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A Message from Chamber Leadership W E L C O M E T O T H E S E C O N D E D I T I O N of OneVoice Maine magazine! Last fall’s inaugural edition

CLIF GREIM Board Chair; President, Frosty Hill Consulting

DANA CONNORS President, Maine State Chamber of Commerce


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

was such a success that it has made a spring publication feasible. We are pleased to be able to present it to you. With a spotlight on innovation, this edition of OneVoice Maine explores the role that it has played in Maine’s long-standing traditional industries – farming, fishing, and forestry. These economic foundations stemmed from our rich natural resources and contribute significantly to our history. Back in 1820 when the official state seal of Maine was adopted, a place of prominence was given to these industries, and it has lasted for centuries – the farmer showing pride in our agricultural roots, the sailor representing Maine’s strong ties to the sea, and the pine tree and moose illustrating the natural richness. These economic pillars continue to play a significant role in our modern economy. Maine is fortunate to have many companies that have been in operation for 100 or more years. Many of them are directly involved in farming, fishing, and forestry, and many more grew from indirect connections to those economic sectors. Achieving such a prestigious milestone in business would not be possible without innovation in processes, products, and practices. In the words of American engineer and technologist, Megan Smith, who served as President Barack Obama’s Chief Technology Officer: “Innovation comes out of great human ingenuity and very personal passions.” We agree, both traits certainly played a significant role in building the legacy of Maine’s farming, fishing, and forestry industries. Innovation and passion continue to drive our economy today. Governor Janet Mills released the Maine Economic Development Strategy in late 2019, the first in nearly two decades. The 10year plan established a single, noble vision – a diverse and sustainable economy for Maine, a great quality of life, and good jobs for all Mainers – built upon two key pillars, the nurturing of talent and the support of innovation. Of course, just as the plan began to gain momentum, COVID-19 hit Maine. In response, Governor Mills appointed an Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) of diverse private sector experts from across Maine to develop specific policy recommendations to stabilize the state’s economy and build a bridge to future prosperity. The ERC submitted its final recommendations in November 2020, using the strategic plan as its guide. Perhaps our state’s biggest incubator for innovation is the research and development efforts at the University of Maine. Maine’s future workforce has been well-equipped by our higher education system to think innovatively. They will undoubtedly provide their future employers with skills and ideas needed to lead the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Innovation reaches to every corner of our great state. Mainers have certainly learned to innovate this year. Many of those innovations have provided a lifeline and will ultimately serve as the foundation for future business models as our economy recovers from the impacts of the pandemic. As we look to the future, through the lens of the economic strategy and the ERC’s recommendations, our legacy of innovation will play a central role in our state’s continuing success. Perhaps Steve Jobs summed it up the best when he said, “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.” We look forward to the opportunities before us, indeed.

“The Voice of Maine Business”


Through our various networking events, our more than 5,000 member businesses and their employees have numerous opportunities to share best practices and create solid business contacts each year. Our policy-oriented events also give members the opportunity to interact with issue experts, opinion leaders, and policy makers in a meaningful way.


We have the most respected advocacy presence of any business association in Maine. No other association covers as many issues with broad public policy implications as the Chamber. Covering workers’ compensation, health care, energy, tax policy, education, workforce development, environmental policy, and more, our team of advocates is the largest in the Statehouse.


Whether it’s our Impact newsletter, the “Chamber Minute” and “Legislative Week Ahead” video updates, the news coverage archive, “The Bottom Line” podcast, or any of the other Chamber Newsroom resources, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce makes it easy for members to stay current on all of the important issues that impact Maine businesses and our state’s economy.


Someone has to speak up for Maine businesses. That’s where we come in. The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is here, because you have a business to run, product to produce, service to provide, people to employ, and a community to support. You cannot do all those things and make sure the Legislature in Augusta is acting in your best interests. We’re here to influence the outcomes in the Legislature, as well as provide you with information, programs, and events that are a real return on investment of your membership dues. We are taking care of business in Augusta, so that you can take care of yours.

128 State Street, Suite 101, Augusta, ME 04330-5630

(207) 623-4568




Contents FEATURE STORIES 100 Years of Innovation: Fishing, farming and forestry ..................6 Canada & Maine: An interdependent relationship of more than 100 years .............................................60 Looking Forward: What the future holds for Maine.......................70 MAINE VOICES A Message from Senator Angus King ............................................ 16 BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS Seven Islands Land Company ....................................................... 18 Puritan Medical Products .............................................................. 24 Sappi North America .....................................................................32 S. W. Collins Company ...................................................................36


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES A Century of Maine Resourcefulness in Fishing, Farming & Forestry ......................................................28 Beyond a Good Catch: Innovation and advocacy for sustainability in Maine’s fishing industry.................................48 INDUSTRY HIGHLIGHTS Maine Potatoes: Adapting to change ............................................40 The Berry that Is Maine: Wild blueberries .....................................44 100 Years of the Natural Goodness of Maine ................................52 Maine Aquaculture IS Innovation ..................................................56 A FEW LAST THOUGHTS Q & A Session with UMaine Faculty ...............................................78


A MESSAGE FROM CHAMBER LEADERSHIP ..........................2

OneVoice Maine is a publication of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dana Connors President PROJECT MANAGEMENT Angela Arno Director of Events & Programs CONTENT REVIEW Melanie Baillargeon Director of Communications Mark Ellis Membership Specialist Jen Webber Communications Consultant ADVERTISING SALES TEAM Peter Gore Executive Vice President Ben Gilman General Counsel Melody Rousseau Sponsorship & Advertising Sales Manager Linda Caprara Senior Government Relations Specialist Angela Ouellette Executive Assistant to the President Scott Samson Financial Coordinator Simon West Financial Assistant



Photos were provided with permission from the subject of each profile, story, or article. ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



100 Years of Inn


Maine State Chamber of Commerce


FISHING, FARMING AND FORESTRY ARE PILLARS OF THE MAINE ECONOMY. INNOVATION MADE IT SUSTAINABLE . Written by Margaret Nagle and Ashley Forbes A G R I C U LT U R E , F O R E S T R Y A N D M A R I N E fisheries are — and always have been — critically important sectors of Maine’s economy. The state’s natural resources also attract tourists who have long supported an important hospitality industry. Maine has unique advantages and challenges in these areas, which is why research and development are continually needed to help the heritage sectors — and Maine — remain competitive in regional, national and international markets, says Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the University of Maine, and now also vice chancellor for research and innovation for the University of Maine System. “We are always moving forward — building new research and development capacity to advance ideas that will simultaneously help the state of Maine and build science, and prepare the workforce needed for the future,” says Ferrini-Mundy. “That’s the role of a state’s research university with faculty, staff and students involved in problem solving and innovation to meet needs, and the impetus behind the University of Maine System R&D plan.”




high-impact work of more than 1,200 students and 575 researchers/technicians who secured 76 patents and provided direct support to hundreds of Maine businesses. “Throughout UMaine history, there have been researchers whose work impacted the future of the farming, forestry and fishing industries,” says Kody Varahramyan, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School. “So, too, did university facilities, such as the research farms statewide and research centers we have across the state.” The history of farming, forestry and fishing in Maine is inextricably linked to the state’s research university. From its establishment in 1865 as the state’s land grant university under the Morrill Act, the Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts focused on providing a “practical education” and the opportunity to “apply the lessons learned,” according to Merritt Fernald, the first acting president, in his book History of the Maine State College and the University of Maine. Students were engaged in experiments in agriculture, led by faculty who were asked “to lecture on agricultural topics at farmers’ meetings and to give advice by mail on farming problems.” Growth in the university was in direct response to the state’s needs. For example, the Maine Fertilizer Control and Agricultural Experiment Station was formed by the state in 1885 and funded by the Hatch Act three years later, with some of its first experiments fo-


It takes talent and infrastructure to

provement Fund (MEIF), established by

cused on analysis of fertilizer, cattle feed

drive innovation, which is ever-evolving

the Legislature in 1997 in recognition of

and fodder; variety tests on potatoes,

to address issues and meet needs, says

the critical need for dollars to be ded-

oats and barley; seed germination tests;

Jake Ward, UMaine vice president for in-

icated to R&D and innovation in seven

and “injurious insects.” Field experi-

novation and economic development. It

dedicated sectors, including the three

ments were on the university farm and

also takes investment and vision.

heritage industries. MEIF has brought

with farmers statewide. Most important,

Legislative and congressional dele-

to bear talent, infrastructure and inno-

the findings from the experiments were

gation support, as well as public invest-

vation to move Maine forward, leverage

reported widely to Maine’s agricultural

ment through state appropriation and

additional dollars and meet needs. Just

community, both via the press and meet-

voter bonds, have been key to sustained

last year alone, the state’s $17.35 million

ings with farmers throughout Maine.

research and development for Maine.

investment in MEIF was leveraged at a

Starting in 1906, Farming Special

That includes the Maine Economic Im-

rate of more than 5:1, underwriting the

trains ran statewide, bringing UMaine

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

College of Agriculture and experiment

diseases. Blueberry Hill Farm in Jones-

ter requirements, movement of logs and

station exhibits and experts to commu-

boro, the nation’s only university-based

acquisition of pulpwood.

nities. A year later, a Department of Ag-

wild blueberry research facility, was es-

ricultural Extension was established to

tablished in 1946.

Another example of UMaine infrastructure developed to meet state needs

address the growing demand “to pres-

UMaine moved into food process-

was the Department of Chemical Engi-

ent information of timely interest and

ing and product development to assist

neering’s Process Development Center

importance to farmers,” according to

the agricultural industries in Maine.

(PDC) focused on Maine’s paper industry.


The Highlands Food Pilot Plant on cam-

In the 1930s, a pilot paper machine was in-

Maine State College and the University

pus was established in 1998 to meet the

stalled as a research and teaching tool. In

of Maine.” In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act

needs of farmers, food processors, en-

the 1970s, the center was focused on re-

created a Cooperative Extension Service

trepreneurs and small businesses seek-

search projects in collaboration with the

associated with every land grant institu-

ing to expand product lines, create val-

paper industry. Its move to Jenness Hall in

tion — a partnership between agricultur-

ue-added foods, solve issues in current

1986 and modernization in collaboration

al colleges and the U.S. Department of

food products, and scale up recipes for

with the University of Maine Pulp and

Agriculture enabling the dissemination

commercial production.

Paper Foundation marked a new chapter

of information produced by the experiment stations’ research. Research

farms were

UMaine researchers had small seasonal marine laboratories in Lamoine and

in industry collaboration, including research in fiber processing technologies.


Bar Harbor beginning in the 1920s. The

PDC innovation now includes pro-

statewide to “answer the demand for sci-

Darling Marine Center was established as

duction of nanocellulose. Other bio-

entific experimentation” in the locales

UMaine’s marine laboratory in 1965.

products-focused infrastructure, exper-

of the state’s heritage crops. Highmoor

The state established a Department

tise and innovation at UMaine in support

Farm in Monmouth was the first in 1909,

of Forestry at UMaine and the first for-

of the state’s forest-based economy

where there were already thousands of

estry course was offered in 1903. The

include the Advanced Structures and

apple trees on the property. Aroostook

Experiment Station undertook forestry

Composites Center, with internationally

Farm, established in Presque Isle in 1914,

research in the 1940s — from studies of

recognized expertise in wood compos-

focused on plant breeding and potato

thinning and tree growth to soil and wa-

ites, mass timber and additive manufacturing; and the Technology Research Center of the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute, which promotes the commercialization of new technologies for converting forest and agricultural biomass into fuels and materials at industrially relevant scales. “Innovation never ends. New opportunities arise everyday,” says Ward.


“The state’s research university is here to support Maine’s needs as it has for more than 150 years in the history of the heritage industries and remains on the cutting edge of new ideas.”

N E W P O TAT O VA R I E T I E S Aroostook Farm, the largest of five UMaine experimental research facilities, ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



is the hub for agriculture research and

stands and farmers markets. Caribou

program for the last 13 years.

development for Maine’s potato in-

Russet has been the greatest large-scale

“You go through 15 years of research

dustry. That includes UMaine’s potato

success thus far. U.S.-certified seed acre-

to select the characteristics you want, but

breeding program that introduces new

age rose to 1,138 acres (No. 18 in the U.S.)

then it’s up to the market to decide if the

varieties of potatoes with improved

in 2020. Caribou Russet’s cash farm val-

timing is right for this potato,” says Porter.

disease resistance and marketability for

ue to Maine seed growers was about $3.9

Once a variety is released, it can be

growers in the eastern United States.

million in 2020. The estimated cash farm

introduced into different markets, such

In the past decade, the program,

value when this seed crop is planted,

as the potato chip industry or the seed

in partnership with the Maine Potato

grown and sold in 2021 is approximately

market, depending on the potato’s char-

Board, has released five new varieties

$33.1 million.

acteristics. Though the varieties have

— Easton, Sebec, Caribou Russet, Pinto

In 2020, UMaine’s breeding pro-

some useful disease-resistance traits,

Gold and Hamlin Russet — that have the

gram produced 42,000 seedling potato

they are not resistant to all of the major

competitive yield and quality attributes

plants, each containing a unique set of

plant diseases that affect today’s pota-

necessary to move them from the labo-

genetic material that could hold the key

to industry. UMaine’s potato breeding

ratory to market shelves.

to the next decade’s successful potato

program — which involves breeders,

Pinto Gold has been a big hit for

varieties, says Professor of Agronomy

growers, entomologists, food scientists,

small-scale home gardeners, roadside

Gregory Porter, who has led the breeding

agronomists and geneticists — is working to change that with research funded

SEBEC | Released in 2014 to the potato chipping industry, Sebec was named after beautiful Sebec Lake, located in Piscataquis County. The variety has round to slightly oblong tubers, is lightly textured with buff-colored skin and white flesh. PINTO GOLD | Released in 2018, the small, oblong tubers have a striking red and yellow “pinto-type” skin pattern, which makes them appealing to smaller specialty markets. The Pinto Gold variety name highlights the unique skin color pattern and the tubers’ yellow flesh. The potatoes are described as creamy or waxy and are excellent roasted, but can also be used for boiling, pan frying, baking and in salads. CARIBOU RUSSET | Released in 2015, the Caribou Russet —which is a cross between Silverton Russet and Reeves Kingpin — is a dual-purpose russetskinned variety that has shown potential for the processing and fresh market. The potato was named after Caribou, Maine, which is a major potato production town in the state. HAMLIN RUSSET | Released in 2020, it is an earlysizing, russet-skinned variety with long tubers. It is expected to be useful for early French fry processing and for the russet fresh market. It has good French fry quality, a large tuber size profile, and good baking quality. Hamlin Russet has been licensed to the Maine Potato Board for commercial development. EASTON | Released in 2014 to the french fry industry, Easton — named after the town in Aroostook County — is praised for its high yields and the high-quality french fries that can be produced from it.

primarily by USDA-NIFA, UMaine and the Maine Potato Board.

SPRUCE BUDWORM OUTBREAKS IN THE MAINE WOODS The eastern spruce budworm is believed to be the most damaging forest insect in Maine and North America. Outbreaks of the insect that kills balsam fir and spruce trees occur every 30–60 years, and another one could be heading toward Maine. During the last outbreak, from 1970– 85, the insect decimated up to 25 million cords of spruce-fir wood — 21% of all fir trees in the state, according to the Maine Forest Products Council. The infestation cost the state’s forest-based economy hundreds of millions of dollars and had lasting effects on Maine forest resource management and policy. UMaine was viewed as a critical partner in helping the forest products industry cope with the last outbreak. In 1975, Fred Knight, former director of the School of Forest Resources, established a industry-university cooperative to allow companies to pool resources and work together to solve problems through research. The Cooperative Forestry Research Unit is a model of stakeholder-driven research with the people who own and manage the forest. Landowners — mostly large pulp and paper


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

companies at the time — became part of a cooperative that strategized about UMaine research that would be most beneficial in the North Woods. In advance of the next outbreak, UMaine partnered with the Maine Forest Service and Maine Forest Products Council to form a Maine Spruce Budworm Task Force to keep forest landowners and government officials informed about the insect and aspects of Maine’s forest resources that would be affected by the next outbreak. They issued a disaster preparedness plan in 2016, “Coming Spruce Budworm Outbreak: Initial Risk Assessment and Preparation & Response Recommendations for Maine’s Forestry Community.” Today, the latest tools developed by UMaine’s Center for Research on Sustainable Forests include an interactive map of the current outbreak that started

chins, worms, mussels, scallops and sea

Aquaculture Experiment Station at UMa-

in Quebec in 2008, and the Maine For-

vegetables — and new approaches to

ine, a partnership of the Aquaculture Re-

est Ecosystem Status and Trends (For-

broodstock development, animal health

search Institute, the USDA’s Agricultural

EST) mapping app, designed to support

and operational efficiencies brought

Research Service and Auburn University.

management planning and mitigation of

Maine aquaculture into the 21st century.


spruce budworm impact.

UMaine now has one of the strongest


and most diverse aquaculture programs

For wild blueberries, an inch of rain each


in North America with faculty, staff and

week makes all the difference in berry

In 1975, the rearing of oysters began on

student talent, significant and unique

size — a make-or-break factor for growers

the Damariscotta River in proximity to

facilities both on campus and through-

who are paid by the pound. Volatile mar-

Darling Marine Center in Walpole. Soon

out the state, and daily interactions with

kets and imports of other wild and culti-

after, with the exit of the poultry in-


vated blueberries also affect their value.

dustry from Maine, UMaine researchers

innovations of the past are feeding the

As a native plant, management —

shifted their focus to new companies

innovations for the future. Researchers

not planting or breeding — is the key to

growing salmon in net pens off the coast

have used Maine’s 3,478-mile coastline

successful wild blueberry production.

of Down East Maine.

as a living laboratory to gather environ-

Today’s wild blueberry plants are grow-



Problem solving ranged from fish

mental data using a buoy-based sensor

ing from age-old rhizome systems just

health and feed to selective breed-

system to model aquaculture’s carrying

below the soil surface. Berries typically

ing of oysters for cold water hardiness.

capacity in the state’s dynamic coastal

are fully ripe in a three-week window in

R&D and innovation helped support the


August, making the single, overarching

growth and the diversity of this sector

“What we see as our mission here

with the creation of the Maine Sea Grant

at the Darling Marine Center is to help

With so many wild cards, the Maine’s

Marine Extension Team, the acquisition

the aquaculture industry with the prob-

legacy crop has survived and thrived with

of the Center for Cooperative Aquacul-

lems that may be impediments to the

the help of the state and UMaine, the only

ture Research in Franklin, aquaculture

growth of that industry — from disease

research university in the U.S. with a focus

business incubation spaces and the for-

resistance and enhancing production,

on wild blueberries. UMaine’s wild blue-

malization of the UMaine Aquaculture

to being the R&D arm for this industry,”

berry research is driven by the needs of

Research Institute. New technologies

says Damian Brady, an assistant professor

growers and producers. The tradition in

such as land-based recirculating systems,

at the Darling Marine Center and a pri-

Maine is to keep the crop healthy and that

species diversification — halibut, cod, ur-

mary researcher in the newly established

means reducing the inputs of pesticides

harvest intense.



F E AT U R E S T O R Y and herbicides — minimizing what’s needed — and being very efficient to remain competitive with cultivated blueberries. The research and education partnership between UMaine and Maine wild blueberry growers has been in place for more than a century. Through the decades, support for growers in the state’s wild blueberry industry has included research to develop best practices in cultivation — pruning, pollination, fertilization, soil acidification, irrigation and propagation. It has focused on pest management tools used to manage destructive insects, diseases and weeds, and on harvesting — improvements in field conditions, mechanized equipment and now berry quality. That information is shared through annual events, including a wild blueberry conference and field days for growers. UMaine research also has focused on product development, and the health and nutritional benefits of this antioxidant-rich fruit. And throughout the three vital seasons for growers, those same 12

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

UMaine researchers and University of

MAFES faculty and scientists use

Maine Cooperative Extension specialists

cutting-edge tools to address new chal-

are a just call away.

lenges for Maine’s natural resource-based

“These growers — from small family

industries and develop the new knowl-

farms to large international companies

edge that fuels innovation. Its research

— have a range of needs, all of which are

is in agriculture and food sciences, for-

trying to manage a working landscape.

estry and wood products, marine sys-

And all are very in touch with the science

tems, fisheries and aquaculture, wildlife,

of the crop and the land,” says Lily Cal-

outdoor recreation and rural economic

derwood, UMaine Extension’s wild blue-


berry specialist, and assistant professor





of horticulture in the UMaine School of

some of today’s most serious threats

Food and Agriculture, and the Maine Ag-

in foods and agriculture — sustainable

ricultural and Forest Experiment Station.

community and economic development, the Maine food system, climate change


and sustainable natural resources. That

For more than a century, University of

threats from new invasive species, such

Maine Cooperative Extension and the

as browntail moth, emerald ash borer,

Maine Agricultural and Forest Experi-

woolly adelgid, spotted wing drosoph-

ment Station (MAFES) have supported

ila, green crab, northern pike and ticks.

