CARIBOU — Northern Mainers are being given a chance to offer suggestions, comments and ideas about the upcoming merger of the state departments of Agriculture and Conservation.

Agriculture Commissioner Walt Whitcomb and Conservation Commissioner Bill Beardsley will be on hand during today’s public forum at Caribou High School. Two other public forums were previously held in Augusta and Orono. A fourth meeting is slated for October in southern Maine.

A new law creates a new Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry as of Aug. 30.

The new department will have 732 full-time and seasonal employees and a budget of $96.5 million. It will be organized into seven divisions.

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