Pingree Announces $500K in USDA Funding to Support Growing Aquaculture Industry in Maine
WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) to establish a comprehensive aquaculture workforce training system to support Maine’s rapidly growing aquaculture industry.
“Maine’s aquaculture industry is vital to our state’s economy but needs a skilled workforce to continue to grow and innovate. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has developed a forward-thinking solution. This comprehensive, collaborative training program will train aquaculturists with in-demand knowledge and skills, helping students to secure good jobs and supporting the workforce needs of this important sector,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, I have long worked to secure funding for these NIFA grants, which have helped to launch many careers in the nation’s food and agriculture sector. This substantial NIFA award will help ensure Maine’s aquaculture industry reaches its full potential now and in the future.”
The funding will:
The programming developed will have the potential to be expanded to other community colleges in Maine and throughout the Northeast.
In April 2021, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center in Walpole was awarded $500,000 from NIFA to develop an aquaculture workforce training pilot in partnership with Washington County Community College.
Pingree serves on both the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and the House Agriculture Committee.