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2010 Newsletters - Wild Blueberry Newsletter – November 2010

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wild blueberry newsletter headerNovember 2010

USDA Announces Assistance to Wild Blueberry Producers in Maine Under Fiscal Year 2011 Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has announced certification of a Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 petition for wild blueberries filed under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program by the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine. Beginning on Sept. 30, 2010, eligible blueberry producers in Maine will have 90 days to apply for training and benefits, so applications will end on December 30, 2010.

Reauthorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the TAA for Farmers Program provides technical training and cash benefits to eligible U.S. producers and fishermen of raw agricultural commodities whose crops or catch have been adversely affected by imports of like or directly competitive commodities.

After reviewing the petition, FAS determined that increased imports of wild blueberries from Chile during January-December 2009 contributed importantly to a greater than 15-percent decline in the average annual price of blueberries during the same period, compared to the previous 3-year average. This conforms to the eligibility requirements stipulated in Subtitle C of Title I of the Trade Act of 2002 (Pub. L.107-210).

Individual blueberry producers in Maine interested in applying for technical training and cash benefits must complete a written application and submit it to their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) Service Center by December 30, 2010.  The FSA will hold sessions to provide applications and help assist in filling them out from 6-8 PM on the dates below. (South Paris will be 3-5 PM).

Date Location
November 1 Milbridge Town Hall
November 8 Portland Yacht Services – 58 Fore Street
November 10 Union – Thompson Community Center
November 16 Ellsworth Ramada Inn
November 22 Belfast High School – Music Room
November 30 Machias – University of Maine, Science Bldg. Room 102
November 30 South Paris – Oxford County FSA Building – 17 Olson Road  (3 PM to 5 PM)

You may also find the location of your local county FSA office at Http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=me&agency=fsa or call the state office at 990-9100 x 2 to get the number for your county office.

There are a number of documents required – you can find the check list and application forms at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/stateoffapp?mystate=me&area=home&subject=landing&topic=landing

Program benefits include cash payments and free technical training designed to help producers develop and implement business adjustment plans. Producers that develop an approved initial business plan will receive up to $4,000 as payment toward implementing the plan or developing a long-term business adjustment plan. Producers that subsequently develop approved long-term business adjustment plans are entitled to receive an additional cash payment of up to $8,000 to be applied toward implementing the plan. A producer may not receive more than $12,000, or benefit from any other TAA program, during the 36-month period following certification of a group petition. Travel and subsistence expenses related to attending training sessions may also be reimbursable.

I will provide you with more details on the training requirements that will need to be completed and the dates and locations of the trainings in future newsletters.

Wild Blueberry Association of North America Update

Public Relations: A press release was issued announcing the results of a study conducted by Dr. William Cefalu of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Dr. Cefalu discovered that blueberries improved insulin sensitivity (improved efficiency) in pre-diabetic individuals. In essence, blueberries helped improve the ability of insulin to work. To read the release visit WBANA’s website at http://www.wildblueberries.com/news/news_2010-09-16.php. This is an important clinical study examining how a diet including blueberries might help prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Dr. Cefalu was an invited guest at the recent Wild Blueberry Health Research Summit in Bar Harbor.

Web: The WBANA website continues to be updated with new content.  Most recently, more than a dozen Wild Blueberry recipes have been added to the site at http://www.wildblueberries.com/.    The recipes were developed by WBANA-Canada’s German agency MK-2.  Site visitors and food media are searching for recipes and these new additions are meeting with rave reviews.  In an effort to update lifestyle content, a photo shoot took place at the recent Machias Wild Blueberry Festival.  Photos have been posted to the Facebook page and will be added to the WBANA website shortly.

Social Media: WBANA’s Facebook and Twitter fan base continues to grow, with Facebook approaching 2,000 fans and Twitter rising to more than 250 followers. To join the Wild Blueberry Fan Page, first sign-up for Facebook at www.facebook.com and then become a Wild Blueberry fan at www.facebook.com/wildblueberries. To follow Wild Blueberries on Twitter go to http://twitter.com/WildBBerries4U. Once signed up, please contact your colleagues, friends and family to encourage them to get the latest Wild Blueberry news through both Facebook and Twitter.  The Wild Blueberry Facebook Fan Page and Twitter feed are updated multiple times weekly to provide information about Wild Blueberries as well as relevant health, wellness and culinary stories.  The Wild Blueberry blog is also going strong with new content appearing weekly.  Visit www.wildblueberryhealthblog.com to see the latest posts.

Sincerely,

Dave

David E. Yarborough
Extension Blueberry Specialist

www.wildblueberries.maine.edu

Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

©2010

Published and distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Land Grant University of the state of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the U.S.D.A. provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Call 800-287-0274 or TDD 800-287-8957 (in Maine), or 207-581-3188, for information on publications and program offerings from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or visit extension.umaine.edu.


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