UMaine’s land grant mission by conduct-

High-priority environmental research fo-

ing community-driven, research-based

cuses on aquatic systems — groundwater,

programs and contributing innovations

lakes, rivers, inland and coastal wetlands,

that have made a difference for Maine.

and the Gulf of Maine — and endangered

includes research and mitigation for

species and ecosystem sustainability.

28,000-square-foot facility that houses

equipped with specialized sampling gear

UMaine Extension is in every Maine

the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Aquatic

quantify the smallest juvenile lobsters, as

county, sustaining and growing the food-

Animal Health Lab, Arthropod Lab and

well as older juvenile lobsters and asso-

based economy, and conducting the

Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. Built

ciated crabs and fishes. This monitoring

state’s most successful out-of-school

in 2018 through a bond initiative, the fa-

provides data on young lobsters five to

youth educational program through 4-H.

cility has a role in protecting the state’s

nine years before they appear in the fish-

Constituent connection is fundamental,

natural resource- and food-based econo-

ery and has the potential to be an early

both in understanding immediate needs

mies, and food safety and human health

warning system, says Richard Wahle, a

and emerging issues, and in sharing the

by providing unique diagnostic and test-

research professor in the School of Ma-

latest evidence-based best practices.

ing services to farmers and the public.

rine Sciences, director of the Lobster

UMaine Extension’s programming focus-

Institute and developer of the American

es on the Maine food system, including


agricultural sustainability and important

Three decades ago, Darling Marine Cen-

“The fishing industry contributes to

sectors, such as potatoes, wild blueber-

ter researchers launched an initiative to

the ALSI survey in important ways: their

ries, maple syrup, dairy, grains, livestock,

help get a finger on the pulse of the Gulf

vessels have been important in ferrying

poultry, fruits, vegetables and ornamen-

of Maine’s largest and most valuable fish-

divers to sampling sites, and their knowl-

tal horticulture.

ery. What began with a few sampling sites

edge has been put to work in designing

Lobster Settlement Index.

Innovation and leadership in UMa-

in coastal Maine has since e ​ xpanded to

vessel-deployed bio-collectors that give

ine Extension take many forms, such as

New England and Atlantic Canada waters,

us access to sites beyond the reach of

the Maine Farm and Seafood Products

and has b ​ ecome a critical research tool

divers,” Wahle says. “Moreover, in recent

of them. In addition, many of the rec-

and monitoring system for the industry.

years, the fishing industry has taken on

ommendations to Maine’s agricultural

The American Lobster Settlement Index

the financing of collector deployments

community come directly from research

(ALSI), an annual census of the lobster

in Maine. Their customers look favorably

conducted at MAFES farms and from the

nursery habitat, is now one of the best

upon the sponsorship of sustainability

applied research conducted by Cooper-

predictors of the future of the fishery.

research. And that’s good for business.”

Directory established last year when it became clear that Maine farmers faced serious challenges in moving their products into the supply chain as restaurants closed and the patterns of need and demand were shifting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another effort is the partnership with Alpha One to establish Maine AgrAbility, a program to inform, educate, and assist farmers, fishermen and forest workers, and their families with disabilities, so they can continue to have successful careers. Maine AgrAbility now collaborates with the Maine Organic Farmer and Gardener Association to offer Boots-2-Bushels, a hands-on seed-to-salary project for participants. Maine has the largest number of farms of any New England state and UMaine Extension continues to play


a pivotal role in supporting a majority

ative Extension faculty and staff.

Every year at the end of the lobster

The ALSI database, which is a com-

Support for farming, forestry and

settlement season, more than 100 rocky

pilation of the latest uploaded data and

fishing also comes from the Universi-

nursery sites from Rhode Island to New-

provides historical reports for the geo-

ty of Maine Cooperative Extension Di-

foundland are assessed. From late Au-

graphic areas of the survey, is managed

agnostic and Research Laboratory, a

gust to mid-October, divers and vessels

by the University of Maine and the AtlanONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



tic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program in Washington, D.C.

manufacturing to Maine.

bers (CNF) could rival steel properties.

The establishment of the Forest

Its successful incorporation into bioplas-

The goal is to provide accurate,

Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI)

tics shows great promise for a renewable

timely information on the status of lob-

in 2010 has further fueled forest prod-

biobased feedstock suitable for additive

ster populations in their earliest juvenile

uct innovation at UMaine. The institute

manufacturing of a wide range of large,

stages to inform stock assessment, fore-

represents an interdisciplinary group of

structurally demanding products.

casting and research.

researchers and scientists who seek to

The opportunities for wood prod-

understand and separate wood com-

ucts are virtually limitless, says FBRI


ponents in order to develop new bio-

director Hemant Pendse. UMaine re-

Trees have always been central to Maine’s

products. Work has crystallized around

searchers are exploring applications

identity and economy. While the lum-

three core areas — fuels, chemicals and

including adhesives, foams, packaging,

sustainable resource and develop new

advanced materials — and FBRI facili-

building materials, biomedical prod-

forest product revenue streams that can

ties at the Process Development Center

ucts, textiles, transportation and heat-

support economic growth. The universi-

(PDC) and Technology Research Center

ing fuels. The university has received

ty’s enduring ties and long history of in-

(TRC) help drive innovation. Thanks to

a number of patents for related inven-

novating in forestry and related sectors

the PDC’s capacity to produce nanocel-

tions in recent years.

have paved the way for the next-genera-

lulose and pioneer research at UMaine,

“Almost any product you can think

tion wood products now emerging.

ber and pulp and paper industries have shaped Maine’s history, emerging forest products being developed at UMaine will be central to the state’s future. “There has been incredible disruption in the forest products industry over the past two decades with the closure of many pulp and paper mills that had long been among the region’s largest economic engines and the biggest buyers of wood,” says Stephen Shaler, director of UMaine’s School of Forest Resources. “But exciting opportunities are emerging that will ultimately diversify, strengthen and sustain the forest economy and the communities dependent upon it.” Researchers at UMaine are exploring — and answering — a range of questions aimed at using the whole tree more efficiently to make the most of a signature,


the region is developing a reputation

of could incorporate wood components

The Advanced Structures and Com-

as Nanocellulose Valley. TRC has unique

in some way,” says Pendse. “Some are

posites Center (ASCC) has been working

processing capabilities that have led to

easy to visualize and others require a

with industry since the late 1990s to

groundbreaking biofuel advances in re-

little more imagination, but all of these

develop, prototype and test value-add-

cent years, including the ability to turn

advancements are good news for Maine.”

ed wood products, such as structural

wood waste into jet fuel and diesel.

composite lumber, wood-plastic com-

A $40 million, multi-year “hub-and-

many sources — the Maine Economic

posites and mass timber. The center is

spoke” research collaboration between

Improvement Fund, the Economic De-

home to a complete wood composites

the ASCC and Oak Ridge National Lab-

velopment Administration, the National

pilot line that allows production at near-

oratory to use Maine forest products to

Science Foundation, the Department of

industrial scale and, since 2016, has

create biobased, recyclable materials

Energy, the Defense Logistics Agency,

housed the Mass Timber Commercial-

that are conducive to large-scale additive

the U.S. Forest Service, the Department

ization Center, an industry cluster that

manufacturing is the next frontier. The

of Agriculture and other agencies and

aims to bring innovative mass timber

strength imparted by cellulose nanofi-

private sector partners.

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


Related funding has come from

Unconventional approaches. Ingenious results. At Littler, we’re lawyers. We’re also innovators and strategists, passionate problem solvers and creative disruptors. And we’re committed to helping our clients navigate the complex world of labor and employment law by building better solutions for their toughest challenges.

Fueled by ingenuity. Inspired by you.® One Monument Square | Suite 600 Portland, ME 04101




Maine State Chamber of Commerce

is one of the most quoted — and misunderstood — statements in our lexicon. Most people think Darwin’s famous shorthand description of evolution refers to those who will win as the biggest and the strongest, those with the longest teeth or most aggressive nature. But if this were true, the dinosaurs would still be in charge and we would be a footnote in evolutionary history (“Delicious while they lasted,” said Mr. T. Rex). What Darwin meant, however, is quite different and applies to all facets of our lives. For him, the “fittest” were those most adaptable to change. And this is particularly applicable today as we live through the most rapid period of change in human history. The transition from hunter-gatherers to settled agriculture took hundreds of thousands of years. “ S U R V I VA L O F T H E F I T T E S T ”



A Message from Senator Angus King

The transition from an agriculture-based society to industry took hundreds of years — in 1820, over 90% of Americans were engaged in agriculture, today, it’s 4%. The transition from a manufacturing economy to services took decades, and the transition to a digital economy is taking place before our eyes in a matter of years, if not months. What does this have to do with business? Everything. Failure to adapt to changing markets, changing consumer tastes, or changing modes of commerce is a recipe for decline and ultimate extinction (to use a term Darwin would certainly understand). Another word for this imperative is innovation, which comes from the Latin word novus, meaning, not surprisingly, new. To put it most simply, in today’s world, a failure to continuously innovate means eventual institutional death. I emphasize “continuously” because today’s brilliant innovation soon becomes old news, so renewal should be looked upon as a process, not an event. The business landscape is littered with the carcasses of once-great brands — American Motors, K-Mart, TWA, Polaroid, Kodak, (almost) Sears, and more recently, Circuit City, Blockbuster, AOL, Wang, Alta Vista, and (almost) Blackberry. The causes of their demise were many and varied, but a failure to adapt to changing markets and the innovations of others was certainly part of the sad story. On the other side of the ledger, of course, are companies that were nimble and flexible enough to glimpse the future and embrace inevitable change rather than resist it. One of the best national examples of this is Verizon. Originally part of the old monopoly-based landline telephone system — New England Tel, Bell Atlantic, then Nynex, in the mid-nineties their leadership anticipated the revolution wrought by ubiquitous mobile phones and began to shed the legacy landline business and plunged headlong into mobile. From there, they moved on to internet services and streaming TV. Remember, innovation is a process, and to survive, it can never stop.

My all-time favorite example of this principle, however, is Hussey Manufacturing of North Berwick, Maine. Founded in 1835, the company’s original product was plows. That’s right, like for plowing a field. And it was an innovative plow design that was both effective and durable. After a devastating fire in 1895, however, the grandsons of the founder decided they had to diversify and turned to shaping steel (as they had done for plows) into fire escapes and bridge supports, new products for the industrial age. Then, in 1931, Phillip Hussey developed a new design for portable seating for sporting events which evolved into the foldable bleachers we all remember from our high school gyms. This entry into the school market took off when the baby boomers entered elementary school which foretold an explosion of school construction across the country throughout the fifties. From there they continued to innovate — telescopic seating, which allowed civic centers to easily convert from seating to open floor space, fold-down chairs in auditoriums, polymer stadium seats, upholstered seats, and continuously evolving seating options for stadiums around the world. I wonder where they’d be today if they had stuck to plows? There is no formula for innovation, but there are some organizational characteristics that can encourage and support it. Here’s my list:

1. LEADERSHIP WITH IMAGINATION. Don’t ask why, ask why not. 2. LEADERSHIP THAT TOLERATES—INDEED ENCOURAGES—IDEAS FROM WHATEVER SOURCE. Any manager who says, “We’ve never done it that way before” more than three times in a year should be fired. 3. LEADERSHIP THAT KEEPS A SHARP IDEA ON BOTH THE MARKET AND THE COMPETITION. Sometimes you have to imitate someone else’s innovation just to keep up. 4. LEADERSHIP THAT IS PREPARED TO TAKE RISKS. Imagine being at that meeting at Bell Atlantic when someone said, “Why don’t we get rid of those monopoly wireline systems that generate huge amounts of dependable cash every month and go all the way into this new mobile phone thing”. Now imagine saying yes. 5. LEADERSHIP THAT MAKES INNOVATION A CORE COMPETENCY OF THE BUSINESS. Whether it’s a fully-funded R&D shop or just assigning specific staff to look out for new ideas, the successful business will deliberately develop a culture that values and nurtures innovation. The

key word here is “deliberately.” It may occasionally occur by accident, but there’s no substitute for consciously creating the structure that makes it more likely that new ideas will rise to the top. 6. LEADERSHIP THAT LISTENS TO THEIR KIDS. They are the future customers and their tastes and desires will shape the market. 7. LEADERSHIP ITSELF. Be an active and engaged leader — don’t be satisfied with just keeping the doors open. Assemble a great team and empower them to think for themselves and to never be afraid to tell you the truth. My favorite leadership motto is one that has worked for me for thirty years, “Hire good people and take credit for what they do.”

But the most important thing is to realize that innovation is not an option or a nice-to-have, it is an imperative, and that even the most traditional and (apparently) stable business faces disruptive risk every day. What you want, of course, is to be the disrupter, not the disrupted. Maybe the best way to sum all this up is the old African proverb—





Seven Islands Land Company “PROUD HISTORY, GROWING FUTURE.”


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

S O M E T I M E S W H AT S E E M S like a simple

Seven Islands Land Company was es-

corporate tagline is actually a defining

tablished in 1964 to manage the Pingree

moment. As part of a planning session in

family’s timberland holdings, nearly 1

2019, Seven Islands Land Company’s new

million acres at the time, a landholding

president and CEO, Dan LaMontagne,

stretching back to the 1840s. While we

asked employees to create a phrase

will soon celebrate 60 years, Seven Is-

that encapsulated the company’s vision.

lands sits atop 180 years of forest land-

Pithy, yes, but this phrase does more

ownership in Maine.

than brand and fit perfectly on a coffee

The story of Maine’s forest industry

cup. “Proud history, growing future” re-

is so deeply entwined with the history

affirms and reboots the reason Seven Is-

of the state that it is difficult to speak

lands exists: We are here to manage the

of one without speaking of the other.

land sustainably for generations to come.

Maine’s resources have been sought after


Written by Ann James Joles, Seven Islands Land Company

of timberland as a long-term investment

By the middle of the 19th century, the

has proven itself. The Pingree family, now

Pingree ownership, led by family mem-

owning 820,000 acres, rank among the

bers and land agents, was constructing

largest family landholdings in the U.S.

their early vision of responsible forestry

This is an industry built on the will-

and the working forest, recognizing that

ingness to innovate. When the main re-

timber is a sustainable resource and be-

source really does grow on trees, and

lieving that the best management pol-

those trees are many miles into the

icies work with natural conditions. By

Maine woods, far away from the closest

the 1920s, the ownership employed the

port, and the few existing “roads” aren’t

latest technological advances utilizing

as good as today’s tote roads, it takes

aerial photography to document forest

creative problem-solving, engineering,

operations, creating detailed invento-

and old-fashioned New England grit to

ries, and providing timber harvest crews

create an industry as robust as Maine’s

clear directives and harvest limits. These

early forest economy.

methods would go on to become indus-

Early on, innovative landowners and

since early explorations and the colonial era. The tales of the king claiming enorPHOTO RIGHT: COURTESY SEVEN ISLANDS LAND COMPANY

mous white pines for his ships’ masts are true, but there is so much more. Land speculation fueled growth af-

try standards.

land agents forged relationships across

For those who know their history,

the state to build the necessary infra-

this was also the era of artists, rustica-

structure of supply depots, dams, and log

tors, and sporting people reveling in the

booms, just to name a few, so that hardy

natural glory of Maine. Fire danger and

men and women could staff the woods

safety concerns for visitors became an is-

camps and logging crews. Moving mil-

sue needing a solution. By leasing land to

lions of trees out of the woods, running

guides to establish sporting camps, and

them down rivers in the spring freshet

leasing land to individuals to be watchful

to awaiting lumber mills before being

for fires, pests, as well as timber trespass,

shipped off to the rest of the world, took

the landowners provided a system that

“out of the box” thinking to a new level.

worked for everyone.

As vast as the Maine woods may be,

Sarah Medina, former Land Use Di-

unhindered harvesting could not go un-

rector for Seven Islands, discussed the

checked. Both eagerness and the com-

decision to create a lease program: “It

petitive spirit to “be there first with the

was time to put in place a safety net for

most men” were bound to take a toll on

recreationists, and it worked out well.

the longevity of available timber. While

Many of the sporting camps established

this mindset was indicative of the era,

in the late 1800s are still thriving today,

the silvicultural theories of Austin Cary

providing housing, delicious meals, and

and early conservation practices were

guiding services to visitors. A variety

very much alive.

of camp sites are also available, some ABOVE LEFT: Seven Islands job site. RIGHT: Sporting camp on T4 R2

ter Maine’s statehood, and speculators bought up massive tracts of forestland seeking quick profits. David Pingree, a merchant from Salem, Massachusetts, bought large tracts, seeking the land as an investment that would last his family for generations. Today, eight generations of his family’s ownership later, Pingree’s goal ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



Maine State Chamber of Commerce



TOP: Wood in the river LEFT TOP & BOTTOM: Driving wood on Abol Stream RIGHT MIDDLE: Cutting trees by hand RIGHT BOTTOM: Large crew eating at a sporting camp

Seven Islands Land Company forester, ca. 1996

A Shared History Mainers have been building Maine since 1820, And the Poland Spring Company has been here for them since 1845. We are proud to be a part of Maine’s history.

through the North Maine Woods (an or-

navigating the distance between private

ganization formed in cooperation with

family ownership of timberland as an in-

many private landowners to keep 3.5

vestment and the outside forces shaping

million acres of forest land open to the

the forest industry, all the while main-

public). Today, a recreational user may

taining the goal to manage the land sus-

find accommodations to suit any inter-

tainably for generations to come. Seven

est from a water access tent site to an

Islands has promoted the importance of

upscale fly-in sporting camp.”

working forests since its founding, and

If managing timber levels and the

believes that our nation’s private work-

health of the forest, building supply

ing forests are critical to society’s future

chains, and helping tourists to respect-

health, wellbeing, and prosperity.

fully enjoy the woods were the only chal-

The term “working forest” may be

lenges to face Maine forestry, this story

new to many. Working forests provide a

would be considerably shorter. The 20th

sustainable supply of good things: wood

century and world events far beyond the

products, biomass, wildlife habitat, rec-

Maine woods weighed heavy, similar to

reation, hunting, clean air and water, and

today. The world wars brought labor is-

numerous other societal benefits sup-

sues, the Great Depression seized up

porting regional, local, and rural econo-

markets, and the spruce budworm infes-

mies. In fact, strong forest product mar-

tations of the 1970s and 80s devastated

kets actually reduce the risk of forests

many spruce and fir stands.

being converted to other land uses and

In each challenge, new solutions and PHOTO: COURTESY SEVEN ISLANDS LAND COMPANY

new directions were found, but Maine’s forest landowners were under pressure.

allow landowners to invest in methods to keep forests healthy and productive. Seven Islands embraces innovation

Constant change in public policies, regu-


lations, business environment, and rapid

building strong forest products markets,

evolution in timber harvesting methods

and the use of ever-advancing technol-

impacted business. It was time to update

ogy as part of its stewardship model to

the ownership’s management approach.

ensure that the working forest is indeed

Seven Islands Land Company became the public-facing management arm for the Pingree timberland ownership,

© 2021 Nestlé Waters North America Inc.



working. Conservation is a vital part of the working



conservation ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



means maintaining forested areas and

tion Systems’ (SCS) “Forest Conserva-

surrounding features, such as clean air,

tion Program.” Twenty-eight years later,

water, and wildlife habitat for future

certification is maintained with yearly

generations. In 2001, working with the

audits through both the Forest Stew-

New England Forestry Foundation, the

ardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable

Pingree landowners entered into a con-

Forestry Initiative (SFI) programs. Cer-

servation easement, a legal agreement

tification demonstrates our long-term

to maintain the conserved lands as a

commitment to the health of the forest,

working forest and conserve traditional

environment, and to the communities in

recreational opportunities in perpetuity.

which we live and work, and we have the

With this agreement, known as the Pin-

leading outside experts to prove it.

gree Forest Partnership, 750,000 acres

As beautiful as our Maine forests are,

were conserved, including 110 lakes and

Maine people still need to make a living.

ponds, 2,000 miles of river frontage, and

In the late 1990s, Seven Islands and the

extensive wildlife habitat.

