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Farm Scoop – April 2014

UMaine Extension offers Hayfield,
Pasture Management Workshops

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering free workshops on hayfield and pasture management this spring around the state.

Rick Kersbergen, UMaine Extension educator in Waldo County, will lead the “Got Hayfields?” workshops, which focus on how to best manage hayfields and pastures to produce high-quality feed for livestock. Topics include weed control, managing soil fertility, hay and pasture renovation techniques, grazing management and basics of forage quality.

Workshops are scheduled for the following dates, times and locations:

•  April 3, 6-8 p.m., Farmington Grange, 124 Bridge Street, West Farmington

•  April 10, 7-9 p.m., UMaine Extension, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor

•  April 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Vassalboro Grange, Route 32, East Vassalboro

•  April 30, 2-4 p.m., UMaine Extension, 57 Houlton Road, Presque Isle

•  May 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m., UMaine Extension, 24 Main Street, Lisbon Falls

•  June 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Noon Family Sheep Farm, 78 Sunset Road, Springvale

Pre-registration is requested. Register here, or to request a disability accommodation, call 1.800.287.1426.

 

School for Poultry Producers Focuses on
Best Practices, Bird Health

UMaine Extension and Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA) will offer a daylong school for poultry producers on Saturday, April 5th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

Topics will include best management practices, bird health and disease prevention for egg layers and meat birds. Additional topics include poultry nutrition, poultry product quality and organic practices.

The school is designed for farmers with a poultry enterprise and is appropriate for backyard keepers, bird fanciers and 4-H teens. The $25 fee ($10 for MPGA members) includes a reference notebook, a poultry break-even calculator and refreshments. Participants should bring their lunch.

The Maine Farm Bureau and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association are co-sponsors. For more information and to register, visit the Cumberland County Extension page, or call UMaine Extension, 207.781.6099. To request a disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine only).

 

Conservation of our Native Bees

Alison C. Dibble, Ph.D., conservation biologist and pollination ecologist from the University of Maine, Orono, will speak on April 8, at 7:00 p.m. (weather date April 15) at the Standish Town Hall. Her talk will feature a summary of what we know of the 270 species of native bees in Maine, their importance as pollinators, and recognition of their potential role in crop pollination given the decline of the introduced honey bee due to Colony Collapse Disorder. She will offer practical tips on how to enhance bee habitats in the home garden and around the farm, and where to look for more resources. She will emphasize bumble bees, which are easy to recognize and are starting to fly in early April. With Dr. Frank Drummond and others at the University of Maine, Dr. Dibble researches use of native bees as pollinators of the wild blueberry crop in a 5-year USDA-funded project on pollination security in four crops of the northeast (includes also apple, cranberry, squashes). She also prepares pollinator habitat enhancement plans for farmers around the state.

The talk is hosted by the Wildridge Garden Club and is free and open to the public.

 

Final Date for Maine Farms for the Future Clinics

GET YOURSELF READY NOW! This is the final free clinic offered by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, to help interested and farmers confirm their eligibility and “practice” applying for the Maine Farms for the Future Business Planning Grant in mid-September.

The last clinic will be held in Room 319 of the Deering Building which is located at 90 Blossom Lane in Augusta.

Thursday, April 10 – 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Space is limited to 15 participants per clinic. Please call Kimbalie Lawrence at 207.287.3491 to reserve your place at the table and get a jump on your application.

 

Organic Livestock Health Care

with Susan Beal

April 12, 2014; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Common Ground Education Center, Unity.

Please bring a bag lunch and Register here.

Susan has a clear understanding of organic livestock care and its relation to physiology, nutrition, herbs and homeopathy. She will give a good overview related to all species.

Agenda:

Morning: Patterns and Articulation: Individual and Intergenerational Health and Vitality

Afternoon: Building Holistic Health: Patterns and Practices, Tools and Techniques

Question and Answer Session

 

Blade Shearing School with Kevin Ford

Date: April 11-12, 2014

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Fee: $110 per student. Limit of 10 participants. Includes shearing manual, morning refreshments and lunch each day.

Location: At the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine.

Spectators are welcome.

