During the 68th Annual Meeting of the Maine Farm Bureau Association on November 19, 2020, for the first time in our history, the Board of Directors elected Co-Presidents! Courtney Hammond of Washington-Hancock County Farm Bureau and John Harker of Kennebec County Farm Bureau will serve together to lead our organization through the 2020-21 membership year.
Courtney Hammond is a third-generation farmer from Columbia Falls, Maine. He farms with his father, siblings and other members of his family. In addition to harvesting around a half million pounds of wild blueberries each year, Hammond also produces cranberries, grapes, garden vegetables and balsam products.
Prior to being elected MEFB president, Hammond served for 3 years as state director of the Maine Farm Bureau Association. Hammond’s long leadership history includes service on the Maine Farm Bureau Legislative Committee and is a former county president.
In addition to his tireless work for MEFB, Hammond also serves as the Board President for Pleasant River Ambulance Service, Vice President of the Epping Fire District, and served as a State of Maine Forest Ranger until his retirement in 2016 to come back to the family farm.
Hammond and his wife, Charlene, have been married for 30 years and have three children and are members of the First Baptist Church in Harrington, Maine.
John Harker is a Horticulturist operating Cranberry Creations since 1998, selling cranberry plants to home gardeners, florists and the landscape industry. He also operates a Pick Your Own Apple Farm, Kents Hill Orchard. John grew up in Massachusetts and developed an interest in Horticulture as a landscaper, arborist and greenhouse worker. He acquired a B.S. in Horticulture from Penn State University and a Masters in Pomology and Viticulture with a minor in Agricultural Economics from Cornell.
He spent ten years as a Farm Superintendent and Researcher both for Cornell and University of Maine Fruit Research Farms before a 26 year career Directing Agricultural Development and Farm Advocacy programs for the Maine Department of Agriculture. While with the Department he developed and administered low interest loan, business planning, and market and production development grant programs. He helped develop the water management and irrigation programs for farmers. He was also instrumental in assisting in the formation of the Board of Agriculture and Agricultural Council of Maine, two farmer advocacy organizations.
John retired in 2014 from the Department and, besides his farm business interests, loves to spend time with his two children and three grandchildren and lives with his wife, Debra Parry in Mount Vernon, Maine.
Both President Hammond and President Harker are long-time members of Maine Farm Bureau. We thank them for their willingness to serve and wish them great success in the coming year!
In addition to electing Co-Presidents, the Board of Directors elected Clark Granger of Knox-Lincoln County Farm Bureau to serve as Vice President. Clark is a long-time member of Maine Farm Bureau, operates a wholesale Christmas tree farm and is also serving as the Chair of the Legislative Committee as well as the Wildlife Committee. Clark’s tireless efforts on behalf of Maine Farm Bureau will be a great benefit, especially during the upcoming Legislative Session!
Cliff Kramer of Kennebec County has been re-elected as Treasurer. Cliff operates Kramer Tractor and Supply in Sidney and has been instrumental in re-invigorating Kennebec County Farm Bureau. He will be serving his third term as Treasurer.
Julie Ann Smith was re-elected as Secretary/Executive Director. She has been serving in the position since 2017 and looks forward to another successful year of working on behalf of Maine’s farmers.