This is a big year for agricultural policy in Maine. In just four months, Mainers will be heading back to the polls to elect our next governor – a governor who will have a significant impact on agriculture in Maine. This year Congress is also drafting the farm bill, the federal government’s primary food and ag legislation that is passed about every five years. While MFT has always worked to keep our finger on the pulse on the policies that affect Maine farms, we are doubling our efforts this year and charting a bold new course for agricultural policy both within the gubernatorial campaign and in Congress.
Over the past eight months, MFT, along with farmers and several Maine-based organizations, have been working together to create an Agriculture Policy Platform to help inform Maine’s 2018 gubernatorial race. The Platform outlines the policy objectives that the next administration should endorse to promote a more economically viable, environmentally conscious, resilient, and equitable agricultural system in Maine.
The Platform aims to spark discussion with and among gubernatorial candidates, to increase attention to food and agriculture issues during the 2018 campaign, and to inform the next administration’s strategies for supporting farmers and ensuring a robust future for agriculture in our state. We will be helping to organize a robust outreach effort to obtain in-person and online feedback on the Platform from farmers and other agricultural stakeholders across the state. Following that effort, a more detailed Platform will be made available to guide the next state administration.
On the federal level, we have also been reaching out to Maine’s members of Congress to advocate for farm bill policies that help to protect farmland in Maine, keep farmers economically viable, grow the local and regional food economies, help farmers steward the natural resources on their property, and support the next generation of farmers. We partnered with several organizations to provide a farm bill advocacy training for farmers so that they can share with members of Congress the importance of different farm bill programs for their businesses.
If you recognize the enormous economic potential of Maine agriculture, and want strong leadership and understanding from our next governor and a farm bill that works for Maine agriculture, we’d love your support!
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