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Maine Harvest Credit Union, with a focus on agriculture, poised to open

NOW TIME FOR SOME REALLY GOOD NEWS: NEW 'MAINE HARVEST' CREDIT UNION SOON TO OPEN FOR BUSINESS. After six long years of effort, including the application for a Federal charter which went 1000 pages, the State of Maine will soon have its first new credit union in over 30 years.
However, what's extraordinary and unique is that for the first time ever, the Maine Harvest Credit Union will have as its focus meeting the borrowing needs of local family farmers and food producers.
The idea for Maine Harvest originated with our friends, Sam May and Scott Budde, two remarkable individuals deeply committed to having an impact on Maine's food system. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Maine Harvest Credit Union, which will offer loans to the agriculture and food producer industries, is waiting approval of its charter before it can start accepting members and offering loans.

"The founders of the credit union have submitted a charter application to the National Credit Union Administration, and hope to get approval next month. Maine Harvest Credit Union, which will have an office in Unity, is not only the first new Maine credit union in 30 years, but also the first ever aimed at the agricultural community, providing loans for agriculture and farming businesses, said cofounders Scott Budde and Sam May.

"'Farms are a complicated model for small business,' said May, chair of the credit union's advisory board. He said the model is one small community banks aren't often set up to tackle…

"'The real focus is to supply loans for farmland access,' May said. That includes everything from land to equipment to solar installations…

"Members must be members of Maine Farmland Trust or the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association to join the credit union. The initial fee to join will be $35…

"Maine Farmland Trust estimates there is about a $186 million financing gap among Maine farmers and food producers and lending institutions…"

Maine Harvest Credit Union, with a focus on agriculture, poised to open

A six-year effort to create Maine's first credit union in three decades, and the first ever focused on farmers and food producers, is poised to become a reality. Maine Harvest Credit Union, which will offer loans to the agriculture and food producer industries, is waiting approval of its charter bef…


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Bayer says Monsanto likely kept files on influential people across…

EXISTENCE OF MONSANTO 'ENEMIES LIST' EXPOSED & CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS TO BE PURSUED. It's one thing when a politically powerful despot – yes, Monsanto – maintains an Enemies List.
It's quite another thing and a rare day when an investigation by government prosecutors causes a mega multinational chemical corporation like Monsanto's new owner, AG Bayer, to publicly confirm "there were signs Monsanto had not played fairly in the use of private data."
Further investigations are being conducted by both prosecutors and an external law firm working for Bayer to get to the bottom of yet more Monsanto misbehavior.
At question, is whether Monsanto's collection of illicit dossiers was, in fact, a violation of law. Jim

"FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Bayer said on Monday its Monsanto unit, which is being investigated by French prosecutors for compiling files of influential people such as journalists in France, likely did the same across Europe, suggesting a potentially wider problem.

"French prosecutors said on Friday they had opened an inquiry after newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint alleging that Monsanto – acquired by Bayer for $63 billion last year – had kept a file of 200 names, including journalists and lawmakers in hopes of influencing positions on pesticides…

"'It’s safe to say that other countries in Europe were affected by lists … I assume that all EU member states could potentially be affected,' Matthias Berninger, Bayer’s head of public affairs and sustainability, told journalists on Monday…

"There have been a number of cases where – as they would say in football – not the ball was played but the man, or woman, was tackled,' Berninger, who joined Bayer in January, said on a conference call.

"'When you collect non-publicly available data about individuals a Rubicon is clearly crossed,' regardless of whether data privacy laws were actually violated, he added…

"French public-sector research institutes Inra and CNRS on Monday said they would file criminal complaints over mishandling of personal data, after finding that some of their researchers and executives featured on the Monsanto stakeholder lists."

Bayer says Monsanto likely kept files on influential people across…

Bayer said on Monday its Monsanto unit, which is being investigated by French pr…


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The EPA is meant to protect us. The Monsanto trials proves it isn’t | Nathan Donley and Carey Gillam

TODAY!!! LISTEN – ONLINE – TO TWO EXPERT WITNESSES TESTIFYING IN MAINE ABOUT THE DANGERS OF GLYPHOSATE HERBICIDE. Investigative Journalist Carey Gillam – author of this shocking article about EPA's failure to protect American citizens – will be one of two WORLD CLASS experts to testify at TODAY'S Maine Legislative Committee work session on LD 1691, a landmark bill which would BAN the aerial spraying of GLYPHOSATE on Maine forests.
Listen here after 3pm ET/12 noon PT: http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/ACF
The second expert will be DR. DON HUBER, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University, a Plant Pathologist with 55 years experience and one our nation's top experts on germ warfare.
For additional details about LD 1691, see our post from Monday 5/20. Caleb, Megan & Jim Bios:

