Despite Maine’s proud agricultural and fishing tradition that carries on to this day, our state imports more of its food than any other state in the continental United States, meaning we rely heavily on our nation’s industrial agricultural system. For many of the same reasons this system is unsustainable, it also is vulnerable, especially to climate change.

In addition, one-third of Maine’s best farmland will change hands in the next 10 years, and land affordability is an issue with young farmers, so the viability of small family farms also is a critical conservation issue.

Enormous potential for growth

The good news is that Maine has the potential to feed much more of our state and even be the breadbasket for New England. 

And we're on the right track. From 2002 to 2012, bucking the national trend, the number of farms in Maine increased by 13.5 percent, with much of the growth in small farms that sell directly to consumers such as through farmers markets.

Yet, that market is nearing saturation. 

For farming to continue to grow in Maine, we need to help largely small farms scale up and reach bigger markets—where most people get most of their food.

Together, we can grow the local foods movement

This year, we're working to pass a bill in Augusta to lay the groundwork for Maine farmers, fishermen, and entrepreneurs to access the resources they need to reach bigger markets. We also worked to convince the University of Maine to obtain a portion of the food it provides students from local farms and fishermen. Currently 21% of thier food and beverage purchases are from local sources. 

Sustainable food updates

Report | Environment America

America’s Next Top Polluter

Tyson Foods, Inc. is “one of the world’s largest producers of meat and poultry.” The company’s pollution footprint includes manure from its contract growers’ factory farm operations, fertilizer runoff from grain grown to feed the livestock it brings to market as meat, and waste from its processing plants.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Apply for a summer internship with Environment Maine

Environment Maine is now accepting applications for our summer internship program.

Our summer interns work on a close-knit team to affect change on issues ranging from climate change to sustainable agriculture to protecting Maine’s waterways. Organizing training and hands-on experience are at the core of our program.

If that sounds up your alley, apply here for an internship with Environment Maine. We're accepting applications on a rolling basis for summer internships in Portland. If you’re interested in interning with one of our 29 state sister organizations around the country and in Washington, D.C., apply here.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Environment Maine Endorses Candidates for 2014 Elections

Environment Maine today announced the endorsement of Chellie Pingree and Emily Cain for Congress and 24 candidates for the Maine Legislature. Environment Maine previously endorsed Mike Michaud for governor.

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Portland Press Herald: Local food movement needs to recognize seafood’s key role

Buying fresh Maine seafood is a choice that is healthy, sustainable, delicious and good for the economy.

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Bangor Daily News: To support local farmers, Legislature should stick with food hubs

Last week, Gov. Paul LePage vetoed LD 1431, a bill that could help small farms gain new markets and move more local farm products into Maine schools. The bill passed the Legislature with overwhelming support — and for good reason. It responds directly to both great need and great opportunity. Lawmakers will have a chance to override LePage’s veto on Thursday.

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