 

Intermediate Level Sheep Shearing School
with Gwen Hinman

Date: April 13th, 2014

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Fee: $85 per student. Limit of six participants. Includes shearing manual, morning refreshments and lunch.

Location: Washington, Maine

 

Beginner Level Sheep Shearing School

Date: April 26th, 2014

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Fee: $40 per student. Limit of 18 participants. Includes shearing manual, morning refreshments and lunch.

Location: Wolfe Neck Farm, Freeport, ME

Spectators are welcome.

For more information or to register please visit the Cumberland County Extension page.

 

Farm Tractor Safety Course for
Youth and Adults

Farm work can be dangerous, but a University of Maine Cooperative Extension tractor safety course will help reduce risks to Maine farmers and farm workers. A farm tractor safety course will be held on 5 consecutive Tuesday evenings starting April 29, 2014 at the Maine Forest Service Building on Route 26 (356 Shaker Road) in Gray.

Participants should be at least 13 years of age to participate in this certified course. Adults

Location for Most Sessions: Maine Forest Service, Route 26 (Shaker Road) in Gray

Instructor: Richard J. Brzozowski, Extension Educator

Fee: $20.00 (scholarships available)

Course Schedule:

Session #1 6:30 – 8:30 p.m, Tuesday, April 29, 2014 – Maine Forest Service, Route 26, in Gray. Registration and introduction to the course, requirements of the course, all assignments must be completed and submitted plus ten hours of practice driving.

Session #2 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 6, 2014 – Meet at Hall Implement in Windham (Foster’s Corner near the rotary of Routes 302 / 202) Safety check of farm equipment exercise and tractor controls and parts identification exercise.

Session #3 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2014 – Maine Forest Service Building, Gray.

Session #4 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 20, 2014 – Maine Forest Service Building, Gray. Practice driving, safety video, and review for final exam.

Session #5 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 27, 2014 – Driving Test and Written Final Exam. Tentatively scheduled for Windham Public Works, 185 Windham Center Road, Windham.

An adult must sign off on driving hours logged for youth. Participants must successfully pass the final written exam, and successfully complete the tractor hook up and driving exams, to be certified.

For more information call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine) or email Lynne Hazelton. Registration is required, and space is limited.

 

York County Farmers’ Network (YCFN) Upcoming Events

YCFN Potluck Dinner and Conservation Easement Workshop

Date: Tuesday, April 15

Time: 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale, Maine 04083

Cost: Free

Jointly sponsored with Three Rivers Land Trust, from 5:30 to 6:15, enjoy the potluck dinner (bring a dish to share and your own plates and utensils). Following dinner, we’ll have a presentation about conservation easements, with a special focus on how easements may fit into landowners’ plans for future use of their farm or property. Please RSVP and feel free to tell interested friends and neighbors about this event.

 YCFN Potluck Supper and Farm Tour at Riverside Farm

Date: Tuesday, May 13

Time: 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: N. Berwick, hosted by Riverside Farm owner Dave Tuttle

Potluck supper, followed by a tour of Riverside Farm’s new hydroponics endeavor. Dave Tuttle will lead discussions on small tools as well as on farm transitions: wholesale to retail and from one generation to the next. Questions, or if you need directions, please contact Frank Wertheim or Becky Gowdy at UMaine Extension in York County, 207-324-2814.

 

UMaine Cooperative Extension offers
2014 Master Food Preserver Program

Master Food Preserver (MFP) volunteers serve to extend Extension’s educational programs in food preservation to adults and youth. The MFP Program includes 10 three-hour kitchen lab sessions in the Gorham Middle School, Family and Consumer Science Room, and the UMaine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County office in Falmouth.

Sessions will take place throughout the growing season from June – September, focusing on food preservation techniques including: canning, drying, freezing, fermenting and winter storage techniques.

Once MFPs have successfully completed the Program, they serve as a volunteer and resource in the community to provide the public with research-based information from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and USDA.

Details and application packets are available online at the Food Preservation - Master Food Preserver Program page.

