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Farm Scoop March 2013

by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, Cumberland County; Tori Jackson, Extension Educator, Androscoggin & Sagadahoc Counties; and Frank Wertheim, Extension Educator, York County

York County Farmers Network Breakfast

March 19, 2013 at 8:00 a.m.
Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen Street, Springvale ME
(downstairs in the Nasson Heritage Room)

Enjoy a free, catered breakfast gathering for York County Farmers Network (YCFN) members, sponsored this month by Farm Credit of Maine, courtesy of Rob Horne. Join your fellow YCFN members for an informal networking opportunity and compare notes on getting ready for spring! After breakfast, Dave Tuttle will host the group for a tour of his winter greens and new hydroponic operation at Riverside Farms in North Berwick. For directions, or if you have questions, email Becky Gowdy or Frank Wertheim, or call us at (207) 324-2814. In case of weather concerns and possible cancellation, please call the office by 4:30 p.m. the day before, or check WCSH6 Storm Center cancellations.

The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production

There has been a lot in the news about farmers not being able to save and replant Genetically Modified seeds. Here is a resource for those who do want to try saving seeds of their favorite or important varieties for market and what you need to know to do so. Funded by Northeast SAREThe Organic Seed Grower:A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production is available through Chelsea Green Publishing or call them at 1-800-639-4099.

New England Meat Conference

Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, 2013
Grappone Conference Center, Concord, NH

The goal of the New England Meat Conference is to enhance the production, processing, and marketing of sustainable, nutritious, humanely-raised meat from New England farms by providing educational and networking opportunities for meat producers, processors and industry stakeholders. More information is available on the Conference website.

Coalition Providing Assistance to New Farmers in Maine

A group of federal, state and local agricultural service providers have joined together to assist aspiring, beginning, and transitioning farmers to succeed by providing information and assistance on everything from the soil to your wallet. This coalition, known as the Beginning Farmers Resource Network (BFRN), has created a one stop website for new and transitioning farmers. It offers a “toolbox” of information on important issues and concerns farmers should think about when starting or enhancing their business. The BFRN provides resources and contacts on such issues as acquiring land, how to farm, conserving natural resources, planning and managing your business, financing, regulations, marketing, and much more. The website, also, provides information on events and workshops that may be of interest. Please take some time to explore what the BFRN has to offer and let us know what you think.

Conservation Innovation Grants for Maine

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2013 will be up to $200,000. Applications are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between 1 and 3 years in duration.

Applications must be received by NRCS no later than April 1, 2013 by 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Applications sent via hand-delivery, express mail or overnight courier service must be sent to the following address:

Gerald Jacobs, Contracting Officer
Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Conservation Innovation Grants Program
967 Illinois Ave., Suite # 3, Bangor, ME 04401

Applications sent electronically must be sent through grants.gov.

For more information contact Christopher Jones, CIG Program Manager Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or call (207) 990-9563.

Kitchen Licensing Workshop

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
University of Maine Regional Learning Center
75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth ME

Registration fee is $35 MOFGA members; $40 non-members

This day-long workshop is designed for farmers and others interested in home food processing for resale. Licensing requirements, food safety and product liability insurance will be covered. Fee includes handouts and lunch. Register and find more information online, or call MOFGA at (207) 568-4142. This workshop is co-sponsored by MOFGA and UMaine Extension.

2013 Farm Tractor Safety Course

Tuesday evenings starting April 30, 2013
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Maine Forest Service, 356 Shaker Road, Gray ME
Fee: $20 includes the manual

This 5-session course is designed for new drivers (youth and adults). Individuals will receive practical training in the classroom, in the shop, and on tractors. Participants should be at least 13 years of age to participate in this certified course. Register or find more information online, or email Andrea Herr, or call 1-800-287-1471. Registration is required, and space is limited.

The New England Farm Account Book in Electronic Format!

This handy record book is now available electronically in an Excel spreadsheet format. To obtain a free copy of the electronic spreadsheet with directions on its use, please email Tori Jackson or call 1-800-287-1458.

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