Russell Libby, a tireless advocate for organic farmers in Maine, has died. He was 56. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association announced that Libby died at his Mount Vernon home on Sunday after a long struggle with cancer. Libby served as executive director of the organization for 17 years before stepping down last month to become senior policy advisor. Organization board President Barbara Damrosch says during his tenure, 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.” Damrosch says the organization is “saddened beyond words” but grateful for Libby’s legacy. Libby is survived by his wife and three daughters as well as his parents.