Maine Farm to Institution (MEFTI) Shares its Values, Mission, and Vision

Maine Farm to Institution (MEFTI) is a network that formed in 2015 to expand on the progress that the Maine Farm to School Network began in 2008 across the state. The initial aim of the network was to increase the awareness of and access to local foods in Maine institutions (schools, hospitals, colleges, and prisons). MEFTI was created with funding from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, and has a small leadership team that oversees its governance and initiatives.


Several years after its creation, and after hosting several events, conducting research, publishing reports, and working on a variety of collaborative projects (learn more about MEFTI and its accomplishments here), MEFTI decided to step back and reflect on the purpose, values, and long term vision for the network to gain more clarity on future goals, the scope of the network, and potential collaborations.  

Consultant and facilitator Jeremy Phillips of the Boston area assisted the group in developing these core elements for the network in 2018 through a series of in-person meetings and calls with the leadership team.  

Please visit the new MEFTI website and review our new Mission, Vision, Values, and Role here.

The MEFTI leadership team is excited to share this information with the broader network of food systems stakeholders in the state and beyond.  We welcome feedback or questions, and encourage anyone who is interested to reach out to Renee Page at with your thoughts.  

The vision for what MEFTI can be as a network certainly serves the purpose of being aspirational at this time, as it goes far beyond where we are currently.  In order to truly represent a network mindset and thinking, we recognize that many more stakeholders need to join us as a part of this conversation moving forward, with this new information helping to guide future network development, collaboration, and projects.  

In line with that thinking, our next step is to begin the process of experimenting with network mapping to better understand the scope and depth of the network. Therefore, we plan to reach out to many more partners and players in the food system who can help inform that process and hopefully benefit from it as well.  We are working with consultant and facilitator David Jenkins, who is based in the Boston area, and has roots in Maine, and UMaine faculty member Julia McGuire (and more info here), on the development and design of this process.  The mission, vision, and values work that we have completed will help provide a foundation for this work.

If you want to learn more about network mapping, check out this article, watch this webinar, or check out additional network building resources from the Interaction Institute for Social Change here.