AUGUSTA

Eleven Maine projects selected for agricultural development grants

Eleven Agricultural Development Grant Program awards totaling over $422,855 were announced at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show last week. The projects, selected from 47 proposals, relate to speeding new market development, adopting improved technology and promoting Maine agricultural products. Some approvals and contract completions are still pending.

The grant winners announced by Agriculture Commissioner Walter Whitcomb are: AgMatters of Vassalboro, Aurora Mills & Farm of Linneus, Buck Farms of Mapleton, Crooked Face Creamery of Norridgewock, Downeast Salmon Federation’s Aquatic Research Center of East Machias, Good Shepherd Food Bank of Auburn, Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (Augusta), Peaked Mountain Farm of Holden, Tide Mill Organics of Edmunds Township, University of Maine (at Monmouth for a project on plum production) and the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine.

LEWISTON-AUBURN

Good Food Council adds members to support local nutrition efforts

The Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn has added five new members, for a total of 20.

The group was created in the summer of 2012 to support improvements to the local food system. According to its website, the council educates the public, serves as a forum for discussing issues, fosters coordination among sectors, evaluates and influences policy and supports programs that meet local needs.

Representatives from a variety of businesses, agencies and walks of life serve on the council. The new members are Rick Belanger, owner of R. Belanger & Sons Farms of Lewiston; Melissa Emerson, owner and director of Pinetree Seeds in New Gloucester; Bonnie Lounsbury, owner of River Rise Farm in Turner; Nadifa Mohamed, a student at the University of Southern Maine; and Alisa Roman, director of nutrition for Lewiston public schools.

Find more information, visit www.good food4la.org.

UNITY

Trail Coalition hires coordinator of campaign to link hills and sea

The Waldo County Trails Coalition has hired its first coordinator, Trevanna Frost Grenfell, using money from a grant from the Quimby Family Foundation.

The coalition, made up of nine local land trusts, colleges and other organizations, is working to create the Hills to Sea Trail from Unity to Belfast, using existing trails and developing more.

To date, about seven miles of trail run from Unity Village to the grounds of the Maine Organic Gardeners and Farmers Association in Unity. For more information, visit www.waldotrails.org.