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Pingree Announces $260,449 USDA Grant to UMaine Cooperative Extension

Portland, Maine, January 17, 2020

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced a grant award of $260,449 to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The grant comes from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP), funded through the 2018 Farm Bill. The grant awarded to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will fund a project on “Carcass Management Preparedness Train-the-Trainer Program for Animal Agriculture Sector Responders.”

“Cooperative Extension is an important resource for agricultural producers in Maine, yet Extension is constantly facing looming budget cuts, staff shortages, and resource deficiencies. Their support to farmers—which is largely free —is crucial to our state’s agricultural successes,” said Pingree.“After visiting Cooperative Extension’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory last year, I am thrilled that they are receiving a quarter of a million dollars in support from USDA to further explore how composting can be used after animal disease outbreaks.”

 "The University of Maine is pleased to receive USDA: APHIS funding though the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program to support animal industry prepare in the event of a zoonotic disease outbreaks. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has been an international leader in compost carcass management research and education. The University will work closely with the swine and poultry industry nationally to train staff, (industry, state and federal employees) on how to implement compost technologies during a catastrophic event. Composting is becoming widely accepted as an environmentally and sustainable method to management carcass mortalities,” said Hannah Carter, Dean of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

NADPRP funding supports the capabilities, capacity, and readiness of the nation’s animal agriculture sector responders through training and exercises.

Pingree is an advocate for reforming federal policy to better support the diverse range of American agriculture, including sustainable, organic, and locally focused farming. She has been a member of the House Appropriations Committee since 2013 and sits on the Subcommittee on Agriculture, where she oversees funding for USDA and agricultural programs. She retook her seat on the House Agriculture Committee at the start of the 116th Congress.

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