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The "Good Things in Maine" Campaign:
Q: Why was the humus so upset?

Each month the Maine Food Strategy will be highlighting a program, organization, or event that represents the positive changes and good work happening throughout the state in Maine's food system. This month: Healthy Soils!

Building on past research from four years of data collected by a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) project, the Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District received $75,000 to provide financial and technical assistance to help dairy producers in Kennebec, Somerset and Waldo counties improve soil health on their farms. This program is funded through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Innovation Grant program, and local farmers working in the three recipient counties are encouraged to apply.

Working with University of Maine Cooperative Extension educators and using known soil health conservation practices, such as cover cropping and reduced tillage, this is truly a collaborative effort that will benefit farmers who wish to employ healthy environmental practices while creating a sustainable local Maine product. We give this project a big thumbs up!

Contact them for more information, or follow these links to learn about this project and others funded by the NRCS in Maine.

A: Because everyone treated him like dirt!

Today is the day.
...Happy Earth Day, Earth!


Image result for earthThe first Earth Day occurred in 1970, intended to highlight environmental issues and environmental protection. Democratic senator Gaylord Nelson began the initiative, enlisting support from conservative senator Pete McCloskey, and recent Harvard graduate and activist Denis Hayes to do the national organizing. Earth Day falls every year on April 22nd, aligned between spring break and final exams.

Participants in Maine Food Strategy discussions have emphasized the important link between how food is produced and the health of our natural resources,
with many encouraging actionable goals that promote soil and water health and support the increased use of technologies and resources for Best Management Practices (BMPs).*

There are multiple resources in Maine for complying with and employing BMPs:
  • The Department of Agriculture, Conversation and Forestry has a “Manuel of Best Management Practices." This was developed as a resource for farmers, government, consulting agencies to teach and determine if a farm is complying with BMPs.
  • The Maine Organic Farmer's and Grower's Association (MOFGA) holds workshops on topics that comply with best management practices. Visit the Events Calendar for specifics.
  • The University of Maine Cooperative Extension routinely holds classes, workshops, conducts research, and compiles publications on practices that support healthy farming practices and can answer questions on best management practices. Contact your local office or visit them online.
These are only a handful of what programs exist in Maine to support farms looking to employ Best Management Practices. If you know of others that were not mentioned here, head on over to our Facebook Page and share them! #knowledgeispower

*BMPs are methods used to minimize environmental impacts, such as soil erosion or reduced water quality.
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES
  • AGCOM monthly meeting
    • April 26th, 2016. 9:00 am-12:00 pm at Maine Farm Bureau in Augusta.
  • Slow Money Maine bi-monthly meeting
    • May 12th, 2016. 12:00-4:00 pm at Christ Church in Gardiner
  • Cumberland County Food System Summit
  • Making Farm-to-Institution Work for All
    • May 19th, 2016. 1:00-4:00pm at St. Joseph's College in Standish. Registration required.
  • Community Forum for the Portland Food Council
    • May 21st, 2016. 3:00-5:00pm at the Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium. Find more information here.
If your organization has meetings or upcoming conferences, please send them along for inclusion and promotion!

Subcommittee Updates -
Get Connected to Get Involved

FMI: Connect with the Economic Development Subcommittee
FMI: Connect with the Vibrant Communities Subcommittee
FMI: Connect with the Healthy Maine Environment Subcommittee
FMI: Connect with the Healthy Food For All Subcommittee
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