Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Pingree Announces Over $1 million in Federal Grants for Maine Farmer Training and Support

Oct 3, 2018
Press Release

Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) announced today that Maine organizations will receive more than $1 million in funding from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to recruit and train beginning farmers as well as assist farmers with chronic health issues and disabilities. Grants will go to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Somali Bantu Community Association of Lewiston Maine, and University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

“To continue the great success we’ve had with Maine’s agricultural revitalization, it’s critical that we recruit new people into farming and help them succeed. These funded programs will ensure that a wide range of Maine farmers have access to training and support, which is why I remain a strong advocate for them in Congress,” Pingree said. “As the first person to go through MOFGA’s apprenticeship program, I can personally speak to how important that experience was in my early days of farming—I’m excited for how this grant will strengthen and expand those efforts at the organization. Funds for the Somali Bantu Community Association will help New Mainers transplant their agricultural roots into Maine soil, and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will receive support to bring adaptive technologies and strategies to Maine farmers who deal with disabilities and chronic disease. My congratulations and thanks to all three organizations on using this funding to support Maine farming.”

On the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Pingree has been a strong advocate for USDA NIFA programs.

Grant details contained in links. 

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Grant Amount: $599,913
USDA NIFA Program: Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program
Project title: Cultivating Resilience: Expanding Comprehensive Training, Support And Networking For Beginner And Advanced-Beginner Farmers In Maine
More information: https://cris.nifa.usda.gov/cgi-bin/starfinder/0?path=fastlink1.txt&id=anon&pass=&search=R=80460&format=WEBFMT6NT

Somali Bantu Community Association of Lewiston Maine
Grant amount: $299,400 
USDA NIFA Program: Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program
Project Title: Somali Bantu Community Farming Project In Maine
More information: https://cris.nifa.usda.gov/cgi-bin/starfinder/0?path=fastlink1.txt&id=anon&pass=&search=R=80462&format=WEBFMT6NT

University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Grant amount: $180,000
USDA NIFA Program: Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities
Project title: Maine AgrAbility
More information: https://cris.nifa.usda.gov/cgi-bin/starfinder/0?path=fastlink1.txt&id=anon&pass=&search=R=81072&format=WEBFMT6NT