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2016 Maine Sustainability & Water Conference
March 29, 2016 @ 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Augusta Civic Center
Full agenda and registration available here.
A Multi-Disciplinary Model: Maine Farmland Trust’s Comprehensive Approach to Food System Resiliency
- Sara Trunzo, Facilitator, Veggies For All Director, Maine Farmland Trust
- Mike Gold, Farm Viability Program Manager, Maine Farmland Trust
- Amanda Beal, Policy and Research Fellow, Maine Farmland Trust
- Erica Buswell, Land Protection and Beginning Farmers Project Manager
Up to 400,000 acres of Maine farmland will change hands in the next decade, due to our aging farmland owners. Future food production, distribution, and population growth models suggest that Maine farms will become an increasingly vital player in the East Coast food system. Meanwhile, Maine continues to rank as the most food insecure state in New England, with over 200,000 citizens facing hunger and a similar number utilizing SNAP benefits.
These trends in land ownership, food and agriculture business, food access, and Maine’s environment make our state a place both of vulnerability and opportunity. Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) is an innovative land trust, not only working to protect farmland resources- but engaging in a wide variety of programs including farmland transition, farmland reclamation, agricultural ecosystem research, beginning farmer support, food hub development, nutrition incentive utilization modeling, and food bank farming. This presentation seeks to report on the successes, challenges, and meaningful data the organization has garnered through current and past programs addressing food system sustainability and resiliency.
Staff panelists will highlight how MFT- through synergistic farmland access, restoration, farm viability, and food access programs- has expanding the definition of “land trust” to also mean a regional resource that supports farmers at all stages of farm development, ecosystem resilience, community food security.