Sen. Brenner bill to promote healthy soil management signed into law

Posted: June 14, 2021 | Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Senator Brenner

AUGUSTA — On Thursday, June 10, a bill from Sen. Stacy Brenner, D-Scarborough, was signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills. The bill, LD 437, “An Act To Establish The Maine Healthy Soils Program,” will help support healthy soil management practices across the state.

“This new program will solidify the importance of healthy soils in Maine and help us to protect our most valuable agricultural resource for decades to come,” said Sen. Brenner. “I thank Gov. Mills for signing the bill into law and look forward to seeing the program implemented in the months to come.”

LD 437 establishes the Maine Healthy Soils Program. Administered by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, in consultation with the University of Maine and University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the program will provide resources, offer education and connect farmers with information on best practices to maintain healthy soil.

A “healthy soil” can be measured in different ways, but in general healthy soils hold high amounts of water and nutrients, support productive crops, have a strong structure and even sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

Sen. Brenner is a first-generation farmer and has been farming in Maine for 20 years. She owns Broadturn Farm in Scarborough with her husband John, and at peak season, their staff grows to 10 full-and part-time employees.

The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.