David Rockefeller, Sr., made a generous gift of the Peggy Rockefeller Farms (PRF) to COA in January 2010, to be used in perpetuity for agriculture and conservation. The gift of the farms was accompanied by an endowment to help cover costs of management, maintenance and repairs.

PRF manages 45 acres of organic farmland, certified by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), and raises certified organic fruits, vegetables, broilers, turkeys, ducks, pasture and hay, as well as pasture-based beef, lamb and pork.

The farm encompasses 125 acres of historic farmland with roughly two-thirds of the property covered in second-growth forest or wetland. Acadia National Park administers conservation easements on the entire property. The farm lies within the Northeast Creek Watershed, which is monitored closely by the US Geological Survey for nutrient loading.

Farm operations

PRF focuses on the production of pastured livestock products, raising grass-based beef and lamb, as well as certified organic pastured poultry.  Currently, the farm has a flock of Romney and Khatahdin sheep that are bred and raised for meat and wool, a small mixed herd of Belted Galloway and Red Devon cattle that are bred and raised for beef, and a flock of approximately 75 Rhode Island Red laying hens.  Seasonally, PRFs raises 400 organic broilers, as well as  150 organic ducks and 100 organic turkeys for the Thanksgiving market.

In addition to livestock, PRF also cultivates a mixture of certified organic fruits, berries, vegetables and mushrooms.  Our half-acre garden plot grows a rotating mixture of long season vegetable crops for storage, as well as Sparkle strawberries and two rows of dwarf apple trees, representing over two dozen apple varieties.  Off in the field, our heritage apple orchard contains 25 unique Maine varieties on standard rootstock, including Addison Ancient, Orland Town Office and Captain Zero.  In the backyard of the 1930s farmhouse are a few peach trees and a raspberry patch and behind the sheep barn.

Renewable energy

On the farm, COA has installed over 100 solar panels, generating electricity that is net metered back into the power grid, producing far more than the farm consumes, with the surplus credited toward COA’s overall electricity use.  All of these energy projects have involved student work from the planning stages to installation.


Student opportunities

COA students have the opportunity to design and participate in approved independent and group studies, work-study jobs, and final projects that utilize PRF as a base of operations.  Numerous courses use the farm as an extension of the classroom, such as Agroecology, COA’s Food Print and Wildlife Ecology.  PRF typically hires several full-time summer employee for the months of June through August.