"Carey Gillam is a veteran investigative journalist with more than 25 years of experience covering corporate news, including 17 years as a senior correspondent for Reuters international news service. She is the author of 'Whitewash- The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science,' an expose of corporate corruption in agriculture. The book won the coveted Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. Gillam works now as Research Director for the non-profit US Right to Know. Follow Carey on Twitter Carey Gillam"

"Dr. Don M. Huber, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Idaho (1957, 1959), a Ph-D from Michigan State University (1963), and is a graduate of the US Army Command & General Staff College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and National Security Program. In addition to his 55 year academic career on the ecology, epidemiology and control of soilborne plant pathogens; Dr. Huber has had several concurrent careers including 41 years of active and reserve military service as Associate Director of the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center (Colonel, retired) (now the National Center for Medical Intelligence, NCMI) and Command of strategic Medical Intelligence Detachments with the US Army Medical Intelligence and Information Agency and Office of the Surgeon General. Dr. Huber is a past Chairman of the USDA-APS National Plant Disease Recovery System; a member of the US Threat Pathogens Committee; former member of the Advisory Board for the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress (now Congressional Research Service); and Global Epidemiology and Quadripartite Medical Working Groups of the Office of the US Surgeon General (OTSG). He is author or co-author of over 300 journal articles, Experiment Station Bulletins, book chapters and review articles; three books, and 84 special invited publications; and an active scientific reviewer; speaker; consultant to academia, industry, and government; and international research cooperator."

The EPA is meant to protect us. The Monsanto trials proves it isn’t | Nathan Donley and Carey Gillam

Three public trials involving Monsanto have raised troubling questions about lax oversight of all pesticides by the Environmental Protection Agency


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Sask. farmer leads class action glyphosate lawsuit | The Western Producer

CANADIAN FARMER LEADS NEW CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST MONSANTO'S DEADLY GLYPHOSATE. In Maine, the Legislature is considering landmark legislation which would ban the spraying of Monsanto's Glyphosate herbicide on Maine forests (see our FB post on Monday).
Meanwhile, a Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan farmer is leading a class-action lawsuit against depraved Monsanto over its Glyposate herbicides, determined to be a "probable human carcinogen" by an agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"A Moose Jaw, Sask., farmer who was diagnosed with cancer five years ago is leading a class action lawsuit against Bayer and Monsanto.

"The lawsuit, filed in Saskatchewan, contends that exposure to Roundup herbicide contributed to his cancer and the cancer of other Canadians participating in the class action.

"As well, the suit claims Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in 2018, withheld information about the safety of its herbicide…

"Merchant didn’t provide the identity of the lead plaintiff, but his name will likely be released this summer…

"Over the last nine months there’s been three major court decisions in California regarding the safety of Roundup. Most recently, on Monday a California jury awarded US$2 billion to a couple who claimed that Roundup caused their cancer…

"'(Bayer) faces more than 13,400 U.S. lawsuits over the herbicide’s alleged cancer risk,' Reuters reported Monday.

"The potential class action in Saskatchewan and the U.S. lawsuits stem from a 2015 World Health Organization decision."

Sask. farmer leads class action glyphosate lawsuit | The Western Producer

A Moose Jaw, Sask., farmer who was diagnosed with cancer five years ago is leading a class action lawsuit against Bayer and Monsanto. The lawsuit, filed


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AROOSTOOK COUNTY FARMER EDWARD DAIGLE USING HAND-CRANK TELEPHONE. Circa 1942. P…

AROOSTOOK COUNTY FARMER EDWARD DAIGLE USING HAND-CRANK TELEPHONE. Circa 1942. Photo by John Collier.
Our Maine township, Township D, Range 2 WELS ("West of Eastern Line of State"), Unorganized Territory, first received telephone service thirty years ago and miraculously we were given access to a brand new "private line." Prior to that change, the only telephone service available generally in our rural area was 4-Party-line service.
To say party-line service was "not private" is to understate the popular-though-only-partially-illicit widespread past time of listening in on the neighbor's phone conversations. Since everyone involved knew listening-in was rampant, it was not as though deeply secret revelations were spoken innocently and then maliciously spread.
Only twenty years ago were the nearby original weather-checked peeled cedar log poles – which held up power and telephone lines – replaced by sleek pencil-sharpened full-size tall pressure treated power poles. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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Image: Ospreys’ recovery is global conservation success story | Earth …

