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Maine agricultural officials head to Washington

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Maine agricultural officials are heading to Washington, D.C., to work with the state's congressional delegation and federal officials regarding the demise of the 2008 Farm Bill.

Commissioner Walter Whitcomb says the Farm Bill expired Sept. 30, putting Maine's dairy producers at risk. He says other programs beneficial to Maine's potato farmers, blueberry growers and child nutrition education efforts have also been put in limbo.

Whitcomb says dairy farmers are particularly vulnerable because the Farm Bill had a federal milk pricing program that gave protection to Maine farmers. Maine has 306 dairy farms ranging in size from 10 to 1,700 cows.

Whitcomb will travel to Washington this week with other agricultural officials.