 

University of Maine Cooperative Extension
launches a new Garlic Website

Garlic is a member of the Allium family, which includes onions, chives, and leeks. Garlic originated in central Asia, and has been grown for 5,000 years in Egypt and India. Found as an important ingredient in many cuisines, garlic is an easy-to-grow, high value crop that is increasingly popular in Maine with farmers and gardeners. Visit the new garlic website for more information.

 

Wishing for Spring?

Read the latest articles on gardening in the Maine Home Garden News. Sign up online to receive monthly issues throughout the growing season.

 

USDA Enhances Farm Storage Facility Loan Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the expansion of the Farm Storage and Facility Loan program, which provides low-interest financing to producers. The enhanced program includes 22 new categories of eligible equipment for fruit and vegetable producers, and makes it easier for farmers and ranchers around the country to finance the equipment they need to grow and expand.

Producers with small and mid-sized operations, and specialty crop fruit and vegetable growers, now have access to needed capital for a variety of supplies including sorting bins, wash stations and other food safety-related equipment. A new more flexible alternative is also provided for determining storage needs for fruit and vegetable producers, and waivers are available on a case-by-case basis for disaster assistance or insurance coverage if available products are not relevant or feasible for a particular producer.

Additionally, Farm Storage and Facility Loans security requirements have been eased for loans between $50,000 and $100,000. Previously, all loans in excess of $50,000 required a promissory note and additional security, such as a lien on real estate. Now loans up to $100,000 can be secured by only a promissory note.

Other new changes to the Farm Storage and Facility Loan program will allow FSA State Committees to subordinate Commodity Credit Corporation’s lien position. These changes to the program were issued via an official notice to state and county Farm Service Agency offices and are effective immediately. More than 33,000 loans have been issued for on-farm storage, increasing grain storage capacity by 900 million bushels since May 2000.

More information about tools and resources available to small and mid-sized farmers will be rolled out in the coming months, including information about access to capital, risk management, food safety, and locating market opportunities on USDA’s Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources webpage.

Visit the FSA website or an FSA county office to learn more about FSA programs and loans, including the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.

 

 

Image Description: Baling hay

Image Description: A queen bee with some of her attending workers.

Image Description: sheep shearing

Image Description: Youth on Tractor

Image Description: Mason jars full of canned produce

Image Description: 4-garlic-bulbs

UMaine Extension offers hayfield, pasture management workshops

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering free workshops on hayfield and pasture management this spring around the state.

Rick Kersbergen, UMaine Extension educator in Waldo County, will lead the “Got Hayfields?” workshops, which focus on how to best manage hayfields and pastures to produce high-quality feed for livestock. Topics include weed control, managing soil fertility, hay and pasture renovation techniques, grazing management and basics of forage quality.

Workshops are scheduled for the following dates, times and locations:

Pre-registration is requested. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, call 1.800.287.1426, or visit http://umaine.edu/waldo/programs/events/got-hayfields.

Image Description: Baling hay

Farm Scoop February 2013

by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, Cumberland County and Tori Jackson, Extension Educator, Androscoggin & Sagadahoc Counties

Farm Service Agency Announces Important Program Updates

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the authorization of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) for many Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) commodity, disaster, and conservation programs through 2013. FSA administers these programs.

The extended programs include, among others: the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program (DCP), the Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE), and the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC). FSA is preparing the following actions:

The 2013 DCP and ACRE program provisions are unchanged from 2012, except that all eligible participants in 2013 may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE for the 2013 crop year. This means that eligible producers who were enrolled in ACRE in 2012 may elect to enroll in DCP in 2013 or may re-enroll in ACRE in 2013 (and vice versa). All dairy producers’ MILC contracts are automatically extended to Sept. 30, 2013. Eligible producers therefore do not need to re-enroll in MILC. Specific details regarding certain modifications to MILC will be released soon.

FSA will provide producers with information on program requirements, updates and signups as the information becomes available. Any additional details will be posted on FSA’s Web site.

2013 Maine Vegetable & Fruit School

The 2013 Maine Vegetable & Fruit School will be held Tuesday, March 12, at Seasons Conference Center in Portland, and on Wednesday, March 13, at the Bangor Motor Inn. Preregistration is requested no later than February 25, 2013.

