Senate unanimously enacts Sen. Brenner bill to promote healthy soil management
AUGUSTA — On Monday, a bill from Sen. Stacy Brenner, D-Scarborough, was unanimously enacted by the Maine Senate. The bill, LD 437, “An Act To Establish The Maine Healthy Soils Program,” would help support healthy soil management practices across the state.
“This bill is a statement of value, a call to action and a solidification of the importance of healthy soils, so that we can continue to protect our most valuable agricultural resource and continue our proud farming tradition for decades to come,” said Sen. Brenner. “I thank my colleagues in the Senate for their bipartisan support of this measure.”
LD 437 would establish 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 would 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. In addition to farming, Sen. Brenner is also a certified nurse-midwife.
LD 437 now goes to the desk of Gov. Janet Mills, who has 10 days to sign the bill into law, veto it, or allow it to take effect without her signature.