Selectmen Support Dixfield As a Farm-Friendly Community
On August 27, 2012, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted their approval of supporting Dixfield citizens who wish to farm their land and offer locally-grown produce to area citizens. In that spirit, this information is being provided to share the many useful resources available to support Dixfield residents with an interest in farming.
Farming pictures on this webpage are cattle and organic dairy cows from local farmers Isadore and Carolyn Brann and Mike and Darlene Brann, Dixfield. Isadore purchased the farm on the Canton Point Road on August 12, 1960 and was mainly a beef farmer until the present transition and birth of the “Eagle View Dairy Farm” managed by son Michael Brann. Eagle View Farm breeds and raises organic Belted Dutch Dairy cows, or as most people know them to be, “Oreo Cookie” cows. The Dutch Belted breed traces directly to the original belted cattle which were described in Switzerland and Austria. The breed was then established in the Netherlands in the 17th century. The first importation into the United States was made by the U.S. Consulate of Holland, D.H. Haight in 1838. In 1840 the great showman, P.T. Barnum, imported several head from a nobleman. Darlene Brann stated, “We chose the breed for its intelligence and friendly disposition, excellent grazing ability and forage efficiency. Optimum calving interval is an important trait for seasonal dairy production. Many cows produce over 20,000 pounds of milk.”
New Farming Guide
There is a new guide for Maine citizens called Cultivating Maine’s Agricultural Future available from the Maine Farmland Trust. The guide is loaded with information and links that will help you on your way to healthy and profitable ways to use your land to grow your own food and food to share – and to help our community be more farm-friendly.
The guide includes information about:
• The Benefits of Local Farms and Farming – economical, environmental and community
• Who can Keep Farms and Farmland Working? – farmers, town officials, local organizations
• Case Studies: Maine Regions and Towns Supporting Agriculture – local efforts that are making a difference
• Tools and Strategies for Supporting Local Agriculture – right to farm ordinances, municipal tax programs, farm support services, municipal planning and land use
If you have a farm or want to farm:
• County Fact Sheet with information and resources - http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/mpd/farmland/mainecountymap.html
• Get Real, Get Maine - http://www.getrealmaine.com/
• Maine FarmLink Program - http://www.mainefarmlink.org/
• Maine Federation of Farmers Markets MFFM) – http://www.mffm.org/
• Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) – http://www.mofga.org/
• Maine Department of Agriculture, list of food assistance programs: http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/co/tefap/countysearch.html
If you want to get involved or want more information about what others are doing:
• Building Farm-friendly Communities – http://www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/building-farm-friendly-communities/
• Monmouth Grows - http://www.monmouthgrows.com/
• “Local Food Local Rules” – http://localfoodlocalrules.wordpress.com/
• Maine Department of Agriculture: http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/index.shtml
Maine Current Land Use Tax Programs - though you don’t need to enroll to grow your own food!
Farmland Program: – 5 contiguous acres – annual gross farm income or value of farm products consumed by household of $2,000 or more Open Space Program: – provides a public benefit such as recreation or wildlife habitat – additional benefit for public access Tree Growth Program: – At least ten (10) acres of forested land commercially harvested – A Forest Management and Harvest Plan – State reimburses municipalities for revenue lost as a result of Tree Growth Program enrollment See: http://maine.gov/revenue/propertytax/propertytaxbenefits/CurrentUseLandPrograms.htm