UNITY — The country’s largest organic farming association announced Tuesday that it hired a Californian man as executive director.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association in Unity said that Ted Quaday, of Santa Cruz, Calif., has experience including organic agriculture, food system movements and communication work with Farm Aid.

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Quaday also was a communications director at the Organic Farming Research Foundation, an advocate on economic and environmental justice issues, political campaigns in North Dakota and Massachusetts and as a broadcast journalist, according to the association.

Quaday will attend the association’s Common Ground Country Fair in September and will officially start as executive director on Oct. 1, according to the announcement.

Since October, the association has been under the direction of interim executive director Heather Spalding, after its 17-year leader, Russell Libby, stepped down. Libby, who had been diagnosed with cancer, died in December.