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Cooperative Extension: Livestock


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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:

  • March 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m., UMaine Extension, 992 Waterville Road, Waldo
  • April 3, 6-8 p.m., Farmington Grange, 124 Bridge St., West Farmington
  • April 10, 7-9 p.m., UMaine Extension, 307 Maine Ave., 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 St., Lisbon Falls
  • June 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Noon Family Sheep Farm, 78 Sunset Road, Springvale

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.

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Maine Grass Farmers Network 10th Annual Grazing Conference

The Maine Grass Farmers Network (MGFN) annual Grazing Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 15 at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

The cost is $75 per person, $25 for each additional person from the same farm or household, with discounts for students and MGFN members. This conference is designed for livestock producers who want to learn how to best use pasture and forage crops to feed their livestock profitably.

This year’s conference features Forrest Pritchard, a professional farmer, writer and public speaker. His farm, Smith Meadows, is one of the first “grass finished” farms in the country, and has sold products at farmers markets in Washington, D.C., for 15 years. His book “Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm” was named a Top Read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s “The Splendid Table.” Pritchard’s keynote presentation is “The Economics of Grass-Based Livestock.”

Additional presenters will include University of Vermont livestock specialist Joe Emenheiser and Crystal Springs Farm manager Seth Kroek. The conference will also feature the MGFN annual business meeting, a grass-fed beef cook-off and a trade show.

For more information and to register, visit the MGFN website at http://umaine.edu/livestock/mgfn/. For any questions or to request a disability accommodation, contact Rick Kersbergen, 207.342.5971; richard.kersbergen@maine.edu.

The MGFN Conference is co-sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension; The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; The Natural Resources Conservation Service; The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; and the Maine Beef Producers Association.

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Image Description: Grazing cattle

Maintaining a Healthy Herd Focus of Beef Conference

“Keeping Your Herd Healthy” is the theme of the Maine Beef Producers Association’s (MBPA) 24th Annual Beef Conference on Saturday, Dec.7, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor, Maine.

Presenters include: Walter Whitcomb, commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; Dr. Simon Alexander, veterinarian at Exeter Veterinary Services; Cindy Kilgore, livestock specialist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; and Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner, veterinarian and director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Animal Health Laboratory.

The MBPA and the Maine Grass Farmers Network (MGFN) are co-hosting the event; registration begins at 8 a.m. the day of the conference. Nonmember registration, including lunch, is $60 for the first person from a farm and $40 for all others from the same farm. The student rate is $20. Discounts are available for MGFN and MBPA association members.

Sponsors are UMaine Cooperative Extension, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and Hilton Garden Inn.

For registration details, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Melissa Libby at 1.800.287.7170 in Maine or 207.581.2788 outside of Maine. More details, including the keynote speaker, will be announced at the UMaine Extension Beef website.

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Image Description: beef cows and calves on pasture; photo by Edwin Remsberg

Horse Health Education Conference

New Gloucester, ME — Horse owners, care takers and pre-veterinary students will learn about the most serious infectious diseases that can affect their animals and what can be done to improve biosecurity and prevent disease outbreaks on the farm at the Horse Health Education Conference on Saturday, November 17 at the Pineland Equestrian Center in New Gloucester. This program is for horse owners, prospective pre-veterinary students, 4-H and Pony Club leaders and older youth, boarding farm owners and operators, horse business owners, horse trainers, farriers, auction houses, fair superintendents, and others from New England who are interested in learning more about infectious diseases of horses.

The featured speaker is Dr. Mary Rose Paradis, Large Animal Medicine, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, New Grafton, MA. This conference is hosted by the University of Maine School of Food & Agriculture, Animal & Veterinary Sciences; University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Pineland Farms; Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University; and Laboratory for the Expansion of Animal Disease Surveillance (LEADS).

The program includes a review of infectious diseases in Maine, vaccinations and diagnostic tests. Respiratory bacterial infections such as strangles, Rhodococcus equi, and also respiratory viral infections such as equine herpes virus and influenza will be discussed. An important emphasis will focus on preventing infectious disease by using biosecurity measures on the farm.

Following the presentations, a panel of local veterinarians will be available for an “Ask the Vet” panel discussion. An exciting addition will be a dressage demonstration, offered by Pineland Farms.

