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.
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.