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    Russell Libby, 56, leader for Maine’s organic farmers

    Stacey Cramp/N.Y. TIMES/2012

    MOUNT VERNON, Maine — Russell Libby, a tireless advocate for organic farmers in Maine, has died. He was 56.

    The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association announced that Mr. Libby died at his Mount Vernon home on Sunday after a long struggle with cancer.

    Mr. Libby served as executive director of the organization for 17 years before stepping down last month to become senior policy adviser.


    Barbara Damrosch, the organization’s board president, said that during his tenure, Mr. Libby turned the Maine organic farmers group into the largest in the nation, one that others across the country look to for encouragement and inspiration.

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    Damrosch said members are ‘‘saddened beyond words’’ but grateful for Mr. Libby’s legacy.

    Mr. Libby leaves his wife and three daughters, as well as his parents.