AUGUSTA — The 76th Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show will be held Tuesday, January 10, through Thursday, January 12, 2017, at the Augusta Civic Center. Hosted by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF), the show highlights Maine agriculture and the people involved through demonstrations, presentations and meetings of nearly 40 major agricultural organizations.
There will be over 120 exhibits featuring the newest in agricultural products, equipment and services. One of the state’s largest agricultural exhibitions, the event is expected to draw more than 5,000 people over the course of three days. Admission is free and open to the public.
Governor Paul R. LePage will be on hand Tuesday for the Trades Show opening day, to highlight the economic importance of agriculture to Maine and to join Commissioner Walt Whitcomb at the Commissioner’s Luncheon to publicly recognize this year’s recipient of the Commissioner’s Distinguished Service Award.
“The Maine Agricultural Trades Show is an opportunity to highlight the recent economic achievements of Maine agriculture and many of the people and families responsible for them,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “There is enormous potential to produce and sell even more Maine products and produce jobs for Maine people. Two recent examples of rapid growth in Maine agriculture are the maple and horticultural industries. Since 2010, Maine maple syrup production has more than doubled (114% increase) and the number of taps has increased 26.5%. Since 2009, Maine horticulture sales have increased 43.6% from $49.1 million to $70.5 million (2014), more than double the national average (18%)!”
“The 76th Maine Agricultural Trades Show will showcase new Maine agricultural opportunities and ways of making traditional operations even more profitable,” said DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “The department will unveil a new Maine AGRI-TOURISM Map, preview a new program to recognize the sustainable practices of Maine farmers and help producers connect with wholesale buyers to help spur future sales growth. Local, Quality, Sustainable….. Maine agriculture will be on full display January 10-12, 2017, at the Augusta Civic Center.”
Topics of Interest to the Press:
- A NEW Maine AGRI-TOURISM Map will be unveiled
- A NEW Maine FARMS Program to recognize the sustainable practices of Maine farms
- $200,000 in NEW Agricultural Development Grants will be Announced
- Commissioner’s Luncheon – Governor Paul R. LePage will join Commissioner Whitcomb to present the Commissioner’s Distinguished Service Award.
- Beginning Farmer Resource Network workshops for new Maine farmers
- Meetings between specialty crop producers and wholesale buyers to promote sales
- Information on how small poultry growers can process poultry for local markets
- get real. get Maine! Products Showcase Room– An indoor farmers market
- Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) presentations and discussions on marketing and growing practices
- Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) overview on how federal rules will impact food safety from farm to fork
- Maine Federations of Farmers Markets: “Buying Local Food on a Budget: The Benefits of Buying Direct.”
Something for Everyone:
This year’s show features several new offerings for attendees in addition to a wide variety of presentations covering diverse topics of interest. New 2017 program highlights also include opportunities for growers, conventional and organic, to learn the latest developments in pest management and earn credits required for pesticide license recertification. The Maine Board of Pesticides Control will also be on hand to discuss basic safety training.
This three-day event has something for everyone, the farmer, non-farmer, hobbyist, educator or supplier. Attendees can walk through, observe and learn about how food is harvested and processed. Farmers and producers can see the most up-to-date farm equipment and processing methods and equipment.
Trades Show Floor Hours:
- Tuesday, January 10, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 11, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, January 12, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The complete program and schedule are available at: http://www.getrealmaine.com/. It will also appear as a supplement in all of Maine’s major daily newspapers on Friday, January 6, 2017.
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: http://www.maine.gov/dacf
–Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
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