Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Rogers Farm site of free Sustainable Agriculture Field Day

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
 

UMaine Sustainable Ag Field DayThe University of Maine Cooperative Extension will hold its annual Sustainable Agriculture Field Day 4-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at Rogers Farm, 914 Bennoch Road, Old Town.

Rogers Farm is part of UMaine’s J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center. The free event is designed for farmers, crop advisers and others interested in agricultural production. UMaine agricultural researchers and Extension faculty will present field research highlighting current applied agricultural research projects, including alternative weed management strategies in vegetable production, opportunities and challenges with winter grains and evaluating plants to support native pollinators.

Presenters include Ellen Mallory, Extension sustainable agriculture specialist; Lois Berg Stack, Extension ornamental horticulture specialist; Eric Gallandt, associate professor of weed ecology and management; John Jemison, Extension water quality specialist; Bryan Brown and Erin Roche, UMaine graduate students in Sustainable Agriculture; and Tom Molloy, sustainable agriculture research associate. Ilse Rasmussen, visiting scholar from the International Center for Research on Organic Food Systems, will discuss sustainable agriculture in Denmark.

Participants will receive one pesticide certification credit and two Certified Crop Adviser credits. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m.; events are 5-7:30 p.m. Participants are invited to arrive at 4 p.m. to participate in a walking weed tour conducted by Gallandt.

For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Mallory at 207.581.2942 or Jemison at 207.581.3241.

McConnon Talks to WVII about Increase in Women Business Owners

Monday, April 28th, 2014

James McConnon, a University of Maine economics professor and a business and economics specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) for a report about an increase in the number of women who own businesses. According to the report, the number of women-owned businesses in Maine has grown by 34 percent since 1997, but that number is about half of the national trend, with Maine ranking 47th in the country. However, the number of people employed by women-owned firms has grown by 6 percent, and trends are encouraging. “Women business owners have continued to grow at a rate faster than male business owners in Maine and nationally. I think that’s good to see,” said McConnon.

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.