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January 13, 2015

MOFGA day, $450K in grants to highlight Maine Agricultural Trades Show

File PHOTO / Amber Waterman Gloria and Gregg Varney co-own Nezinscot Farms; in Turner, the first organic dairy in the state of Maine.

Some $450,000 in development grants are to be announced at the 74th Annual State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show, which runs Tuesday through Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.

The show, one of the largest of its kind in the state, includes more than 111 exhibits, three days of sessions and a speech by Gov. Paul LePage. Free and open to the public, it is expected to attract more than 5,000 people.

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walter Whitcomb is slated to announce the preliminary cost-share grants under the Agricultural Development Grant Program. The grants are for innovative projects in market promotion, market research and development, value-added processing and new technology demonstration.

“Maine has the most farms and the greatest diversity of food production in New England,” LePage, who will speak at a luncheon the first day, said in a prepared statement. “The potential to produce and sell Maine products is even greater when you consider Maine’s reputation for quality and the growing interest in locally grown foods.”

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association will have a series of presentations plus its annual meeting on the first day.

Among MOFGA’s talks is a wholesale buyers panel that includes speakers from Rosemont Market and Bakery, Fresh Farm Connection, Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative, Native Maine and Hannaford.

Mainebiz published articles on trends in food distribution and marketing and the local food movement last September.

Read more

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Small Maine farms and niche food makers must be crafty to distribute to broader markets

State picks 11 pending projects for $423K in farm grants at Maine Agricultural Trades Show

MOFGA joins lawsuit against USDA

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