Schattman to testify Tuesday at Congressional hearing on supporting sustainable agriculture

A University of Maine researcher will serve as an expert witness at a Congressional hearing Tuesday afternoon examining the role of farmers and ranchers in solving climate change and increasing food production.

Rachel E. Schattman will virtually participate in a hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Environment that begins at 2 p.m. and can be viewed live here. Other witnesses include the president of the Association of American Indian Farmers and two farmers from the Midwest.

A former commercial farmer herself, Schattman is an assistant professor of sustainable agriculture in the School of Food and Agriculture at the R1 University of Maine, where she leads the Agroecology Lab that supports research to help farms be more resilient in a changing climate while protecting natural resources.

Her testimony will focus on findings from her research about what farmers need to adopt sustainable practices, and highlight an innovative UMaine pilot program that is helping vegetable and small fruit growers in the Northeast put climate adaptation approaches in place.

This is the second time in as many months UMaine experts have been invited to inform the work of Congress as expert hearing witnesses. In May, the university’s liaison to the forest products industry, Shane O’Neill, testified about workforce development and innovation in that sector at the invitation of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee.

“The University of Maine is a world-class, R1 research university where faculty and students work together to create new knowledge and innovations to solve our state’s and the world’s most pressing problems — including adapting to and mitigating climate change,” said President Joan Ferrini-Mundy, who is also vice chancellor for research and innovation for the University of Maine System.

“UMaine researchers are called upon by policymakers from the State House to the U.S. Capitol and by communities and companies in between, and that is a testament to their terrific work and decades of public and private partnership and investment. We are proud that our university is such a vital public asset, and look forward to only increasing our impact on Maine and beyond in the years to come.”