Topics include:

The fee is $35.00 and includes lunch. Participants may receive 1 Pesticide Applicator recertification credit, and Certified Crop Advisors may earn 5 recertification credits. More information, including how to register, is posted on the Highmoor Farm Web site.

New Microloans Expand Small Farm Finance Options

FSA to Help Beginning and Small Farmers

New and beginning farmers in Maine now have an agricultural Microloan credit option to consider. As of Jan. 15, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will offer its customers a Microloan designed to help farmers with credit needs of $35,000 or less. The loan features a streamlined application and a simplified qualification process built to fit the needs of new and smaller producers.

“This innovative offering will be more customer-friendly than our larger, more traditional loan programs,” said Farm Loan Manager Mike Dennison. “Farms seeking a smaller loan for start-up or operational needs now have a great new tool to consider. For those selling at Farmers’ Markets or through community-supported agriculture operations (CSAs), a Microloan might serve their needs perfectly,” Dennison continued, “and the reduced paperwork associated with the new Microloan will help expedite the process for everyone.”

In FY2012, the Farm Service Agency provided approximately $13.2 million in farm loan assistance to agricultural producers of all sizes in Maine. That year, operating loans accounted for the majority of the loans extended (126), while farm ownership loans were fewer (20).

“The interest rate of 1.25 percent on the new FSA Microloan is also a great benefit for farmers who are just starting out, in need of capital and on a tight budget,” according to FLM Dennison. “Producers in every Maine county can contact their nearest FSA office for details and to determine if they qualify for a Microloan.” The Microloan term can be up to seven years.

In response to tighter financial markets, USDA has expanded the availability of farm credit, helping farmers refinance loans across the U.S. Since 2009, USDA has provided more than 128,000 loans to family farmers totaling more than $18 billion. Over 50 percent of the loans went to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. For more information on Microloans and other FSA programs, please contact your local USDA service center.

Scaling Up for Small Farm Profitability – Ready To Gross Up To $100,000 A Year?

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District are offering a five-workshop series covering the following topics:

These weekly workshop sessions will begin February 26 and end March 26, 2013. The workshops will be held at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office, 24 Main Street, Lisbon Falls. The cost is $75 per person to attend all five sessions or $20 per person for any individual session. The Small Farmer Workshop Flyer, and registration forms are available at the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District Web site.

 

 

Agritourism 101

Agritourism 101

An Introduction to Growing Tourism on the Farm

Presented by Marc Edwards, Agritourism Professional, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Developing agritourism on the farm can generate potentially significant supplemental income.  This program is intended for new and existing farmers not currently  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 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.

When: Thursday, November 8, 2012   6:30 – 8:00 pm

Where: UMaine Extension Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties Office, 24 Main Street, Lisbon Falls ME 04252

Cost: $25 and includes materials

To register or for more information, or to request special accommodations, contact KymNoelle Sposato or call (207) 353-5550 or (800) 287-1458 (in Maine). You can find full details of all events on the Events Calendar.

University of Maine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. To provide adequate time to respond to your request please provide as much notice as possible.

 

 

 

Image Description: Field

Maine Farms for the Future Program

Maine Farms for the Future Program – Round 12 – Phase 1 Business Plan Development

The notice for Maine Farms for the Future Program – Round 12 – Phase 1 Business Development grants has been published. All potential applicants must contact Stephanie Gilbert, RFP Coordinator, to request the official RFP.  The RFP can, also, be requested by mail to Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Farms for the Future Program – Room 314, 28 SHS, Augusta, ME, 04333- 0028. The Department encourages all interested vendors to obtain a copy of the RFP and submit a competitive proposal.The deadline for application is 2:00 PM local time, Tuesday October 16th, 2012.

A sample RFP will soon be available on the State of Maine’s Web site. Questions about the process must be submitted to Stephanie Gilbert  no later than Thursday, September 27, 5:00 p.m. local time.

