Congresswoman Chellie Pingree moved to Maine in the 1970s, and after graduating from College of the Atlantic she started a small farm on the island of North Haven. A knitting business she started in the early 80s soon grew to ten year round employees producing knitting kits and books that were sold in hundreds of stores across the country.
After serving on the local school board, and as the town’s tax assessor, Chellie was elected to the Maine Senate in 1992 and after serving four terms—two as Senate Majority Leader—went on to become the national President of Common Cause.
In 2008 Chellie was elected to Congress to serve Maine’s 1st District. Not only was she the first women from this District to ever be elected to Congress, her election marked the first time in American history that women have made up a majority of a state’s Congressional Delegation.
In Congress, Chellie has introduced the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act—a comprehensive package of reforms to agriculture policy that will expand opportunities for local and regional farmers and make it easier for consumers to have access to healthy foods.
Chellie is still a small business owner today, owning and operating the Nebo Inn and Restaurant on North Haven, which features locally grown food.