Archive for the ‘Farmers’ Category

What’s That Weed? UMaine Extension Knows

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Rough cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica L.) in flower, June. Photo by Jennifer Cote

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free weed identification walk at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 12, at Stutzman’s Farm, 891 Douty Hill Road, Sangerville.

Common weeds that invade vegetable, fruit, and other cultivated crops will be the focus of the walk led by Extension Educator Donna Coffin. She’ll have references available for those who want to learn how to identify and manage weeds. Participants are encouraged to bring a digital photo of problematic weeds in their farms and gardens. Two hours of pesticide recertification credit are available for private pesticide applicators.

For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Coffin at 207.564.3301, 800.287.1491 (in Maine), or Details also are available at

Explore Farming with UMaine Extension

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative (PVAEC) explore what it takes to be a farmer in Maine on Wednesday, March 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at UMaine Extension, 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft.

“Is Farming for ME?” will instruct attendees how to assess all assets that can contribute to a successful farm and where they can go for more information on starting a farm business plan. The program is part of the YOU CAN series of workshops developed to teach self-sufficiency skills to Maine families.

Donna Coffin, Extension Educator for Piscataquis and Penobscot counties and statewide resource for the Maine beef and equine industry, will lead the workshop. Cost is $5; pre-registration is required. To register, call 207.564.6525 or visit For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.564.3301 or 800.287.1491 (in Maine).

UMaine Extension Offers Free Apple Tree Pruning Field Day

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Pruning a fruit tree branchThe University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free apple tree pruning and grafting field day Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Avalon Acres Orchard & Farm, 234 Dexter Road, in Saint Albans.

Avalon Acres owner Mark Sheriff, an alumnus of the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program, will host. He’ll present information about general planting and management practices for apple trees then demonstrate pruning and grafting in the orchard. Apple tree growers and people who plan to plant apple trees this spring are invited to attend.

Pre-registration is requested but not required. Attendees should wear footwear appropriate for walking on uneven terrain. Rain date is Saturday, April 26. For more information, to register, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Peter Bastien, 207.474.9622, 800.287.1945 (toll free in Maine).

Registration Underway for UMaine Extension’s Grain Conference

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Handful of grainRegistration is open for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s annual Maine Grain Conference, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at the Spectacular Events Center, 395 Griffin Road, Bangor. The conference is designed for farmers, crop advisers and others involved in the agricultural community.

Featured speakers Klaas Martens and Mary-Howell Martens from Lakeview Organic Farm in Penn Yan, N.Y. will talk about organic grain rotations, production considerations for alternative grains, growing grain for seed and protecting grain quality with proper harvesting, drying, cleaning and storage. The Martens farm 1,400 acres of corn, wheat, barley, oats and legumes. They also operate a feed mill and sell organic feed, crop seed and food-grade grains.

Dorn Cox of the four-generation Tuckaway Farm in Lee, N.H. will discuss grain equipment options for all scales of operation. The grain grower will also give an overview of his 250-acre farm, as well as of the Great Bay Grain Cooperative that shares equipment and expertise.

Ellen Mallory, UMaine Extension sustainable agriculture specialist and conference organizer, will update attendees on UMaine grain research results with graduate students Aaron Englander and Erin Roche. An open question-and-discussion session will be held so participants can tap into available expertise.

Participants will receive two pesticide certification credits and six Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits.

Pre-registration is required by Thursday, March 13. Cost is $20 if pre-registered by March 10, $30 after. The fee covers lunch and a snack. To pre-register and pay online, visit For more information, to pre-register by phone, or to request a disability accommodation, call Meghan Dill at 207.581.3878.

Maine Grass Farmers Network 10th Annual Grazing Conference

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

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 For any questions or to request a disability accommodation, contact Rick Kersbergen, 207.342.5971;

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.

Beginning Farmer Resource Network of Maine

Monday, February 4th, 2013

The Beginning Farmer Resource Network of Maine is a coalition of Maine agriculture agencies and organizations working together to connect aspiring, beginning, and transitioning farmers to resources for farm business success. We hope you find the resources useful and inspiring!

Farm Scoop December 2012/January 2013

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, Cumberland County and Tori Jackson, Extension Educator, Androscoggin & Sagadahoc Counties

 23rd Annual Maine Beef Conference

December 1, 2012, the Maine Beef Conference will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor. The focus will be on marketing with keynote speaker Dr. Jim Ochterski from Cornell. Dr Ochterski will be talking about whole farm marketing strategy. Dr. Henrettia Beaufait from the ME Department of Agriculture will talk about regulations for selling meat in Maine. Gabe Clark of Cold Spring Ranch in New Portland will talk about the cost of production and what that means for making a profit. Trades show vendors will be available at breaks and during lunch. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

Find more information on the day’s schedule, registration fees, and how to register online, or contact Melissa Libby, 134 Hitchner Hall, UMaine Extension, Orono, ME 04469-5735, or call (207) 581-2788 or 1-800-287-7170 (toll-free in Maine).

