January 16, 2024
Protecting farmland is critical for ensuring that we have the land base needed to grow our agricultural economy and strengthen food security and resilience to climate change for our state and communities. Yet, less than 5 percent of Maine’s farmland is currently protected – this is the lowest amount of any other state in New England.
We need to rapidly expand our farmland protection efforts in the state, particularly publicly funded farmland protection in order to stave off development pressures and ensure that farmers can continue to access the land they need for agricultural production. In order to meet the challenge, we need to explore models for generating robust public revenue for widespread agricultural lands conservation and ensure that we have the program structures in place for efficient utilization of that revenue.
LD 579, An Act to Support Farmland Conservation sponsored by Senator Brenner, seeks to streamline implementation of and build capacity within the state’s Working Farmland Access and Protection Program in order to strengthen the program’s ability to conserve Maine’s farmland for current farmers and future generations. MFT supports LD 579 because the changes proposed by this bill will help Maine be prepared to make accelerated progress in protecting our working farmland.
This is a great opportunity to speak out about why farmland protection matters to you. For more information on this bill and MFT’s policy priorities for this legislative session check out our recent blog post.
A public hearing for LD 579 is scheduled for Wednesday January 17, 2024 at 9am before the Legislature's Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) committee.
Get Engaged - Share with members of the ACF Committee why you think farmland conservation in Maine matters.
Testify at the pubic hearing (9am on Wednesday, January 17)
Submit written testimony: If you cannot make it to the hearing in-person or on Zoom, you can submit written testimony online anytime before the hearing by following this link (follow the steps above for testifying over Zoom).
Reach out to Shelley Megquier, MFT’s Policy and Research Director firstname.lastname@example.org.
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