Around the Region

About the Maine Highlands Farmers

    The Maine Highlands Farmers was started in November of 2002 as a way for local farmers in Piscataquis, Penobscot and Somerset counties to work together to promote and market agricultural-related products to consumers and improve the profitability of local farms. The group also provides educational opportunities for area farmers to learn more about marketing agricultural products, value-added products and agricultural regulations. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was instrumental in assisting the group of farmers to get established as the Maine Highlands Farmers and continues to work with the group in developing educational sessions that meet the needs of local farmers.


    When they first got started the group was able to get a grant to help with marketing efforts by assessing consumer needs and farmer’s needs and develop a map to allow consumers to find local farms in the area. Later on the group was able to get a number of grants funded, totaling over $15,000, to enable them to supply local food cupboards with fresh fruits and vegetables. Through the educational sessions farmers learned about and now many accept Electronic Benefits Transfers (food stamps), Women, Infant & Children (WIC) coupons and Senior Farm Share.
    Members of the Maine Highlands Farmers have tried a number of ways to expand their marketing efforts including establishing the Newport Farmers’ and Artisans Market, Ohio Street Grange Farmers’ Market, Dover Cove Farmers’ Market, Dover Cove Market Place (online farmers’ market), Dexter Community Farm Project and by members with farm stands selling other members products at their stands. Membership ranges from 15 to 25 farmers and supporting members (consumers interested in supporting area farmers.)
    What started with the early maps that the group produced has now gone on to list all member farms on their website Other joint marketing efforts included newspaper and television ads, brochures listing all farmers, cookbook of recipes from the farmers, T-shirts and totes. Recently the group just released an ad that will be shown at the Center Theater in Dover-Foxcroft before airing of movies.
    For those interested in purchasing local products from local farmers go to their website at and see the wide variety of products that are available. Members raise and sell vegetables, strawberries, raspberries, apples, maple syrup, honey, eggs, meats (beef, pork, chicken), dairy cow and dairy goat products (including cheese, butter, yogurt and raw milk), jams and jellies, fermented vegetables, soaps, baked goods (breads, cookies, bars, etc.), flowers, bedding plants, landscape plants, hay, silage, etc.
    For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 564-3301.
    As a trusted resource for almost 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.

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