Pingree owners responded to the vast-

Steve Schley, then president of Pin-

ly underutilized hardwood resources

gree Associates, remarked, “The idea of

in northern Maine. Their investment in

the easement was a win-win-win. This

Maine Woods Company, LLC, a hard-

was a case where it worked for the pri-

wood lumber mill in Portage, Maine, cre-

vate landowners, it worked for the envi-

ated a use for the abundant hardwood

ronment, and worked for the public who

supply, provided a high-quality product

can continue to enjoy the property.”

for the lumber market, and increased the

But the truth is that our belief in and

continual health and vigor of the north-

commitment to conservation isn’t al-

ern Maine hardwood forest. Along the

ways evident to everyone. While Maine’s

way, dozens of jobs were created for the

forest industry is responsible for con-

local community.

tributing $8 billion annually to Maine’s

Similarly, Portage Wood Products, a

economy, it remains well out of view for

chip mill also located in Portage, Maine,

many Mainers. In fact, unless a person

was purchased to provide a market for

knows what they are seeing in a wood

low value, smaller diameter wood, again

harvesting operation, the methods used

providing jobs and improving the spe-

an industry that waits years for tiny seed-

in the forest industry can easily be mis-

cies composition and health of the local

lings to grow into harvestable timber, but

interpreted. In the 1990s, under intense

timberlands. Innovative problem solving

while we are waiting for nature to take its

scrutiny from environmental groups,

that continues to foster the symbiotic

course, we are putting the latest devel-

Seven Islands decided there had to be a

relationship between the forest and for-

opments in software and mechanization

Seven Islands Land Company softwood



better way to prove their methods were

est product markets is in the best inter-

to work. It takes a balance of the new as

in the best interest of the land base. They

est of everyone: the owners, the timber-

well as the tried-and-true.

needed outside assistance.

land, and the local economy.

“Stewardship of 800,000 plus acres

Seven Islands became a leader in

The loggers of the 1800s faced long

of forestland is accomplished by both

certification in 1993 when the Pingree

days and heavy work, but the men and

boots on the ground and eyes in the sky,”

forest was named the largest Certified

women of today’s working forests have

according to Ian Prior, Seven Islands In-

Well-Managed Forest in the northern

to work smarter not harder. Cutting edge

ventory Analyst. “Today we rely as heavily

hemisphere under Scientific Certifica-

technology may not spring to mind for

on advanced technology methods as we

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


do foresters in the woods taking stock

play out on the ground? With improved

move a proud history toward a growing

of harvests, the health of the forest, and

knowledge comes improved efficien-

future. We are looking toward carbon’s

building relationships with contractors –

cy and sustainability. Innovations in

ability to not only be a climate change

just like they did a hundred years ago.”

technology enable Seven Islands’ for-

solution but also a revenue source. Com-

Today’s foresters leverage evolving

esters to map water sources that must

mercial construction is opening new op-

software and technology tools to better

be protected, understand the existing

portunities for wood through mass tim-

understand and manage the landbase.

road systems while planning for new

ber construction and cross-laminated

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are

road construction, pinpoint both tree

timber (CLT), and innovations in explor-

mapping systems used to understand and

species and age of vast swaths of for-

ing the molecular properties of wood

plan management activities, often years

est, prescribe the type of harvest meth-

continue to offer promise for climate-

in advance. Lidar (light detection and

ods best suited to the terrain in order

friendly fuels and renewable industrial

ranging) data provides high-resolution

to leave the lightest footprint on the


details of the timberland, allowing for-

land, just to name a few things. Steven

Things have never been boring in

esters increased efficiencies. Advanced

West, GIS Manager for Seven Islands,

the Maine forest industry. “Proud history,

modeling and inventory software helps

shared that “technology changes and

growing future” truly speaks to the spirit

Seven Islands to understand timberland

advances rapidly, constantly helping us

of Seven Islands Land Company. Innova-

inventory and plan harvesting levels and

understand more and do more. And we

tion is part of our story and will continue

management activities for 5, 10, even 80

are just scratching the surface of what

to move us forward as we do what we have

years — always making sure to manage the

is possible.”

always done: manage the land sustain-

land sustainably for generations to come.

Today, Seven Islands is truly sitting

How does all this technology really

on the edge of possibilities that will

ably for generations to come. Learn more about us at ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021




Puritan Medical Products Written by and photos courtesy of Puritan Medical Products Co.


turned to

In truth, our recognition as an “im-

2021, Inc. Magazine—one of the most

portant” manufacturer can be traced

recognizable business magazines in the

back to Michigan over a century ago. In

world—decided to feature a “medical

1919, Lloyd Cartwright launched the Minto

supplier in remote Maine” for its “Best in

Toothpick & Specialty Company in Sagi-

Business” feature. Inc. even went so far as

naw, before bringing it to Guilford, Maine.

to award that Maine-based medical sup-

In the heart of Piscataquis County and in

plier as the “most important manufactur-

the aftermath of World War I, we manu-

er in the world.”

factured a single product: Mint-flavored


While there are many important manufacturers in the world—perhaps even

Why Guilford of all places? Because

more deserving nominees—we are proud

of the town’s proximity to vast stands

and humbled to be recognized for our

of northern white birch, the material

work during a challenging year. We are

we still mill on-site today. Without that

honored to represent not only Puritan

white birch, we couldn’t have become a

Medical Products, but all of Maine, as we

leading supplier of toothpicks, which al-

continue to innovate on behalf of our cus-

lowed us to expand into other product

tomers. In the Pine Tree State and beyond,

lines in the decades to follow.

millions of Americans rely on our innovation, and we will not let them down. 24

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

toothpicks. There was nothing else.

Over the years, we became Hardwood Products Company, LP, the parent

company of Hardwood Products Com-

tors to specifically designed products

around the globe. And we are hiring and

pany, LLC, and Puritan Medical Products

for more demanding applications.

training hundreds more over the coming

Company, LLC. We have evolved into

Through small products, we achieve

months. People are the driving force be-

a manufacturer that produces a wide

great things. All in all, we manufacture

hind our ability to maintain a thriving or-

range of single-use products for custom-

hundreds of unique items, many of them

ganization for more than a century. With-

ers worldwide. These include the food,

swabs and specimen collection devices.

out them, we cannot innovate. Without

medical, automotive, veterinary, com-

And our volume continues to grow.

them, we cannot succeed.

mercial agriculture, forensics, genetics,

Of course, we can’t do any of it with-

Nor could we confront the chal-

and diagnostics industries. We manufac-

out our dedicated team of employees.

lenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. When

ture numerous Puritan® brand products,

Mainers through and through, we employ

the coronavirus came to our shores, we

ranging from basic, familiar items like

more than 1,300 workers, who make and

knew that Americans would need to be

tongue depressors and tipped applica-

ship our products across the country and

tested for the novel virus, tracing its transmission, and mitigating its spread. Faced with crisis, we saw another opportunity to innovate—because we had done it before. It began on Saturday, March 14th. The alarm sounded twice. First came a mid-morning phone call





co-owner, from Brett Giroir, the U.S. assistant secretary for health. He wanted to know how fast we could ramp up the production of our nasal swabs. Two hours later, a second phone call went to Scott Wellman, our interim general manager, who was waiting in line for lobster rolls and sent it straight to voicemail. He would soon find out that it came from Maine Senator Angus King, who hoped to secure Puritan swabs on behalf of a senatorial colleague from Oregon. The reason for the emergency calls was no state secret. It was splashed across the morning newspaper: A third NBA player tests positive for the coronavirus; President Trump is potentially ex-




Public officials are still leaning on us. Last April, we received more than $75 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to produce flock tip testing swabs, which are preferred for COVID-19 testing. In July, Puritan received another $51 million from the Defense Department to expand industrial production capacity, followed by another $11 million in November to accelerate production even further. Then, this past January, we were fortunate enough to receive yet another $110 million for swab production, as the need for COVID-19 testing persists. With the influx of federal funding came great responsibility. We had a duty to meet and exceed expectations for the



Maine State Chamber of Commerce

posed to the virus by visiting dignitaries;

American people. This meant opening

there are three new presumptive positive

another production facility. After the

tests in Maine. This was not a drill.

pandemic began, we quickly realized

For the sake of public health, we set

that our existing production facility in

out to seize that opportunity. Fortu-

Guilford could not keep up with sky-

nately, we were not alone: Recognizing

rocketing demand, so we partnered with

the need for COVID-19 testing on a na-

Cianbro Corp. to add another swab pro-

tionwide scale, the federal government

duction facility in Pittsfield, located in

leaned on us throughout.

Somerset County.

Like we have since 1919, we got to work. Granted federal funding to manufacture 40 million swabs per month, the new Pittsfield facility is hiring and training hundreds of workers to produce up to 100 million swabs a month. Our dedicated employees are stepping up and working harder than ever before to combat COVID-19. We are working early mornings and late nights to ramp up production. It’s working because we’re working together. That won’t change un-

Optimism matters more than ever. Local business matters more than ever.

til the pandemic is in the rearview mirror. Even as we serve the American people, we will not lose sight of our local communities. We are honored to be a Maine company first and foremost. Mainers welcomed the Michigan-based Minto Toothpick & Specialty Company with open arms, and we are committed to repaying their hospitality on a daily basis. To that end, we participate in many initiatives that support local people— from offering scholarships for employees and their children to sponsoring local events, such as the Piscataquis River Festival. During normal times, our employees are at tennis matches and baseball games, supporting our youth. We are there for our first responders, showing them just how important they are to Maine.

Supporting the people around us is more important than ever. We’re committed to helping you survive and thrive as only neighbors can. Tell us what you need and how we can help. We’ll build our relationship from there. We’re committed to helping our communities stay strong. Visit today.

But, as a private company, we know that we can help our local communities


most by continuing to innovate, providfinancial security for their families. Look-


ing ahead, we are committed to growing


ing Mainers with career opportunities and


and seizing new opportunities, even if that means making the most of a future

MERI is committed

crisis. Over the last 50 years, our sales have grown more than tenfold for a reason. Praise can be showered on every step of the corporate ladder—from our interns to our leaders. The Templet and Cartwright families carry forward the heritage of pride in every aspect of the Puritan operation. We have no intention of slowing down. There is too much at stake. In “remote Maine,” the bells of innovation will never stop ringing.

Consultants in: Civil Engineering Survey Energy Geospatial Services Natural Resources

to creating a healthy Maine economy, strong businesses, and quality jobs by providing objective information to enhance economic policy making.

Offices in Old Town & Yarmouth ME

T: +1.207.827.4456 E: W:

Contact Simon West at for current MERI subscriber information ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



shifts in national markets and consumer tastes. Mechanization that addressed labor shortages also had the potential to dramatically deplete natural resources. While the state’s economic makeup shifted dramatically after 1910 to include a more diverse and service-based economy, Maine’s natural resource-based sectors persevered, albeit in new forms that we see today. There’s no other option in a state with 17 million acres of forestland and 3,478 miles of tidal shoreline. “These are industries that require people to be out of doors in inclement weather, to be resourceful and to be adaptable,” says Judd, author, former longtime editor of the Maine Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Maine History, and co-editor of the Historical Atlas of Maine and Maine: The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present. “Getting along in farming, forestry and fishing has made for people who are enormously resourceful. I would say, that’s been the

A Century of Maine

Resourcefulness in Fishing, Farming & Forestry

great resource for the state of Maine — the mindset of the people who have grown up with nature in all of its aspects.” As small family farming, woodswork

been an era of “continuity and change

early 1900s, tourism was on the rise and

in the way Maine people used natural

environmental awareness grew stronger.

resources,” and no more so than in the

The state’s natural resource dependency

farming, forest and fishing sectors, says

took on new meaning. The intersection

Richard Judd, University of Maine profes-

of the four natural resource-based indus-

sor emeritus of history.

tries and the Mainers keeping them strong

The sectors that were built on remarkable Maine-based innovation before

have contributed not just to Maine’s economic well-being, but its identity.

the turn of the century were severely


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

challenged in the early 1900s by chang-

I N S O M E W AY S , the 1920s were a low

ing demographics, including outmigra-

point for agriculture in New England

tion, and economic pressures, with major

and Maine, Judd says. From its peak in


Written by Margaret Nagle T H E PA S T C E N T U R Y of state history has and groundfishing were in decline in the

1880 when Maine had 64,000 farms, the

farm. So mechanization is kind of a dou-

“With the Eisenhower administra-

number declined through the first half

ble-edged sword. Mechanization on a

tion’s interstate highway project, now

of the 20th century. By 1955, the number

farm with 5,000 acres means you can

these huge farms out west were able to

of farms in Maine was 6,800, largely fo-

amortize huge farm equipment fairly eas-

bring in fresh produce from California

cused on potatoes, dairy and poultry. Yet

ily, but you can’t really do that on a 100-

or Texas, and the competition was re-

productivity was up.

acre farm, making them less competitive.

ally fierce,” Judd says. “But looking at it

“There are fewer farms, but per acre

“Also during the late ’20s and partic-

another way, Maine agriculture is a story

they were more efficient, more produc-

ularly during the 1930s, we had massive,

of remarkable perseverance in the face of

tive,” says Judd. “Farming in general de-

federally funded irrigation projects out

these competitive forces. It’s really amaz-

clined across the country in the 1920s,

west — Grand Coulee Dam, Hoover Dam,

ing what people do to survive on farms.”

partly for the same reason — mechaniza-

Glen Canyon — that helped make agricul-

The way Maine competes is in spe-

tion. And markets for farm produce were

ture possible in places where you couldn’t

cialty crops. Wild blueberries, apples

going down toward the end of the ’20s.

really do that before. Huge farms — 5,000–

and maple sugar are among Maine’s crop strengths during this time, Judd says.

“It was rural electrification, partic-

10,000-acre farms with federally financed

ularly in the 1930s, that brought about

irrigation — were now competing with

a real revolution on the farm,” he says.

Maine farmers on their 100 acres.”

More mechanization followed.

“In the sweep of history, the potato industry in Aroostook County is really

One of the next major turning points

the success story for Maine. Potatoes

“Relative to farms nationwide, Maine

for Maine’s agricultural markets: inter-

and seed potatoes,” he says. “Maine was

farms were fairly small,” Judd says. “From

state highway projects after World War

the major American producer of pota-

the mid-19th century on through World

II that brought the products from those

toes for several decades until that old

War II, there was about 105 acres per

large western farms to eastern markets.

story of irrigation, this time in Idaho on the Snake River, created millions of acres

OPPOSITE TOP: A man and a boy in a partially dug row of potatoes, circa 1918. OPPOSITE CENTER: Spring potato planting on the French Acadian farm of Leonard Gagnon, Fort Kent, 1943. LEFT: The opening of school was delayed in parts of Aroostook County so children could help pick potatoes. Near Caribou, Maine, circa 1940. BOTTOM: Prize bull owned by Robert Cunningham. Beef cattle was introduced as a supplementary source of income to potatoes. Washburn, Maine, circa 1940.

to start growing potatoes. “In Maine, generally there’s persistence of what we call mixed farming — farms that grow not one specialty crop so much as they grow a whole variety of grains and dairy, poultry, fruit crops, those kinds of things. That’s fairly typical of Maine south of Aroostook County. “The other speciality crop that was extremely important, from about the 1890s and into the 1930s, was sweet corn grown primarily in the Kennebec Valley, the bread basket of Maine. Outside Aroostook County, it was our most productive region. Maine sweet corn was kind of like Maine lobster, a huge industry that really helped commercialize Maine agriculture.” Almost every town in upland Maine had some kind of a cannery, Judd says,


moving between seasons from canning corn, and beans or peas to seafood. But again, with irrigation in the West, sweet corn became a less viable crop for Maine. Farming’s resurgence in Maine started in the 1970s, says Judd, particularly with the increase in part-time farmers and organic farmers. “Maine was very much an innovator in those particular areas, as well as in specialty farmers.” ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



with multi-occupational approaches to surviving on the coast, going way back into the shipbuilding era” — is really an important draw for Maine, Judd says. “People go out west to see natural landscapes, but people come to New England and to Maine to see not just natural landscapes, but natural landscapes that have also some cultural overlays. When you look at a landscape at the coast, you see rocks and water, fish and trees, but you also get this aura of the cultural landscape. In Maine, you can’t separate the two. It’s a natural landscape

Sardine canneries at Eastport, circa 1911.

with a difference.” T H E B I G F I S H for Maine in the late 19th

tries like mackerel and cod are gone.”

century was cod off the Grand Banks,

The state’s canneries allowed the

M A I N E has two separate tourist indus-

and mackerel, providing Maine with

state’s fishing and agriculture sectors to

tries — coastal and forest, Judd says, and

thriving dried and salted fish markets

go beyond seasonal fresh sales. So, too,

the latter was tied to the development of

to supply the big cities. But the meat

did innovations between 1870 and 1910,

the conservation movement in the state.

packing industry in Chicago also was on

such as lobster pounds and lobster ship-

“It comes out of the women’s clubs

the rise. Markets were changing. So, too,

ping, which were tied to the state’s tour-

of America,” Judd says. “Also, a big im-

were the stocks.

ism industry, and the state’s top fishery

pulse behind conservation in Maine is the

quickly emerged.

tourism industry because they don’t want

Turn-of-the-century fishing vessel modernization, including steam- and

“With a little bit of ice, a little bit of

people looking out their hotel windows at

gasoline-powered otter trawlers drag-

seaweed in a barrel, you could ship them

a clear-cut. This is particularly true when

ging nets, increased the catch but de-

all the way to St. Louis,” Judd says.

the pulp and paper industry comes in.

stroyed seabeds. Ultimately, cod, mack-

Maine’s coast and woodlands were

“While that industry was fairly selec-

erel, and menhaden, the most valued

tourist meccas and ready markets for the

tive, only taking trees that could pay their

species in New England waters, experi-

state’s seafood and agricultural prod-

way out of the woods and into a mill,

enced catastrophic declines in the mid-

ucts, including dairy. From summer col-

there was concern about deforestation,

20th century, says Judd. And the coastal

onies and hotels to wilderness hunting

erosion, flooding in the rivers and those

economy underwent a dramatic shift.

and fishing camps, Mainers launched

kinds of things in a watershed, and a lot

their own spinoff cottage industries.

of that comes from the tourist industry.”

“People along the coast were gopational pluralism — moving with the

the groundfish industry to the herring


that are canned as sardines, and the lob-


seasons or with the environment from one type of staple to another,” says Judd. “They’re moving with the seasons from

ster industry. They might use their boats for coasting, taking goods up and down

It was the difference between the

only along the coast, but inland, too,”

perception of the traditional lumber

“Sometimes they’re getting cordwood

Judd says. “A good market for produce.

industry, which was seen as somewhat

off the islands — spruce for either the

A big market for dairy products in those

selective in its harvesting practices, and

paper mills or for the lime industry. And

hotels. And handicrafts — spinoffs from

the pulp and paper industry that could

other times they’re fishing, handlining for

farming and fishing — from tying lures to

largely use spruce and fir of any size.

fish, spearing flatfish, or just doing a whole

building Rangeley boats.”

between here and Boston.


