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Conference To Focus On Retaining Maine Farmland

A recent study indicates that more than 400,000 acres of Maine farmland will change ownership over the next 10 years as farmers age and retire.

That’s the focus of the third annual Farmland Access Conference taking place early next month and co-hosted by Maine Farmland Trust and Land For Good.

Ellen Sabina, outreach director at Maine Farmland Trust, says the daylong conference will take a look at what happens to that land and how to get farmers onto it.

“We expect that a lot of this land will be up for sale. Of retiring farmers don’t have a plan to transfer their land or their farm to another farmer or a family member then there’s a really high risk that a lot of land will transition out of farming” she says. “We want to make sure as much of this land as possible stays in farming.”

Among topics to be discussed are using conservation easements, the effect of public policy on the generational transfer of farmland and crafting and maintaining leases.

The conference is scheduled for Dec. 4 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.