ROCKPORT, Maine — It’s been 30 years since Taylor Mudge, then a Lincolnville sheep farmer, helped found a new company that he hoped would contribute to the revitalization of Maine farming. Long sold to new owners, State of Maine Cheese Company has blossomed as Mudge had always hoped.
“State of Maine Cheese has become an important part of local agriculture, both supporting dairy farmers and increasing cheese production here in state,” said Mudge, who continues to farm in Lincolnville, recently launching Ducktrap River Hops. “It’s been a real success story,” he added, in a press release.
Mudge will be on hand when the cheese company celebrates 30 years of operation on Saturday, Aug. 3. He will be joined at the event by others who have helped shaped farming in Maine—Walt Whitcomb, Maine’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, and John Piotti, Executive Director of Maine Farmland Trust. They will each say a few words, starting at 11 a.m.
The day-long event will also include a special farmers market, and an opportunity to taste and purchase the many extraordinary Maine-made products showcased at the Rockport Marketplace, where State of Maine Cheese is located.
Cathe Morrill, the cheese company’s owner, envisioned a celebration not just of the company’s birthday, but of all the progress that has been made by Maine agriculture in recent years. “It’s both exciting and heartwarming to be part of the growing local food movement,” said Morrill, who created the Rockport Marketplace to help promote other local farm products.
Morrill has a deep understanding of local food issues, currently serving as the chair of the Maine Food Producers Alliance.
“I see the connections,” said Morrill, “between Maine farms, making cheese, and running Rockport Marketplace. We are participating in a broader agricultural system and each piece benefits the others.”
She also intends to help a key farm organization directly, but contributing 10% of all sales revenues from August 3 to Maine Farmland Trust. “I really believe in Maine Farmland Trust,” said Morrill. “They are working statewide on some of the most pressing issues facing farming, and have made a real difference with projects right here in Camden and Rockport,” she added.
The State of Maine Cheese Company’s 30th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Saturday, August 3 from 10am to 3 pm at the Rockport Marketplace, located on Route 1 in Rockport.
• Ellen Sabina, Maine Farmland Trust, at 338-6575 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• Cathe Morrill, State of Maine Cheese, at 236-8895 or email@example.com