Established in 1982, the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts chapter (NOFA/Mass) is a membership-funded non-profit organization. We welcome anyone who cares about the environment and our food system to join over 1000 other members and/or engage with our educational programs and advocacy efforts. Whether you are a farmer, gardener, food systems activist, or just want to learn how to contribute to a healthier future for Massachusetts, you’re in the right place.
Through education and advocacy NOFA/Mass promotes organic agriculture to expand the production and availability of nutritious food from living soil for the health of individuals, communities and the planet.
NOFA/Mass envisions a commonwealth of people working together to create healthy landscapes that feed our communities and restore our environment.
Currently, we are examining how to deepen our commitment to racial and cultural equity and justice, including honest work around examining whiteness and dismantling systems of white supremacy that are part of many dominant systems, including food systems. Read our full Racial Equity Statement here.
NOFA/Mass is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
History of the Northeast Organic Farming Association
In 1971, the Natural Organic Farmers Association was formed in Vermont and New Hampshire and in 1982 chapters were added in Massachusetts as well as Connecticut and New York. Later, chapters were formed in Rhode Island and New Jersey. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association was formed right around the time that NOFA was established. Together these two organizations have been the most powerful forces for education regarding organic agriculture in the Northeast for the past 50 years. NOFA changed its name to the Northeast Organic Farming Association in 1989. By that time the word “natural” had become somewhat commercialized. By changing “farmers” to “farming” the NOFA leadership attempted to be more welcoming to those who support organic farming, along with those who practice it.
All seven state NOFA chapters are affiliated with the same umbrella organization, the NOFA Interstate Council (NOFA IC). We regularly collaborate on grants and committees to further our shared goals, but remain separate associations. Read more about the NOFA IC on their website.
Celebrating 50 Years of NOFA – 1971-2021
NOFA’s First 50 Years and a Vision for the Future
In 1971, as the Vietnam War, racial discrimination and nuclear protests raged, a group of back to the land counter-culturists gathered with a few ecological growers to form what is now called the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). Farmers, gardeners and conscious eaters from Northeast states discovered this growing movement.
The founding New Hampshire and Vermont state chapters were soon joined by five other Northeast state chapters, creating a community based on good clean food, good work and care for the earth. As you might expect, there were, and still are, trials, tribulations, varying motivations and memorable experiences for involvement with NOFA.
NOFA’s growth from a small gathering on a Vermont hillside to an organization with over 5,000 members in seven state chapters, and two certification agencies, is now documented in the film “Organic Roots – 50 Years of the Northeast Organic Farming Association”.
To hear more from the 50th anniversary of NOFA in 2021, watch ”Thrilling Tales of Yesteryear”, a lively panel discussion of dynamic early members who laid the groundwork for NOFA. And “The Next 50 Years of NOFA”, where three founding farmers and four younger organic activists turn their gaze to the future of our movement to create a way of life centered in just, equitable and diverse communities.