Take a virtual tour of Highmoor Farm in Monmouth 

The United States Department of Agriculture Northeast Climate Hub has published a virtual tour of the University of Maine’s Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, and videos based on the center’s work that focuses on research and development for Maine’s fruit and vegetable growers.

The virtual tour is one of 19 created to date as part of the Northeast Climate Hub’s “As If You Were There” series, designed to “take you to the field” in the growing network of climate-informed demonstration sites. The Northeast Climate Hub partnered with University of Delaware, and other USDA and land grant collaborators in the region to showcase farm and forest sites with 360-degree photography and videos to offer an interactive experience. 

The regional Climate Hubs link research and program agencies in their regional delivery of timely and authoritative tools and information about climate-informed decision making to agricultural producers and professionals, according to the USDA website.

The field tours were developed to allow viewers to “see how farm and forestry practices work in the real world,” according to the “As If You Were There” site. They also introduce the people who are “dealing with and adapting to increasing rainfall intensity, and other weather and climate risks in the Northeast” to practical strategies to adapt to climate change.

In 2014, the USDA Northeast Climate Hub announced partnerships with UMaine and 15 other land grant universities in the Northeast to give the region’s farmers, foresters and land managers better access to information and tools for adapting to climate and weather variability.

Based in Durham, New Hampshire, the USDA Northeast Climate Hub is one of seven regional hubs nationwide formed to address increasing climate and weather-related risks to agriculture, broadly defined to include farms, forests and aquaculture. The partnership is focused on creating a network of information-sharing designed to provide stakeholders with resources to both mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the challenges of a changing climate. The universities from Maine to West Virginia are active partners in developing, implementing and evaluating materials that describe how to best cope with increasing weather variability and longer-term trajectories of change in the climate system.

Ivan Fernandez, Distinguished Maine Professor in the School of Forest Resources and Climate Change Institute, is the UMaine representative to the USDA Northeast Climate Hub.