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The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (www.maine.gov/acf) became official on Aug. 30, 2012, merging the departments of Agriculture and Conservation.

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A new law created the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry as of Aug. 30, 2012 – a merger of the former departments of agriculture and conservation. The new department will have 732 full-time and seasonal employees in seven divisions, a budget of $96.5 million.

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We climb the AstroTurf and find ourselves face-to-face with a 16-inch TV flashing “ag spots” at us. The walls are lined with posters of harness racing, Maine agricultural statistics, and black-and-white photos of fairs gone by. Near the TV is a rack of neatly stacked brochures. This is the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resource’s mass-education unit, one of two rolling carnie wagons covering 25 of Maine’s agricultural fairs annually.

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Six months ago, Kathleen Murray, an entomologist and research assistant professor at the U. Maine Department of Biological Sciences, filled the long vacant position of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) entomologist at the Maine Department of Agriculture.

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