WHY MAINE SHOULD PASS "LD 1691" AND BAN AERIAL HERBICIDE SPRAYING ON MAINE'S INDUSTRIAL FORESTS. Mainers, we're down to the wire and TODAY is the day to express your support for Allagash logger and Senate President Troy Jackson's good bill – LD 1691- which would explicitly BAN GLYPHOSATE and other herbicides from being sprayed on Maine forests.
Below is the letter of support we submitted to members of the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) and below that are links for you how you can take a few minutes and help. Thanks! Caleb, Megan & Jim

May 19, 2019
Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Cross Building, Room 214
Augusta, Maine
Dear ACF Committee Member,
We are writing to express our strong support for LD 1691, An Act to Ban Use of Aerial Herbicide Spraying for the Purpose of Deforestation.
We have a two-generation family farm in the Unorganized Territory of Central Aroostook County where we raise Maine Certified Seed potatoes. We are particularly sensitive about the issue of forest spraying because 40 years ago, in May 1979, despite having formally filed for a spray-area-exemption with the State of Maine, 300 acres in-total-area including buffer, we were accidentally sprayed with Carbaryl by negligent fixed wing spray operators in that year’s Spruce Budworm Suppression Project.
As a result of this unwanted chemical trespass, we lost organic certification of our crops for three years. We are deeply concerned that we not again experience another episode of unwanted chemical trespass by the forest products industry. A similar loss of organic certification would serve to irreversibly ruin our reputation and destroy the market we have created over forty years, and upon which our successful national mail order seed business has been built (1). In such a catastrophic circumstance, we believe the likely result would be the collapse of our farming operation and the loss of our livelihoods. This is not merely a speculative concern: industrial forest land adjacent to our farm in TD R2 WELS was recently clear cut and could be an imminent candidate for dangerous aerial herbicide spraying unless the ACF Committee acts.
Environmental damage caused by industrial forest herbicide spraying is not a new problem and has been ongoing. The St. Regis Paper Company forest herbicide spray fiasco in Dennysville in 1979 is firmly etched in our memories. The inept aerial spraying of Tordon 101 (formulated as a combination of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, the latter chemical banned soon afterwards by U.S. EPA) by St. Regis caused widespread chemical drift trespass up to twelve-miles off-target and the destruction of at least 164 Washington County gardens (2).
Another class of herbicides, widely used in both agricultural and forestry settings are ones formulated with Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s “Roundup” herbicide. Glyphosate was determined in 2015 by the World Health Organization to be “probably carcinogenic to humans” (3). Subsequently, it was accordingly listed in California. In 2018, the California Supreme Court upheld California’s placement of Glyphosate on its list of chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects.(4)
Astoundingly, a 2015 study indicates that even at extremely low dosages of 0.1 ppb Glyphosate causes damage to kidney and liver (5). For the purposes of comparison, incredibly enough, EPA allows 700 ppb of Glyphosate, or 7000 times the determined dangerous threshold in drinking water. (6)
Documents revealed in recent Monsanto Roundup Cancer lawsuits show a troubling and inappropriately intimate relationship between Monsanto and EPA staffers (7). Additionally, Monsanto has been caught red-handed in ghost-writing academic research used by EPA in its product registration reviews (8).
The unmistakable conclusion must be that EPA lacks trustworthiness. A compromised EPA continues to collude with industry and routinely fails to protect the public interest.
As well, Monsanto’s self-serving disregard for public health and the environment, and its pattern of deceit about the supposed safety of Glyphosate, has been shocking. In fact, Monsanto’s stonewalling and lack of remorse has been key to the three independent, unanimous guilty jury verdicts in which jurors had been tasked with assessing Monsanto’s culpability for human health problems caused by Roundup. The most recent verdict found Monsanto liable to the jaw-dropping tune of $2.1 Billion (9).
As Mainers we all have a duty to protect the Commons. We believe that under our country’s founding principles based upon English Common Law, farmers have the right to farm on their own land the way they choose, including being free from unwanted chemical trespass by industrial paper companies using deadly toxins.
Until paper companies find a way to prevent the free flow of rivers and streams across their property and onto property of neighbors, their contamination of the environment is a public policy issue and represents an unacceptable threat to the Commons and the public’s right to clean water. Accordingly, the Legislature has the solemn responsibility to restrain polluters from harming the Commons.
We urge you as a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to step up and do the right thing. Protect the residents, businesses and visitors to the UT by safeguarding our water and the environment from industrial activities which clearly harm the Commons.
Please support LD 1691 and ban the aerial spraying of toxic herbicides on Maine forest land.
Thank you.
Jim & Caleb Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Family Farm
49 Kinney Road
Bridgewater, Maine 04735
Footnotes.
1. Wood Prairie Family Farm website https://www.woodprairie.com/
2. New York Times. Sept 16, 1979. https://www.nytimes.com/…/paper-concern-to-pay-damages-to-g…
3. Institute for Science in Society. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Banishing_Glyphosate.pdf
4. Center for Food Safety. https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/…/california-supreme-co…
5. Study in Environmental Health. https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/…/10.…/s12940-015-0056-1
6. Michigan Public Radio Coverage of Environmental Health study. https://www.michiganradio.org/…/new-study-finds-low-doses-r…
7. Rolling Stone. https://www.rollingstone.com/…/poli…/monsanto-cancer-710902/
8. New York Times. August 1, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/…/monsantos-sway-over-research-is-s…
9. New York Times. May 13, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/…/monsanto-roundup-cancer-verdict.h…

