Pingree welcomes $600,000 federal grant to implement innovative farm loan program in Maine
PORTLAND, ME — Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today welcomed a $600,000 USDA Natural Resources Conservation Grant to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and the Maine Harvest Credit Project--an initiative to create a create union to serve Maine farms. The grant will provide loans and technical assistance to farmers who want to implement conservation projects.
“One issue I hear a lot about from Maine farmers is access to capital. While many are interested in transitioning to certified organic production or limiting the environmental impact of their operations, it can be difficult for them to obtain the funding to invest in their farms,” said Pingree. “I appreciate MOFGA and the Maine Harvest Credit Project for identifying this key need and securing this grant to address it. This is a great initiative to invest in sustainable agriculture, which is a growing area of opportunity for Maine’s rural economy.”
The grant will allow MOFGA and the new Maine Harvest Credit Project to assist farmers in initiating projects designed to promote environmental protection through specialized loan products aimed at stimulating and rewarding conservation practices.
“The 2017 Conservation Innovation Grant award will join two areas identified by the farming community as pressing needs—access to credit and technical assistance—to help ensure successful farming operations,” said MOFGA Executive Director Ted Quaday. “MOFGA thanks Congresswoman Pingree for her ongoing support of sustainable and organic agriculture in Maine and across the country, and for her work to ensure continued funding to support conservation activities on Maine farms.”
Pingree, a longtime certified organic farmer, is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, which oversees funding for the USDA.