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Set amid a series of low, forested hills, Brooks, Maine, has long billed itself as the "Heart of Waldo County." The town served from its founding as a supply and processing hub for farmers in the surrounding countryside. In the second half of the 20th century, however, local agriculture began to decline, and many farm-related businesses shut down. The recent growth in small organic farms and homesteads in Brooks has inspired a group of motivated farmers and community members to begin taking steps to revive the agricultural economy there. One of these steps was opening the Marsh River Coop in August 2014.

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Thirty years ago, the newly formed Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) made its first loan – $5,000 to Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op in Vermont. Both the Fund and the Co-op are still going strong.

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