Maine News Releases

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Maine News Releases

State Executive Director

Sherry Hamel

Sherry Hamel

Read Sherry Hamel'

State Office Address

967 Illinois Ave.
Suite 2
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 990-9140

Please submit all media inquires for FSA to FPAC.BC.press@usda.gov.

  1. USDA Announces Listening Session on Impacts of COVID-19 on New Farmers

    Wed May 5, 2021 08:29 AM

    WASHINGTON, May 4, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a virtual listening session for beginning farmers and ranchers to learn how COVID-19 impacted their farming operations and to get their feedback on USDA assistance. The listening session will take place on May 6, 2021, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Eastern time.

  2. USDA Offers Targeted Farm Loan Funding for Underserved Groups and Beginning Farmers

    Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:00 PM

    Bangor, ME, April 13, 2021 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Maine Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director SED Sherry A. Hamel reminds producers that FSA offers specially targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to underserved applicants as well as beginning farmers and ranchers.

  3. USDA Announces Funding Available to Organizations to Assist Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative

    Mon Apr 5, 2021 02:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, April 5, 2021— The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the availability of $2 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The funding was made possible by USDA’s new Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, an effort to distribute resources more broadly and to put greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers impacted by the pandemic. Today also marks the reopening of FSA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) signup as part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Farmers and ranchers will have at least 60 days to apply or make modifications to existing CFAP 2 applications.

  4. After Identifying Gaps in Previous Aid, USDA Announces ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to Distribute Resources More Equitably

    Wed Mar 24, 2021 02:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, March 24, 2021 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs. The Department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.

  5. USDA Extends Deadline for the Quality Loss Adjustment Program

    Fri Mar 5, 2021 12:58 PM

    Bangor, ME March 5, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline from March 5 to April 9 for agricultural producers to apply for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program because of recent winter storms and some clarifications to program rules. This program assists producers, including those here in Maine who suffered crop quality losses due to qualifying 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.

  6. March 15 Last Day to Complete Enrollment for 2021 Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage Programs

    Fri Feb 12, 2021 05:50 PM

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2021 – Agricultural producers who have not yet enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2021 must do so by March 15. Producers who have not yet signed a 2021 enrollment contract or who want to make an election change should contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to make an appointment. Program enrollment for 2021 is required in order to participate in the programs, but elections for the 2021 crop year are optional and otherwise remain the same as elections made for 2020.

  7. USDA Service Center in Augusta Moves to New Location

    Fri Jan 22, 2021 08:53 AM
  8. USDA Offers Additional Assistance for Certain Producers Through Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

    Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:00 PM

     

    (Washington, D.C., January 15, 2021) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26. Some of these changes are being made to align with the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 while others are discretionary changes being made in response to ongoing evaluation of CFAP.

  9. USDA Announces Increase to Certain Incentive Payments for Continuous Conservation Reserve Program

    Wed Dec 9, 2020 03:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is increasing incentive payments for practices installed on land enrolled in the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is upping the Practice Incentive Payment for installing practices, from 5 percent to 20 percent. Additionally, producers will receive a 10 percent incentive payment for water quality practices on land enrolled in CRP’s continuous signup. FSA administers CRP on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation.

  10. USDA Designates Knox County, Maine, as a Primary Natural Disaster Area

    Mon Dec 7, 2020 02:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2020 — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated Knox County, Maine, as a primary natural disaster area. Producers who suffered losses caused by recent drought that occurred from May 1 through Sept. 30, 2020, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.