“There’s a really nice market, not

“There was a lot more conservation

range of things. And that’s how they make

Cultural tourism — “that whole his-

going on up in the woods than the con-

ends meet, primarily after the big indus-

tory of perseverance along the coast,

servationists thought,” Judd says. “They

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


ing to a mixed form of fishing — occu-

were a little bit alarmist about what was going to happen.” It was in the best interest of the pulp and paper industry to sustain the forest, Judd says. They built multimillion-dollar mills that were viable for decades. To do that, they needed to conserve their supplies and experiment with forestry techniques. Declines in lumber production in the second half of the 19th century were offset by the rise in pulp and paper production, says Judd. “Early manufacturers made paper from rags, which kept the industry close to metropolitan sources of fiber, but when low-cost book and newspaper printing boosted demand for paper, they turned to wood fiber, and the industry shifted northward into New Hampshire and Maine, sustaining one

Helping Maine businesses and communities address their most pressing water and environmental challenges.

of the most dramatic periods of industrial expansion in the history of the two states.” Like the agriculture and fishing sectors, the forestry industry was trans- COMMITMENT & INTEGRITY DRIVE RESULTS

formed by mechanization. The labor shortage in the woods spurred innovation through the decades, from chainsaws to skidders and feller bunchers, Judd says. Owners of large timberland tracts often advocate for multiple use forests, but nowhere more than in Maine. Judd

We make healthcare work for you.

says “It’s always been a tradition in Maine to somehow be able to use the forest for both recreational and commercial purposes. The forest industry has made all sorts of accommodations for people using their roads, people using campgrounds. It’s a stormy relationship, but it’s one that has roots in the 19th century

As your partner in community health, we collaborate to bring you the most comprehensive care. That’s a promise.

when we were trying to figure out who owned the North Woods and who had rights to impose limits on it. “The compromise was that we leave the forest industry to foresters, but they would have to allow the public to come onto those lands. The concept of multiple use was really important. It’s not just anywhere that you can just walk out into the woods wherever you want. That has been an important mainstay of both for-


estry and tourism in the state.” ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021





I F Y O U I M A G I N E Maine nearly 300 years

which primarily supports sales, logistics,

ago, you would likely not recognize many

IT and finance operations employing

of the places you know and love today.

Mainers throughout the state.

While Maine is a state abundant with

Let’s take a look back at this history

natural beauty, and a majority of its in-

to see how Sappi has transformed and

habitants and businesses prioritize the

adapted over the course of three centu-

preservation of that beauty, change is in-

ries to remain a critical part of Maine’s

evitable over such a long period of time.

economy while also advancing paper in-

novation and sustainable manufacturing. Written by Beth Cormier, VP of Research, borhoods have grown, and throughout Development & Sustainability, Sappi North America the centuries of change there has also THE 18 00S: THE B E G INNING O F THE


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

been consistent growth for one business


in Maine. Sappi North America, a subsid-


iary of Sappi Limited, a global pulp and

In 1854, an early pioneer in the world of

paper provider, has roots in our state that

coated printing papers named Samuel

go as far back as 1854. The company owns

Dennis (S.D.) Warren came to the rural

and operates two paper mills in Maine:

outpost of Westbrook, Maine and pur-

the Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, which

chased a small paper mill situated along

is, in fact the company’s largest mill at

the Presumpscot River for $28,000. That

over 2,500 acres, and the Westbrook

purchase, which equates to $870,000 to-

Mill and Technology Center, which is the

day, included two paper machines that

company’s oldest mill and has a unique

had a production output of about 3,000

history of its own. Sappi also operates its

pounds of paper per day. S.D. Warren

Shared Service Center in South Portland,

named it the Grant, Warren and Compa-


Towns have been established, neigh-

ny and got to work enhancing the mill’s

T H E 1 9 0 0S: THE MIL L G R OWS A ND

the production of coated graphics paper



began in 1981 and continues today. These

In the 1850s, and for hundreds of

Warren passed away in 1888 and was suc-

papers set a new standard in the pub-

years prior, the primary material sources

ceeded by his son, also Samuel Dennis,

lishing business in the 1980s with Sappi’s

for paper were flax and cotton. Rags made

who continued the spirit of innovation

flagship Somerset brand revolutionizing

of these materials were beaten down, and

into the 20th century. The Westbrook

the aesthetics of magazine pages.

the extracted slurry of cellulose fibers, also

Mill quickly became a leading business

known as pulp, was then dried and formed

in the area, employing close to 3,000


into rolls or sheets of paper. It wasn’t until

Westbrook residents and has remained a


the widespread use of paper machines like

generational workplace for many families

Once the S.D. Warren Paper Mill was ac-

Warren’s that companies started consider-

in the region throughout the decades.

quired by South Africa-based Sappi Lim-

ing alternative source materials.

By 1929, S.D. Warren created a Technol-

ited in 1994, a new world of opportunities

Just nine years later, he had added

ogy Center that has been spearheading

opened for the homegrown operation.

another paper machine to the mill, add-

research and development endeavors in

As a global company, Sappi operates in

ing 8,000 pounds of output each day. By

the paper industry ever since. This cen-

150 countries with 12,800 employees

1867, S.D. Warren changed the name of his

ter is credited with creating the patent-

and most importantly, they align with

mill to S.D. Warren Paper Mill Company

ed wood pulping process that increased

the values that are at the core of the pa-

and began experimenting with other nat-

fiber yield and reduced material and en-

per mills — innovation and sustainability.

ural materials. He began incorporating

ergy consumption, and developing the

The Sappi Limited network folded the

wood fibers from trees into his rag fiber

first branded coated paper called Warren

mill operations in Maine into one of the

mixture and was ultimately able to cre-

Cameo. It also developed wet-strength

largest global producers of sustainable

ate a superior paper product. S.D. Warren

paper for military maps in 1942 and shortly

wood fiber products across three con-

Paper Mill Company became the first mill

after developed release paper for plastics.

tinents, with 19 production facilities in

in the United States to incorporate wood

In 1967, Scott Paper purchased the

eight countries. The Sappi operations in

pulp and set off a wave of innovation and

Westbrook Mill and the Technology Cen-

Maine have remained a large employer

success. It quickly became the largest

ter, and in 1974 the buildings were added

for those communities and continues to

paper mill in the world and by 1880, was

to the National Register of Historic Plac-

bring economic value to the region.

producing 35,000 pounds of paper per

es. Over the course of its ownership, Scott

Today, the Westbrook Technology

day. The mill became a leader in coated

worked to diversify the mill’s operations

Center employs approximately 50 tech-

paper production, which was a precursor

before selling it to Sappi in 1994. That

nicians, engineers, and scientists whose

to the glossy paper of today that fills the

sale included another Maine paper mill,

goals are to discover and implement

very magazine you are reading.

the Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, where

new products, optimize current product quality and improve product cost in support of not only Sappi North America operations, but global initiatives as well. Past and present employees of the Technology Center are the proud inventors of over 250 patents that have helped Sappi and its customers maintain a competitive edge for years. To further explore the unique applications of wood fiber, the Technology Center frequently collaborates with leading research institutions. For example, Sappi is assisting the University of Maine and Harvard University to develop a next-gen use case. The project involves the application of release papers to make microfluidic channels that could potentially be used for the

Packing and shipping room, 1920.

mass production of water purification systems. In addition to working with uniONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



versities and research institutions, Sappi

the important role for Maine’s evolving

In addition to contributing to Maine

is also proud to work with local entre-

forest industry on the global stage in the

communities through charitable acts,

preneurs to help get their ideas off the

future,” says Wade Merritt, Maine Interna-

sustainability has also always been a key

ground. In 2019, the company helped

tional Trade Center President and Direc-

pillar for the company, and now more

Falmouth, ME-based eco-entrepreneur,

tor of International Trade, Maine DECD.

than ever, it’s woven deeper into every

Kai Smith, make environmentally-friend-

As the company continues to evolve

fiber of Sappi’s business. It starts with

ly beer coasters using Maine wood pulp

its business, it has afforded them the op-

maintaining healthy and abundant for-

and grain from the brewing process.

portunity to continue to be a major and

ests. That’s why Sappi North America is

While all of this is impressive for

proud employer for the State of Maine,

committed to sourcing 100% of wood

Mainers specifically, the company has

with Sappi employing 1,100 Mainers

and pulp used in products directly from

breathed a new life into the local facil-

across their locations. The positive rip-

well-managed forests through the Maine

ities. Sappi invested more than $200

ple effects for communities can be quan-

Forestry Program.


tified. For example, in October 2019, Josh

“Sappi is a world-class leader in for-

at the Somerset Mill and modernize the

Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute

est products, and their presence in Maine

facility’s woodyard area. Both projects

described that 100 jobs directly in pulp,

has been important not just due to hun-

were completed in 2018, which helped

paper and paperboard mills supported

dreds of jobs today (and thousands more

solidify Sappi’s place in the competitive

468 indirect jobs in logging and trans-

indirectly) but to the future of the in-

market with the production of paper-

portation industries and 218 in service

dustry here. Their long-range perspec-

board products for luxury packaging,

industries where workers and supplier

tive ensures they’re always investing,

folding cartons and food service appli-

employees spend their income.

innovating, and adapting to remain com-

cations. Somerset’s innovation efforts






petitive now while pursuing next-gener-

have also led to advancements in en-

are also creating thriving communities

ation products. For the past five years,

vironmental initiatives which were ac-

through the creation of the Employee

Sappi has been a strong and fundamen-

knowledged in the 2020 AF&PA Lead-

Ideas that Matter grant program, which

tal force in the collaborative Forest Op-

ership in Sustainability Awards for its

awards $25,000 annually to charitable

portunity Roadmap/Maine (FOR/Maine)

“Caustic Reclaim and Reuse” project.

causes that are meaningful to its em-

initiative, helping our state find a path

The mill has set a model for reducing

ployees. This community engagement

to sustainably and responsibly grow the

the volume of purchased chemicals,

is often funneled directly into Maine

forest products industry in order to pro-

and soon other mills will implement a

communities. In 2018, Sappi employees

vide good paying jobs to rural Mainers,”

similar process to minimize the overall

Dale Leroux and Don Davidson, received

says Yellow Breen, President and CEO of

chemical demand while also striving

a grant to publish their children’s book

Maine Development Foundation.

towards its sustainability goals. Sappi

The Rainbow Rescue, which highlights

Sappi’s forestry team is composed

continues to identify new methods to

diversity and inclusion. The project re-

of trained forest professionals who are

reduce its environmental impact local-

ceived funding to print 500 copies of the

dedicated to working with woodlot own-

ly and globally, including aligning with

book, which were donated to the West-

ers in the State of Maine by providing

seven UN Sustainable Development

brook Children’s Project, who shared

guidance for healthy forestlands. The

Goals (SDGs), and the company was an

them with Westbrook Maine Communi-

program offers Mainers assistance in the

early supporter of the Paris Agreement

ty Center, Westbrook schools and other

management of their land for a range

on climate change, signing the pledge

school libraries in the area. The duo had

of forest health improvements, wildlife

over six years ago.

been working on a copy of the book for

needs, aesthetics, revenue from timber

“As one of the state’s largest inter-

over 20 years, and with Sappi’s program

and more, while creating career oppor-

national investors, Sappi’s continued

was finally able to bring it to light for the

tunities in remote areas of the state. The

commitment in Maine is a testament to

youth in the region.

program offers opportunities for young

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

foresters like Luke Lamond, who is now a Forest Technician but began his career through Sappi’s mentorship program. He grew up in the region and followed in his father’s career footsteps in forestry by obtaining a degree from the University of Maine in Orono studying Forest Operations, Bioproducts and Bioenergy. Although he had roots in rural Maine, where logging and timber harvesting were understood by most, his career at Sappi began in urbanized areas of the state which required on-the-job skills to teach the general public about sustainable forest management. This program continues to offer hands-on training and development for anyone interested in the growing industry. Looking ahead to the decades to come, Sappi will continue to give back to the communities and the environment to foster a happy and healthy Maine. THE SA P P I F UTURE The word innovation holds a lot of weight at Sappi because it stretches far beyond this page into each section of the business and every product. Not only is there a dedicated Technology Center in the Westbrook Mill that is constantly discovering new ways to better utilize renewable resources, as a company there is still significant investment in research and development happening at each level of the global network. It’s a surprise to some consumers that Sappi products can be found everywhere from clothing, car interiors, pet food bags, magazines, food labels


and much more. In fact, at Sappi’s other North American mills, including the

The innovative solutions and versa-

brook Mill. With 80 years’ experience

Cloquet Mill in Minnesota, bleached

tile uses of the tree don’t stop at Verve.

creating the textures used in synthetic

kraft pulp contributes to the creation

In 2020, Sappi launched a new line of

leathers, laminates, coated materials and

of textiles, particularly viscose and ly-

casting release paper, Ultracast Viva. This

other unsupported films, Sappi can be

ocell fibers to create a soft, breathable

industry-leading solution offers compa-

found head to toe on countless surfaces.

fabric. Sappi Verve (dissolving pulp) is a

nies across the globe a textured release

Throughout the decades, one thing

market leader. The company continues

paper line that embodies the company’s

has remained the same and that’s Sappi’s

to push the standard for creating quality

environmentally-friendly manufacturing

efforts to create great sustainable prod-

products, while maintaining a sustain-

goals. The state-of-the-art technology

ucts through collaboration with hardwork-

able process beginning with responsibly

used in creating the casting and release

ing Mainers. Sappi products are all around

sourced wood fiber.

papers comes straight from the West-

the world, but they all start in Maine. ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021




Changing for Sustainability S. W. COLLINS COMPANY Written by Sam Collins Photos courtesy of S. W. Collins Company

T H E O N E C O N S TA N T in the 177 years of

hold goods in addition to nails, shingles,

existence for the S.W. Collins Company

clothing, and herring as sales of the day!

has been change. Starting out on the

The pioneer’s equipment and tools for

banks of the Caribou Stream as a grist

harvesting trees were axes and crosscut

mill and sawmill in 1844, the company’s

saws before hauling the tall pines out of

services and products have evolved over

the woods with horses, and then floated

the years. The company has survived

down the Aroostook River into the St.

a civil war, two world wars, the Great

John River. The logs were squared so that

Depression and now is in the midst of

they would not roll in the ship’s hold and

the second global pandemic. However,

were then sold by the ton for shipment

throughout all the change and its chal-

to England. Many a ship’s mast was made

lenges, we have been nimble and flexible

from Northern Maine pine trees during

to new ideas to ensure our model con-

that time!

tinues to be sustainable.


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

The original labor force also looked

In addition to harvesting and milling

different, with the set-up in the lumber

timber, the company originally provided

camps starkly contrasted to the retail

staples for the growing pioneer com-

stores of S.W. Collins today. I recall my

munity in the general store. The ledgers

father’s stories as a young man visiting

with stylish calligraphy recorded house-

the lumber camps in the woods in the

mid-1930s and his amazement at the prodigious amount of food available to fuel loggers for the long day of demanding physical labor. Slabs of ham, eggs by the tens of dozens, pastries, pies, juices and coffee were for the start of the day before sunrise beckoned the crew to the woods. After a mid-morning sandwich, lunch at noon, and a treat around two, the loggers would return to the camp just before sundown to clean up before another huge dinner complete with plenty of Aroostook County potatoes, a wide variety of meats, sweets, and pies. While the products sold in the 1800s have drastically changed from tobacco, herring and lumber, the company ventured into additional ways to serve the community. After World War II, there was a need for housing and jobs as veterans returned to their hometowns to settle down. Seeing the need for housing, the company started a construction business to provide good paying jobs for some of the veterans in the County and to fill the growing demands for homes. Land that had been used for the planting of potatoes by S.W. Collins Company was converted to home lots with new “modern-insulated energy-efficient houses!” The construction company continued into the early 1970s until a changing market encouraged a shift in focus to the distribution of building material to contractors. The company expanded from a mill in the heart of the city of Caribou to an additional mill in Stockholm in the ear-


ly 1900s where cedar shingles and clap-

placing the stickers between the rows of

side of the industry, management started

boards were milled to side the houses

lumber to allow the lumber to air dry. The

plans for a new retail store to better serve

in the growing communities. The mills

decision to change the business model

contractors and the retail side of the

continued operation, however, spruce

from processing lumber to distributing

business. Don Collins, the fourth gen-

logs replaced the pine logs for the con-

the finished product was an easy one.

eration to lead the company built a new

struction of homes. After several mill

The location of the mill was no longer

4,000-sq.-foot retail store with a brick

fires in the 1960s, the company focused

in the heart of a bountiful supply of raw

façade and a second floor to accom-

more on milling rough lumber purchased

material and there was a significant need

modate the back offices. The traditional

from other small mill operators. I recall

for investments in modernizing the mill

lumberyard with materials supplied to

many summers home from school on

from computerized optimization of saw-

contractors for the building of homes

the receiving end of the planer scaling

ing logs to automatic sticker machines!

was evolving into a retail environment

board footage, marking the boards with a

As the company moved away from

that also supplied the DIY market with

lumber crayon, stacking the boards, and

the lumber processing and construction

paint, hardware, plumbing, and electrical ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021


BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS supplies. Homeowners were prepared to

ing the customer’s name and address on

by management. Then, in the late ‘80s

take on projects to improve their prop-

a slip of paper and the material needed to

and early ‘90s, the company added com-

erty and needed the guidance from their

be delivered. After the order was estab-

puters to the retail process by having

local hardware and lumber stores.

lished, the slip of paper was anchored to a

point-of-sales systems on the check-out

block of wood with a nail pierced through

counters. Customers and workers were

the center of the order.

quick to adapt to the use of technology

At that time, the point-of-sales processes were still largely manual with hand slips priced out. Counting back the

This largely manual and slower busi-

as they experienced the benefits. The ca-

change to the customers was a skill that

ness model rapidly changed in the 1980s

pability of computers and new software

all clerks possessed. The penmanship of

as computers were introduced to the

allowed S.W. Collins to run more effi-

the 1980s certainly did not match the

retail lumber business, starting with the

ciently and with more controls. Purchas-

calligraphy skills of the clerks entering

back-office accounting functions. Al-

ing for multiple yards was enabled with

the sales in the daily ledgers in the 1800s.

though transactions were not recorded

the access of real-time information and

Charge accounts were manually posted

real time, it was the beginning of having

ability to analyze sales trends and finan-

and the mountains of duplicate slips filed

bulky “green screen” monitors on office

cials at any point in time.

in cabinets in the back office. The deliv-

desks. With a quicker access to informa-

In addition to the technological

ery process still consisted of clerks writ-

tion, monthly financials were now used

changes, the material handling process greatly evolved. Long past, are the times


when folklores of heroic men with great strength as they unloaded by hand railroad cars full of cement bags served as regular dinner conversation. I recall as a youth having the task of unloading an enclosed carload of plywood sheathing one sheet at a time on a hot summer day. With the advent of the forklift, the handling of


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

building material is certainly much easier — the boom trucks and trucks with an attached forklift make the task of delivering more efficient and the incidence of injuries fewer. Telematics in delivery vehicles monitor driving behavior and give the dispatchers real-time information for scheduling and informing the customers on expected delivery times. Throughout all these changes, the S.W. Collins team has also grown and changed to reflect the times. Job opportunities have expanded as part of our effort to better serve customers. No longer is the average employee a man capable of felling trees in the woods. Today, the men and women of S.W. Collins Company are skilled at estimating, drafting, personnel development, teaching, and marketing along with having the traditional skills of purchasing, wood working, selling, delivering, and accounting for the lumber retail business. It is because of this diversification of talent and capability that S.W. Collins is able to succeed. While much has changed in the lumber industry and in our company, our mission has remained the same: “To continue to offer excellent products and legendary service as we strive to be an active, positive influence in the communities in which we live and work.” Behind this mission and the company’s success, has been a management that embraces change and ensures that the busines model is constantly responding to the community and its needs. It is this change, as technology develops and circumstances evolve, that is constant. To remain sustainable, S.W. Collins Company has seized opportunities to evolve the busines model from processing lumber and farming to distribution of building materials and construction to retail of hardware and building materials to contractors and homeowners. We cannot predict the future, however, we do know that it will be different than it is today. Much will have changed and we will have changed also to serve the community and our customers. ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021




Maine Potatoes Adapting to Change

Written by Pat Sutherland, M A I N E ’ S P R E M I E R A G R I C U LT U R E crop, As farmable acreage was developed, parSutherland Weston its famed potatoes, has evolved greatly ticularly in Aroostook County following from the plant by hand of the 1700s to

the Civil War as young men returned

the days of horse-drawn, one-row plant-

home determined to get into growing

ers in the early 1800s to today’s comput-

potatoes, a major industry was created.

er-guided mechanized equipment. Once

Numerous related off-shoots have led the

upon a time, a farmer could fell trees and

industry to where it is today.

till a few acres for a potato crop. Today’s


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

growers need hundreds of tilled acres to


accommodate the size of their equip-

There are those who bemoan the fact that

ment — both in number and magnitude.

today’s Maine growers do not plant near-

efficiencies. Some key elements and programs evolved along the way. In 1986 the Maine Potato Board (MPB) was established to support the Maine potato industry.

