Beth Plummer, scientific technician at the Aroostook Research Farm in Presque Isle, collects potato blossom pollen to be used to start a new variety. Credit: Paula Brewer / The Star-Herald

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The Biden Administration has proposed eliminating funding for a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program that supports the University of Maine’s potato breeding program. If that decision is allowed to stand, support for the Aroostook Farm research facility in Presque Isle would be negatively impacted to the detriment of Aroostook County, Maine and the United States. That facilities’ work led to the creation of the Caribou Russet.

I am hopeful that U.S. Sen. Susan Collins can ensure that this critical funding continues. As a member of the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee, I am so proud of the hardworking farmers in our district and the support they receive from UMaine researchers. I urge concerned readers to contact members of Maine’s congressional delegation urging them to join Collins in fighting for this valuable program.

Rep. Sue Bernard