 

Farm Scoop March 2012

by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, Cumberland County and Tori Jackson, Extension Educator, Androscoggin & Sagadahoc Counties

 Maine Hay School Webinar Series

A five-session webinar series, the Maine Hay School, began on March 1, 2012. This series of one-hour webinars is designed to instruct beginner and experienced hay producers in Maine about selecting, growing, making, storing, and marketing the best quality hays or other preserved forages possible at a profit. All of these webinars will be recorded and free for the viewing.

Links to the next sessions of the Maine Hay School are as follows:

Maine Hay School Webinar – Part 2 – March 8th, 7-8 PM

Maine Hay School Webinar – Part 3 – March 15th, 7-8 PM

Maine Hay School Webinar – Part 4 – March 22nd, 7-8 PM

Maine Hay School Webinar – Part 5 – March 29th, 7-8 PM

To participate, simply enter the webinar as a ‘guest’.

Beginning Farmer Series Scheduled

Interested in starting a farm? Getting information at the outset can put you on the road to success by saving you time, money, and energy. University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a 5-session Beginning Farmer Series in Waldo starting March 13, 2012. Classes will be held on Thursdays from 6:30 – 9:00 PM. UMaine Extension Educators Rick Kersbergen and Caragh Fitzgerald will collaborate with farmers and other experts from around the region to present this series. Novice farmers will be given the tools to evaluate and choose enterprises, develop a business plan, and market their products. Cost is $60 per farm and includes course books and other program materials. Registration ends March 7. For more information, contact Caragh Fitzgerald or call (207) 622-7546 (toll free 1-800-287-1481 in Maine), TDD 1-800-287-8957.

Maine Grass Farmers Network 8th Annual Grazing Conference

The Maine Beef Producers Association and Maine Grass Farmers Network present the 8th Annual Grazing Conference on Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 8:00am – 4:00pm at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, ME. Topics will include KVCC’s New Role in Agricultural Education, Managed Grazing Systems, Forage Species Selection and Management, Marketing Your Farm Products, Finishing Cattle on Grass, Pork Cutting Demonstration and more. More information, including registration, is available online.

Egg Producer School

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is partnering with the Maine Poultry Growers Association in presenting a day-long Egg Producer School. The school is scheduled from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, Maine. The cost to participate in this practical school is $25.00 per person. This fee includes lunch and reference materials. This day-long school is designed for individuals who have (or plan to have) a small-scale or mid-size egg production enterprise. The instructors for the school are University of Connecticut Extension Poultry Specialist, Dr. Michael Darre and UMaine Extension Educator, Richard Brzozowski. Participants will be equipped with information and skills to assist them in reaching & managing a profitable egg enterprise. For more information contact UMaine Extension at 207-781-6099 or  1-800-287-1471 (toll-free in Maine) or email Colleen Hoyt.

Sheep Shearing Schools

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has partnered with the Maine Sheep Breeders Association to offer three sheep shearing schools Spring 2012. The first school is a blade shearing school using non-electric hand shears and will feature blade shearer Kevin Ford. The school is scheduled Friday, March 30, at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, ME, starting at 8:00 AM. Enrollment is limited to eight students. The fee is $80 per student. Spectators are welcome. The other two sheep shearing schools are beginner level schools and will feature teams of instructors. These day-long schools will be held Saturday, April 21 in Windham, ME, and Saturday, April 28 in Littleton, ME. Enrollment is limited to 22 students per school, and each costs $35 per person. For more information or to register, please contact UMaine Extension at 207-781-6099 or 1-800-287-1471 (toll-free in Maine).

Focus Group for Maine Land Use Futures Research

Michelle Johnson, Ph.D. student in Ecology and Environmental Science, and Research Fellow for the Sustainability Solutions Initiative, would like to invite you to participate in a University of Maine-led focus group related to agricultural land use in the Casco Bay/Lower Androscoggin Watershed region. The purpose of this focus group is to identify key factors that determine what makes parcels in the region suitable or unsuitable for agriculture. The outcomes of the agriculture focus group will be combined with information from other land use focus groups (forestry, development, ecosystem conservation) the team will hold. The information will then be presented in a map-based format to identify potential future conflicts and compatibilities of the various land uses.

