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Home | County, State and Federal Government | Pingree says Maine farmer to get federal grant to help develop innovative hay project Vassalboro man creating "hay logs" that can be burned in woodstoves, furnaces

Pingree says Maine farmer to get federal grant to help develop innovative hay project Vassalboro man creating "hay logs" that can be burned in woodstoves, furnaces

 

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said today that Vassalboro farmer Peter Bragdon has won a $300,000 Value Added Producer Grant to help farmersfind new and innovative uses for the crops they produce.  The grant, from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, will help Bragdon ramp up production of a "hay log" that he has developed.

 

Bragdon, who has been growing hay for 30 years, developed a process that uses hay that can't be used for feed and turns it into logs that can be burned in fireplaces or woodstoves.

 

"Times are tough for a lot of farmers, and being able to take what is essentially a worthless product and turn it into something that canproduce a little income is pretty important in keeping us in business," Bragdon said.  "But without this federal grant it would be hard to come up with the capital necessary to getproduction up and running."

Pingree said Value Added Producer Grants are essential to helping local farmers survive and prosper.

 

"This kind of investment will not only help keep a Maine farm in business, it's going to help them grow and create jobs locally," Pingree said.  "Local agriculture makes a big contribution to our economy but sometimes we need to invest a little to help farms add value to the crops they are producing."

 

Bragdon says he hopes to hire up to seven people once production is fully operational.
 

 

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