How to help: Compose a brief email which expresses your support for LD 1691.
If you only have time for a single email, send it to CHAIR CRAIG HICKMAN (Craig.Hickman@legislature.maine.gov) and CC the ACF Committee Staff (ACF@legislature.maine.gov).
If time allows, it is most effective to cut and paste your message to as many ACF members as possible TODAY MONDAY MAY 20. Deadline is here! Thanks!
William.Pluecker@legislature.maine.gov
James.Dill@legislature.maine.gov
Russell.Black@legislature.maine.gov
William.Diamond@legislature.maine.gov
Randall.Hall@legislature.maine.gov
MaryAnne.Kinney@legislature.maine.gov
Theodore.Kryzak@legislature.maine.gov
Chloe.Maxmin@legislature.maine.gov
David.McCrea@legislature.maine.gov
Margaret.ONeil@legislature.maine.gov
Tiffany.Roberts-Lovell@legislature.maine.gov
Thomas.Skolfield@legislature.maine.gov

Image: Ospreys’ recovery is global conservation success story | Earth …

Found on Google from earthsky.org


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Mainers take power into their own hands at consumer-owned utility hearing

LEARNING FROM OTHERS' POSITIVE EXPERIENCE AND CHARTING NEW COURSES WHICH PUT PEOPLE FIRST. Mainers pay some of the highest rates anywhere for grid power electricity. Statistically, Maine leads the 50 States in LEAST-reliable electricity. Where we come from, that's no bargain!
Toss in knee-jerk opposition to renewable energy and "climate obstructionism" by our foreign-owned mega-corporate-utilities and you'll see why Maine is paying particularly close attention to ally Rep. Seth Berry's proposal to create a new statewide consumer-owned public utility.
Nearby, Houlton's electricity needs are provided by community-owned Houlton Water Company – which operate under a model similar to Rep. Berry's bill – and their power bills half of what the rest of us pay. Jim

"Fighting to free themselves from Central Maine Power (CMP) and Emera’s stranglehold and to win the race against climate change, Mainers speaking at a public hearing at the State House on Tuesday called for the transition to a statewide consumer-owned utility.

"The bill, LD 1646, introduced by Rep. Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham) and heard before the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, would allow Maine’s government to purchase the grid infrastructure owned by CMP and Emera, which proponents say would put power and accountability into the hands of rate-payers…

“'For many of us, we have reached a point of no return,' said Jefferson resident Stacy Bettencourt, 'where the bills are so high that we are constantly being forced to question how a utility bill that just a few years ago was costing $85 a month is now approaching $300 or $400 a month with no apparent or understandable change in household structure or usage'"…

"…Berry estimates Maine Power Delivery would actually reduce annual costs to Maine customers and businesses by as much as $325 million per year…"

Mainers take power into their own hands at consumer-owned utility hearing

Fighting to free themselves from Central Maine Power (CMP) and Emera’s stranglehold and to win the race against climate change, Mainers speaking at a public hearing at the State House on Tuesday called for the transition to a statewide consumer-owned utility. The bill, LD 1646, introduced by R


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NEW 'WOOD PRAIRIE SEED PIECE' e-NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE! Ultra-Infor…

