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Field trips are not just for kids

Last week, on a typical Maine September day (sun, hot, cold, breezy, rain), I took a field trip. My daughter’s class went to Pineland Farm for a field trip the same day, but I was not jealous.

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My American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network colleague and her lobbyist spent the day at Ricker Hill Farm visiting Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake in Turner. Ricker Hill Farm has been in his family since before Maine was a state. It was amazing and I am definitely going back.

We went on a tour of the processing plant, the cold storage, the cider press, and the hard cider tasting room. We even picked apples. It was so much fun and very informative. If you live anywhere near Turner, you should head out there. They do school tours too. They have a petting zoo for the kiddos as well.

We were there to discuss Rep. Timberlake’s concerns about how the state is spending our share of the proceeds from the lawsuit against the tobacco industry (the Fund for a Healthy Maine).  Maine gets about $50 million a year from the tobacco industry due to the cost of smoking to Maine taxpayers. Rep. Timberlake shares our vision that the intent of this money is to decrease tobacco use and preventative chronic disease in Maine.  He knows that tobacco and obesity are the #1 and #2 killers in Maine and wants to make sure we are doing all we can to solve the problem.

 We gave him the history and background on the Fund for a Healthy Maine and listened to his concerns. 

 As we drove back to our offices, we decided that this was the most fun we had ever had on a legislative visit. We can’t wait to go back.

 Becky.smith@heart.org

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