Farming is not quaint, and it is not easy. The work is physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. The challenges include the need for solid business planning and financial strategies, access to capital and to markets and inputs, and the limited opportunities for networking, support, and education. The cumulative effect can at times seem to far outweigh the benefits of a career in farming, and so it is well worth the effort to explore opportunities and solutions to the barriers Maine farmers face. When farmers are profitable, the communities in which they are located benefit as well. Local vendors, customers, neighbors, and workers all experience a better quality of life, and so I encourage this committee to work with this bill to put together the right people to identify innovative solutions, to strengthen rural Maine.