Real Maine is an agricultural promotional campaign of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF) to promote Maine agricultural products through advertising, trades shows, technical assistance, and by providing branding tools and materials directly to producers.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is the State’s lead agency dealing with all aspects of the food system from the field to the table. The Department maintains a mission of fostering opportunities for the agricultural community and of promoting stewardship of Maine’s natural resources.
Maine farmers are the stewards of 1.25 million acres. The land provides the public benefits of open space and recreation. They are the cornerstone of food security for Maine people. The industry has a $1.2 billion impact on the Maine economy.
The Real Maine Team
The Division of Agricultural Resource Development is responsible for developing and implementing programs and policies to ensure that agricultural businesses remain profitable and sustainable. Our programs, including Real Maine, focus on business development, market promotion, education and regulation to assure that agricultural practices are economically and environmentally sound. Meet the Real Maine staff who make it all happen!
Leigh Hallett is Director of the Division of Agricultural Resource Development, and has worked at the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry since 2018. Previously Director of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, at DACF she works with the ARD team to implement projects like the Real Maine marketing campaign, grant and loan programs for food producers, emergency food assistance, and others.
Melissa Jordan has been involved in Maine agriculture her whole life. In her role with the Maine DACF she has worked with the Real Maine brand, promoting Maine food growers and producers around the country and abroad to increase exports of the quality products our state has to offer. She also oversees multiple agricultural events each year including Maine’s 26 licensed agricultural fairs.
Yvette Meunier is a Promotional Coordinator with the Ag Resource Development Division. She is a beginning farmer service provider with an emphasis on farm labor issues, sustainability, and institutional sales. She is also the Assistant Building Manager at the Maine Building at the Big E! In addition, she oversees the Dairy Improvement Fund program. Prior to coming to DACF Yvette has worked in the fields of renewable energy, environmental consulting, and product stewardship.
Donna Murray joined the Agricultural Resources Development team in 2018 as the Program Manager for the Maine Senior FarmShare Program. She has worked for the State of Maine since 2008, and enjoyed the transition to working directly with farmers and senior citizens. She has piloted new partnerships, and also transitioned the MSFP to a digital format, saving time and a LOT of paper each year! When not at her job, Donna enjoys hiking, gardening, fishing, skiing, and other outdoor pursuits with her teenage identical twin sons, husband, and her 3 dogs.
Tonya Perkins has worked for the State of Maine for almost 21 years, beginning with Maine Revenue Services, Property Tax Division and then a few Departments since then. She started working at DACF in January 2018 as the primary assistant to both the Bureau Director and the Agricultural Resource Development Division Director. Tonya devotes a lot of time in ARD to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Ag Development Grant program, and the Real Maine promotional program. Within the Real Maine program she assists in setting up new member profiles as well as updating profiles for members.