The Maine Food Strategy began with a Process Design Committee during Phase I (2012) and into the beginning of Phase II (mid-2013).
The Process Design Committee transitioned into a Steering Committee in December, 2013. The Steering Committee includes three individuals from the Process Design Committee to provide continuity, and 20 new members who were selected from the 64 nominations we received.
The committee’s job is to oversee the work of the Strategy, guide its direction and ensure it stays true to its values.
Maine Food Strategy Steering Committee:
Molly Anderson, College of the Atlantic
Molly teaches sustainable food systems at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. She was involved with the Interim Advisory Committee that developed the 2012 RFP for a statewide food planning process and served on the Maine Food Strategy Process Design Committee. Molly has experience working with regional and national food systems organizations and projects. She currently serves on several food issues groups, including the New England Food Solutions Design Team, a group that has co-authored a New England Food System 2060 vision.
Heron Breen, Fedco Seeds
Heron has worked in various roles at Fedco Seeds spanning 16 years. In addition to daily and seasonal operations, he coordinates Fedco’s in-house pest and disease research, vegetable trial evaluations, and trouble-shooting with seed growers. Heron owns Little Bird Farm, located in St. Albans, which encompasses breeding, vegetable trialing, and seed production operations and is a licensed arborist. Past experience working with Crown O’Maine Organic Cooperative includes sales and market development, product trialing and development, and produce growing.
Deborah Burd, St. Mary’s Health System
Deb is the Grants Manager for St. Mary’s Health System’s Development Office in Lewiston, where she is responsible for building and maintaining the office’s grant seeking, writing, and research program. She is a founding board member of the Maine Women’s Agricultural Network and GrowSmart Maine. Past board affiliations include the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Coastal Enterprises, Inc., the Spannocchia Foundation and the Center for Wisdom’s Women. Deb served previously as the Executive Director of the Maine based Western Mountains Alliance and more recently as the Executive Director of the New York based National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture. In 2003 Deb was a national finalist for the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World program. Currently she serves on the board and chairs the Good Food Council of Lewiston/Auburn.
Robert Dorsey, Aroostook Partnership for Progress
Bob is the President of the Aroostook Partnership for Progress, a group that includes more than 170 companies, leading the Mobilize Northern Maine approach to economic development for Aroostook County. As an advocate for advancing agriculture within Aroostook County, Bob co-leads the Diversified Agriculture Working Group, helping with concept business plans and coordinating with state and local agricultural agencies including Aroostook Farm Bureau, Maine Potato Board, Maine Farmland Trust, and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. He directs startup concepts to potential financing resources.
Mark Dvorozniak, Marketing Strategy Decisions
Mark developed and implemented marketing initiatives at Barber Foods for 19 years. He is the founder and CEO of Marketing Strategy Decisions, a strategic management and marketing consultancy. Mark serves as Secretary of the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association and on the board of directors of the Treehouse Institute.
Bill Eldridge, MOO Milk
Bill was involved with the Interim Advisory Committee that launched the idea for a food systems planning effort in Maine. He possesses extensive business, food and agricultural expertise and serves on the boards of the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society and Maine Rural Partners. Bill was instrumental in the formation of MOO Milk and currently serves as its CEO.
Mark Hews, Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society
Mark recently joined the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society as its new executive director. Mark also serves on the Board of New England Farmers Union and currently runs a consulting business focusing on rural issues and agriculture development. For the past 32 years he worked at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as a soil conservationist, district conservationist and coordinator for the Threshold to Maine Resource Conservation and Development program. He has also served as the Director of Programming for the Maine Association of Nonprofits.
John Jemison, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
John is an educator with UMaine Cooperative Extension, serves on the Maine Board of Pesticides Control and Eat Local Food Coalition. He has run the Orono Community Garden Project for 10 years and helped organize the Slow Food Conference at the University of Maine last year. John served on the Maine Food Strategy Process Design Committee.
Penelope (Penny) Jordan, William H. Jordan Farm
Penny works alongside her brother Bill Jordan, Jr. and sisters, Carol Anne Jordan and Pam Butterfield on their farm, Jordan’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth. Penny has been involved in efforts to support agriculture in Maine for many years. She has served on the Cape Elizabeth Town Council, helped create the Cape Farm Alliance and has participated in farmer fly-ins to Washington D.C. Penny serves on the board of Cumberland County Farm Bureau, Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society and New England Farmers Union. She and her family are very involved with the Maine Hunger Initiative and Mainers Feeding Mainers program.