Other potato

growing states typically have similar associations, however, most state organizations are primarily promotion boards. The MPB recognized early on it had limited resources and needed to utilize those resources in a manner that would support growers and industry partners to strengthen the industry itself. Consequently, over the past 30-some years, that has been the guiding directive for the board in a number of ways. The Maine Potato industry regularly invests in research, and partners with the University of Maine for several research programs. The University of Maine and the industry also work together on the breeding program, which develops and tests new potato varieties. MA INE SE E D POTATO B OA R D, MINI-TUB E R S, A ND SUC CE SS In 1947, the Maine Seed Potato Board, which now is owned by and administered by the same staff as the Maine Potato Board, worked out a deal with the state to purchase an isolated farm near Masardis for the purpose of helping to supply growers with early-generation seed potatoes. Today, that farm is known as the Porter Seed Farm and produces 400,000 mini-tubers and 40-plus varieties in its tissue culture lab. It grows 110 acres, including 26 varieties of field seed potatoes per year. Field seed potatoes include field years 1, 2 and 3. ly the acreage that was formerly grown,

with an average yield of 100 cwt, double

The majority of mini-tubers are plant-

and this incorrectly signifies that the

the yield per acre. In 2020, 52,000 acres

ed at the farm, which eventually become

potato industry in Maine is not as strong

were grown, with a yield of 300 cwt, tri-

early-generation seed for other seed

as it used to be. The real and interesting

ple the yields of 100 years ago and, ul-

growers or sold to commercial growers.

comparison is drawn by looking at the

timately, producing more potatoes than

yield factor, which is how the industry

ever before.


measures successful productivity. In 1867, 52,000 acres of potatoes

Most Maine seed potatoes wind up in the processing sector, so industry standards, such as Russet Burbank, are grown


at the Porter Seed Farm. The operation

were planted in Maine with an average

The industry recognized it needed to

also is proactive on getting newer vari-

yield of 50 cwt (hundredweight) per

adapt, to invest, and to utilize cutting-

eties into production by working closely

acre. In 1920, 125,000 acres were planted

edge knowledge to sustain growth and

with the university’s potato breeding and ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021


changes that have occurred in the indus-

consumer requirements.

gram goes from the initial cross (breed-

try and what needs to occur. Consider

Add to that list the fact that Maine’s

ing) all the way up to advanced materi-

that in 100 years of raising potatoes in

past three growing seasons have been

al that may have had seven years in the

Maine, primarily in Aroostook County,

especially dry, but the 2020 season was

ground, if not longer. They are constantly

the basic plant, fertilize, spray, and har-

the driest on record. Only about 25-30

evaluating new material and are an im-

vest operations are the same essential

percent of potatoes in Aroostook Coun-

portant resource to the industry.

framework, but yet not the same. It re-

ty are irrigated, which has Maine growers

Once a variety shows five to six years

quires not only a knowledge of the in-

looking for ways to get water to miti-

of promising results, the seed farm will

dustry to succeed, but significant invest-

gate such drought impact in the future.

take some clean tissue culture from the

ment in that industry.

When growers are asked what lies the

Porter lab to begin mini-tuber produc-

Today’s grower is planning and

heaviest on their minds as planting sea-

tion for commercial tests. A recent suc-

looking at a multi-focused investment

son approaches, the response usually is a

cess story is the Caribou Russet. The

to be successful as the industry moves

combination of investment in irrigation

variety was developed by the university

forward: large and expensive technical-

equipment and water sources. Addition-

and the seed grown at Porter Seed Farm.

ly-controlled equipment (some planters

ally, for the past several years, growers

It became one of the 20 most-grown

now will do 12 rows at a time while the

have worked to diversify their crop ro-

seed varieties in the U.S. in 2020. Anoth-

operator reads the morning news on

tations to focus on green manures and

er two new varieties recently introduced

his phone!); computerized temperature

building soil organic matter. Industry

to the processing market are the Easton,

control storage facilities (potatoes for

professionals see that trend continuing.

excellent for fries, and the Sebec, great

processing come out of the bin in Au-

for chips. Both have positively impacted

gust as firm and fresh as they were when


the industry.

placed there the previous October); a

It’s a market-driven industry and wise

plan to take advantage of marketing

growers are looking ahead at what con-


opportunities; partnering with soil sci-

sumers want and what the value-added

Maine’s potato industry members, from

entists to ensure healthy soil for their

market will require and sustain. About

the growers to the myriad of others who

crop, attaining that goal of a three-year

65% of the crop annually is processed,

provide critically needed complementa-

crop rotation and looking at four-year

and the balance is sold on the fresh retail

ry and support services, recognize the

potential; and meeting “farm-to-table”




variety development program. That pro-


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

In 2020, the national retail fresh market increased by 21% in dollar sales, 15% in volume. Consumers are seeking local, fresh produce. The new Caribou Russets sell out in retail markets, but round whites continue to be the most desired varieties by consumers. Packaging is critical to consumers — ­ they want to know what they are buying. Consumers and retail markets enthusiastically promote and support the “buy local” and “farm-to-table” philosophy. The MPB’s role in the evolution of the Maine potato industry is to keep its members current in the marketplace — meeting the needs of processors in the frozen and chip markets, encouraging and seeking innovation in varieties for certified seed growers, and packaging quality, branded fresh potatoes for the retail market. Maine’s potato growers and the entire industry pride itself for a commitment to sustainable farming practices. This commitment extends to every facet of growers’ work and guides the plans for future growth. Growers know that not only is sustainability important for their future, the future of their farms, and the future of their families, but also important to the consumers who eventually purchase and eat their products. Assuring long-term sensible use of open space means less chance of Maine’s working farms being sectioned off, sold, and developed for other uses. Farm




philosophies for Maine’s potato industry


are based on the principle of creating an inclusive farming community that focus-

upside. We’ll never plant 100,000 acres

es on the best practices for productivity,

again, but look at our yields today. Grow-

environmental stewardship, and prosper-

ers and industry partners are sharing

ity. When these best practices are prop-

best practices and making smart invest-

erly designed and implemented, growers

ments in the future of Maine’s potato

can expect their farming operations to be

industry. Family farms are healthy, and

economically, environmentally, and so-

we’re seeing 5th and 6th generation fam-

cially sustainable for years to come.

ily members looking ahead to be a part

Don Flannery, executive director of

of this industry. Wise and sound invest-

the MPB for the past 25 years, says it like

ments have brought us to where we are

this: “I look at the Maine potato indus-

today, and I only see healthy, productive

try and don’t see any downside, just an

growth in our future.” ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021




The Berry That Is Maine:

R O C K Y C O A S T L I N E S , hikes at Acadia,

Wild Blueberry Commission. “But con-

and of course, wild blueberries — the

sumers recognize the immense value,

things that have become synonymous

incredible health benefits, and unique

with summer in Maine. But this tiny berry

taste profile of wild blueberries — that’s

is so much more than the taste of a sea-

why it’s so important for Mainers and

son — it’s at the core of one of our state’s

those who love Maine to always have

most significant agricultural industries

wild blueberries in their freezer. I en-

comprised of hardworking growers and

courage everyone to learn more about

multi-generational farms, researchers,

wild blueberry growing practices, how

and entrepreneurs who are committed

wild is different than cultivated blue-

to preserving the historic roots of the

berries, and how our industry is expand-

wild blueberry while also moving the in-

ing value-add products. We grow a spe-

Written by the Wild Blueberry dustry forward. Association of North America

“From drought to late-season frost,

cial berry that is a vibrant part of Maine’s living history.”

wild blueberry growers continuously


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

have to overcome numerous hardships


that are out of their control,” stated Eric


Venturini, executive director for the

Nicolas Lindholm, owner and operator


Wild Blueberries

of Blue Hill Berry Co. and commission-

Maine’s harsh, cold, and salty conditions.

consumer and trade demand. That story

er for the Wild Blueberry Commission,

As opposed to their larger-fruited cousin

focuses on the unique flavor profile of

has been in the business for 25 years.

the ordinary blueberry, wild blueberries

wild blueberries, the incredible health

He currently owns/leases seven fields

are never planted and are smaller in size.

benefits, and, of course the special place

across the Blue Hill peninsula where his

These tiny berries boast a more intense

where they grow: Maine. More than 20

organic wild blueberries are grown and

blueberry flavor ranging from tangy tart-

years ago, the antioxidant story put wild

harvested annually. Half of his crop is

ness to succulent sweetness, are loaded

blueberries on the map, and because

sold to Merrill Blueberry Farm, while the

with 33% more brain-healthy anthocya-

of the industry’s marketing and educa-

other half is sold directly to consumers,

nins than cultivated blueberries, and are

tional efforts, more and more brands are

turned into dried powder, frozen, or sold

available fresh for a short window each

starting to understand the unique value

in bulk. When listening to his story, his

year with the majority of the crop frozen

of formulating with wild and adding the

dedication is tangible, and so is his con-

at peak of ripeness and nutrition to be

word “wild” to packaging.

cern for the industry.

accessible all year long. While a pint or

It hasn’t always been easy, but mar-

“I fell into wild blueberry farming in

bag of ordinary blueberries are grown on

keting efforts are working and demand

a roundabout way — my wife and I pur-

plants that are genetically identical, wild

for Maine’s iconic fruit is growing. Ac-

chased a plot of land in the Blue Hill area

blueberries are part of a diverse natu-

cording to AC Nielsen, which tracks

in the 1990s to start an organic vegeta-

ral ecosystem, and that diversity carries

the nation’s grocery stores, demand for

ble farm and transitioned to focusing

through into the product — a handful

frozen wild blueberries has been out-

on wild blueberries in the 20-teens,” re-

of wild blueberries display a rich array

pacing the overall blueberry category.

called Lindholm. “Today is a really chal-

of colors from a dark blue, almost black

From 2015 to 2018, retail frozen wild

lenging time for our industry, but I also

to purple or a dark blush. The flavor in

blueberry unit sales grew 32% while

know there’s immense potential if the

a mouthful is a delicious explosion of

all other blueberries grew just 1.7%. In

industry moves away from freezing over

tangy, sweet, and wild.

2020, retail frozen wild blueberry de-

90% of the crop each year. We need to

The industry has focused its market-

mand increased by an astounding 52%,

diversify the products we sell and the

ing efforts on educating people about

outperforming the entire frozen fruit

markets in which we sell them to evolve

the differences between a wild blueberry

category which grew by 38%. These in-

the industry.”

and a cultivated one in order to increase

creases have allowed the wild blueberry

Lindholm describes the diversity of ways wild blueberries can be used and sold, from drying them for powder to using the leaves for medicinal teas or body care products. He also shared details about his work with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


(MOFGA) to mentor the next generation. “I work closely with the MOFGA Journeyperson program and am currently mentoring a young woman who is wild blueberry farming,” continued Lindholm. “I know five or six young wild blueberry farmers in their 20s or 30s, which is exciting to see, but we need more. I encourage others to get involved with MOFGA — there are so many possibilities for those interested in organic wild blueberry farming.” WIL D V ERS US C ULTI VAT E D B LU E B E R R I E S For generations, Maine wild blueberry growers have nurtured the naturally occurring crop that thrives in Downeast ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



studies explores the impact of a two-degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature on soil condition and berry production. This work is done by placing climate change chambers over plants in the field to measure many factors. We need to innovate to address this growing problem.” Since the 1950s, growers have continuously adapted new innovations that help make “blueberrying” (farming and harvesting) easier (e.g., mechanical harvesters or irrigation techniques), but there is still a lot of manual labor and an innate Maineness that runs deep in the grower community. “We must continue to build a sustainably vibrant Maine wild blueberry industry — we can do that if we pay attention to increase its market share of the over-

to market trends and foster grower-end

all blueberry category. It’s clear both the

user-researcher collaboration to move

taste and health messaging are resonat-

forward through tough times while still

ing with consumers across the nation.

paying homage to where this berry came from,” concluded Calderwood.



Most know Maine for its harsh winters,


but the state is experiencing noticeably

Despite the barriers growers are facing,

different weather patterns year over year

the value and potential of the wild blue-

that negatively impact the wild blue-

berry remains strong. While most of us

berry crop. Lily Calderwood, Extension

think of wild blueberries with jams and

Wild Blueberry Specialist and Assistant

pie filling, entrepreneurs are realizing

Professor of Horticulture for the Univer-

opportunities for other value-added

sity of Maine, is working with a team of

products — particularly with wine. Eric

researchers and growers to help make

Martin and Michael Terrien, Mainers

wild blueberry farms more resilient and

who left the state to explore careers in

protect the industry from the inevitable

wine, returned to their home turf with

MICHAEL TERRIEN, WINEMAKER, BLUET threat of climate change.


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

that shakes up the wine industry. That’s just what they did — Bluet wild blueberry sparkling wine entered the scene in 2015. “This is a fruit that can tell the story of place through its flavor,” said Terrien. “This is not like any other fruit that we know of — the terroir is so unique, and

“We have numerous ongoing proj-

the taste of wild blueberries sourced

ects right now that address everything

from our partner farm in Appleton, Maine

from extending the shelf life of fresh wild

cannot be replicated. We want people to

blueberries, to testing the use of mulch

know where wild blueberries come from,

in fields to protect plants from drying

the glacial soils that make them so rich

out too early in the season,” noted Cal-

in flavor, and the history behind it. By

derwood. “One of our collaborative

drinking this wine, you support genera-



a mission: create a wild blueberry wine

tions of farmers who have harvested wild blueberries. That is the essence of how Bluet came to be.”

Serving Maine since 1947

Serving Maine since 1947

Martin continued, “Our big realization was that if you ferment wild blueberries and make a pure wine, you end up with this unique product that fits into a new section of the drinks aisle next to the natural wines, heritage ciders, wild beer, kombucha, super seltzers — you name it. We’re seeing signs that there’s a national market for this pure style of wild blueberry wine.”

Serving Maine since 1947

Martin and Terrien’s love for Maine and appreciation for wild blueberry growers is palpable. When asked about what’s next for the wild blueberry in-

Serving Maine since 1947

dustry, they surprisingly said, “We want more competition in this space. We want the next generation of college graduates who are interested in opening a brewery to consider a wild blueberry winery instead. Growing this industry will not only help us, but also wild blueberry growers. We’re all in this together.” VISIT TH E M A I NE BA R R E N S AU G U ST

Thomas College | Henry & Ellen Hinman Hall | Waterville, Maine

33 Sheridan Drive Building on our promise. Fairfield, Maine Thomas College | Henry & Ellen Hinman Hall | Waterville, Maine WWW.SHERIDANCORP.COM (207) 453-9311

Building on our promise.

33 Sheridan Drive Fairfield, Maine (207) 453-9311


7-8TH F OR WI L D B LUE B E R RY W E E KE N D You can visit Blue Hill Berry Co., taste Bluet, and experience the magic of Maine wild blueberries at this year’s first-ever Wild Blueberry Weekend, taking place between August 7-8th across Maine. Visit and tour wild blueberry farms, eat wild 33

Thomas College | Henry & Ellen Hinman Hall | Waterville, Maine Thomas College | Henry & Ellen Hinman Hall | Waterville, Maine

Sheridan Drive 33 Sheridan blueberry treats, and taste wild blueberFairfield, Maine Drive Fairfield, Maine ry-themed drinks at restaurants and bars (207) (207) 453-9311 453-9311

Building on our promise. Building on our promise.

statewide. For more information, visit


WWW.SHERIDANCORP.COM “We want to make Wild Blueberry Weekend a new tradition in Maine each summer,” concluded Venturini. “It’s a fun way to engage Mainers and tourists in

“The Bottom Line” PODCAST

this iconic local food — and it will help our farms and businesses. Visitors will

Machias Savings Bank has been helping Maine businesses find solutions for their unique needs since 1869. When other banks say “no,” we work hard to find your YES!

experience the hardworking, vibrant, and distinctly Maine culture of “blueberrying” and learn what a Maine summer is supposed to taste like. Visitors should bring a cooler loaded with ice, and plan on returning home with enough frozen wild blueberries for the year.”

Let us help you find your “YES.”

Search for “Williams Broadcasting: The Bottom Line” at iTunes, iHeart Radio, Soundcloud, Stitcher Radio, Spotify and ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



Beyond a Good Catch Innovation and Advocacy for Sustainability in Maine’s Fishing Industry


Written by Craig Pendleton, retired Maine fisherman and former director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

I N M A I N E , commercial fishing has been a way of life for generations. It is dangerous. It is not for everyone. I remember back in my early days when older guys would compare it to a priest receiving a calling from a higher place. That’s how we all felt about going to sea to reap its bounty. Commercial fishing has taken its fair share of criticism, much of it warranted, some of it not. Management of marine resources is an inexact science. There are many assumptions when trying to manage a population of fish and other marine species that live underwater across tens of thousands of acres. Add in that we border another country, Canada, that uses an entirely different management system and that the fish don’t know that there is an international border — you get of the twine that nets were made of, was

as much back as they kept. Sorting these

I’ll focus on a few positive initiatives

set in stone as one generation taught the

fish took time and energy and impact-

that I believe made a significant difference

next. When I started, mesh size in the

ed the quality although at the time we

for the fish and the fishermen. The first is

“cod end,” where the catch collected in

weren’t focused on a quality product —

“by-catch.” This is when fishermen catch

the net, was three inches. I never ques-

we just needed to catch a lot.

non-targeted, unmarketable species in

tioned it. My job was to catch as many

I remember hearing that fishermen

fishing gear. In my 40 year career of drag-

fish as I could, as fast as I could, to make

in southern New England tried using 4¾-

ging we got better and better at catching

as much money as I could and then turn

inch mesh to sort out small yellowtail

fish but didn’t see the big picture.

around and do it again. However, there

flounder. We were focused on catching

were times when fishermen would throw

grey sole and were seeing thousands of

the picture.

Mesh size, the size of the opening

small unmarketable fish in our nets. I asked my employer at that time to purchase some of the 4¾-inch twine to try. I was told I would never catch enough fish with that size twine and they refused to buy it for me. I drove to Rhode Island and bought it myself. It made more sense to me to filter the fish underwater instead of bringing it up dead and throwing it overboard. By the end of my career, I advocated for the use of 6-inch mesh and much of


the front ends of our nets were made out of 8-inch mesh to further aid in the selection process. A second innovation to reduce “bycatch” was introduced into the northern shrimp fishery. This winter fishery was an outstanding source of revenue, the market was huge and we shipped them all over the world, but once again the mesh ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



size of the netting was important as our shrimp, Pandalus borealis, were small. Once again, the fortunate/unfortunate situation for us was that the shrimp lived amongst the other 18 marketable species in the Gulf of Maine. It was claimed by scientists and environmentalists that the shrimp fishery interacted with 19 million pounds of by-catch per year. Management’s answer was to put very low limits on how many fish we could land with our shrimp. It was a terrible decision that did not get to the root of the problem. We needed to find a way to sort the fish out of the net and only keep the shrimp. In the southern United States fishermen were dealing with how to keep sea turtles out of their nets. The solution came in the form of a grate installed within the net with a hole in the top above the grate that allowed the fish to be sorted and released. This Nordmore Grate system was introduced with little direction, little science and little enthusiasm by us. Sometimes we fishermen would only buy into change if we were beat over the head with it. Such was the case with the grate. Those of us who could get past the railroading of this tool through the system quickly saw that 1) our crew wasn’t out on deck all day sorting fish out of the shrimp and 2) our product was significantly better because it wasn’t getting squished by all the fish. We quickly began getting paid more for our product and that made us happy. We still hated the grate but we would learn to love it. The final piece of the puzzle was to win back the public. We made great strides with by-catch and needed to shift product. The Portland Fish Exchange was one positive experiment that headed us in the right direction. It was designed as a full display, English outcry auction system. Your fish, identified under your boat name, would be placed on display for buyers to inspect and purchase through the auctioning system.


