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Fishing, Farming, and Forestry

Where I Stand

Agriculture policy needs to recognize the diverse needs of Maine’s farms, ensuring that farm owners can continue to provide fresh, nutritious food for Maine people and regional markets.

To secure the future resilience and prosperity of our agriculture industry, we must also provide farmers with the confidence that they won't be burdened by unnecessary, costly red tape.

It is of utmost importance to pass reasonable and well-balanced legislation that considers the specific needs of each region across the country, and farms of all sizes.

By incentivizing the adoption of climate-smart farming practices and building upon the existing toolbox of conservation programs already offered by USDA, Maine farmers also have an important role in fighting climate change through regenerative farming and forestry practices that:

  • sequester carbon,
  • reduce emissions,
  • and create better market opportunities for producers.

What I've Done

  • Introduced the Farmland Access Act which would help farmers pass down their critical agricultural lands to the next generation. By improving on existing federal programs, this commonsense bill makes it easier to preserve farmland before it is eventually sold to aspiring young farmers at an affordable price.
  • Introduced the Expanding Agricultural Exports Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill to boost marketing efforts and overseas sales for American agricultural products, including seafood.
  • Supported a number of bills that would help America’s small meat and poultry processors and strengthen their operations such as the PRIME Act and the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act.
  • Supported the H-2A work visa program and protect it from harmful changes. These temporary visas are critical for helping farmers across Maine that cannot find local applicants to meet their seasonal labor needs.
  • Co-Chair of the Senate Working Forest Caucus, a bipartisan group focused on promoting and preserving America’s working forests.
  • Introduced legislation to convene a panel tasked with assessing the work of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program. The FIA program keeps a comprehensive and current inventory of current and prospective conditions of our nation’s forests and rangelands.
  • Introduced legislation to help allow small logging businesses to safely train the next generation of family members for future careers in the Maine forest products industry. My Future Logging Careers Act would allow 16- and 17-year-olds, with parental supervision, to train and work in the family business.
  • Established an Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT), to assess and identify future opportunities for growth in Maine’s Forest Economy. The EDAT helped to establish the Forest Opportunity Roadmap/Maine (FOR/Maine), a unique cross-sector collaboration to maintain Maine’s leading role in the global forest economy.
  • Helped secure federal funding to establish the Seafood Economic Accelerator for Maine (SEAMaine), an industry-led initiative bringing together leaders in Maine’s commercial fishing, aquaculture, and seafood economy. The statewide initiative is guiding the future of economic growth, market and workforce development, and greater economic resilience in Maine’s seafood economy.