Archive for the ‘News’ Category

UMaine Extension offers hayfield, pasture management workshops

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
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Baling hayUniversity 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.

Maine Grass Farmers Network 10th Annual Grazing Conference

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
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Grazing cattle

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.

School for Poultry Producers Focuses on Best Practices, Bird Health

Monday, February 10th, 2014
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University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA) will offer a daylong school for poultry producers Saturday, April 5, 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 http://umaine.edu/cumberland/programs/poultry-keepers/ or call UMaine Extension, 207.781.6099. To request a disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine only).

Rural Media Group to Air UMaine Cooperative Extension Videos

Friday, February 7th, 2014
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Rural Media Group (RMG), a privately held corporation that owns and operates a portfolio of rural-based entertainment companies, is slated to air University of Maine Cooperative Extension videos on their morning “Market Day Report” and “Rural Evening News” programs. Videos likely to air include “How to Frost Seed,” “Working with Maine Business,”“How Do I Tap a Maple Tree?” and “Darling Marine Center Scallop Research.” RMG’s two channels, RFD-TV and RURAL TV, are dedicated to serving the needs and interests of people living in rural America with programming focused on agriculture, rural lifestyle, traditional country music, and live news and daily market coverage with a focus on the business and policy issues of rural America. RMG’s programming is available internationally and is currently distributed into more than 53 million homes through satellite and cable providers including DISH Network, DIRECTV, Time Warner Cable and Comcast.

Workshops for New Farmers to be Held at Agricultural Trades Show

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
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Agricultural Trades Show Maine logoAre you a new farmer? Do you need help navigating the various programs and services available to help you succeed in your new farming enterprise?

The Beginning Farmer Resource Network (BFRN) — a coalition of farm service providers supporting the whole farm community including agriculture, aquaculture, and forestry — will be conducting workshops on various topics for new farmers at the Agricultural Trades Show to be held at the Augusta Civic Center on January 7-9, 2014.

The schedule and topics for these workshops can be found in the Agricultural Trades Show program brochure. The workshops will be held from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 8 and from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursday, January 9. There will also be a networking room where you can come and talk to a representative of BFRN about your farm. The networking room will be open Tuesday-Thursday during the hours of the Trades Show.

Go to BFRN’s website at www.umaine.edu/beginning-farmer-resource-network/ — the one-stop website for new farmers — for a “toolbox” of information on important issues/concerns that farmers should think about when starting their business.

Farm Scoop – December 2013 / January 2014

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
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The December 2013/January 2014 issue of Farm Scoop is now available:  Farm Scoop – December 2013/January 2014.  Read about the New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference, Cornell Small Farms Marketing Class, 2014 Maine Agricultural Trades Show, and Value -Added Producer Grant.

New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference – December 17-19, 2013

Monday, November 18th, 2013
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New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference and Trade Show
Tuesday through Thursday, December 17-19, 2013
Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire

The New England Vegetable and Fruit (NEVF) Conference will include more than 25 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special topics. A Farmer to Farmer meeting after each morning and afternoon session will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussion on certain issues. There is also an extensive Trade Show with over 100 exhibitors.

The conference is put together with close collaboration between growers and Cooperative Extension from across the region. This is a great opportunity to meet with fellow growers, advisors, researchers, and industry representatives.

For more information and to register, please visit the NEVF Conference website, www.newenglandvfc.org.

Kersbergen Quoted in AP Article on New Crop-Monitoring App

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
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Richard Kersbergen, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator on sustainable dairy and forage systems, was quoted in an Associated Press article about goCrop, a new app that helps map crops and monitor irrigation systems. Kersbergen said goCrop would be a potentially useful tool in helping dairy farmers keep records. NWCN.com carried the report.

Kersbergen Quoted in BDN Article on Farm Shares

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
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Rick Kersbergen, sustainable dairy and forage systems educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article on the variety of Maine farm shares. Kersbergen said popular farmers markets, such as those in Belfast and Orono, are “just about impossible to get into,” and diversifying farm shares is one way farmers can continue to directly sell products to consumers.

Farm Scoop – October/November 2013

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
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The October/November issue of Farm Scoop is now available:  Farm Scoop – October/November 2013. Read about the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) Farmer to Farmer Conference, Free Work Safety Stickers, Ethnic Marketing of Lamb and Mutton Webinar Series, Maine Hay and Straw Directories, Cornell Online Berry Production Course, and the Annual Maine Beef Conference.