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C.J. Walke
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C.J. Walke
PO Box 170
Unity, Maine 04988 (Map)
County: Waldo
Phone: 207-568-4142

I grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts watching old farmland being divided into cul-de-sacs and parking lots. After high school, I fled north to Unity College to study park management with a focus on environmental education. After a few years of working on trails in Maine, New Hampshire and Alaska, I became more and more interested in local agriculture. I left the wooded trails to work different jobs on a dairy farm, a vegetable farm and a nursery/greenhouse.

In 1998, I joined the TeachME AmeriCorps program and was placed at Kelmscott Farm in Lincolnville, where I worked with their education director conducting farm tours and outreach programs at local schools and libraries, focusing on the conservation of endangered livestock breeds. I worked my way up to farm manager, but resigned in 2001 when genetic engineering (cloning) became the organization's conservation tool of choice.

Our first daughter was born in 2002, when I became a stay-at-home-dad, still working part-time on farms and doing a little carpentry, while my wife taught at a local high school. Our second daughter was born in 2003, and I started working part-time in the library at Mt. View H.S. in Thorndike. During my three years at Mt. View, I became increasingly interested in library issues such as freedom of speech, access to information and censorship. These issues, as well as the George W. Bush administration's lack of truthfulness and transparency, compelled me to pursue a Master's in Library and Information Science, which I completed in 2008.

I started working for MOFGA in 2006 and currently I fill the roles of Development Associate, Organic Orchardist, Librarian and Computer Repairperson. My favorite responsibilities are managing MOFGA's orchards, under the expert tutelage of John Bunker, and giving orchard talks and tours during our educational events.

My family and I live in sunny Swanville, where we grow veggies, plant a few young fruit trees each year, top-work old apples trees in hopes of restoring their fruitful vigor, and plan to run a couple sheep to fill the freezer.

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