Maine State Chamber of Commerce


gears and focus on producing a quality

We all had our doubts and while I was a critic early on, I became one its greatest supporters and served on the board of directors for about eight years. I firmly believe that my business benefited from taking more time to carefully clean the fish, ice it properly, and get it home quickly — it gave us a first class product. We still weren’t organized enough. We couldn’t collectively see the bigger picture of winning back the public and

I DREAMED OF PARTNERING WITH FARMERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO MARKET A HEALTHY PLATE OF FOOD. using our stories and first-class product to make the next step. We needed to fish smarter not harder. The days of filling the boat and making money from sheer volume were long gone. We had to focus on the strength of our long heritage and

Putting People First. Not Profit. Maine credit unions are deeply committed to improving the financial lives of all Mainers. Our People Helping People philosophy is at the heart of everything we do. Raising funds to end hunger, providing financial education to New Mainers and local students, protecting seniors from financial exploitation, and delivering safe, secure services to members are just some of the ways we carry out this mission every day. Maine credit unions are moving our state forward and Maine families upward toward a brighter tomorrow.

our successes in reducing by-catch and bringing fishing to a sustainable level. I dreamed of partnering with farmers across the country to market a healthy plate of food. I spent three years working with several bright, innovative people from diverse backgrounds to create an or-

Maine’s credit unions are here for you.

ganization we felt would be the catalyst to make this dream happen. Northwest At-

become an advocacy group and fight

fishing business, the passion of going to

lantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) gave many

for access to the marine resources for

sea and fighting for what is right has nev-

of us hope. Unfortunately, we did not win

its members. It was unfortunate and de-

er left me. I was lucky and proud to land

back the public. Fisheries management

railed our long-term focus. I still firmly

a job leading a local chamber of com-

was a disaster and fish stocks continued

believe we were on the right path. We

merce for over eight years and to serve

to plummet. The shrimp fishery has been

did connect with farming organizations

on the state chamber board for many of

closed for nearly six years now.

and we did write comprehensive fishery

those years. It served as an outlet for my

Management decided to go down

management plans that rewarded people

passion and my love for advocacy. The

the path of quota management and in

for conservation. It is work I am extreme-

people that lead chambers are a special

turn, rewarded the people who caught

ly proud of and continue to promote.

breed. I am honored to have served with

the most instead of recognizing how

I ended my commercial fishing ca-

differently we all fished. NAMA had to

reer in 2008. While I no longer own a

them and I cherished every moment I could spend with them. ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021




100 Years of the


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Natural Goodness of Maine


Written by Oakhurst Dairy C H A N C E S A R E if you grew up in Maine,

family farms, including both indepen-

you grew up with Oakhurst milk in your

dent and DFA co-op members, to source

fridge. 2021 marks a momentous year for

and process approximately 500,000 gal-

the company as Oakhurst Dairy joins a

lons of milk weekly. Stacey Hall Webster,

short list of Maine businesses that have

third generation owner and operator of

been in operation for 100 years. The icon-

Halledge Farm in Windham, sheds light

ic company has become synonymous

on what working alongside Oakhurst for

with “The Natural Goodness of Maine”

more than 80 years looks like and means.

by offering customers the freshest prod-

“As a third-generation farm owner, I

ucts every day, supporting healthy ac-

can say that it’s rare to have partners like

tive kids and the environment. To honor

Oakhurst Dairy. My grandfather, Stanley

this milestone and Oakhurst’s long-term

ucts sourced from hard working Maine

Hall, started raising and selling cattle at

commitment to Maine people and local

farmers. As our company takes time to

just 14 years old. After growing his busi-

dairy farms, we’re taking a look back at

celebrate and look back on the last cen-

ness into a dairy farm, Stanley Hall rec-

how Oakhurst has transformed and inno-

tury, we’re also looking forward to the

ognized a good thing in Oakhurst and

vated to become what it is today.

next 100 years by challenging and en-

started selling his milk to the Bennetts.

“My grandfather, Stanley Bennett,

couraging businesses, grocery retailers,

The rest is history,” noted Stacey. “Sim-

created this company back in 1921 as

community members, and local leaders

ilar to Oakhurst’s fundamental value of

a two-route business making milk de-

to embrace the values of kindness, good-

building community, Stanley Hall strong-

liveries by horse drawn wagon out of

ness, and Maineness — Oakhurst will cer-

ly believed that when you partner with

Woodford Street in Portland,” said John

tainly pour it on alongside them all year

someone, you stick by them until the

Bennett, President and CEO of Oakhurst

long, just as we always have.”

end. Over 80 years later, we’re thankful

Dairy. “Today, Oakhurst is 100% dairy

that our partnership with Oakhurst is just

farmer owned through Dairy Farmers of


America (DFA), has about 200 employ-


ees, and distributes across Northern New

Oakhurst was built on the belief that

tional news by being the first dairy com-

England. It’s pretty incredible to see how

maintaining strong community ties and

pany in the US to stand up to Monsanto

it has changed in 100 years, but I know

local roots would propel the business

and not use artificial growth hormone in

that all of it rests on Oakhurst staying

forward — this all started with partner-

their milk. Oakhurst asked all its farm-

true to what the company was founded

ing with Maine’s dairy farmers. Today, the

ers to take the first farmer’s pledge and

on: providing the highest quality prod-

company works with dozens of Maine

started including the pledge of no arti-

as strong as it was then.” In 2003, Oakhurst Dairy made na-




ficial growth hormone on its packaging. After a long legal battle, the hard-fought effort changed how people thought about milk and many other dairy companies followed Oakhurst’s lead with greater label transparency. Beyond its longstanding commitment to supporting local Maine dairy farmers in order to deliver the freshest and highest quality dairy products, Oakhurst is also passionate about Giving Goodness back to local communities and helping Maine kids lead healthy active lives. Over the years, Oakhurst has donated millions to non-profit, educational, and research organizations including the Salvation Army of Northern New England, 4H, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Rippleffect, the Boys and Girls Club, and Good Shepherd Food Bank. Oakhurst has made raising awareness for the issue of child hunger in Maine a priority. Today, more than 80,000 Maine children still struggle with hunger and for many, school lunch is their last meal of the day. To address this, the company launched Oakhurst After School, a partnership with Full Plates Full Potential to create a statewide grant program that en-


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

sures children get the food they need after school. Oakhurst is donating $300,000 to the non-profit over a three-year period to support the funding of the meal grant program for Maine community-based after school programs and schools. MAINE DAI RY I NDUSTRY: Q UA LI T Y, INNOVATI ON A ND S USTA I N A B I LI T Y “It’s not just about what goes on within our four walls — in order to continue improving, we must pay close attention to everything from cow output, to product handling practices, truck safety, shelf life, animal protection, environmental sustainability, and much more,” said Brad Bowers, Plant Manager for Oakhurst Dairy. “We have an old adage in the dairy industry that says, ‘keep it cold, keep it clean, keep it moving.’ We believe wholeheart-

“The entire US dairy industry partic-

edly that innovating on important details

ipates in a program called FARM—Farm-

Oakhurst is Northern New England’s lead-

throughout the whole process — from

ers Assuring Responsible Management—

ing dairy brand and has stood behind ev-

farm to table — without compromising

that includes all farmers, co-ops, and

ery glass of milk and product for 100 years.

the high quality of the product we get

processors working together on animal

While the FDA states there is no signifi-

from our farms, helps us put the best milk

protection, employee programs, and en-

cant difference between milk from cows

possible on people’s tables each day.”

vironmental sustainability,” said Sarah Lit-

treated with artificial growth hormone,


tlefield, Executive Director of the Maine

Oakhurst made history in 2003 when it

Maine’s dairy industry is firmly rooted in

Dairy and Nutrition Council. “All dairy

asked its milk producers to take Ameri-

the history books as a pillar of the state’s

producers need to follow the same stan-

ca’s First Farmer’s pledge not to use ar-

economy by employing thousands of

dards, and this plays out with companies

tificial growth hormone. Today, Oakhurst

Mainers and contributing over $1 billion

like Oakhurst making sure they’re uphold-

remains committed to the wellbeing of

in revenue to Maine’s economy annu-

ing their commitment to the industry.”

its community through its Giving Good-





ally — but this hasn’t been maintained

Despite all the changes and inno-

ness charitable donations to local orga-

without paying attention to necessary

vation, one thing remains the same:

nizations that support healthy, active kids




innovations and important sustainability

Oakhurst delivers the tastiest, fresh-

and a healthy environment. The company

measures for dairy farms across the state.

est, and highest quality dairy products

produces milk and other dairy and juice

As the largest dairy company in Maine,


products from its headquarters on For-

Oakhurst has been at the helm of many of

“Thank you to Mainers everywhere

est Avenue in Portland, Maine. In January

these innovations, working closely with

for coming along for this 100-year ride

2014, Oakhurst became a wholly owned

its employees, state partners, producers,

with us,” concluded Bennett. “We look

subsidiary of Dairy Farmers of America,

and the Maine Dairy and Nutrition Coun-

forward to the next century of providing

a dairy farmer-owned cooperative based

cil to ensure the industry moves forward

delicious and nutritious dairy products

in Kansas City, Kansas. For more informa-

as one cohesive unit.

for Maine families and beyond.”

tion, visit ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



Maine Aquaculture IS


Written by Sebastian Belle

F O R H U N D R E D S O F Y E A R S , Maine citi-

doing it for about 140 years. Early efforts

Photos courtesy of Maine Aquaculture Association

zens have relied on working landscapes

in Maine centered around Atlantic salm-

and waterfronts to make a living. From

on, Atlantic cod, and oysters. Currently,

the very start, fishing, farming and for-

Maine farms produce over 24 different

estry have defined our state’s identity

species with Atlantic salmon, oysters,

and supported our citizens and commu-

mussels and kelp being the top four in

nities. Aquaculture, the farming of plants

terms of both harvest value and weight.

and animals in water, is the latest version

Producing over $100 million in farm gate

of these age-old traditions.

value and employing over 700 people

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Globally, growing food in water is

annually, Maine sea farmers are helping

not new, but in Maine we have only been

coastal communities diversify their eco-

BMPs now form the basis for many of

world. Designed to increase productivi-

the international seafood sustainabili-

ty and guarantee high health seed, these

ty certification programs. Those same

methods have been used by growers in

salmon farmers were some of the first in

many other states and countries. Maine

the world to develop area management

shellfish hatchery seed is sought after

agreements and use site rotation and fal-

by growers up and down the east coast

lowing to reduce the risk of disease, vir-

because of its reputation of being high

tually eliminating the use of antibiotics.

quality and disease-free. Our shellfish

In most cases, Maine salmon farms have

hatcheries are also known for their in-

not treated fish with antibiotics for over

novations in energy conservation and

15 years.

use of renewable energy. Maine seaweed

Maine shellfish and seaweed farm-

farmers have developed growing gear de-

ers have developed some of the most

signed to minimize conflicts with other

innovative hatchery methods in the

marine users and produce the highest

Innovation nomic base and traditional working waterfront families continue their maritime heritage. Maine’s aquatic farmers have always been innovators and have led the development of some of the most progressive farming methods in the world. Maine salmon farmers pioneered the development of biosecurity and escape prevention Best Management Practices (BMPs) that were audited by third parties. Those ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



Maine State Chamber of Commerce

quality seaweed available in the mar-

Biosciences and OysterTracker are being

energy and growing food in the oceans

ket. Maine seaweed producers are also

formed to provide goods and services to

will help meet global food demand while

known for their tremendous innovations

the aquatic farming community, not only

reducing environmental impacts. These

in product development, from cosmet-

here in Maine but around the country

facts are the fundamental reason that

ics to new food products such as “kelp

and world.

aquaculture is the fastest growing food

cubes,” designed to give tasty and nutri-

We live in a rapidly changing world.

production method in the world. With

tious boost to millions of smoothies pre-

Global population and living standards

its 3,500 mile coastline, vibrant working

pared every year.

are at all-time highs, and increasing fast-

waterfronts, pristine water, and strong

Aquatic farmers have to be innova-

er than ever. By 2050, the United Nations

research community, Maine is posi-

tors because many of the species they

Food and Agriculture Organization proj-

tioned well to serve America’s growing

grow have never been farmed before.

ects that we will have to double global

demand for healthy seafood using sus-

Maine sea farmers are developing novel

food production to meet demand. Nu-

tainable methods. People want to know

farming methods for sea scallops, eels, yellowtail, urchins, clams and a variety of seaweeds. New species demand new production methods and drive the need for innovation. The aquaculture sector in Maine relies on a strong relationship with Maine’s research community to support that innovation. Working with the Aquaculture Research Institute at the Univer-


sity of Maine, the Maine Aquaculture In-

merous studies have shown that growing

where their food comes from and how it

novation Center, the Downeast Institute

food in water is 10-20% more efficient

was produced. Maine’s sea farmers have

and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute,

than growing it on land. Over 70% of

a great story to tell. Visit www.mainea-

Maine sea farmers are constantly devel-

the earth’s surface is covered in water, to learn more about how Maine

oping new, innovative production meth-

making the oceans the largest solar en-

aquaculture is leading the way with inno-

ods. New companies like Kennebec River

ergy collector on earth. Harnessing that

vation and hard work.




Canada & Maine AN INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIP OF MORE THAN 100 YEARS Written by Stefano Tijerina, Lecturer in Management Maine Business School, University of Maine


Maine State Chamber of Commerce





been interconnected with the Canadian economy, and more particularly with the provinces of Québec and New Brunswick. Before the borderland was carved out by the nation building process of the 18th century, the economic and social dynamics of the Wabanaki Confederacy had already revealed the interdependency of this unique geographical region that, through its rivers, linked the interior to the coast. From settlement and through colonialism, independence, nation building, and the ebbs and flows of the first era of globalization (1870-1914) and into this second era of globalization (1944-present), Maine’s economy has remained intertwined with Canada’s economy. The fact that in 2020 Maine’s exports1 to Canada represented 53% of the state’s total exports and imports2 from Canada represented 67% of the state’s total imports indicates that the regional interdependency will only continue to grow. A regional trade relationship that began with informality evolved, in less than 200 years, into a well-oiled regional trade dynamic that has incrementally integrated Maine’s economy into the Canadian market. Informal trade across the Wabanaki Confederacy had existed before the colonialist era. That same pattern of informal trade continued to evolve across the newly absorbed French and British territories, slowly forming and integrating new emerging markets that resulted from the commodities-based design of colonial powers. By the early 1700s, what was known as British North America, was not only intertwined as a regional market but also interconnected PHOTO: ADOBESTOCK / DARRYL BROOKS

to the British Caribbean. Through the Jamaican entrepôt, Maine and other parts of the British North American market were integrated into the broader “Foreign Trade: State Exports from Maine,” Census. gov, accessed April 1, 2021, foreign-trade/statistics/state/data/me.html 2 “Foreign Trade: State Imports for Maine,”, accessed April 1, 2021, 1



and Massachusetts ports.4 Not only

American pursuit of a self-sufficient mar-

strengthening the links between Maine

were the commodities re-exported but

ket would force Maine’s relationship with

and our regional neighbours.

also relabelled at the new port of origin.

the Maritimes to spiral into informality.

By the mid-1700s, Maritime schoo-

Maritime vessel owners opted to move

Contraband and other dynamics of in-

ners made their way into British-con-

their merchandize through New England

formal trade would define the regional

trolled ports around the world, return-

ports, in some instances because of lack

market of the late 1700s and early 1800s,

ing fully loaded with commodities that

of infrastructure and investment capital,

and more so after the War of 1812. Nev-

would be filtered back into the Maritime

and in other instances because they were

ertheless, the ports and the traditional

markets via Boston, Falmouth, Casco

not interested in assuming the risks of

trade routes of the pre-colonial and co-

Bay, Portland, and Penobscot Bay.3 This

shipping to markets such as the Caribbe-

lonial eras would continue to feed the

further integrated our regional market,

an.5 Local and international trade would

local markets of Maine with value-added

connecting Maine and the Maritimes re-

continue to intertwine the regional mar-

goods and commodities.

gion to the global market system.

ket, as the colonial economy of British

The expansion and sophistication

After the American Revolution, Mar-

North America adapted to the new so-

of the American market would force the

itime commodities began to be re-ex-

cial, economic, cultural, and political

British Empire to revise their protec-

ported through Maine, New Hampshire,

dynamics of the young American nation.

tionist policies against the United States,

The tightening of the border and the

slowly bringing new life to the regional markets of New England and the Mar-

Stefano Tijerina. Opportunism and Goodwill: Canadian Business Expansion in Colombia 1867-1979. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021): 13-18.



Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Ibid. Ibid.

4 5

itimes. Ultimately, and as part of the British construction of the first era of


F E AT U R E S T O R Y British-controlled global market, further

globalization, the British and Americans

Canadian capitalists the potential ben-

structure and technology that has now

would sign the Canadian-American Rec-

efits of integrating their market to the

been going on for more than 160 years

iprocity Treaty of 1854. This first attempt

American economy. It also had planted

and that continues to change and move

at a free trade agreement would lay down

a seed of independence and autonomy

forward as new technologies and market

the foundations for the development of

across British North America (BNA), and

integration demands surface. However,

an integrated market, incrementally in-

eventually paved the road for Canada’s

the boom of the first era of globalization

creasing the porousness of the border.

Confederation in 1867, a step closer to in-

did not last long.

Small business owners, farmers, early

dependence and sovereignty that would

The American Civil War and the ab-

industrial manufacturers, exporters, im-

culminate with signing of the Statute of

rogation of the Reciprocity Agreement

porters, bankers, insurance brokers, to-

Westminster in 1931.6

of 1854 forced Maine’s borderland re-

gether with cross-border families, and

Exports to the United States grew

gional economy back into informality,

newly arriving immigrants would take the

365% between 1853 and 1866, setting the

taking advantage of the historical trading


stage for regional integration, includ-

routes that, over pre-colonial and colo-

al bilateral market to a new high.

ing Maine’s initial interconnectivity to

nial times, had been carved out through-

Likeminded capitalists on both sides

the Canadian market.7 The “hunger” by

out the region’s geography. This short-

of the border began to see the advantag-

provincial interests “for a share of the

lived period of instability and informality

es of a more porous border, juxtaposing

traffic of the Mississippi basin” and the

was then followed by the Reconstruction

the loyalists, nationalists, and protec-

borderland region of the North East was

era, a period of nationalism and isola-

tionists that favored a hard border. This

enhanced by the construction of rail-

tionism that resulted in the hardening of

ideological confrontation would set the

way infrastructure, strengthening the

the border.

tone for the never-ending debates be-

region’s interconnectivity while laying

Hardened by tariffs and other protec-

tween nationalists and free traders.

down the foundations for future region-

tionist measures, residents and business-

The short-lived first attempt at a free

al interdependence.8 Railway mileage in

es on both sides of the border distanced

trade zone that integrated two sover-

BNA increased from 66 miles to 2,065

themselves from the trade dynamics of

eign national markets (UK and the USA)

miles between 1850 and 1860 — by then

a regional market. This did not impede

came to an end in 1866 as a direct conse-

Montreal had been connected to Boston,

the flow of immigrant labor into the

quence of the American Civil War. Never-

New York, Portland, and Chicago.9 This

industrial magnet that was the New En-

theless, the 12 years of free trade exper-

marked the beginning of a process of re-

gland economy. Thousands of Irish and

imentation brought economic growth

gional market integration through infra-

French Canadian immigrants travelled

and prosperity to the borderland region. The resulting increase in the size of the market convinced business leaders who benefited from the market expansion that free trade was good policy, and it served as confirmation to business sectors that were negatively impacted from the policy implementation that protectionism was necessary. This dynamic was replicated across Maine and its borderland region. The trade agreement had revealed to

south from the Maritimes and the Qué For more on the 1854 Reciprocity Agreement see, for example, Stefano Tijerina. “Deja-vu From 1854: Free Trade, Protectionism, and the Canadian-American Reciprocity Treaty.” In Mark S. Bonham, ed. Trade-Offs: The History of Canada-U.S. Trade Negotiations. (Toronto: Canadian Business History Association), 2019. 7 Lawrence H. Officer and Lawrence B. Smith, “’The Canadian-American Reciprocity Treaty of 1855-1866,” The Journal of Economic History 28, no 4 (December 1968): 599. 8 William J. Wilgus. The Railway Interrrelations of the United States and Canada (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1937), 38. 9 Wilgus, The Railway Interrrelations of the United States and Canada, 39-40. 6

bec province, in search of jobs in the rising industrial markets across Maine and New England. This movement of people strengthened the regional links and further intertwined the regional economy as capital and labor moved back and forth between Maine and Canada. The establishment of the Canadian Confederation in 1867 and the western expansion of the United States further strengthened the borders during the last ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



quarter of the 19th century, but this did not impede business leaders in New England and across the 49th parallel from considering the possibility of annexing what was then known as the Dominion of Canada. By the year 1900 the United States market represented 15% of the world’s total exports and it accounted for close to 5% of the world’s total population.10 The accelerated growth and increasing relevance of the American economy, within the global market system, resulted in an increasing inflow of foreign direct investment (mostly British) that lead American business leaders to the conclusion that a new reciprocity agreement with Canada would be possi-

tionists. This, together with party poli-

be manufactured in Canada. These bilat-

ble, considering the trade advantages for

tics and British imperialism, became the

eral initiatives would further intertwine

both markets.

