Governor Attends Maine Potato Blossom Festival, Wants Maine to Become the Saudi Arabia of Potatoes Instead of Just the Maine of Potatoes

Maine Potato Blossom FestivalAUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage will be in Aroostook County Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 to participate in an array of events, including the Maine Potato Board Annual Industry Dinner, as well as the Maine Potato Blossom Festival. Most notably, he will hold a job creation workshop focusing on Maine’s agricultural sectors. The event will be hosted by Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle.

“The County has a rich agricultural history, and I am excited learn more about how we can help this industry grow,” said Governor LePage. “These workshops have proven extremely useful in making Maine more business-friendly. I have no doubt that this workshop will generate many good ideas for improving Maine’s economy.”

This will be the third time this summer the Governor has gathered state officials and job creators to discuss Maine’s economy and ways the State can improve policy to assist job creation. The primary areas of focus will be on regulatory reform, workforce development, and marketing the Maine brand. The fourth and final workshop of the summer will be held in August and focus on Maine’s forestry sector.

Over the last five years, Maine’s agricultural sector has provided an average of 17,000 jobs annually, though the number fluctuates depending on the season. Maine’s agriculture and farming industries produced approximately $500 million last year alone.

In 2010, Maine farmers planted 55,000 acres of potato crop, yielding a potato harvest worth $140 million – accounting for about 23% of the state’s total agricultural production. A large percentage of Maine potato, small grains, and hay crops take place in Aroostook County.

The Governor will be accompanied by multiple representatives of Maine’s departments, including Agriculture Commissioner Walter Whitcomb, Environmental Protection Commissioner Pattie Aho, and Labor Commissioner Robert Winglass.

“Aroostook agriculture sustains our jobs and our natural resources,” said Commissioner Whitcomb. “As representatives of the LePage Administration, we are looking forward to listening to citizen’s suggestions for improved efficiency in the delivery of government services. We want to be known as a partner to the private sector.”

Additionally while visiting Aroostook County, Governor LePage will attend The Maine Potato Board (MPB) Annual Industry Dinner and the Maine Annual Potato Blossom Festival, hosted in Fort Fairfield.

To enroll in one of Governor LePage’s upcoming jobs workshops, please contact Lauren LePage at (207) 287-3538, or click here

For more information on the Maine Potato Board, click here

For more information on the Maine Annual Potato Blossom Festival, visit the Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce website by clicking here or call (207) 472-3802.

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