Press Release

Organizations receive USDA funding for conservation projects

ORONO — USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Juan Hernandez announced that Maine Rural Partners in Orono will receive $40,000 to carry out a heat pump demonstration project. The funds will be awarded through Conservation Innovation Grants, a component of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems and innovative approaches into NRCS technical manuals or guides, or to the private sector.

With the grant, Maine Rural Partners will demonstrate and evaluate an air-to-air ductless heat pump in an agricultural-based application. The demonstration project will be established in Aroostook County in the retail farm store and processing facility of Micmac Farms and Trading Company, owned by the Aroostook Band of Micmacs in Presque Isle.

Maine NRCS also provided CIG grants to:

* Windependence Community Energy Partners LLC in Freeport received $70,000 for advancing farmer-owned wind power in Maine.

* The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association in Unity received $44,000 to demonstrate new soil health building techniques for organic farmers in the Northeast.

* Holly Miller, project manager of Hope’s Edge Farm in Hope, received $4,012 for Hope’s Edge conservation initiative.

For information on Maine Rural Partners, visit