Maine Farmland Trust has received accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization.

The Alliance, based in Washington, D.C., represents 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide.

With this accreditation, Maine Farmland Trust joins a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.

“Accreditation demonstrates MFT’s commitment to farmland conservation in Maine,” said Erica Buswell, MFT vice president of programs. “We are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program. Our strength means that farmland from Aroostook County to York County will be protected forever, making Maine an even greater place for us and our families.”

According to a press release, Maine Farmland Trust provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation to achieve this distinction.

Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land across the country — an area the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

Now celebrating its 20th year, Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide, nonprofit member organization that protects farmland, supports farmers and advances the future of farming. Since 1999, MFT has helped to keep over 60,000 acres of Maine’s farmland in farming, and has permanently protected 300 farms and supported over 800 farm families with critical services.

MFT is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States, according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census.

Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the accreditation commission, said, “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”