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Maine.gov Press Releases



Official press releases from State of Maine agencies.



Copyright: Copyright 2017 All rights reserved.
 



Maine Bureau of Insurance Issues Consumer Guidance Regarding Insurance for Drone Use

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:08:59 EST

MAINE BUREAU OF INSURANCE CONSUMER ALERT - DRONE INSURANCE

Did you get a drone this holiday season? Federal regulators now require recreational drone operators to register their aircraft for a small fee (visit https://registermyuas.faa.gov/ for more information). This allows authorities to trace a drone back to an owner, which means it's vital to be in compliance with laws and regulations and have the appropriate insurance coverage.

Insurance for Private Use

Insuring your drone isn't difficult. Using a drone as a hobby is generally covered under a homeowner's insurance policy (subject to a deductible), which typically covers radio-controlled model aircraft. This also applies to a renter's insurance policy.

Confirm whether your homeowner's or renter's policy will cover your drone if it is lost, stolen or damaged, by reviewing the content section of your policy or by speaking to your agent. If you have an auto policy with comprehensive coverage, it may cover damage to your car if your drone collides with it.

A larger concern is liability for an accident caused by your drone. If your drone crashes into someone else's vehicle or a person, the accident is your responsibility.

If you have a homeowners or renter's policy, generally the policy will cover liability for an accident caused by your drone. Check with your agent or insurer to verify your policy contains this important coverage.

Privacy is a concern when it comes to drone use. Drones are often equipped with on-board cameras and other data-collection capabilities. Drone owners will want to remain mindful of privacy concerns.

Insurers are developing policies to cover these liability exposures, so keep in touch with your insurer to make sure your use remains covered.

Drone Safety

Hobbyists have been flying model aircraft for decades. However, advances in technology allow drones to hover quietly and fly far from their pilot. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, by 2020 there will be 30,000 small unmanned drones used for business purposes. This does not include ones used by hobbyists.

With some drones weighing up to 55 pounds, a fall from the sky can cause significant damage to property or bystanders. The FAA has issued these guidelines for drone hobbyists:

-- Don't fly higher than 400 feet and stay clear of surrounding obstacles.

-- Keep the aircraft in sight at all times.

-- Stay away from manned aircraft operations.

-- Don't fly within five miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying.

-- Avoid flying near people or stadiums.

-- Don't fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 pounds.

-- Use caution when flying your unmanned aircraft. For questions about homeowners', renters' or other property and liability insurance, call the Maine Bureau of Insurance Property and Casualty division at 800-300-5000 or at 207-624-8475 or email insurance.pfr@maine.gov.

The Bureau of Insurance is part of Maine's Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. More information about the department and its consumer resources can be found online at www.maine.gov/pfr. Bureau of Insurance media inquiries should be directed to Doug Dunbar, Department Communications Director, at 207-624-8525, or Judi Watters, Bureau Consumer Outreach Specialist, at 207-624-8475.




Augusta CareerCenter Hosting Job fair on January 23

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:41:12 EST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2017 Contact: Peter Diplock, Augusta CareerCenter Manager, 624-5183 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009

AUGUSTA-More than 30 employers will be recruiting at the Augusta CareerCenter from 2 to 4 p.m. on Monday, January 23, at 21 Enterprise Drive, Ste. 2 in Augusta. All are seeking qualified employees to fill current positions. Job seekers are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring a current resume and be prepared to interview.

"Mainers looking for a new or better job should connect with their local Maine CareerCenter," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "There is no-cost help available to improve your job search with a better resume and interview tips, workshops for people of various backgrounds, and computer labs for online job searches and word processing. Training for a new career may also be available."

