Tori Lee Jackson, extension educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed for the latest entry of the Portland Press Herald blog, “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources.” Jackson spoke about the recent visit to Maine of four people from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The visitors spent four days learning farm business skills from UMaine Extension.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension educators will share their expertise on financial planning for farmers with a contingent from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Extension educators will teach a farm business training course June 3-5, 2013 for DRC farmers and government officials at Maine Regional Learning Center at Tidewater Farm in Falmouth.
The 30-member DRC group is scheduled to tour local farms June 6, 2013, says UMaine Extension Educator Tori Lee Jackson.
In February, Jackson and UMaine Extension Educator Dick Brzozowski were teaching the course, “So, You Want to Farm in Maine?” when a participant — the chairperson of the Congolese American Sustainable Economic Development Foundation in Portland, Maine — asked if they would teach a class specifically for DRC residents.
Extension educators are also looking forward to learning more about agriculture in the DRC,” says Jackson.
“Participants will all speak French, so we will have all of our lectures and tours translated in real time for the week,” she says.
French is the official language in DRC, the second-largest country in Africa. The DRC, which straddles the equator, has a wet season and dry season. DRC agricultural crops include coffee, sugar, tea, palm oil, plantains, corn, peanuts and wood products.