On January 21-24, Amanda Beal, President and CEO of MFT, and Ellen Griswold, MFT’s Policy and Research Director, attended the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)’s winter meeting in Washington, D.C. NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. At the meeting, MFT participated in numerous discussions focused on ensuring that the policies needed to support farmers and the agricultural sector in Maine are included in the next farm bill.
The highlight of Amanda and Ellen’s time in D.C. was meeting with Senator Susan Collins and the staff of Representative Chellie Pingree, Representative Bruce Poliquin, and Senator Angus King, along with Heather Spalding of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). During these meetings, they discussed the issues facing farmers and the agricultural sector in Maine, as well as the importance of certain farmland protection, market development, beginning farmer, and organic cost-share and research policies. After we returned to Maine, MFT was thrilled to hear that Senator Collins had decided to co-sponsor the Local FARMS Act. To learn more about the Local FARMS Act, check out MFT’s blog post HERE. MFT is looking forward to continuing these discussions with the congressional delegation from Maine as Congress drafts and debates the next farm bill.
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