Farmers throughout the state are invited to share their thoughts about what is needed to grow Maine agriculture. A group of organizations dedicated to supporting Maine farms are convening farmer engagement sessions to develop an assessment of farmer needs and priorities.
“This is a huge and collective effort to get farmer voices to the table and has the potential to be a game changer,” says Nanne Kennedy of Meadowcroft Farm in Washington, and part of the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society. “It’s time to rethink ways to achieve better outcomes for farmers and their businesses; we all have great ideas of how to do that, on farm, and for the whole industry.”
The convening organizations want to know how state government and other service and education providers can better support Maine’s farming community. The assessment will be used to inform state government, encourage state-level policy that works for Maine farmers, and guide program development for service and education providers supporting farmers and Maine’s agricultural economy.
Farmer engagement sessions will be held at University of Maine Cooperative Extension offices in Skowhegan, Ellsworth, Lisbon Falls, Falmouth, Presque Isle, and Waldoboro, and at the Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta. A remote option and online survey will also be available. The hope is that many farmers will be able to participate.
“I believe a grassroots approach such as the meetings that will be held across the state will bring diverse thinking to the table resulting in a product that truly represents the voice of the farmer,” says Penny Jordan of Jordan’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth and the Cumberland County Farm Bureau. “It is an opportunity for all farmers to bring their thoughts, ideas and frustrations to the table and create an understanding of what is needed to ensure the profitability and viability of Maine’s farms.”
Farmers can attend an upcoming session to share their thoughts about what they need to strengthen their farm business and grow Maine agriculture. Local refreshments will be provided and RSVPs are appreciated: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sessions will be held at the following Cooperative Extension Offices:
SKOWHEGAN, Nov 27, 10am-12pm, 7 County Dr.
ELLSWORTH, Nov 30, 9:30-11:30am, 63 Boggy Brook Rd.
LISBON FALLS, Dec 6, 9:30-11:30am, 24 Main St.
FALMOUTH, Dec 11, 3-5pm, 75 Clearwater Dr.
PRESQUE ISLE, Jan 8, 10am-12pm (Snow Date Jan 15, 10am-12pm), 57 Houlton Rd.
WALDOBORO, Jan 10, 10am-12pm (Snow Date Jan 30, 10am-12pm), 377 Manktown Rd.
At the Agricultural Trades Show
Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Jan. 16, 5-6pm and Jan. 17, 10-11:30am, 76 Community Dr., Augusta
Webinar, Nov 27, 7-8pm – must RSVP for link to join.
This effort is being coordinated by: AGCOM, CEI, Cooperative Extension, MFT, Maine Food Strategy, MOFGA, and Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society. Visit sites.google.com/view/maineagneeds or email email@example.com for more information about a webinar and online survey.