TAA for Maine Lobstermen
Update - Summer 2012
It's the busy season again, and at the moment, no in-person workshops are scheduled for the TAA program, although more will be coming in the future. TAA participants are reminded that the program ends in September of 2013 - and that you should plan to have your workshop time and initial business plan done by May or June of 2013. This will give you enough time to complete the in-depth business plan by the deadline. Given the prices of lobster this summer, and the competitive nature of the industry, why not get some extra business training, and get paid for doing it?!
For a story on some TAA participants who got a real benefit from being in the program, click HERE.
For those who are not in the program but still want to learn about the information that's being delivered - you can either contact us, or find all the workshops on line, at:
Update, September 15, 2011
TAA Payments to the Maine Lobster Industry are Under Way
Payments to TAA participants have finally started, for those who have completed Phases 3 and/or 4 of the TAA program. Participants should check their bank statements, as payments are direct-deposited.
Initial payments will be approximately $971.00, and payment for completion of Phase 4, the in-depth business plan, will be approximately $1942.00. These amounts are smaller than the earlier projections, as extra funds were held back initially to cover applicant travel costs. It is likely that a third payment will be forthcoming for those who complete all phases of the program, after the end of the present TAA period, in September of 2013.
While the drop in payments is disappointing and frustrating for all involved here on the ground in Maine, please remember that the TAA program was primarily designed for the training and business developments first, with the financial assistance offered secondarily. Non-TAA participants can access all the educational workshop materials as well, at: http://www.taaforfarmers.org/Courses.aspx
Background on the USDA Trade Adjustment Assistance Program
The Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA) of the US Dept. of Agriculture is a training and financial assistance effort, designed to help agriculture and fisheries producers who have experienced revenue decreases, and negative impacts from foreign imports. In 2010, applications to the TAA program were made on behalf of lobstermen in ME, NH, MA, RI and CT; these applications were approved in late September, enabling lobster licenseholders in these states to enroll in the program.
Over 2600 fishermen, spouses and sternmen were entered into the program in Maine alone, and orientations were completed as of March 23, 2011.
Workshops are currently being held, as listed above. Lobstermen should RSVP to attend one of the scheduled meetings, and should arrive 30 minutes early to complete registration. To RSVP, provide full name, town, phone number, email, and date and location of the meeting being attended. Please RSVP only once to: LobsterRSVP@gmail.com or by calling one of the following contacts:
April Gilmore, Maine Lobstermen's Association, 207.207.967.4555
Dana Morse, Maine Sea Grant/University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 207.563.3146 x205
A list of supporting documents is listed below:
Maine Farm Service Agency County Offices:
306 US Route 1, Scarborough
207-883-0159 ext 2
254 Goddard Rd, Lewiston
207-753-9400 ext 2
191 Camden Rd, Warren
207-273-2002 ext 2
266 Waterville Rd, Belfast
207-338-1964 ext 2
Hancock and Penobscot Counties
1423 Broadway, Bangor
207-947-3555 ext 2
89 Court St, Machias
21 Enterprise Drive, Augusta 207-622-7847 x2
Maine State FSA Office
967 Illinois Ave, Bangor
207-990-9100 ext 2