Participating employers include:

- Anderson Merchandisers - Argo Marketing Group - Border Patrol - Capital Area Staffing Solutions - Carbonite - Connections For Kids - Creative Work Systems - Eastern Maine Health Services - Goodwill - Home Care For Maine - James Julie Inc. - Kennebec Sheriff's Office - Light Life of Ministries - Maine Conservation Corp - Maine D.O.T. - Maine Staffing Group - Maine State Police - Manpower Maine - Modern Woodmen of America - Motivational Services - Mullen's Driving School - NRF - Pathways - People Ready - Performance Food Service- North Center - Prudential - Public Consulting Group - RGIS - Riverview Psychiatric Hospital - Spurwink - State of Maine O.I.T. - T-Mobile - Unity College

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O'Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 624-5120 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711). More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.gov .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

-end-



Release of Maine Employment Data Rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:40:28 EST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2017 MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA-The Maine Department of Labor's December 2016 Employment Situation data originally scheduled for release on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, has been rescheduled to coincide with the release of state-level employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the U.S. Department of Labor. This delay is due in part to the regularly scheduled data release falling on the same day as the Presidential Inauguration.

The Maine data release from the department's Center of Workforce Research and Information will occur on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, at approximately 10 a.m.

As a reminder, there is no monthly employment situation release during the month of February due to the annual benchmarking of employment data. The release of the January 2017 Employment Situation is scheduled for Monday, Mar. 13, and the February 2017 Employment Situation is scheduled for Friday, Mar. 24.

The federal BLS release schedule is available here: https://www.bls.gov/schedule/2017/01_sched.htm .

CWRI develops and disseminates information on employment, unemployment and wages; analyzes outcomes of education and training programs to guide decision-making; and develops industry and occupational employment forecasts designed to guide career planning and curriculum development. They work with a wide range of customers to provide context to the dynamics of the economy and the implications those have for workforce development. CWRI publishes a variety of data on Maine's economy, workforce and demographics at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri .

-end-



Governor LePage Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:10:39 EST

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 13, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage signed today a proclamation declaring Monday, January 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. "As we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded of the many opportunities we have as Americans to give back to our communities and of the social responsibility we have in being positive and productive citizens in our state," said Governor LePage. "Dr. King was dedicated to expanding equality, social justice and opportunity for all, and his teachings continue to guide and inspire us to make our society a better place for everyone." Proclamation language is as follows:

WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice and opportunity for all, and challenged all Americans to participate in the never-ending work of building a more perfect union; and

WHEREAS, Dr. King's teachings can continue to guide and inspire us in addressing challenges in our communities; and

WHEREAS, the King Holiday and Service Act, enacted in 1994, designated the King Holiday as a national day of volunteer service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Services with leading the effort that has inspired millions of Americans to serve their neighbors and communities on the King Holiday; and

WHEREAS, serving on the King Holiday is an appropriate way to honor Dr. King, meet local and national needs, bring our citizens together, and strengthen our communities and nation; and

WHEREAS, the King Day of Service is the only federal holiday commemorated as a national day of service, and offers an opportunity for Americans to give back to their communities on the holiday and make an ongoing commitment to service throughout the year; and

WHEREAS, King Day of Service projects are being organized by a wide range of non-profits in the State of Maine.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, proclaim January 16, 2017, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday as The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

throughout the State of Maine, and call upon the people of Maine to pay tribute to the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through participation in community service projects on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and throughout the year.




City of Hallowell now offering Rapid Renewal Service

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:00:38 EST

**AUGUSTA** - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced that the City of Hallowell has launched Rapid Renewal, the Department of the Secretary of State's online service for the renewal of motor vehicle registrations. Rapid Renewal is an e-commerce service allowing citizens to conduct business with municipal government and state government in one seamless online transaction. Rapid Renewal has gained national acclaim and has been enthusiastically embraced by Mainers. While municipal participation in Rapid Renewal is optional, the service has now grown to 224 municipalities and has seen more than 1, 364,305 transactions processed to date. The city will accept payments via e-check and credit card. Residents can continue to visit the city office to pay in person, but will now also have the option of conducting these transactions online.

The Rapid Renewal service is currently offered by cities and towns from York County to Aroostook County, with populations ranging from Glenwood Plantation's three citizens to more than 64,000 in Portland. Through Rapid Renewal, citizens are able to quickly and easily renew their vehicle registrations and pay their municipal excise taxes online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Rapid Renewal may be accessed at http://www.sosonline.org , the Secretary of State's site for online services.

Municipal officials who would like more information about participating in Rapid Renewal are encouraged to contact the Department of the Secretary of State at 626-8400 or by email at .



