Sen. Stacy Brenner is an organic farmer and small business owner who co-founded and now operates Broadturn Farm in Scarborough. Sen. Brenner is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where she studied agriculture and plant sciences. She holds two nursing degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She spent her early working career as a nurse-midwife, tending to the births of hundreds of babies at Mercy Hospital in Portland. She is a board member of Maine Farmland Trust and Board Vice-President of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Organization (MOFGA).
Raised in a working-class suburb in New Jersey, Sen. Brenner spent her childhood romanticizing country life. When she wasn’t watching reruns of “Little House on the Prairie,” she would escape her suburban neighborhood to explore the wooded edges of the development with her brother. She always wanted to be a farmer. Like so many other folks from away, she was drawn to the state of Maine by its verdant landscapes, its supportive business climate, its thriving agricultural network and the amazing, hard-working people she met.
In 2002, Sen. Brenner and her husband, John Bliss, moved to Maine with their young daughter to become first-generation farmers. They entered the MOFGA farmer journeyperson program designed to support new entry growers, and taught themselves how to be farmers. In 2006, Stacy and John opened Broadturn Farm, which produces cut flowers and organic vegetables, hosts weddings, and runs a summer day camp focused on connecting youth with sustainable agriculture. Now employing 30 people at the height of the season, the farm is a thriving example of economic development on farmland protected with an agricultural easement funded in part by the Land for Maine’s Future program.
Sen. Brenner and her husband are now the parents of two daughters: Florence, who is a freshman at Scarborough High School, and Emma, 24, who is a nurse at the Birthplace and Mercy/Northern Lights Hospital, where Sen. Brenner also works as a per diem nurse.
Sen. Brenner’s strengths rest in her dedication to building meaningful relationships with people in her community. She understands that the first step in creating connection is by listening to the concerns of constituents.