are challenging, Maine farmers are hard pressed to compete in the economy-of-scale, mass production commodity markets that make up most of US agriculture today. The result, evident all around us, is the loss of our agricultural base: farms can no longer make a living for their owners, farm children move away for more lucrative jobs, members of the older generation struggle along until they either die or have to quit, farmland turns into housing developments or it just grows up into weeds, brush and eventually woodland, classic farmhouses and barns fall into the earth and decompose, food for the state comes from someplace else, and an entire rural culture, with a rich history of independent, self-reliant, self-sufficient, proud, productive and brilliantly innovative people disappears.

But today, thanks to the growing health and quality concerns of many consumers, there is a unique opportunity in agriculture for which small farms, and even Maine's cold climate, are ideally suited: the organic, health, natural foods and specialty foods markets.

MA3 was formed to look for ways to help Maine farmers access those markets.

Its Mission: To serve as a research and organizing body for Maine farmers interested in chemical-free agriculture; to nurture the organization of an agricultural marketing entity to develop a brand name and public relations/marketing strategy for Maine-grown, chemical-free agricultural products; to educate the public on the health and environmental benefits of chemical-free agriculture; to foster the creation of licensed commercial kitchens where local farm entrepreneurs can process chemical-free agricultural products for market; to create a resource base for agricultural science sources which explore emerging, non-chemical growing and livestock management practices; and to serve as a network and conduit for information sharing among farmers as they move from chemical-laden to chemical-free agriculture.

Activities: Since 2000, MA3 has worked with national, state and local agencies and non-profit organizations (the State Planning Office, the Somerset Co. Soil and Water Conservation District, Heart of Maine RC&D, Western Mountains Alliance, the Maine Community Foundation, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and the Kellogg Foundation) to assess the viability of an expanded local foods network - a high quality Maine food supply for Maine people.

Working with those partners we have:

  • canvassed consumers and farmers to gauge the feasibility of a local food system;
  • developed technical seminars for farmers and brought in nationally recognized experts on sustainable production;
  • worked closely with schools in Franklin and Somerset Counties on farm-to-school projects;
  • hosted conferences and organized catered events featuring all local ag products;
In that time, public appreciation for local farming has changed dramatically, consumer awareness of the importance of a local food supply has never been higher and demand for local products now far exceeds supply.

MA3is now entering its second decade with a new home and a new focus - a beautifully restored former Grange Hall which will be used for collecting and distributing locally raised farm products. When it is finished it will also house a local foods restaurant and bakery.

MA3 is a non-profit, 501(c)(5), organization and may be reached at:

Maine Alternative Agriculture Assoc.
699 Anson Rd.
Starks, ME 04911
Tel. 207-696-8377
Maine Alternative Agriculture Association - 699 Anson Road - Starks, Maine 04911 - 207-696-3332 - info@mainealternativeag.org