Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

$1 million in funding awarded to research strategies for strengthening Maine’s rural economies

May 17, 2017
Press Release

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced today that the University of Maine would receive over $1 million in federal funding for three projects to research strategies for strengthening Maine’s rural economies. The funding comes from the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program.
“It’s a pivotal time for Maine’s rural communities.  They have many challenges and opportunities before them, especially when it comes to their economic future,” Pingree said. “These research projects will give businesses and other decision makers in those communities the information they need to find the best way forward. I applaud the University of Maine for doing this important work and am grateful for the federal support.” 
Details on the three projects are below:
Youth Aspirations and Labor Market in Rural Communities—$458,275
Project will seek to understand how young people in rural areas facing economic transition make their decision on whether to stay in those communities, and how those decisions are tied to the sustainability of those communities. 
More information here
Finding the Sweet Spot: Scale Challenges and Opportunities for Beekeeping and Maple Syrup Production in Maine—$498,462
Project will investigate what individual beekeepers and maple syrup producers need to scale up sustainability, either by expanding their operations or aggregation with other producers.
More information here.
Big Data, Economics, and Rural Economies: Facilitating Innovation and Economic Opportunities in Rural Communities—$77,492
Study will look at how the enormous amounts of data produced in the world today can be used to enhance rural economic opportunities. 
More information here.
Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, which oversees funding for the USDA