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MOFGA received 44 applications for its Journeyperson Program this year, interviewed 34, and 27 were selected. Currently 51 people are participating in the program.

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Thirty-six people who are well on their way toward becoming successful farmers joined MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program this summer.

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Our six-year-old Journeyperson Program is beginning to gather momentum. MOFGA developed the program to fill the continuing education gap between apprentice and independent farmer and to provide resources and opportunities for prospective farmers who have completed an apprenticeship to further develop their skills.

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Keith ZaltzbergMOFGA said farewell to journeyperson Keith Zaltzberg this fall; Keith will be attending graduate school to study environmental design in January.

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Last spring, Stacy, Emma and I moved from Pennsylvania to Maine; two whole shades of difference on the zone hardiness map! So for us, spring seemed to last twice as long last year. Before the move, our first set of seedlings broke through their moist soil and stretched toward the window overlooking our West Philadelphia neighborhood. Across the street an abandoned building and a vacant lot served as a resting place for plastic bags and ruffled pigeons.

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Anne Hallee and Keith ZalzbergAnne Hallee and Keith Zalzberg are the new journeypersons occupying the MOFGA Homestead at Unity. Both from Waterville, they have spent the last few years studying sustainable agriculture and permaculture and doing apprenticeships in those areas.

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Wes and Jacqueline LeeThe sky is big today (July 12) over MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center. We – Wes Cotton and I, MOFGA’s new Homestead Stewards – have been constantly distracted from our chores to watch cloud formations. We get time to close the windows here, because we can see the storm clouds from such a distance. It’s quiet too, most of the time. Even the sounds of the carpentry crew working on the homestead are absorbed by all this space.

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We’re working with two journeypersons this year, Jeff Burchstead and Amanda Jamison, and we’re gearing up for a slight expansion in our advanced training program for next year.

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Nearly 25 years ago, Chellie Pingree apprenticed herself to Tony and Mary Bok and their farm in Midcoast Maine. This “dynamic and wonderful” student in her senior year at College of the Atlantic went on to design the Apprenticeship Program that has been a mainstay of MOFGA’s educational outreach for over two decades. It is no wonder that the diversity and vitality of a family farm inspired an experiential program that still thrives today.

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