Archive for the ‘Workshop’ Category

Explore Alternative Farming Fuels

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Farmers and others interested in using alternative fuels for transportation and equipment are invited to a program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Piscataquis County Office, 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft.

The Maine Highlands Farmers and UMaine Extension are sponsoring the free program titled “Alternative Fuels Available to Farms and the Transportation Industry.” Tim Seymour, a sales representative at Darling’s, will talk about advantages and disadvantages of using alternative energy for transportation, as well as sources and supplies of alternative fuels and the future of fuels.

Following the program, the Maine Highlands Farmers will discuss upcoming group activities. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Extension Educator Donna Coffin, 207.564.3301, 800.287.1491 (in Maine) or donna.coffin@maine.edu.

Pesticide Applicator Exam Training Available for Farmers

Monday, January 27th, 2014

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) and University of Maine Cooperative Extension will sponsor a basic pesticide applicator license training for farmers March 3, 3-6 p.m. at the Penobscot County UMaine Extension office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor. The exam also can be taken from 6:30-8:30 the same evening.

Pre-registration is required by Feb. 28. The $5 registration fee covers the training and exam administration.
 
To register or to request a disability accommodation, contact Theresa Tilton, 207.942.7396 or 800.287.1485 in Maine; Theresa.tilton@maine.edu. Please let her know if you plan to take the exam at the end of the training.

Growers who use only general-use (over-the-counter) pesticides and annually sell more than $1,000 of plant or plant products intended for human consumption are now required to be licensed by the Maine BPC. A three-year license costs $15 and requires one hour of continuing education annually.

By definition, a pesticide is any naturally or synthetically derived substance used to kill, control or repel undesired insects, weeds, fungi, bacteria, mammals, birds, rodents or other organisms. Organic products are also pesticides if they are used as described above.

In addition to this training, Maine BPC and UMaine Extension will be offering additional sessions to help prepare growers for the Private Pesticide Applicator core exam before the requirement becomes fully enforceable April 1, 2015. Exam candidates should review the Pesticide Education (Core) Manual, available from UMaine Extension, prior to taking the exam. The exam can be taken at the BPC office in Augusta or at county Extension office. Call BPC, 207.287.2731, to schedule a time or have the exam mailed to your local Extension office.

UMaine Extension Starting Agritourism Initiative

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Farm-based tourism, known as agritourism, can provide farmers with significant supplemental income, especially for smaller operations. University of Cooperative Extension, which recognizes the economic impact agritourism can have on individual farmers, is devoting a new program area focusing on educating, promoting, and supporting agritourism opportunities throughout Maine’s farming community.

UMaine Extension’s Marc Edwards, a tourism and economic development professional, will present the program, “An Introduction to Growing Tourism on the Farm,” in two locations this month. Edwards will be at UMaine Extension’s Androscoggin/Sagadahoc counties offices, located at 24 Main St. in Lisbon Falls, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. The second session will be at UMaine Extension’s Franklin County office at 138 Pleasant Street, Suite 1, in Farmington from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 15.

The sessions are open to the public and cost $25 for materials.

The program is intended for new and existing farmers currently not engaging in agritourism activities, but who may be considering developing agritourism on their farms. It will bring awareness of agritourism opportunities and the potential for farmers to benefit from developing agritourism on their farms.

After attending this program, participants will have a general understanding of agritourism, and will be able to identify at least one potential agritourism activity on their farm. Participants will also be able to identify the first three basic steps towards developing agritourism on their farm.

What defines agritourism, according to Edwards, can range from roadside stands and pick-your-own operations to farmers markets and on-farm retail stores.

“It really depends on who you ask,” he says. “There are many definitions out there.”

A 2006 UMaine report estimated Maine farms that incorporate agritourism activities generated total farm sales of $65.6 million. Agritourism activities accounted for about 43 percent ($28.3 million) of the total sales on those farms. These sales supported 1,762 full- and part-time jobs, or 39 percent of all hired workers on agritourism farms.

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