pillars that obstructed the liberalization

Maine’s economy with the Canadian

of the market during the first half of the


locally centered business and political

20th century.


elite that was benefitting for the priv-

Canadian economy increased after the

ileges of the British Commonwealth

thrived throughout the interwar peri-

war, as the agreements of 1940 and 1941

trade dynamics and the imperial capabil-

od. During Prohibition, Maine’s thirst

transitioned into a non-war economy,

ities of the United Kingdom eventually

for alcohol was quenched by the illegal

keeping intact the possibilities of fur-

blocked the signing of the 1911 Reciproc-

trafficking of booze across the border.

ther integrating borderland markets,

ity Agreement, claiming the potential

Immigrant labor from Canada continued

production, manufacturing, and supply

threat of Canada being annexed to the

to flow into the Maine market as its man-

chains. These possibilities were eroded

American market. This did not impede

ufacturing sector expanded. By then the

by the Cold War dynamics of the 1950s

the borderland economies from further

fishing industry was intertwined, and so

and 1960s that deviated the agenda away

integration — it simply slowed down a

was the lumber industry and parts of the

from trade and toward national security

process that was inevitable. By the year

agricultural sector. Maine, and perhaps

issues. Nevertheless, the border between

1913, half of U.S. exports to the Americas

other borderland states, became the ex-

Maine, New Brunswick, and Québec be-

went to Canada, and in many instances

ceptions of American isolationism during

came porous as cross-border families

re-exported into the European market.

the first half of the 20th century.

moved back and forth on a daily basis,


Canada was well on its way to becoming a

During the Second World War, the

and as commerce across the border be-

key trading partner for the United States.

demands of the war economy resulted in

came part of a modern cultural reality

In the absence of a trade agreement,

the integration of the Canadian and the

of border towns. Culture, and not trade,

Maine’s economy continued to inter-

American military production systems,

constructed the dynamics of the border

twine itself with the Canadian economy

ultimately unleashing the market forc-

during this period.

via immigration of labor, remittances,

es that would eventually pave the way

As the cultural forces were inter-

informal borderland trade, and the ex-

for the integration of the two markets.

twining the region, the forces of global-

pansion of industrial, fishing, and agri-

The Ogdensburg Agreement of 1940 es-

ization, spearheaded by our government

cultural production. At the same time,

tablished the framework for closer con-

on behalf of certain business sectors,

it continued to phase the challenges of

tinental security cooperation between

began to take its toll on industrial and

negative propaganda fueled by Canadian

Canada and the United States, and the

manufacturing operations across Maine.

and American nationalists and protec-

Hyde Park Declaration of 1941 allowed

For example, starting in the 1950s, the

American-produced war equipment to

cannery industry, once a thriving Maine

Robert E. Lipsey. “U.S. Foreign Trade and the Balance of Payments, 1800-1913.” (working paper no. 4710, National Bureau of Economic Research, April 1994), 5. 11 Ibid., 40. 10


Maine’s interconnectivity with the

Nevertheless, the informal market

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

H.S. Paton. “Reciprocity with Canada: The Canadian Viewpoint.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 35, no. 4 (August 1921), 578.


industry employing thousands of workers, slowly died out as it became incrementally exposed to the challenges of


Canadian nationalism driven by the

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parel, and other industrial and manufac-

at business efficiency and efficacy was

tions eventually left the state in search

turing industries that had kept the re-

seen as a potential reality. Easy for Hy-

of lower labor costs, lower environmen-

gional economy thriving.

dro-Québec to imagine an integrated

tal and resource management standards,

After the 1970s and into the 1980s,

region that could be serviced on both

and less regulated markets. Provincial

with the rise of neoliberalism, regional

sides of the border or for Irving to imag-



integration was no longer seen as a loose

ine the expansion of its services into the

maintained the industry alive in the Mar-

and unregulated cultural dynamic but

Maine market, but more complicated for

itimes region, in many cases subsidizing

as a policy-driven effort based on mac-

Maine communities that were being left

operations in order to maintain the lo-

roeconomic principles of costs benefit

behind by the industrial and manufactur-

cal economy alive. Eventually, part of the

analysis. While some Mainers and other

ing businesses that incrementally closed

cannery industry moved to Canada, and

Americans were escaping the military

their operation in Maine in order to re-

today Maine provides them with the raw

draft by crossing the border into Cana-

locate to more advantageous markets

commodity for their own value-added

da, provincial-driven companies such as

across the United States, prior to leaving


Hydro-Québec were figuring out ways to

the United States in pursuit of greater

strategically integrate the region through

global opportunities in the emerging

the sale and distribution of electricity.

markets of the world.



The lumber and fishing industries experienced a similar trajectory to the


As globalization slowly unfolded,

and other value-added structures to the

States Automotive Products Agreement

Maine, New Brunswick, and other Mar-

Canadian market, while preserving the

of 1965 had allowed business leaders

itime economies began to feel the pain,

border dynamic that kept the commod-

and policy makers on both sides of the

adapting to the new realities of the glob-

ity regionally integrated. Unfortunately,

border to imagine a bilateral world with-

al market system. Maine, as well as New

that was not the case for the shoes, ap-

out tariffs. Bilateral integration aiming

Brunswick, lost their industrial and man-

cannery industry, shifting manufacturing


Maine State Chamber of Commerce




F E AT U R E S T O R Y globalization. The value-added opera-

ufacturing capabilities in the 1980s. The

the rigidity of the border once again. In

nisms, systems, and cultural dynamics

signing of the Canada-United States Free

this historical ebb and flow of the po-

that stand the test of time.

Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) in 1987 estab-

rousness of the border, Maine’s econ-

Overtime, the Maine-Canada border-

lished new interconnections between

omy was once again hampered but

land “has cemented an interdependent

new regions across Canada and the Unit-

perhaps, more so in this case, because

relationship that has overcome the dis-

ed States, while disenfranchising regions

of the levels of dependency that it has

mantling of the 1854 Reciprocity Agree-

across the border that had been inter-

reached with the Canadian economy.

ment, the failed 1911 Reciprocity Treaty,

twined historically, as in the case of Maine

By the year 2001, Maine’s economy de-

the nationalist-centered interwar years,

and its Canadian borderland region.

pended on Canadian tourists, the state

the Great Depression, the neoliberal

The opening of the border for trade,

received its energy from Hydro-Québec

adjustments of the 1980s, the anti-free

the elimination of tariffs, and the inte-

as it replaced its nuclear energy-based

trade initiatives of the 1990s and early


grid with Canadian hydropower, capital

2000s, and the global financial crisis of

sectors of the economy was strength-

had been injected into retail, hospitality,

2008. The most recent partial closure

ened even further with the signing of the

food, and entertainment in towns across

of the border crossings by the Canadian

North American Free Trade Agreement

Maine tailored for Canadian consump-

government, resulting from the threats of

(NAFTA) in 1994, which further expand-

tion, and even infrastructure investment

the COVID-19 pandemic, have once again

ed the liberalization of the market into

had been risked in order to capitalize on

revealed the critical interdependence of

Mexico. States like Texas and California

the new borderland dynamics.

this particular borderland region. Maine,

became intertwined with the Canadian

From that moment onward, Maine’s

over time, has become somewhat isolat-

and Mexican economies as a result of the

economy has struggled to get back on its

ed from the rest of the U.S. and thus more

free trade policies, while economies like

feet, regaining its momentum during the

dependent on Canada.”13 In 2020, more

Maine were left behind.

first decade of the 2000s, only to find

than 50% of our bilateral trade depend-

This did not impede the cultural and

its dependency on the Canadian econ-

ed on the Canadian market.14 Moreover,

local business exchange from thriving.

omy increase even further. Our lumber

people-to-people ties and daily cultural

The regional tourist industry expand-

industry is now more intertwined with

exchange across the border remains and

ed, as Canadians turned Maine’s coastal

the Canadian market than ever before,

will continue to be essential “to the re-

region into their destination of prefer-

and so is the lobster industry. We contin-

gion’s wellbeing and long-term sustain-

ence. The introduction of the 21 and over

ue to depend on Canadian tourism, and

ability.”15 History continues to confirm

drinking age policy in Maine resulted in a

the economic development of our bor-

that Maine remains and will continue to

new cultural tradition of borderland kids

der towns continues to heavily depend

be part of three constructs — the First

travelling north in order to get a taste of

on the Canadian consumer. Moreover,

Nation’s construct, New England’s re-

beer and spirits. Meanwhile, the dynam-

cross-border traffic continues to be at

gional collective consciousness, and the

ics of cross-border families and the bor-

the heart of the economic development

cultural and business dynamics of the

derland cultural ties interconnected the

of many towns.

Maine-Canada borderland.

regional economy even further, taking

The regional economy thrived and

advantage of the business opportunities

overcame the challenges of 2001 only to

offered by the newly created free trade

face another challenge under the finan-

zone. Informal markets, of course, also

cial crisis of 2008, and now under the

thrived. This included cannabis, over-

2020-2021 pandemic. Contrary to other

the-counter medicines, and even human

borderland economies that were artifi-


cially connected through the surfacing

The development of a complex re-

of new supply chain routes and com-

gional economy, a new economic and

modity exchanges, Maine’s regional in-

social experiment, was well on its way

terconnectivity with New Brunswick and

when September 11 happened, forcing

Québec has created, over time, mecha-

Stefano Tijerina. “Regional Analyses: Maine – Québec – New Brunswick.” In Border Barometer, Border Barometer Research Institute, Western Washington University, 2021. Accessed April 25, 2021. viewcontent.cgi?article=1126&context=bpri_publications 14 Foreign Trade: State Imports for Maine,”, accessed January 22, 2021, foreign-trade/statistics/state/data/imports/me.html 15 Stefano Tijerina. “Regional Analyses: Maine – Québec – New Brunswick.” In Border Barometer, Border Barometer Research Institute, Western Washington University, 2021. Accessed April 25, 2021. viewcontent.cgi?article=1126&context=bpri_publications 13





s Doug Herling and David Flanagan walk through the lobby at Central Maine Power’s (CMP) Augusta headquarters each morning following COVID safety precautions, they are reminded of one thing: the company’s humble beginnings and just how far it has come. They pass by a 1933 Ford Model T CMP truck, which sits in front of a timeline documenting the company’s 121-year history. “It is pretty amazing to walk by all of these mementos every morning,” noted Herling, CMP’s president and CEO. “It is a great reminder of our deep roots here and the positive impact we’ve had in the state. Over the last century, Maine’s history has been very intertwined with CMP’s.”

Every day, CMP’s primary obligation is to provide safe and reliable power for all 646,000 customers across its 11,000-square-mile territory. CMP is also committed to giving back to the communities that it serves. Today, the company’s community giving is complemented by grants made by the Avangrid Foundation, housed in CMP’s parent company. Using shareholder dollars, the company carefully targets nonprofits that not only help with immediate community relief, but also focus on making investments in Maine’s future. At CMP, they are Mainers helping Mainers. David Flanagan, CMP’s executive chairman, has a history with the company that started 26 years ago. “It has always been our tradition to make sure

that everything we do, whether it is working to strengthen Maine’s energy infrastructure or investing directly into our communities, is done with an eye toward the future. Mainers depend on us and we take this responsibility very seriously.” For example, CMP has been a strong supporter of workforce development efforts — ensuring young Mainers and adults have an opportunity to find a career in the state they know and love. Between the Avangrid Foundation1 and CMP, a long-term partnership has been established with the Kennebec Valley Community College’s Electrical Lineworker Technology Program through a $350,000 investment that has funded a training ground for future CMP employ-


“It’s what we do best,” Herling notes with an earnest look in his eye. “We are here to respond to Maine’s needs. At the end of the day, we are first responders. We appreciate how hard Mainers work establishing their livelihoods in this beautiful state, and we want them all to know and feel assured by specific evidence in their communities that we are here for them, every step of the way.”

ees and scholarships for students. The company and the Avangrid Foundation also have invested $550,000 over 25 years with Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG), a proven development program to give young people a career direction and important life skills. The Avangrid Foundation is also forging new approaches to workforce development and with CMP provided critical support for MaineSparks, a Maine Community Foundation program to connect adult learners with the education, information, coaching, and resources they need to secure meaningful, long-term employment, and boost their careers. The Foundation is also the lead funder in the new Working Cities Chal-

lenge, a Federal Reserve Bank of Boston program that supports eight Maine rural development programs addressing specific barriers to economic and career development that is just off the ground. Herling credits these programs with both creating employment opportunities for Mainers and helping develop CMP’s workforce. “These partnerships are an important part of the critical effort to keep graduates in Maine by providing specific training needed for good paying jobs in our industry.” CMP has also partnered with organizations such as the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, the Mitchell Institute, and the Maine Blue Collar Scholarship Foundation. Through these partnerships, CMP is funding initiatives that give young and motivated Mainers the tools they need to succeed, building a strong, resilient workforce for the state. And of course, CMP always steps up to the plate to support Maine in its time of need. In 2020, CMP donated to over 100 Maine charities, many of them in response to increased needs due to COVID-19. “We are accustomed to responding quickly to evolving situations, so it was seamless for us to pivot our giving priorities, allowing us to be as responsive as possible,” said Flanagan. “From donating masks early in the pan-

demic when they were in short supply, to contributing $200,000 to the United Ways of Maine for emergency food assistance, we were able to respond to our communities’ needs in a targeted and prompt way.” “It’s what we do best,” Herling notes with an earnest look in his eye. “We are here to respond to Maine’s needs. At the end of the day, we are first responders. We appreciate how hard Mainers work establishing their livelihoods in this beautiful state, and we want them all to know and feel assured by specific evidence in their communities that we are here for them, every step of the way.” The Avangrid Foundation is an independent 501(c) (3) organization and the primary charitable arm of the AVANGRID. CMP is a wholly owned subsidiary of AVANGRID. 1

Doug Herling, CMP President and CEO

David Flanagan, CMP Executive Chairman


Looking Forward WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR MAINE Written by Doug Bailey | Photos courtesy Waterstone Properties


Maine State Chamber of Commerce

opment for the entire state. The idea is to make Rock Row a linchpin of Maine’s overall long-term strategy to spur new investment in infrastructure, education, talent, recruitment, and innovation. “This is a really forward-looking project,” says Levy, the co-founder of Waterstone Properties Group, one of the largest commercial developers in New England. “We want to create something we can all be proud of in a way that respects the character of the area and makes it feel like it was always part of the fabric, but also helps take the state to the next economic development level.” Already the site has lured popular regional grocery chain Market Basket, which opened last year, an 8,200-seat Live Nation outdoor amphitheater, and, most recently, a six-acre medical and research campus anchored by New England Cancer Specialists, a member of the world-renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative. And Levy is just getting started. “Rock Row is going to be a huge economic engine,” he says. “It will mean 4,000 jobs just on our site, with a halo impact of 10,000 to 15,000 jobs in the area.”

A MAINE MOMENT It could have been just another generic open-air mall. In fact, when Waterstone bought the property in 2017, the plans called for an anchor retail tenant— Walmart—ringed with typical national chain retailers. Levy and company had bigger ideas. “The pandemic is actually creating a E V E R Y O N E N E E D S A personal theme

retail stores, residences, technology and

catalyst for Maine where remote workers

song and, for now, Josh Levy’s might be

medical research, office space, enter-

are moving to the state from Boston, New

the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper tune “Fixing a

tainment, hotel, and convention halls,

York, and elsewhere,” said Oliver Olsson,

Hole.” What was once a desolate, con-

even nature walks, rock climbing, and

director of Strategic Partnerships at Wa-

taminated, abandoned quarry just off

bicycle trails.

terstone. “We see us supporting this mo-

Interstate 95 in Westbrook — complete

In short, the 110-acre $600 million

ment for Maine and the recruitment of

with a 400-ft.-wide, 300-ft.-wide hole in

site, dubbed Rock Row, aims to be home

new talent and new companies and new

the ground — is being transformed under

to the state’s first true Innovation Dis-


Levy’s guidance to what may already be

trict, showcasing a hub of excellence

Indeed, new data confirms that the

the single largest commercial develop-

that will catalyze new investment, jobs,

boom in remote working caused by

ment in Maine’s history, encompassing

science, tourism, and economic devel-

the pandemic inspired many people to ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021



move out of urban areas and large met-

projects in other states that went beyond

ro regions and into smaller metros, es-

simply dropping a few big box retailers on

pecially in New York and New England.

some property and opening for business.

Moreover, they generally moved to va-

Then he sought buy-in and input from a

cation destinations — Maine still calls

host of local and area business leaders,

itself “vacationland,” a motto that might

civic organizations, trade groups, and

be primed for a revision. More people

others, forming nearly 40 partnerships

moved out of Boston, for example, than

with organizations whose representatives

moved in, according to data compiled by

for the last three years spent time at the

The New York Times. It’s not clear how

future Rock Row site, considering all the

many moved to Maine, and it’s not cer-

possibilities of what could be.

tain this relocation will continue once

“We really found out what people

the pandemic subsides. Nevertheless,

wanted and needed in the area,” says

economists and urban planners feel the

Levy. “And those two things are really

time is ripe to capitalize on the migra-

what led to the birth of Rock Row. It’s

tion trends.

not just us coming in and saying ‘hey,

“Rock Row is a place where people

let’s do a mixed-use development.’ We’ve

will want to live, spend time, work, and

done that in other areas. But this called

connect,” Levy said.

for a broader vision to meet needs.”

More than a multi-use development,

Last November, Waterstone hosted a

Levy imagines Rock Row as an “amazing

strategic visioning session to help define

destination” where people might spend

Rock Row as an Innovation District for

entire days rock climbing at the quarry,

Maine. It gathered a who’s who of busi-

shopping at the stores, grabbing a craft

ness and government leaders from the

beer at one of the local breweries, din-

state and beyond. Participants included

ing out, attending a concert in the eve-

representatives from private capital and

nings, or watching a hockey tournament

economic development firms like Black

at the pond.

Point Group, FocusMaine, Maine Ven-

The journey from the conventional

ture Fund, Maine & Company, Live and

multi-use development to one that en-

Work Maine, Maine Angels, government

tailed a robust, immersive, innovative,

participants from the Maine Department

community was a short one for Water-

of Economic and Community Develop-

stone, but one that involved a lot more

ment, the City of Westbrook, business

than traditional planning. Levy first began

groups and various think tanks and

and a recruitment asset that can have a

what he called a “research and discov-

groups representing technology, medi-

lasting impact on the region and state to

ery” expedition to successful innovative

cal, and development sectors.

contribute mightily to the state’s overall

“We are excited to see the ongoing


these difficult times.

said Heather Johnson, commissioner of

“The overriding issue right now is

the Maine Department of Economic and

how do you get development back on


Community Development. “This kind of

track, get investment back on track,


public-private collaboration designed to

and get jobs back on track,” says Nicole


attract innovation investment offers im-

Fichera, an economist and urban inno-


portant economic growth opportunities

vation expert with the Boston-based

for the state.”

Hourglass Collaborative. “An innovation



work and developments at Rock Row,”

economic development, particularly in


The focus of the visioning session

district is an initiative with levers to do


was to define what was needed to create

all of those things and to recapture that


a unique innovation district and ecosys-

value, hopefully in a way that supports


tem that was authentic to Maine. What

more local businesses.”

