UMaine awarded $1M for projects to boost state’s rural economy, media report

The Associated Press, Maine Public, Mainebiz and WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine will receive more than $1 million in federal money for projects focused on improving the rural economy in the state. The money is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. UMaine researchers Jessica Leahy and Mindy Crandall, faculty in the School of Forest Resources; and Kathleen Bell, a professor in the School of Economics, received awards for their projects. The largest of the three projects is a nearly $500,000 grant to investigate the challenges and opportunities for beekeeping and maple syrup production in Maine, according to the AP. Another grant of more than $450,000 aims to get a better understanding on how young people in rural areas make the decision about whether to stay. The final grant is a more than $75,000 award to fund a project that will look at how data can be used to improve rural economic development opportunities, the AP reported. U.S. News & World Report, Seacoast Online and Miami Herald carried the AP report. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree also announced the grants in a news release.