Orthopedic Surgeon Currently Practicing in Alaska Placed on Probation by Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:41:56 EST

AUGUSTA, ME - - On January 10, 2017, the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine (Board) and the Maine Office of Attorney General entered into a consent agreement with Herbert Bote, MD. The consent agreement resolves a complaint that was based on the restriction of Dr. Bote's medical license in Alaska for inappropriate sexual conduct.

The consent agreement mandates Dr. Bote's compliance with the Alaska consent agreement, including the presence of a chaperone for all visits with female patients. In addition, Dr. Bote must undergo a psychiatric evaluation by a Board approved provider prior to practicing medicine in the State of Maine or treating any patients located in Maine. Dr. Bote's medical license in Maine is currently suspended for failure to renew and is scheduled to lapse on February 1, 2017. Dr. Bote practices in Alaska.

All Board disciplinary actions are reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank and the Federation of State Medical Boards Action Data Bank. These reports are regularly reviewed by every state licensing board in the country.

The Board is made up of 6 physicians, 3 public members, and a physician assistant appointed by the Governor. Disciplinary actions taken by the Board are available to the public either by telephone at (207) 287-3601, or on the Board's website at www.maine.gov/md.

The Board of Licensure in Medicine is the State of Maine agency charged to protect the health and welfare of the public by verifying the qualifications of physicians to practice, and disciplining physicians for unprofessional conduct and incompetence. Any citizen can request an investigation of a physician or physician assistant by contacting the Board office by telephone at (207) 287-3608, by letter, or by visiting the Board's web site.



Statement of the Governor on Linda Bean

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:44:29 EST

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 12, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage released Thursday the following statement regarding the shameful treatment of Linda Bean by a progressive group trying to destroy her reputation and damage her family's company:

"Linda Bean is a great friend of the First Lady and I, and the L.L. Bean brand is impeccable. This company is not only an iconic brand in our state, but it is also a world-renowned retailer that represents the best of Maine and the U.S.A. The First Lady and I want to thank Linda for all she has contributed as a citizen and business woman to the State of Maine. It is reprehensible how progressives have bullied her and her family's company, and I encourage Mainers and customers around the globe to continue their strong support of L.L. Bean."



RewardME Dyson Vacuum drawing winners announced!

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 09:31:57 EST

The Maine Lottery would like to announce the winners of the Dyson vacuum from the RewardME Club drawing.

The winners are: Pamela Nicholas - Indian Township, ME David Benner - Waldoboro, ME Jeremy Smit - Lisbon, ME

Thank you to all that enter and remember to enter all Non-winning ticket on https://club.mainelottery.com/ for your chance to enter even more great drawings to come.



Governor Announces Two Judicial Reappointments, One Appointment

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:52:23 EST

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the reappointment of two District Court judges and the appointment of one judge to the District Court.

The Governor has reappointed the Hon. Beth Dobson of Falmouth and the Hon. Daniel F. Driscoll of Biddeford to the District Court and appointed attorney Michael A. Duddy of Cape Elizabeth to the District Court.

Judge Dobson, who was appointed to the Maine District Court in 2009, formerly served in private practice with Verrill & Dana, concentrating in administrative law and regulatory compliance in health care and banking. She previously served as a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Portland, as a grants coordinator in the Governor's Office and in the Maine State Planning Office. A graduate of University of Maine at Orono, she earned her law degree from University of Maine Law School.

Judge Driscoll of Biddeford was appointed to the Maine District Court in 2009. He previously served as a family law magistrate in the Portland District Court. Prior to that, he was Assistant Attorney General in Portland. In private practice, Driscoll was an attorney at Verrill & Dana in Kennebunk and Smith, Elliot, Smith & Garmey in Saco. He also worked as assistant general counsel for Springfield Terminal Railway Company in North Billerica, MA. Driscoll is a graduate of University of Maine School of Law.

Michael A. Duddy, an attorney with Kelly, Remmel & Zimmerman in Portland, has assisted health care organizations with compliance and risk management. He has also familiar with immigration law, employment and labor law and business and corporate law. Serving in private practice since 1993, he worked at Eaton Peabody & Veague in Bangor and Kozak Gayer & Brodek in Bangor. He received a bachelor's degree from University of Maine at Orono, a master's degree in public policy and management at University of Southern Maine and his law degree from University of Maine Law School.