Ben Martens, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association
Ben Martens is the Executive Director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association where he focuses on bridging the gap between fishermen, the policies that impact them, and the ecosystem on which they rely. Ben attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, graduating in 2006 with a degree in Government, Environmental Studies, and Biology. After college he worked for several non-profits including the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association in Chatham, MA. In addition to his work on fisheries issues, Ben currently serves on the Board of Advisors to the New England Farmers Union and is a member of the Maine Ocean Planning Advisors Committee.
Dana Morse, Maine Sea Grant
Dana Morse’s work is varied, but currently targets improvements in aquaculture production for shellfish and seaweed. As a member of the marine extension team (Maine Sea Grant and UMaine Cooperative Extension), he researches improved gear and husbandry solutions; investigates new species and products; and supports new and existing producers. Many new producers have a background in commercial fishing, while others have a foot in both worlds, and integrating the fishing and sea-farming industries is an area of great interest at MSG. Maine has first-rate seafood to offer to consumers worldwide, and Dana leverages future opportunities through education, applied research and networking.
John Piotti, Maine Farmland Trust
John Piotti of Unity has served as CEO of Maine Farmland Trust since 2006. Prior to his work at Maine Farmland Trust, he managed farm programs for Coastal Enterprises, Inc. John has served as chair of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group and a director of the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture. In Maine he has been a key player in agriculture-related issues for the past 20 years. From 2002 to 2010 John served in Maine’s State Legislature, where he chaired the Agriculture Committee and later served as House Majority Leader. John holds degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in engineering, public policy, and management.
Ted Quaday, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Ted is the Executive Director at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. He has dedicated the past 15 years to working for family farms and sustainable agriculture. As a former program director at Farm Aid, he worked with family farm and food advocacy organizations throughout the country. He is a former communications director at the Organic Farming Research Foundation and has provided strategic communications services to advocacy groups working to build the food movement. He was instrumental in helping to found the Farmer-to-Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering in Agriculture, and served on the steering committee for the Genetic Engineering Action Network. He also co-chaired and served on the steering committee for the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Group.
Anne Trenholm, Wholesome Holmstead
Anne is a third generation farmer and food promoter whose family farm, Wholesome Holmstead, features dairy products and meat, and ag tourism opportunities. Her lifelong involvement in agriculture includes leadership and professional experience in local, regional and national agricultural organizations.
Sara Trunzo, Veggies For All / Maine Farmland Trust
Sara is a member of Maine Farmland Trust’s Farm Viability staff and the
director of Veggies For All. Veggies For All is a food bank farm that that
works to relieve hunger by growing vegetables for those in need, while
collaborating with partners to distribute and increase access to quality
and nutritious food. Sara has experience in sustainable agriculture
education, community organizing, and has served on the boards of numerous
groups working on food system and hunger relief issues including the
Volunteer Regional Food Pantry, Waldo County Cooperative Extension, and the
Maine Community Foundation’s Waldo County Fund. Sara is excited to carry a
rural food security perspective into the Maine Food Strategy conversation.
Rosie Vanadestine, Kennebec Valley Council of Governments
Rosie is executive director of the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) which covers Somerset, Kennebec and western Waldo counties. KVCOG is responsible for the 5-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the region which includes the Mobilize Kennebec Valley initiative. The Local Foods & Farms Action Team is part of the Mobilize Maine efforts. Rosie serves on the Maine Development Foundation Downtown Advisory Council, the Mid Maine Chamber Business Attraction & Retention Committee, and partners with many economic development organizations in the region.
Daniel Wallace, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
Daniel is a sustainable agriculture program developer for Coastal Enterprises, Inc., providing business development and finance assistance for agriculture and food value-chain businesses across Maine. His work on food systems includes serving as president of the Eat Local Foods Coalition Board and as co-chair for the Food Enterprise Subcommittee of the Portland Mayor’s Initiative for Healthy Sustainable Food Systems. Daniel served on the Maine Food Strategy Process Design Committee.