The Legislature finds there has been a dramatic increase of interest in rural living and small and part-time farming; that a high proportion of the population in rural areas is poor, elderly and underemployed; agriculture is significant to the State’s economy and that a prospering, stable rural community contributes to the rural quality of life, the preservation of productive farm, farmlands and open space.   [RR 1991, c. 2, §21 (COR).]
The Legislature finds that programs that improve the employment opportunity, rural skills, food supply, health and nutrition of the rural people of Maine will improve the economy of Maine and improve the rural quality of life and the health of people and are therefore in the public interest.   [RR 1991, c. 2, §21 (COR).]
The Legislature further finds the preservation of rural life and values in the State to be the joint responsibility of all public agencies, local, state and federal, whose policies and programs substantially impact the economy and general welfare of people who reside in rural Maine, such as the development and implementation of programs that assist in the maintenance of family farms, provide specialized opportunities for education and technical training and improve health and nutrition. The state agencies in addition to the department include, but are not limited to, the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.   [RR 1991, c. 2, §21 (COR); PL 2003, c. 689, Pt. B, §6 (REV); PL 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV).]

PL 1983, c. 532, §1 (NEW). PL 1989, c. 700, §A29 (AMD). RR 1991, c. 2, §21 (COR). PL 2003, c. 689, §B6 (REV). PL 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV).