Archive for the ‘News’ Category

MS Dishes on Food-to-Market Course

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Morning Sentinel reported that University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a six-session course that covers moving a specialty food product to market. The class will take place Tuesdays, April 8–29, 2014 in Skowhegan and Dover-Foxcroft. Two May class sessions are scheduled to include individual business consultations and a tour of the Dr. Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant — UMaine’s state-of-the-art facility that assists food processors, entrepreneurs, farmers, researchers and students in the food industry.

From Recipe to Market: Learn to Cash in on Opportunities

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a six-session course that covers moving a specialty food product to market.

The class, which meets 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. each Tuesday, April 8–29, 2014 will be held in two locations — 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, and 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft. Two May class sessions will include individual business consultations and a tour of the Dr. Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant, a state-of-the-art UMaine facility that assists food processors, entrepreneurs, farmers, researchers and students in the food industry.

Topics to be covered include licensing, safe preparation and packaging of food, assessing potential profits and locating resources to support a developing business. The class is for people operating a value-added business and those seriously considering one; participants must have a specific food product or recipe in mind and are expected to attend all sessions. Presenters include: Beth Calder, UMaine Extension food science specialist; James McConnon, UMaine Extension business and economics specialist; and Kathy Hopkins, Debra Kantor and Donna Coffin, UMaine Extension educators.

Cost is $35 per person. Partial scholarships are available. Registrations must be received by April 1 to reserve a space. More information, including online registration is online. For questions, or to request a disability accommodation at the Skowhegan site, call 207.474.9622 or email tammy.bodge@maine.edu. For questions, or to request a disability accommodation at the Dover-Foxcroft site, call 207.564.3301 or email amanda.miles@maine.edu.

Cooperative Extension’s Recipe to Market Course Cited in Morning Sentinel Article

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The Morning Sentinel published an article about Katie Quinn, a bartender at  Bullwinkle’s restaurant on Sugarloaf Mountain, who created a Bloody Mary mix to help reduce overhead. Quinn cites Recipe to Market, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension course, with helping her meet necessary guidelines, such as seeking her commercial kitchen license and label registration from the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

KJ Interviews McConnon about Benefits of Buying Local

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The Kennebec Journal interviewed Jim McConnon, University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist and professor of economics, about the city of Gardiner’s plan to develop a food policy that brands the city as a local food hub and encourages people and groups to purchase locally grown and raised food products.

McConnon said more of the money that is spent on products from local growers remains in the community. He cited a 2005 Iowa State University study that indicated each dollar spent at farmers’ markets in that state had generated an additional 58 cents in direct sales for the economy.

Panel to Discuss Washington County Food System

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

A free panel discussion about the Washington County food system will be held Wednesday, December 11, 6-7:30 p.m., at Kimball Hall at the University of Maine at Machias.

Much of the food we consume is imported into the area from other counties, states and countries. This has impacts on local land use, the environment, employment and economics.

Panelists include Kevin Athearn, associate professor of environmental and community economics at the University of Maine at Machias; Carly DelSignore, co-owner and operator of Tide Mill Farm in Edmunds; Inez Lombardo, founder and coordinator of Machias Marketplace online farmers market; and David Thompson, store manager of the Machias Hannaford.

Following each panelist’s presentation, audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions. The event, which is open to the public, will be streamed live over theInternet and archived online for future (machias.edu/umm-live).

This is the third panel in the Food and Community Series sponsored by Psychology and Community Studies at UMM, UMaine Extension and the Libra Foundation. For more information, contact UMaine Extension Educator Alan Majka, 207.255.3345 or University of Maine at Machias Professor Meghan Duff, 207.255.1227. To request a disability accommodation, call Jo Ellen Scribner at the University of Maine at Machias, 207.255.1228.

Press Herald Interviews McConnon about Maine’s Economy

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The Portland Press Herald interviewed James McConnon, an economics professor at the University of Maine, for an article about Maine’s economy showing strength. McConnon said there are signs of improvement, especially in automobiles and building supplies, which are important sectors for consumer and small-business spending. He also said September and October retail sales figures will be the crucial test of consumer confidence because they will indicate whether the partial government shutdown slowed spending.

Cooperative Extension Falmouth Workshops Previewed in Press Herald Column

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

A five-part series of workshops provided by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension titled “From Recipe to Market: Cashing in on Value-Added Opportunities” was previewed in the Portland Press Herald “Food & Dining Dispatches” column. The workshops begin October 3, 2013 in Falmouth.

McConnon Talks to Press Herald about New Maine Mall Store

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

James McConnon, economics professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article “Department store fills void at Maine Mall.” McConnon said the arrival of Bon-Ton Stores Inc. at the South Portland mall will likely generate some interest and foot traffic in the short term. He also said the growth in retail sales in South Portland has outpaced sales growth for the state as a whole.

Starting a Specialty Food Business Series

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension will be offering a workshop series on Starting a Specialty Food Business. This workshop series is presented free of charge at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office located at 28 Center Street in Machias. Pre-registration is required. Please register by Friday, September 20th by contacting Tara Wood at 207.255.3345 or by e-mail at tara.a.wood@maine.edu.

The workshops in the series is as follows:

Starting a Specialty Food Business: Planning for Success
September 25, 2013
9:00 AM – 12 PM
Business planning is key to owning a successful business. Participants will learn the key questions that need to be addressed about yourself, the business, the customers and the competition before you move ahead. These and other planning issues will be discussed in the context of the business plan with a focus on developing a specialty food business.

Panel of Specialty Food Businesses
October 16, 2013
10:00 AM – 12 PM
A panel discussion by and insurance agency, banker, lawyer, and food business entrepreneur will give advice and answer questions.

Regulations/Licensing for Specialty Food Producers
November 12, 2013
9:00 AM – 12 PM
The workshop will provide participants with information on food safety labeling packaging and product development.  n addition, we will discuss food regulations and licenses.

Individual Business Counseling for Specialty Food Producers
November 19, 2013
Individuals taking the workshop series are encouraged to make 1 hr 15 minute appointments with Louis, Jim, and Beth for help and advice on business plans or questions about next steps.

Option:  Tour the Pilot Plant
Date and time to be announced
Participants will tour the tour the University of Maine to view the resources available to assist with food product development and research.

Associated Press Reports on Seaweed Workshop, Kelp Farming Class

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

The Associated Press previewed a seaweed aquaculture science workshop and kelp farming class to be offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant. The seaweed workshop will include presentations from science and industry experts as well as time for discussions and networking. The kelp farming class will be taught by members of the Portland-based commercial kelp farm Ocean Approved and University of Connecticut scientists. WABI (Channel 5), Portland Press Herald and WLBZ (Channel 2) were among several news organizations to carry the report.