Maine’s Departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are helping farmers who want to do their part to protect water quality by releasing $3 million for agriculture improvements loans.
The two State departments, in partnership with the Finance Authority of
Maine (FAME) and the Maine Municipal Bond Bank, have expanded the
Nutrient Management Loan Program, developed to fund construction of
containment and handling facilities for milk room and manure waste.
Since its inception in 1999, that program has made 14 loans totaling
The DEP-administered Clean Water State Revolving Fund will provide up to
$3 million for FAME to finance the loans with farmers able to borrow up
to $450,000 at a fixed interest rate of 2 percent for up to 20 years.
“Agriculture is a $1.5 billion industry in Maine, and the thousands of
people who work in it have the important responsibility of stewarding
1.25 million acres,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I thank these two
agencies for coming together with FAME and the bond bank to increase the
sustainability of Maine farms and our state. This expanded loan program
is good news for our natural resources and for our economy.”
Loans will fund agricultural projects that mitigate nonpoint source
pollution by reducing or treating agricultural runoff and improving or
maintaining water quality through irrigation system improvements and the
use of irrigation reservoirs to maintain in-stream flows and water
Eligible improvement projects include repairs to or installation of roof
runoff structures, water and sediment control basins, composting
facilities, anaerobic digesters and irrigation system water
conservation. DACF will review the proposed projects for eligibility and
to ensure they are completed in accordance with USDA’s Natural
Resources Conservation Services design criteria.
“Maine’s farmers know firsthand the great value of clean water and the
importance of minimizing agricultural runoff,” said DEP Commissioner
Patricia W. Aho. “Thanks to our increased funding commitment, these
important partners in protection will be able to better steward the land
and water they depend on for their livelihood while investing in the
future of the farms that feed Maine people and our economy.”
“These loan opportunities will lead to investments in agricultural
infrastructure,” added DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “Long-term
agricultural viability protects Maine water resources.”
Since 1989, the Maine Clean Water State Revolving Fund has provided over
$650 million in low-interest loans for projects that improve water
quality and protect environmental and public health, largely to publicly
owned wastewater treatment facilities.
Maine Greenhouse and Nursery Day is May 4
Greenhouses, nurseries and garden centers statewide will be
celebrating on Saturday, May 4 as the industry kicks off Maine
Greenhouse and Nursery Day.
For the fourth year, several dozen family-owned businesses will hold
special events to highlight the fun and joy of gardening in Maine.
Planned activities for the events include giveaways, door prizes,
raffles, plants and balloons for children, container-planting
demonstrations, personal tours, expert speakers and mini workshops.
Participating greenhouses and nurseries also will preview spring
introductions and share their expertise by offering gardening tips,
information on plant varieties and ideas for window box and landscape
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
licenses and inspects more than 1,307 businesses selling plants in
Maine. The Department also certifies plant exports, regulates imported
plants and assists growers with plant pest problems.
For more information about Maine Greenhouse and Nursery Day, click HERE
For more information, contact Mary Lou Hoskins at (207) 848-5453, email: email@example.com