FARMINGTON — University of Maine at Farmington senior Katy Sartwell, UMF’s 2009-10 Maine Public Policy Scholar, recently presented her research-based policy recommendation to Gov. Baldacci before an esteemed panel, including Angus King, former Maine governor; Libby Mitchell, Maine Senate president; members of the Maine Community Foundation; and honored guests.
The scholarship program challenges students to tackle real-life policy issues currently facing Maine and, after an extensive process of research and analysis, to recommend policy solutions to the highest level of state government.
A pre-law student at UMF with a double major in political science and geography, Sartwell explored the public policy topic of the regulation of community-supported agriculture – a partnership between farmers and consumers not currently subject to state or federal regulation. Common CSA models have consumers investing in the farmer’s production prior to harvest, with the seasonal collection of agricultural products equaling their investment. The focus of Sartwell’s research was to determine whether regulation could help mitigate some of the risks of this type of business relationship.
Sartwell began her investigation with an in-depth study of CSAs in Maine and around the country. She proposed several regulatory options for the current system, and, as a final option, suggested that no additional legislation or regulation was needed.
A native of Highgate, Vt., Sartwell first became involved with agricultural concerns through her membership with the National FFA Organization. Since then, she has held a number of positions with agricultural organizations, including serving as the Vermont Youth Agricultural Ambassador, the State Executive Chair of the FFA in Vermont and the current National Collegiate Agricultural Ambassador, among others.
As an outgrowth of her experience with the Maine Public Policy Scholars Program, Sartwell has worked as an intern in the office of Libby Mitchell. She has also worked in a number of capacities for the Town of Farmington’s Recreation Center and for four years as a substitute teacher. After graduation she hopes to attend law school or the Muskie School of Public Policy.