A veteran of the United States Navy, Duddy attained the rank of Lt. Commander as a Surface Warfare Officer.

The Judiciary Committee of the 128th Legislature will hear all Judicial nominations, and the Committee will schedule public hearings.



RewardME Turn It Up Bundle drawing winners announced!

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 08:35:55 EST

The Maine Lottery would like to announce the winners of the Turn It Up Bundle from the RewardME Club drawing.

The winners are: Rick Martell - Dexter, ME Frank Mcguire - West Gardiner, ME

Thank you to all that enter and remember to enter all Non-winning ticket on https://club.mainelottery.com/ for your chance to enter even more great drawings to come.



Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa Announces Anthem Health Plans of Maine to pay $225,000 Civil Penalty for Untimely Complaint Handling

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:13:51 EST

Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa announced that Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc. ("Anthem") has agreed to pay a $225,000 civil penalty as part of a consent agreement following an investigation by the Maine Bureau of Insurance into the company's complaint handling procedures. In addition to the civil penalty, Anthem is required to submit a corrective action plan to the Bureau within thirty days of the agreement.

The Bureau's Market Conduct Unit performed a comprehensive review of Anthem's complaint handling after Bureau investigators reported several late and missing responses to complaints forwarded to Anthem by the Bureau.

The exam found that the company repeatedly failed to comply with Maine law, requiring insurance companies to respond to the Bureau's consumer complaint inquiries within 14 days. The examination also found that the company failed to accurately report some annually required data and failed to facilitate a timely completion of the examination.

"We expect insurers to respond in a timely and substantive manner to issues raised by consumers," Superintendent Cioppa said. "Failure to respond to the Bureau's inquiries is a serious issue, as it directly impacts our ability to assist consumers and protect their contractual and legal rights."

Cioppa also stated that the Bureau will be reviewing Anthem's corrective action plan and will continue to monitor the company's handling of complaints, to ensure that the corrective action has resolved the issue.

Anthem is a Maine domiciled insurance company based in South Portland. The Bureau was assisted in the investigation and settlement of the consent agreement by the Maine Attorney General's Office.

The Bureau's staff is available to answer consumer's questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by dialing 1-800-300-5000 or 207-624-8475 (TTY please use Maine Relay 711). Consumers may also email questions to insurance.pfr@maine.gov.








Media Advisory: Governor LePage to attend Maine Agricultural Trades Show

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:23:36 EST

*This year's show highlights LOCAL, QUALITY, SUSTAINABLE Maine foods!*

AUGUSTA CIVIC CENTER- Governor Paul R. LePage will attend the 76th Maine Agricultural Trades Show on Tuesday to highlight the importance of agriculture to the economy and how Maine supports job creators. The Governor will also join Commissioner Walt Whitcomb in publicly recognizing 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%)!"

Governor LePage will present the Commissioner's Distinguished Service Award at the Commissioner's Luncheon at the Augusta Civic Center on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at noon.




State Offers New Consumer Booklet Free to Maine Residents: "On the Money - A Young Person's Guide to Personal Finance"

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 15:44:53 EST

Maine's Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection announces the release of a new consumer publication, "The Downeaster Common Sense Guide: On the Money - A Young Person's Guide to Personal Finance." The new, nearly 50 page booklet is online at www.Credit.Maine.gov. Free printed copies are available to Maine residents by calling 1-800-332-8529.

"The Young Person's Guide to Personal Finance provides substantial information about important financial topics we all need to understand, including banking, consumer credit, investments, insurance, personal money management and how to recognize financial scams," Bureau Superintendent Will Lund said. "This booklet is a useful tool for all consumers, especially students and young adults, because it offers guidance and insights to increase their financial literacy."