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

they saw was an opportunity to design

Fichera, who managed Boston’s In-

the district as an innovation catalyst

novation District initiative, notes that


might look like,’” she says. “There’s a lot

periment with new ways of doing busi-

in the distribution of capital, labor, and

of things converging at the moment, and

ness. Do they offer shorter-term rents

development, mostly attributable to the

I think Rock Row is part of what’s possible

than the traditional 15-year lease? What

pandemic, which has abruptly altered the

to think about at this moment.”

happens when they offer ground floor

economic landscape.

space to newer start-up restaurants and

W H AT ’ S A N I N N O VAT I O N D I S T R I C T ?

retailers instead of established chains?

its positioning relative to the event that

Economies change all the time, and

And how does that drive value for sign-

we have all collectively gone through, I

things are changing faster and faster

ing leases on the upper floors? Do more

see it as an opportunity to ask what the

every year, experts point out. Emerging

interesting, little-known retailers and

next stage of this development model

developments need to adapt and ex-

restaurants create greater perceived val-

“When I think about Rock Row, and




ue for the entire neighborhood over the big, entrenched chains?

“Around the world, the most success-

stone says despite the pandemic shut-

ful innovative economies and commu-

down, the site has already proven its

A successful innovation district de-

nities benefit from being part of place-

viability and will likely become a prime

pends upon experimentation, risk taking

based, high-density clusters, districts, or

concert attraction for Maine. The plan,

and building community, collaboration,

campuses of creative activity,” said David

however, is to make it a year-round ven-

and connections between public and pri-

Shaw, CEO of Black Point Group.

ue with the construction of an 8,000-

vate stakeholders—exactly the ethos the Rock Row developers have embraced.

Shaw and others believe emerging

seat convention, concert, and meeting

fields like life sciences, aquaculture,

center. Apart from some hotel ballrooms

“They are really committed to doing

sustainable farming, and new materials

in the area, Maine is without a conven-

a great job here,” says Fichera. “They’ve

development, would all have a place in

tion center, a glaring weakness, officials

been pulling together a lot of these real-

Rock Row beside more traditional busi-

say, in luring business, talent, tourists,

ly great stakeholder conversations well in

ness disciplines.

and revenue to the region.

advance of building. They’re excited about the potential to do something different.”

“I think of an innovation district as

“There’s a lot of synergy in having a

a zone of experimentation,” says Fichera.

conference center at the heart of an in-

Innovation districts are meant to be

“That’s the fundamental starting point for

novation district and adjacent to a med-

geographic regions that foster change

me. We are saying in some way, that the

ical research campus,” says Levy. “It will

and transformation by clustering togeth-

work that happens here will be forward-

drive recruitment, families, science and

er leading thinkers and institutions with

looking and experimental in nature. And

research. It’s going to make it easier for

specialized resources and amenities. They

that can create a sense of permission and

companies to come here and then be

generally include leading-edge anchor in-

an invitation to collaborate that works in

able to attract top talent.”

stitutions and companies that join and

a different way than the way most neigh-

connect with start-ups, business incuba-

borhood style developments do.”

The medical research campus Levy references is another proof point to

tors, and accelerators. Successful inno-

Similar thinking went into locating

the burgeoning Rock Row concept. Last

vation districts typically are physically

the Live Nation amphitheater, which

month, Rock Row announced a state-of-

compact, transit-accessible, technologi-

became the Maine Savings Pavilion. The

the-art 200,000-sq.-ft. Medical Campus

cally wired and offer mixed-use housing,

8,200-seat venue opened in 2019 with a

& Research Center that will be a desti-

office, and retail space. Such districts

slate of 16 concerts, but none in 2020.

nation for comprehensive care and a na-

have been successful in Boston, Seattle,

Now the plan is to revive the concert

tional model of advanced, compassion-

St. Louis, and many other worldwide sites.

schedule beginning this summer. Water-

ate cancer treatment and research. A full As the first mass timber building in Maine, 100 Rock Row represents one of the many ways Rock Row will showcase the innovation of Maine’s heritage industries.


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F E AT U R E S T O R Y array of integrated medical practices and

less risky. Traditional companies also are

in the country. A conference center

services will be offered at the campus,

typically eager to be associated with inno-

alone could be a big recruitment asset as

the company said, beginning with its first

vation districts to be seen as willing to try

well as a showcase space for burgeoning

occupant, New England Cancer Special-

new ideas or, put another way, appear hip.

new and innovative industries and enter-

ists, which will operate in 40,000 square feet of the main building.

prises as well as the state’s heritage industries. With a projected 6-to-7 million

“Our new site at Rock Row will allow

that I’ve experienced on these projects is

visitors each year, the messages could

us to elevate our advanced cancer re-

that sometimes just because it’s called an

reverberate widely.

search and care by blending it with the

innovation district, it makes it possible

“Rock Row is a doorway to the inno-

healing power of Maine’s beauty,” said

for folks in the public sector, or folks in

vation economy in Maine, and an invita-

Chiara Battelli, MD, president of New En-

more traditional companies to try new

tion to the world,” said Fichera. “A suc-

gland Cancer Specialists.

things. In some ways, it can insulate risk

cessful project will send a message: ‘We

The six-acre campus will have two

because the whole point is to experiment

are building community, collaboration,

buildings—one dedicated to care and re-

with new ways of doing things. If they

and connections in Maine. Come build

search and the second targeted for park-

don’t all work, that’s kind of the point.”

with us.’”

ing and supporting retail products and

Levy and his team, along with other state economists and business leaders,


Attaching the innovation district la-

envision Rock Row as a new “door” to

A key reason Waterstone and others have

bel to a project often opens private-pub-

the state, one that showcases a lot more

such high hopes for Rock Row is the way

lic partnerships, in which investments in

than lobsters and blueberries and could

they believe it fits with the state’s overall

infrastructure, transportation and other

change people’s perception of what is

economic strategy and plan. In the fall

public amenities are more welcome and

one of the oldest and least diverse states

of 2019, the Maine Department of Eco-



“It’s a delicate positioning for some companies,” says Fichera. “But one thing

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

nomic and Community Development produced a 45-page, 10-year economic development strategy that leaned heavily on innovation. “It is a time-tested concept: innovation drives economic growth,” the report stated. “According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, economists have calculated that 50% of the country’s GDP growth is attributed to increases in innovation.” Yet while the report found pockets of innovation in the state, particularly the Maine Aqua Ventus project to create the first floating offshore wind platform, or the many microbreweries across the state, Maine, it said, “lacks a clear and supported culture of innovation.” Moreover, the report said the state needs to add at least 75,000 people to its workforce over the next decade, a period that will otherwise show job declines as the population ages. It must rely on workers from outside the state to fill the gap and welcome immigrants with programs that support rapid credential acceptance and housing and transportation needs. Most daunting, the report said, many of the new jobs that will be created in Maine in the next 10 years don’t exist today and will have to be created by innovation and new technologies. Into that environment, enters Rock Row. Waterstone’s Levy and others associated with the development aren’t ready to say definitively that Rock Row will meet and solve the state’s economic development challenges and problems. But it will be a huge step forward. “Getting the official designation that we’re representing all of Maine puts us in a really strong position to deliver on its economic development strategy,” says Levy. “A lot of people thought we were just building a shopping center. But less than 5% of our 2.5 million square feet is pure retail. There’s a lot more going on here.” A lot more than what was just a hole

This Old Mansard

In December of 2019, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce moved from North Augusta to our current location in the heart of Maine’s capital city. Even before the last painting was hung and the last decoration placed, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to delay a formal open house gathering. We are hopeful that we will be able to invite visitors to our new home later this year, but, in the meantime, we could not wait to tell you a little bit about its history. Formally known as the Governor William Tudor Gardiner House, the mansion on 128 State Street, Augusta, was built as a residence in the late 1820s by Benjamin Davis. Davis owned and operated Benjamin Davis Store on Water Street in Augusta. He later became the first president of Freeman’s Bank, which was part of the evolution of what we now know as Kennebec Savings Bank. Another prominent resident of 128 State Street was Colonel James Welch. Welch commanded the 19th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg and in the battle of Spotsylvania Court House in Virginia. Before World War I, the home was converted by F.H. Burgess to a private school that was operated by Alice Clancey. William Tudor Gardiner, Maine’s 55th governor, and his wife, Margaret Thomas Gardiner purchased the mansion after the first world war. Gardiner served as governor from 1929 to 1933. During his administration, the Great Depression started with the stock market crash of 1929 and the Administrative Code Act was adopted to bring major reform to how state agencies proposed and issued regulations in Maine. Gardiner perished in a plane crash in 1953 while returning from a reunion of the 56th Pioneer Infantry Association in Pennsylvania. One of Governor and Mrs. Gardiner’s four children was Tudor Gardiner, who was married to Tenley Albright, the 1956 Olympic Champion figure skater. The last family to call 128 State Street home were Mr. and Mrs. William Treby Johnson, a local banking executive. The Johnsons owned the home from 1935 to 1952 and ever since, the home has operated as a commercial property as it does today. Purchased by Donald Lagace, Sr. in 1985, the mansion is owned and operated by Lagace Properties, LLC. Under the expert care of Mr. Lagace’s sons, Don Jr. and Peter, 128 State Street’s original beauty and character continue to shine. We cannot wait for you to visit our new home in person. We are also looking forward to working with you as we add to the rich history of 128 State Street and to the state of Maine. Thank you to Don Lagace, Jr. of Lagace Properties, LLC and to Emily Schroeder of the Kennebec Historical Society for assisting us in the research for this article.

in the ground. ONE VOICE MAINE / SPRING 2021




What has been one of the biggest benchmarks or turning points in the last century in Maine farm, forest and fishing history?

Local agriculture has always been a high priority in Maine. Now, the unique combination of the state’s population doubling in the summer and the desire for local food, and relatively inexpensive land creates a unique opportunity for the establishment of new small- to medium-size farms. — Mark Hutton, Associate Dean for Research, Associate Professor of Vegetable Crops and Extension Vegetable Specialist By far, the most significant turning point was the last major eastern spruce budworm outbreak, which lasted from 1970 to 1985 and decimated up to 25 million cords of spruce-fir wood — 21% of all fir trees in the state, according to the Maine Forest Products Council. This greatly shifted the management of the forest and policy, which has shaped 78

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

the current forest conditions. Outbreaks occur every 30–60 years, and Maine is on the verge of the next potential spruce budworm outbreak. — Aaron Weiskittel, Director of the Center for Research on Sustainable Forests, and Professor of Forest Biometrics and Modeling The Maine’s Forest Practices Act came out of the clear-cutting controversy. What also came out of that is certification — Maine is third in the nation for the highest percentage of forestlands certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and American Tree Farm System (ATFS), with the fourth-highest total acres in certification. You have a social license to practice forestry, even though the land is privately owned. An evolution also has been outcomes-based forestry. Regulators tell companies where they need to be and it’s up to companies to use their innovation to get there. From a forest management standpoint, that’s a big deal. Another fundamental shift is land ownership pattern change initiated in 1994 and still playing out. Breaking up the vertically integrated paper companies started the diversification of the land holdings. In the carbon market, the question is how will the land be managed and what will it be used for. — Stephen Shaler, Director of the School of Forest Resources and Professor of Wood Sciences and Technology

The evolution of fishing technology, preservation and transport resulted in serial extirpation of cod and virtually all predatory finfish from coastal zones. Two prominent turning points were in the 1930s when fishing trawlers targeted and eliminated coastal cod spawning aggregations. During the 1980s, landings of most large predatory fish declined up to 90%, leaving the coast devoid of predators. This effectively opened the door for population increases in lobsters, sea urchins and crabs. While sea urchins did not withstand heavy fishing pressure on them, lobsters did. — Robert Steneck, Professor of Oceanography, Marine Biology and Marine Policy Watershed moments involved understanding how we as people are part of coastal marine ecosystems in this part of the world. For a long time, people peered into tidepools and didn’t see their own reflections. They neglected to see the way that we as people interact with the ocean as observers, as fishermen, as people who value and use and participate in these ecosystems in a lot of different ways. The water quality work in the 1990s is a really great example of people beginning to recognize our role as participants in coastal ecosystems. That includes the technology that we didn’t have 20 or 30 years ago to assess the health of coastal waters. — Heather Leslie, Director of the Darling Marine Center and Professor of Marine Sciences


In Maine’s dairy industry, two turning points have been the formation of the Maine Breeding Cooperative and the Maine Dairy Herd Improvement Association. Both organizations were formed in the 1940s with a lot of help from the University of Maine and University of Maine Cooperative Extension. One hundred years ago, the average dairy cow in Maine produced about 4,700 pounds of milk annually. Today, it’s 22,000. It is estimated that half of this increase is due to the improved genetics. — David Marcinkowski, Associate Professor and UMaine Extension Dairy Specialist

Fisheries management had a moment in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976. In the early ’70s, there was greater recognition that our fisheries in the Gulf of Maine were a valuable resource. At that time, we were seeing largescale foreign fleets near shore. Concerns were for conservation and who fish belonged to. The act created a zone for conservation and for use. In the time since, there have been the development of fisheries management and policy actions, innovations. The rise of aquaculture. Lobster zones. Lobster co-management that is held up around the world as an example of sustainable fisheries management. — Joshua Stoll, Assistant Professor of Marine Policy

What are some of the most impactful UMaine innovations/ research initiatives in the state’s farm, forest and fishing history? The success of UMaine’s potato breeding program led by Greg Porter, in collaboration with the Maine Potato Board, has resulted in the release of five new varieties in the past decade. That includes the Caribou Russet, a high-quality potato that is rapidly becoming a market leader in Maine and other northern potato production areas. — Mark Hutton, Associate Dean for Research and Associate Director of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station The spruce budworm outbreak of 1970 to 1985, led to the creation of the University of Maine Cooperative Forestry Research Unit, working directly with forest landowners in Maine to address emerging issues. This collaboration has led to innovations in management, decision-support tools, and addressing other important issues that affect our state’s forestlands. — Aaron Weiskittel, Director of the Center for Research on Sustainable Forests, and Professor of Forest Biometrics and Modeling We might be on the doorstep of the most impactful innovation right now, with nanocellulose, mass timber and biofuel

research at UMaine. Also, the application of technologies, notably modeling forest outcomes and remote sensing/GIS. — Ivan Fernandez, Professor of Soil Science and Forest Resources Aerial photography and the move into satellite and lidar imagery have provided up-to-date information so that owners, managers and researchers can make plans of the forest on scales of hundreds of thousand of acres as opposed to 40 or 80 acres at stand level. Landscape-level planning enabled by computers — from road networks overlaid with stream crossings to species distribution and volume estimates — allows for a lot more optimization and efficiency. In the long term, nanocellulose is transformational, and the University of Maine has really contributed and is in a leadership position in its research and development. It’s all about new and diverse markets, and adding value. Composites have been a global change, and we participated in it. And a short-term specific project with an economic impact was the testing of Norway spruce to get it into the building codes. — Stephen Shaler, Director of the School of Forest Resources and Professor of Wood Sciences and Technology Professor Jim Acheson’s 1988 book “The Lobster Gangs of Maine” was one of the first to study a culture and a way of life embedded within our modern society. That book and his subsequent studies document how the lobster fishing community co-evolved with their resource and developed a “conservation ethic” resulting in sustainability. This community view evolved into more of a shared view when professor Jim Wilson and others developed Maine Fishermen’s Forum, a platform for fishers to listen to each other and share their perspective with scientists and policymakers. In the 1990s, with the help of the Lobster Institute, we began working on lobster boats collecting data. And I invited lobstermen to join me on small research submarines so they could see the seafloor they were fishing. Collaborative research that began in Maine was adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service in several programs that persist today. Fisheries management at many levels, including sea urchins, clam flat management and aquaculture, to name a few, are all done collaboratively. — Robert Steneck, Professor of Oceanography, Marine Biology and Marine Policy

The culture of innovation that the University of Maine has worked to establish over the last decade or so, starting with the creation in 2008 of the Foster Center for Innovation and the Innovation Engineering® curriculum that was pioneered at UMaine, has taken root and is beginning to show genuine impact in Maine’s heritage industries. When you combine that innovative mindset with the university’s established research strengths around fishing, farming and forestry, new ideas are born. The Maine Innovation Research and Technology Accelerator program is a great example, as it focuses on commercializing university research that can create jobs and grow Maine’s economy. In the first several years of the program, we’ve seen teams develop new technologies and products around wild blueberries and nanocellulose that could add real value to Maine’s agriculture and forestry sectors. Plus, students trained in this systematic approach to innovation at UMaine are entering the workforce and even starting their own companies in Maine, spreading innovation throughout the state. — Renee Kelly, Assistant Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development Two benchmarks in fisheries: Portland Fish Exchange, established in 1986 to aid harvesters and processors, and ocean observing systems, including buoy systems and autonomous undersea gliders with the capabilities to measure and transmit in real time data. — Teresa Johnson, Associate Professor of Marine Policy Coastal marine environment work, from a focus on tidal pools in the 1970s to the recent Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET) buoys, not just to understand how the nearshore environment is changing in the face of climate impacts, but also what the consequences are for the shellfish farmers and the fishermen and the tourism industry that rely on nearshore waters. — Heather Leslie, Director of the Darling Marine Center and Professor of Marine Sciences Some of the first aquaculture farms in the ’70s were direct outgrowths of Darling Marine Center work. That connection between the center and aquaculture development continued through the decades, and has been a driver of the growth in that space. — Joshua Stoll, Assistant Professor of Marine Policy




we support the New England Clean Energy Connect 1.

The Clean Energy Connect is the boldest, largest, and fastest step Maine can take toward a decarbonized, electrified future. Shifting our energy supply to renewable sources is the single most important step to reduce the threats of climate change. Displacing fossil fuels will require a two to three-fold increase in our total electricity needs and supplies.


Financial benefits of Clean Energy Connect for Maine, guaranteed by binding agreements and paid for by Massachusetts, Central Maine Power and Hydro-Québec, total roughly $1.3 billion over 20 years. These will support 1,600 well-paid jobs during construction and roughly 300 jobs during operation.


The reliability of Maine’s energy supply will improve. Price spikes in the wholesale electricity market due to natural gas shortages are costly to industrial users and homeowners. The Clean Energy Connect will improve grid reliability and help stabilize electricity prices.

4. The Clean Energy Connect makes more renewable power feasible, further reducing greenhouse gases. A larger base of clean, reliable, always-available electricity is needed to balance increases in intermittent wind and solar capacity coming on-line.

Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs (207) 712-0891 PO Box 2515

Augusta, ME 04338

Join us!

5. Maine’s forests and their wildlife habitats and streams are important economic assets to our state. The studied judgments of all regulators are that the Clean Energy Connect’s environmental impacts accord with State standards and are mitigated to an unprecedented extent. 6. Replacing fossil fuels will protect and enhance Maine’s quality of life for us and our summer visitors. 7.

Maine is not an island. Our destiny is tied to New England and the nation. Maine is part of New England’s regional electricity network – building a reliable, renewable, and sustainable electricity supply is not just Massachusetts’ challenge.

Steve Adams

John Dorrer

Former State Economist and Director, State Planning Office

Former Director, Center for Workforce Research and Information and Acting Commissioner, Maine Dept. of Labor

Richard Barringer

Professor Emeritus, Muskie School of Public Service; former Director, Maine State Planning Office

Charles S. Colgan

Former State Economist; Professor Emeritus, Muskie School of Public Service*

Lloyd C. Irland

Former State Economist; former Director, Bureau of Public Lands

Charles T. Lawton

Former Director of Economic Planning, State Planning Office

David Vail

Professor Emeritus, Economics Department and former Director of Environmental Studies, Bowdoin College *Dr. Colgan is Senior Associate with the Maine Center for Business and Economic research, University of Southern Maine, who conducted a 2017 study for Central Maine Power on the economic impacts of the Clean Energy Connect.

The power of Maine’s workforce is limitless. At Central Maine Power, we see endless potential in our state’s workforce. So we’re investing in the next generation by supporting Maine programs such as the Kennebec Valley Community College Lineworker Technology program, the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, the Mitchell Institute, and the Maine Blue Collar Scholarship Foundation. Our resources help fund these initiatives that assist young and motivated Mainer’s as they begin to pursue careers that matter most in our home state.

Learn more at

clean energy future.

Working together for a

When it comes to taking real action towards a clean energy future, we’re all in this together. Hydro-Québec will soon be providing 500,000 megawatt hours of low-carbon, renewable hydropower to Maine — enough for 70,000 homes. The perfect complement to wind and solar over the long term, hydropower is the natural back up for cloudy, windless days. Cleaner air and water for all. That’s power for good.

Profile for Maine State Chamber of Commerce

OneVoice Maine Spring 2021  

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