Cost is $15 for adult and $10 for students for early registrations received by November 9  (a limited number of scholarships are available, please contact us.) Late and walk-in registrations are $25 for adults and $20 for students. To register, send check for registration (made out to UMaine Extension) and your name, address, phone, and e-mail to Melissa Libby, 134 Hitchner Hall, UMaine Extension, Orono, ME  04469-5735, 207-581-2788 or 1-800-287-7170 (in Maine), or Melissa.Libby1@maine.edu. Or register online at umaine.edu/livestock/equine/horse-conf. Bring your own lunch or purchase lunch ticket at registration desk.

Vendors from the horse industry are invited to apply for a vendor space ($100 for approximately a 10′ x 10′ space) at the Trade Show. Space is limited. Vendor applications to Melissa Libby, 134 Hitchner Hall, UMaine Extension, Orono, ME  04469-5735, 207-581-2788 in Maine 1-800-287-7170 or Melissa.Libby1@maine.edu.

You can also visit the events calendar at www.extension.umaine.edu. UMaine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. To provide adequate time to respond to your request please provide as much notice as possible.

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Horse Health Education Conference

Horse owners, care takers and pre-veterinary students will learn about the most serious infectious diseases that can affect their animals and what can be done to improve biosecurity and prevent disease outbreaks on the farm at the Horse Health Education Conference on Saturday, November 17th at the Pineland Equestrian Center in New Gloucester.  This program is for horse owners, prospective pre-veterinary students, 4-H & Pony Club leaders & older youth, boarding farm owners & operators, horse business owners, horse trainers, farriers, auction houses, fair superintendents and others from New England who are interested in learning more about infectious diseases of horses.

The featured speaker is Dr. Mary Rose Paradis, Large Animal Medicine, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, New Grafton, MA. This conference is hosted by the University of Maine School of Food & Agriculture, Animal & Veterinary Sciences; University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Pineland Farms; Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University; and Laboratory for the Expansion of Animal Disease Surveillance (LEADS).

The program includes a review of infectious diseases in Maine, vaccinations and diagnostic tests. Respiratory bacterial infections such as strangles, Rhodococcus equi and also respiratory viral infections such as equine herpes virus & influenza will be discussed.  An important emphasis will focus on preventing infectious disease by using biosecurity measures on the farm.

Following the presentations a panel of local veterinarians will be available for an “Ask the Vet” panel discussion. An exciting addition will be a dressage demonstration, offered by Pineland Farms.

Cost is $15 for adult & $10 for students for early registrations received by November 9th  (a limited number of scholarships are available, please contact us.) Late and walk-in registrations are $25 for adults and $20 for students. To register send check for registration (made out to UMaine Extension) and your name, address, phone, and email to Melissa Libby, 134 Hitchner Hall, UMaine Extension, Orono, ME  04469-5735, 207-581-2788 in Maine 1-800-287-7170 or Melissa.Libby1@maine.edu.  Or register online at http://bit.ly/ROVdNF. Bring your own lunch or purchase lunch ticket at registration desk.

Vendors from the horse industry are invited to apply for a vendor space ($100 for approximately a 10′ X 10′ space) at the Trade Show. Space is limited. Vendor applications to Melissa Libby, 134 Hitchner Hall, UMaine Extension, Orono, ME  04469-5735, 207-581-2788 in Maine 1-800-287-7170 or Melissa.Libby1@maine.edu.

You can also visit the events calendar at www.extension.umaine.edu. UMaine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. To provide adequate time to respond to your request please provide as much notice as possible.

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Image Description: Three gray horses in shed

Extension Grazing Conference March 17 in Fairfield

The Maine Grass Farmers Network (MGFN) will hold its eighth Annual Grazing Conference Saturday, March 17 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

This year, MGFN has joined forces with the Maine Beef Producers Association (MBPA) to host the conference. Keynote speaker is Dr. Ben Bartlett, a retired Extension specialist and veterinarian who concentrated on dairy, sheep and beef education for 28 years. Bartlett is recognized as an award-winning grazing expert who has traveled internationally to study grazing systems.

