New publication: Preventing Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Virus in Maine

September 13th, 2013 10:18 AM
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3 horses in pasture; photo by C. Eves-ThomasEastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a preventable, but fatal, disease. Horses (and other equine species) are the most sensitive to the disease, but other domestic animals, including llamas and alpacas and some bird species, can be affected by EEE. Unfortunately, this disease can also affect humans — if they are bitten by mosquitoes that carry the virus. Learn more about the transmission and prevention of EEE in Bulletin #1003, Preventing Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Virus in Maine. Printed color copies can be ordered from the UMaine Extension Publications Catalog.

Kersbergen Mentioned in Press Herald Blog

September 12th, 2013 3:22 PM
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Rick Kersbergen, sustainable dairy and forage systems educator with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was mentioned in the latest post of the Portland Press Herald blog, “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources.” Kersbergen moderated the “Meat, Milk and the Future of Livestock Farming in Maine” panel during the Maine Farmland Trust’s Maine Fare Event in Belfast.

Sun Journal Previews Sheep, Goat Housing Seminar

September 12th, 2013 2:28 PM
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The Sun Journal previewed the daylong Maine Sheep and Goat Housing and Equipment Seminar that will take place Saturday, October 19, 2013 at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering the seminar with the Maine Sheep Breeders Association, Boer Goat Breeders of Maine and regional dairy goat associations of Maine.

UMaine Extension Offers Sheep, Goat Housing Seminar

September 5th, 2013 2:43 PM
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University of Maine Cooperative Extension will present a daylong Maine Sheep & Goat Housing and Equipment Seminar on October 19, 2013 at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, Maine, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

UMaine Extension is offering the seminar in cooperation with the Maine Sheep Breeders Association, Boer Goat Breeders of Maine and regional dairy goat associations of Maine.

The $35 per-person fee includes a reference notebook, refreshments and a hot lunch that includes Maine lamb. Online registration for the class is available at the UMaine Extension Livestock website, umaine.edu/livestock/sheep/sheep-goat-housing-seminar. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call Justine Denny at 207.781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine only).

John Porter, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension professor, will lead the class. In addition, farmers will talk about housing and equipment that have worked well for them and their livestock.

“Housing is an important consideration for sheep or goat producers,” says UMaine Extension Poultry and Small Ruminant Specialist Richard Brzozowski. “Livestock facilities should be well designed for animal comfort, easy cleaning and efficient management. Multiuse of housing should also be considered. Producers who participate in this one-day seminar will learn how to design or adapt their facilities with profitability in mind.”

New Blogs for Small Ruminant Producers and Poultry Producers

September 5th, 2013 2:12 PM
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Extension expert with goat producer; photo by Edwin Remsberg
free range chickens; photo by Edwin Remsberg

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has named Dr. Richard Brzozowski as Maine small ruminant and poultry specialist. Brzozowski has worked as an Extension educator in Maine since 1987. He will continue to be based in Cumberland County, providing targeted, enhanced programming efforts to assist producers of sheep, goats, camelids, and all species of poultry throughout the state.

As a part of his new responsibilities, Brzozowski will offer two blogs on a regular basis — one blog for small ruminant producers and the other blog for poultry producers. These electronic communications will feature timely topics directed at production, management, and marketing.

If there are particular topics you would like to see Brzozowski address in his blogs, please contact him directly at richard.brzozowski@maine.edu.

Farm Scoop — September 2013

September 3rd, 2013 9:50 AM
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The September 2013 issue of Farm Scoop is now available and includes information about So You Want to Farm in Maine? — A Short Course for Individuals Who Want a Profitable Farm Operation; a new online form to report livestock losses from predators; a hands-on workshop on Four Season Gardening; Lyme Disease statistics for Maine; SARE Partnership Grants for farmers and growers; tax tips if you’re starting a business, and more.

Farm Scoop is a free, farm-related, online newsletter. To receive notification of new issues via e-mail, contact KymNoelle Sposato at kymnoelle.sposato@maine.edu.

Form Online to Track Livestock Losses Due to Predators

August 19th, 2013 12:05 PM
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University of Maine Cooperative Extension is partnering with USDA Wildlife Services to offer a predation event tracking form for farmers to report damage to livestock.

The predation event tracking form is online (umaine.edu/livestock/related-resources/report-predator-damage-of-livestock). USDA Wildlife Services will use the data to plan and implement effective control measures, and farmers and others will be able to receive annual reports of predator losses by county. The information could help farmers prevent losses through improved management and preventative measures.

The impetus for the predation event tracking form came from the Maine Sheep Breeders Association, which identified the need to help farmers report their losses.

Maine has nearly 20 million acres of forests and open space for wildlife to thrive in and these species play important roles in the ecosystem. Wildlife is wonderful, but some species can play a major factor in the success or failure of livestock operations in Maine. Farmers throughout the state typically lose poultry, sheep, goats, calves and other animals to both aerial and four-footed predators. These predators include coyote, weasel, bobcat, opossum, skunk, black bear, hawks and owls.

Predator pressure on livestock operations depends on several factors. Knowing the prevalence of predators — where they are and what they are attacking — can be key in minimizing losses.

For more information on predator management, contact USDA Wildlife Services in Maine, 207.629.5181.

Lichtenwalner, Brzozowski Talk about Bio-Security for Press Herald Blog

August 16th, 2013 10:45 AM
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Richard Brzozowski, University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator; and Anne Lichtenwalner, assistant professor, UMaine Extension veterinarian and director of the University of Maine Animal Health Laboratory, spoke about the importance of practicing bio-security on homesteads for the latest post in the Portland Press Herald blog “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources.” The author of the blog also wrote she hosted her home and garden during the UMaine Extension’s 5th annual Backyard Locavore Day.

Coffin Talks about Pigs for BDN Article on Escaped Hog

August 5th, 2013 2:09 PM
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The Bangor Daily News spoke with Donna Coffin, educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, about pig habits for an article on a 140-pound black guinea hog who escaped into the Aroostook woods on its way to a slaughterhouse. Coffin said pigs are omnivores and if they can find a dry shelter with access to water, they could survive the winter in the wild. She also said the pig could be more cautious of people the longer it is on its own, but could be enticed with bait.

Progressive Dairyman Publishes Cyr, Johnson Article on Harvesting Forage Safely

August 5th, 2013 12:43 PM
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Canada-based Progressive Dairyman published an article on harvesting forage safely by University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Steven Johnson, crops specialist, and Dawna Cyr, farm safety project assistant. The article originally appeared in Progressive Forage Grower magazine.