NEW 'WOOD PRAIRIE SEED PIECE' e-NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE! Ultra-Informed John Ikerd Hints at Hard Times & Solutions for American Family Farms Plus Industrial Ag’s Latest Fraud, Timely Tales & Photos from a Cool Maine Spring, an Offer for FREE Organic Dark Red Norland Potatoes, a Delicious Recipe for ‘Maple Nut Squares' and More!
http://woodprairiefarm.com/newsletters/051719.html
Caleb, Jim & Megan Gerritsen
Wood Prairie Family Farm
Bridgewater, Maine
(207)429-9765 www.woodprairie.organic




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NIH study finds heavily processed foods cause overeating and weight gain

NEW NIH STUDY: YET ANOTHER NAIL-IN-THE-COFFIN FOR 'HEAVILY PROCESSED' FOOD. Yesterday, the National Institute of Health released its study of a "tightly controlled experiment."
The research identified causality and showed "People eating ultra-processed foods ate more calories and gained more weight than when they ate a minimally processed diet."
Allowing Industrial Ag and Big Food to continue to control our food system with their highly-profitable junk food agenda comes at great and untenable cost to our families, to society and to our obese economy. Jim

"People eating ultra-processed foods ate more calories and gained more weight than when they ate a minimally processed diet, according to results from a National Institutes of Health study. The difference occurred even though meals provided to the volunteers in both the ultra-processed and minimally processed diets had the same number of calories and macronutrients…

"This system considers foods 'ultra-processed' if they have ingredients predominantly found in industrial food manufacturing, such as hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, flavoring agents, and emulsifiers.

"Previous observational studies looking at large groups of people had shown associations between diets high in processed foods and health problems. But, because none of the past studies randomly assigned people to eat specific foods and then measured the results, scientists could not say for sure whether the processed foods were a problem on their own, or whether people eating them had health problems for other reasons, such as a lack of access to fresh foods.

"'Though we examined a small group, results from this tightly controlled experiment showed a clear and consistent difference between the two diets,' said Kevin D. Hall, Ph.D., an NIDDK senior investigator and the study’s lead author. 'This is the first study to demonstrate causality — that ultra-processed foods cause people to eat too many calories and gain weight.'"

NIH study finds heavily processed foods cause overeating and weight gain

Small-scale trial is the first randomized, controlled research of its kind.


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Organic food is more popular than ever in Denmark

GOOD NEWS STORY: ORGANIC FOOD IS BOOMING IN DENMARK. Hats off to the Danes for prizing the high nutrition and environmental benefits derived from organic farming.
Our week-long tour of organic farms and mills in Denmark in 2010 confirmed that citizens adore organic farmers – with rock-star-status – and organic's stellar protection of the environment (http://www.mofga.org/…/The-Maine-Organi…/Spring-2011/Denmark).
We learned the Danish national government has vision and in a commitment to DOUBLE organic production in just ten years was actively investing in critical support infrastructure (including dedicated organic universities, dedicated organic experiment stations and dedicated organic crop advisors).
Imagine for a moment if instead of being an agency under capture by self-serving Industrial Ag – and exhibiting an enduring hatred of organic – our USDA instead followed the lofty example of Denmark and placed the public interest first with a genuine commitment to grow organic farming.
Here's a glimpse which simply converts Danish stats and superimposes them onto America's scale (converting Kroners to Dollars and credits the 57x increase of the USA's 327 Million population to Denmark's 5.75 Million):
1) USA Organic Total Food Sales would be over $85 Billion – DOUBLE what they are now.
2) The subset of USA Organic Fruits and Vegetables would be over $28 Billion – OVER 70% HIGHER than our current $16.5 Billion (2017 figures).
What's more, the Danish government is investing 1.1 Billion Kroner in 2018-2019 to help Danish farmers convert to organic production. Again, converting to American values, this would be the equivalent of USDA spending $7.2 Billion to get America off the chemical treadmill and commit to a bright, organic future. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Fruit and vegetables are particularly popular as part of a general growth in organic sales, according to new Statistics Denmark figures.

"Total sales of organic food produce increased by 14 percent between 2017 and 2018, reaching a value of 12.9 billion kroner.

"That means Denmark remains the country with the world’s highest proportion of organic food sales.

"'This is evidence that Danish farmers are able to convert to what consumers want, regardless of the type of production in demand,' Kirsten Lund Jensen, head of organic with the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC), told Ritzau…

"DAFC says that Danish producers are keen to meet the demand for organic amongst consumers by expanding their organic production, or by converting from non-organic…"

Organic food is more popular than ever in Denmark

Consumers in Danish stores are filling their shopping baskets with an increasing amount of organic produce.


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