Maine farms have an essential role in combating the impacts of climate change. Climate-smart farming practices can trap carbon in the soil, while improving the health of the soil, improving water quality, supporting wildlife habitat, and increasing farm profitability.
Our approach is multi-faceted -- from funding irrigation infrastructure to ecological management of field edges and non-production areas-- all of which are vital to making the whole farm resilient in the face of climate change.
How we can help:
Maine Soil Health Network: A peer-to-peer network of Maine farmers that supports farms protected with an MFT easement in building soil health through on-farm research, education and technical expertise, and financial support. Farmers learn the impacts of climate change on soil health and farm resilience, and in making decisions to adapt to changing weather patterns and to mitigate the effects of climate change. There are 16 farms currently participating in the 2023 Maine Soil Health Network. Learn more.
Soil Health Benchmark Study: Annual soil testing, record-keeping, and benchmark analysis on three fields that participants select. Participating farms receive an annual report that helps reveal the impact of their farm management practices on their soil health.
Protecting Farmland: Protecting farmland from development helps avoid emissions associated with developing land, and maintains the land base needed to grow more local food.
Natural Climate Solutions Initiative: In recent years, land-based natural climate solutions have emerged as an important strategy to increase climate change resilience on farms and in our communities, while also improving farm profitability. Natural climate solutions include farmland protection, healthy soil practices, and other land management practices that increase carbon storage, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and improve water quality. Natural climate solutions can be adopted by farmers with operations of all sizes and production methods and can contribute to the financial viability of a farm, helping to both increase yields and save money over time. MFT is leading the Maine Climate Table’s Natural Climate Solutions Initiative (NCSI), in collaboration with the University of Maine, American Farmland Trust, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment, and other partners.
Get in touch if you are curious about building climate resilience on your farm.