Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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News

WATCH: Maine Potato Farmers Face Uncertain Times In What Is Already An Uncertain Business

May 23, 2020 – By Jennifer Mitchell, Maine Public – About 60 percent of the potatoes produced in Maine and around the country are grown to supply the food service industries. But with everything from school cafeterias to sports concessions to in-flight meals canceled, potato farmers are facing uncertain times in what is already an uncertain business. And many say that they are discouraged by what they are being offered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a federal aid package.

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Community Health Options offers grants to Maine nonprofits

May 22, 2020 – Sun Journal – Lewiston-based Community Health Options, the state’s only nonprofit, member-led health insurance plan, has awarded grants to nonprofit agencies supporting Maine communities and organizations experiencing some of the most troubling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Plant-Based ‘Meats’ Catch On in the Pandemic

May 22, 2020 – By Amelia Nierenberg, The New York Times – As the meat industry struggles to respond to the outbreak, makers of vegan substitutes are ramping up production to meet new interest from shoppers.

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Potato growers feel left behind as USDA buys up crops

May 22, 2020 – By Liz Crampton, Politico – Potato farmers across the country feel like they’ve been left behind in federal efforts to assist the agriculture industry that’s been pounded by the pandemic.

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Sustainable Year Round Agriculture Cluster Initiative (SYRA) FINAL REPORT MAY, 2020

May 22, 2020 – By William Giordano et al., The Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society – The Sustainable Year Round Agriculture Cluster Initiative (SYRA) was launched in 2014 by Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society (MESAS) in partnership with ArchSolar LLC. Together the two entities developed SYRA to explore technologies that could help year round growers lower costs and increase production, and to strengthen relationships between businesses, growers, and researchers in the year round agriculture sector.

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Hungry bumble bees make plants flower early by cutting holes in their leaves

May 21, 2020 – By Erik Stokstad, Science Magazine – When bumble bee queens emerge from hibernation, they need to gather pollen and nectar to start their new colonies. If they wake up too soon, there may not be enough flowers in bloom. Now, researchers have discovered the bees have a way to order some fast food: They nibble holes in leaves, spurring plants to blossom weeks ahead of schedule. Many questions remain about the details of this strategy and how it evolved.

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These farm animal stereotypes are debunked with science

May 21, 2020 – By Sam Schipani, Bangor Daily News – Lately, I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts. One that I especially love is Shortwave, a short daily science podcast from NPR. A recurring segment that they have on the show is called “Animal Slander,” where hosts Maddy Sofia and her guests debunk common myths about animals by talking to scientists.

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Commissioner Beal Calls on USDA to rectify challenges of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program

May 21, 2020 – Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry – Today, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Commissioner Amanda Beal called on the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) to strengthen the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program’s (CFAP) Farmers to Food Box initiative. Challenges resulted in no Maine distributors being selected to participate in this critically important program.

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Potato project to help fight hunger on Blue Hill Peninsula

May 21, 2020 – By Jennifer Osborn, The Ellsworth American – Thanks to a surplus of seed potatoes in Aroostook County, a thoughtful Deer Isle gardener, Quill’s End Farm in Penobscot, Blue Hill Heritage Trust and a host of other groups, potatoes should be plentiful this upcoming fall for local food pantries.

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