Bureau Principal Examiner David Leach, who coauthored the guide, said it will help people become more "situationally-aware" when facing major decisions or making key choices about their finances, including:

• The financing of a vehicle or student loans

• Establishing and maintaining credit responsibly

• The significance of credit reports and credit scores

• The fundamentals of purchasing stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments

• Comparison-shopping for the lowest annual percentage rate (APR) when using credit

• The basics of auto, home, life and health insurance

• Realizing that credit cards do not represent "free money," and that charges and cash advances must be paid back, with interest

• Avoiding too-good-to-be-true fraudulent offers, such as foreign lottery winnings, no-interest loans, or no-risk investments

"On the Money is the 10th Downeaster consumer protection guide released by the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection in the past eight years," Leach said. "Our goal is to provide essential financial literacy publications on a variety of topics, including auto and home buying, the responsible use of credit cards, comparison shopping for student loans, understanding credit reports and file freezes, helping elders fight back against financial exploitation, and recognizing financial scams." Kyrie Johnson, who co-authored the guide while serving a Margaret Chase Smith internship in the Bureau, emphasized the value of the publication for young people. "As a current college student, I believe the topics in this guide are exactly the ones that many young adults say they lack basic knowledge. We learn many subjects in school, but from K-12 and in post-secondary education it's rare to find courses that cover financial literacy. I hope this booklet will make a positive difference in the financial well-being of my peers."

The online version of this new guide and all other "Downeaster Common Sense" financial publications can be found at www.Credit.Maine.gov by clicking "Publications." Copies can also be ordered by calling the Bureau at 1-800-332-8529 (toll-free in Maine) or 624-8527.



Attorney General Mills announces further action filed against VW, Audi, Porsche for violating state environmental regulations

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 12:10:36 EST

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet T. Mills today announced she has filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen AG and its affiliates Audi AG and Porsche AG, as well as their American subsidiaries, for the automakers' sale of diesel automobiles (including about 3,500 in Maine) fitted with illegal "defeat devices" that concealed illegal amounts of harmful emissions and then allegedly misleading regulators and the public about the emissions.

"We will not tolerate the flouting of our state's environmental laws, the legacy of Senators Ed Muskie and George Mitchell. We will enforce Maine's environmental standards and will not allow offenders to view serious violations of law as some sort of cost-of-doing-business when they get caught," said Attorney General Mills. "Our air, water and natural resources and the health of our people are more important than a corporation's bottom line. We will seek substantial penalties from the Volkswagen companies for these serious violations."

The court complaint filed by the Attorney General's Office follows an investigation started in late 2015 by a multistate coalition into Volkswagen's use of illegal defeat devices. This suit follows the car companies' partial settlements of claims for consumer relief and consumer deception penalties, as well as their agreement to establish a fund to mitigate the environmental damage caused by their admitted misconduct. Those earlier settlements did not resolve any of the claims for civil penalties that Maine and other states, as well as the EPA, may bring for the companies' flagrant violations of state and federal environmental laws and regulations.

The Complaint alleges that:

• The three affiliated brands Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche made a knowing decision to violate the laws of Maine and other states not just once, but repeatedly, with different types of defeat devices that cheated on emissions tests. • Starting with model year 2009, Volkswagen and Audi, and later Porsche, began installing these defeat devices in several generations of U.S.-market Volkswagen and Audi diesel engines that equipped over a dozen models, including flagship Audi luxury sedans and high-performance Porsche SUVs, with sales eventually totaling about 3,500 vehicles in Maine. • The defeat devices took the form of computer software designed to ensure that a vehicle's emissions system performed properly only during emissions testing. On the road, the defeat device switched off or scaled back the vehicles' emissions systems, with the result that the cars and SUVs emitted nitrogen oxides (NOx) - a harmful pollutant linked to numerous respiratory diseases - far above allowable limits, indeed up to 40 times those limits. • The Volkswagen companies actively sought to conceal their use of defeat devices for nearly a year-and-a-half after a study by researchers at West Virginia University that alerted authorities in this country that these diesel cars emitted much more NOx when driven on the road than they did when undergoing emissions testing on equipment used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resource Board (CARB) to test the amount of air pollutants emitted by automobiles. • As a result of use of the illegal defeat devices, thousands of excess tons of NOx are estimated to have been illegally emitted into the air in the U.S., building up harmful ozone in the atmosphere and contributing to increased respiratory health problems and diseases.

###



Agricultural Trades Show highlights LOCAL, QUALITY, SUSTAINABLE Maine foods!

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 14:19:15 EST

**The 3-day event is free and open to the public**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 w[...]