Forum – Growing Farm Friendly Communities

Current & New Tools to Support Farms in Your Town

Wednesday, March 14th 8:30 – 11:00a, Optional Resource Networking 11-11:30a

Coombs Building, 13 School Street, Bowdoinham

Co-hosted by GrowSmart Maine and Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative and in partnership with Maine Farmland Trust.

Building on the success of our January farm friendly communities forum in Windham, we are again offering a discussion of these important topics from local and state leaders in Bowdoinham in March.

Hear community & municipal leaders share policy approaches and practical ideas for ways communities and farmers can benefit from working together. Maine’s food system and local food movement are growing and provide unique economic and community development opportunities in rural and suburban areas. Attendees will come away knowing how to enable their community to work together with current and future farmers to protect and build on Maine’s agricultural heritage and potential. Our panel of experts will share how you and your hometown can welcome and retain small agricultural businesses.

Stephanie Gilbert, Farm Viability & Farmland Protection Specialist with the Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry will moderate this panel discussion, followed by ample time for audience Q&A, networking, and connecting directly to available resources.


  • Adam Bishop, Farmland Protection Program Director, Maine Farmland Trust
  • Sally Harwood, Co-Chair Agriculture Commission, Town of Winslow
  • Rod Melanson, Planning Director, Town of Topsham


  • 8:15 Registration, Networking, Light Breakfast & Coffee
  • 8:45a Welcome & Panel Presentations
    • Current Use Tax Programs
    • Easements & Other Conservation Options
    • Form-Based Code Approach to Creating Space for Agriculture
    • Topsham’s Local Farms-Local Food Initiative & Other Programs
    • Agriculture Commissions, the What & How
    • Voluntary Municipal Farm Support Program (VMFSP)
  • 10:30a Audience Question & Answer
  • 11a Program Concludes; Additional time to explore available resources


Active Farmer – $10
BCDI & GrowSmart Maine Members – $15
General Public – $25

Please register online by clicking the button above so we know you are coming! You can pay with a credit card at the time of online registration or simply RSVP online and bring cash or check payment with you to the event.

Online Registration available until 4p Monday 3/12. Day-of registration is available, space permitting. Cash, Check & Credit Card accepted.