409 High Street - P.O. Box 1171 - Ellsworth, ME 04605 - Phone: 207-667-0002 Fax: 207-667-0627

26th Annual Maine Open Farm Day

Visit select Maine farms this Sunday, July 26. All across the State of Maine, close to 100 family farms will open their doors to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Held each year, Open Farm Day is an opportunity for consumers to learn about Maine food producers and for farms to show the public their products.

“On behalf of Maine citizens, I thank our farmers and producers for their work bringing fresh and natural products to our tables every day,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This is an exciting time for Maine-made products and Maine agriculture. The number of Maine farms is on the rise and so is the market value of our agricultural products. Since the last Census of Agriculture, the market value of Maine’s agricultural products has increased 24%. At a time when the number of farms in the United States is declining, the number of Maine farms has increased to 8,174, up from 7,196 in 2002. This growth coincides with renewed consumer interest in locally grown foods.”

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb urged families to “take advantage of this day to connect to life on the farm.” “There is a story, even a lesson that surrounds all the food and other farm products that we grow right here in Maine,” said Whitcomb. “While traveling to Maine farms on Open Farm Day, people will drive by hay fields, potato and grain fields, farm wood lots, orchards and large vegetable patches all growing crops that feed the economy before they fill dinner plates or supply other products that are important to our lives.”

Open Farm Day is an annual family event that connects consumers with the men and women who help produce their food. Farms throughout Maine will open their gates to offer the public an opportunity to learn about the business of agriculture. Many farms will have demonstrations, displays, farm-raised products for sale and animals and crops to experience.

Activities may include barn and field tours, milking, hay rides, petting zoos, nature trails, beautiful scenery, samples for tasting and refreshments. Events like Open Farm Day have an impact on the Agri-Tourism in the State of Maine. According to the USDA, in 2012, AG Tourism & Recreational Services in Maine increased 78% (Increasing from $1,012,000 to $1,803,000) and participating farms increased by 141% (112 to 270 farms).

Now is a great time for consumers to visit and support Maine’s farms and be part of the growing support for locally grown foods. According to Gary Keough, New England Field Office State Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service, “the average size of a Maine farm is 178 acres, up seven percent since 2007. Organic production and aquaculture sales increased from the last Census and the value of aquaculture sales increased from $26.3 million to $75.1 million (ranking us eighth nationally); organic products increased from $23.3 million to $36.4 million.”

For more details on participating farms visit:
http://www.getrealmaine.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/home.showpage/pageID/119/preview/true

 

 

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