Among the presenters are University of Vermont agronomist Sid Bosworth, Cornell University Beef specialist Mike Baker, and Jim Ochterski, also from Cornell. Cole Ward, a nationally known meat cutter (http://www.facebook.com/TheGourmetButcher) will present a pork-cutting demonstration in the afternoon.

MGFN also will host a grass-fed steak contest during the lunch break. For details about entering the contest, contact Rick Kersbergen at richard.kersbergen@maine.edu.

Non-member registration, including lunch is $75. Discounts for MGFN and MBPA association members are available. For registration details, contact Sonia Antunes at 1-800-287-1426 in Maine or 207-342-5971 outside of Maine. Registration details also are on the UMaine Extension website (http://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/mgfn/).

MGFN is a collaboration of University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (MOFGA), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Maine Department of Agriculture and member farms.

UMaine Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with program goals. Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this program should contact Rick Kersbergen at 1-800-287-1481 to discuss their needs at least seven days in advance.

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Maine Grass Farmers Network 8th Annual Grazing Conference

The Maine Grass Farmers Network (MGFN) will hold its eighth Annual Grazing Conference Saturday, March 17 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

This year, MGFN has joined forces with the Maine Beef Producers Association (MBPA) to host the conference. Keynote speaker is Dr. Ben Bartlett, a retired Extension specialist and veterinarian who concentrated on dairy, sheep and beef education for 28 years. Bartlett is recognized as an award-winning grazing expert who has traveled internationally to study grazing systems.

Among the presenters are University of Vermont agronomist Sid Bosworth, Cornell University Beef specialist Mike Baker, and Jim Ochterski, also from Cornell. Cole Ward, a nationally known meat cutter (http://www.facebook.com/TheGourmetButcher) will present a pork-cutting demonstration in the afternoon.

MGFN also will host a grass-fed steak contest during the lunch break. For details about entering the contest, contact Rick Kersbergen at richard.kersbergen@maine.edu.

Non-member registration, including lunch is $75. Discounts for MGFN and MBPA association members are available. For registration details, contact Sonia Antunes at 1-800-287-1426 in Maine or 207-342-5971 outside of Maine. Registration details also are on the UMaine Extension website (http://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/mgfn/).

MGFN is a collaboration of University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (MOFGA), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Maine Department of Agriculture and member farms.

UMaine Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with program goals. Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this program should contact Rick Kersbergen at 1-800-287-1481 to discuss their needs at least seven days in advance.

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Image Description: Maine Grass Farmers Network

Register now for the International Symposium on Managing Animal Mortality, Products, By-Products, and Associated Health Risk

Register now for the International Symposium on Managing Animal Mortality, Products, By-Products, and Associated Health Risk, scheduled from May 21-24, 2012 in Dearborn, Michigan.

Managing animal tissue (mortalities, products and by-products) is a significant challenge and a major responsibility for routine production of animals, as well as in emergencies. Catastrophic losses of poultry and livestock caused by disease, fire, or weather-related stresses, and routine losses associated with large-scale production operations have become significant environmental, biosecurity and waste management concerns around the globe.

Join veterinarians, animal industry and government professionals, academics, extension educators, food and agriculture emergency managers, public health managers, food animal processors, rendering professionals, and producers from around the world by registering at http://www.ans.msu.edu/events.

Register before April 20, 2012 to receive the $300 early bird rate. Take advantage of one of the four optional tours to see how border management, on farm composting and rendering are being handled in new and innovative ways. Tours are an additional $30. For those who are unable to attend the full conference, daily registration options are available.

The conference will feature poster sessions, keynote speakers, demonstrations of new technology and hands-on training activities. Sessions and speakers will include the following topics: environmental effects of disposal, mechanical disposal technologies, decontamination, animal mortality composting, depopulation, foods of animal origin, emergency response and policy and lessons learned.

If you are interested in participating in the conference with a presentation or poster there is still time to submit an abstract. Information about submitting can be found at http://www.ans.msu.edu/events.

The symposium is supported by the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD Center), a Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence, and various government and educational institutions across North America. The symposium will be hosted by Michigan State University. To learn more about the symposium and how to be involved as presenter, participant, demonstrator or sponsor, visit umaine.edu/byproducts-symposium.

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University of Maine Cooperative Extension


Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Livestock
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188, 800.287.0274 (in Maine) or 800.287.8957 (TDD)E-mail: extension@maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System