The focus group will be held between March 26 – April 6, and will run 3 hours (morning or afternoon) with refreshments available. The location will be either USM’s Portland campus or the UMaine Extension office in Falmouth. Those with experience in agricultural activities in the Casco Bay and Lower Androscoggin Watersheds are being invited to participate. The group will participate in discussion about suitability of key factors for agriculture, with a goal of creating a list of the factors and identifying the relative importance of each factor. If you are a farmer interested in participating, please contact Michelle Johnson or call 207-852-1181.

Dairy Producers Reminded of MILC Program

The Maine Farm Service Agency would like to remind dairy producers of some important program eligibility requirements for payment under the Milk Income Loss Contract program (MILC). FSA Androscoggin/Sagadahoc County Executive Director Marcia Hall says dairy prices may authorize potential MILC payments, but all dairy producers need to be aware of the program requirements should those conditions arise.

Dairy operators currently enrolled in MILC, need to notify the local county office if there have been any changes to their dairy operation. If a payment rate is announced, dairy producers enrolled in the MILC program will need to provide the local county office with documentation showing the eligible milk production and commercial milk marketing for the months with a MILC payment rate in effect.

MILC program participants are also required to comply with FSA’s Adjusted Gross Income requirements each fiscal year. This certification, on a CCC-931, must be completed prior to a payment being disbursed. New dairies that have not previously participated in the MILC program will need to fill out the CCC-580, Milk Income Loss Contract. For more information contact: Marcia Hall or call 207/753-9400 ext. 2.

Starting from Scratch with a Smart Phone, Mobile Device or Computer? We can help!

If you want to learn how to use a smart phone, iPad, laptop or other mobile device for your farm business, contact Tori at 1-800-287-1458 or Dick at 1-800-287-1471 at UMaine Extension. A smart phone or computer might make sense for you in more efficient communications, marketing, management and making business decisions. It is never too late to start using such devices.

Do You Have an Email Address?

Getting this newsletter and other announcements from UMaine Extension and other agricultural groups is quicker and less expensive via email address. If you have an email address and would like to be added to our mailing list, please send a request to Dana Rickman. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Pollinators are essential to our environment. They are responsible for the reproduction of nearly 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants and fundamental to agriculture and natural ecosystems. More than two-thirds of the world’s crop species are dependent on pollination. Beyond agriculture, pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems, since their activities are ultimately responsible for the seeds and fruits that feed everything from songbirds to black bears.

Conservation of pollinating insects is critically important.  In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences released a report calling attention to the decline of pollinators. The report urged agencies and organizations to increase awareness and protect pollinator habitat. The Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course was developed to address this need.

The course will include both classroom and field training components, and is approved for two pesticide applicator recertification credits.  University of Maine’s Dr. Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology and Insect Pest Management, will be a guest speaker for the day.

When:  May 15, 2012  9:00 am – 4:00 pm EDT

Where:  Unity, Maine

Fee:  $45/person, $35/person for NRCS personnel. Some scholarships are available.

Registrants will receive the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Toolkit which includes the Xerces’ publication, Attracting Native Pollinators. Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, as well as habitat management guidelines and relevant USDA-NRCS and extension publications.

Further information, including event registration, is available online.

 

 

Master Gardening Volunteer Training March 2012!

An eight-week course for those interested in becoming certified UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will be offered in March 2012. UMaine Extension Educator Tori Jackson will collaborate with experts from around the state to present sustainable fruit and vegetable horticulture, basics of garden design and volunteer training. The deadline to request an application is December 21, 2011 and completed applications must be received by January 20, 2012.

Sessions will be held March 20 through May 10, 2012, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm at the UMaine Extension Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties office located at 24 Main Street in Lisbon Falls. The course fee is on a sliding scale from $110-$330 and a limited number of scholarships are available. Enrollment will be capped at 20. For more information or to request an application, contact Dana Rickman at (207) 353-5550, 1-800-287-1458 (toll free in Maine) or by email. UMaine Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with program goals.


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Contact Information

Cooperative Extension in Androscoggin & Sagadahoc
24 Main Street
Lisbon Falls, Maine 04252-1505
Phone: 207.353.5550 or 800.287.1458 (in Maine)E-mail: andsag@umext.maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System