Free Poultry Break Even Calculator – Webinar for Small Scale Producers

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has arranged for a free webinar on the business side of keeping poultry. In order to stay in business, your business needs to be profitable, no matter what size. The webinar is a product of a SARE grant in applied poultry science coordinated by UMaine Extension.

Learn how to use a spreadsheet for your backyard, small scale or mid-size poultry enterprise at a free, 60-minute webinar scheduled for 7:00 pm (EST) Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

The spreadsheet, known as the “break even calculator,” will help poultry producers better understand their costs and calculate a reasonable price for their product. The spreadsheet, developed by Extension Educator Adam Hady of Wisconsin Extension in Richland County, was designed with tabs for meat producers and egg producers to establish a minimum price for their product. To participate in the webinar, simply connect to the webinar site a few minutes before the scheduled start time. For an electronic copy of the break even calculator for poultry, email Extension Educator, Richard Brzozowski.

Maine Agriculture Trades Show

The 72nd Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show will take place January 8-10, 2013, at the Augusta Civic Center. Sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, this show provides an atmosphere to walk through, observe, and educate the public about different areas of agriculture. Many producer groups also sponsor seminars and workshops over the three-day event. This is a wonderful opportunity to network with other farmers, pick up a new tool, or learn a new skill to take back to your farm. Find more information on the event Web site.

Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success – Webinar Series Registration Now Open!

The Farmers Market Federation of NY and the NY Farm Viability Institute have partnered with USDA Northeast SARE to present “Marketing for Profits: Tools for Success”, a series of webinars on marketing. These webinars have been designed with the assistance of regional and national marketing experts to provide critical marketing insights for farmers and farm markets throughout the northeast. The webinars are free, approximately an hour and a half long, and easy to access with a basic internet connection. Interested participants are encouraged to register online TODAY for the webinars they think they will attend. Each webinar will be repeated twice to maximize opportunity to participate, and are FREE.  For more information, detailed descriptions of the sessions or a full 3-year curriculum, please contact Diane Eggert or David Grusenmeyer.

2012 Census of Agriculture

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) urges producers to ensure their farm or ranch is also counted in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The Census is a crucial tool that provides farmers with a voice in the future of their community and operation. Conducted every five years by NASS, the Census is a complete count of the U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The Census looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures and other topics. It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation. Results of the Census are used to serve farmers and their communities today, and help benefit the future generations of farmers tomorrow. Legislators at various levels of government use the data when shaping farm policy, and agribusinesses factor it into their planning efforts. Census forms will be mailed out in late December and responses are due by February 4, 2013. Producers have the option to complete their forms online or by mail. After all, the Census is your voice, your future and your responsibility. More information about the Census is available online, or call 1-888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828).

So, You Want to Farm in Maine

A short course for farmers thinking about starting a new farm or new farm enterprise will be held at the UMaine Extension office in Falmouth in February 2013. More information to follow in January.

2013 Maine Poultry Coop Contest Announced

The Maine Poultry Growers Association has partnered with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in co-sponsoring the 2013 Maine Poultry Coop Contest.

You are invited to enter your poultry coop in this contest with a photo and description. The purpose of the contest is to showcase the many and varied designs used by Maine poultry keepers and enthusiasts. The Maine Poultry Growers Association will provide prizes of $200, $100, and $50 to the top three entries, respectively, and a subscription to Backyard Poultry magazine for the fourth and fifth place entries. Only Maine residents may enter the contest. All entries must include at least one, but not more than three, coop photo and a completed entry form.

The entry form and criteria are available online, or contact Andrea Herr at (207) 781-6099 or 1-800-287-1471 (toll free in Maine only). The deadline for submitting entries is December 31, 2012. Winning entries will be announced at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at the Augusta Civic Center. One need not be present to win.

Harvest Public Media

Harvest Public Media is a news media outlet that focuses on agricultural issues and related news stories. It is an interesting resource for national agriculture news, and may be helpful when communicating with others about national agricultural policy, weather or markets.

Need Pesticide Recertification Credits?

Check out the Maine Board of Pesticide credit calendar. Many approved pesticide applicator recertification programs are listed. You can view the calendar on their Web site or call 207-287-273.

Free Grazing Videos

The Cornell Small Farms Program now has a series of twelve YouTube videos covering all aspects of grazing. The series, which is just over 2 hours in total, covers everything from setting up electric fence, water systems and laneways to how to manage weeds or periods of drought. All 12 videos can be viewed here. The “How To” grazing videos were produced by Chenango County Cooperative Extension with funding from a Small Farms Program mini-grant.




Farm Scoop November 2012

Monday, November 19th, 2012

by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, Cumberland County and Tori Jackson, Extension Educator, Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties


Beef Conference

The 23rd Annual Maine Beef Conference, “Becoming a More Successful Marketer,” is being held December 1st, 2012 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor, Maine.  The conference is being hosted by the Maine Beef Producers Association, Maine Grass Farmers Network and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. We would like you and your business to be a part of this year’s exciting program. For more information contact Donna Coffin or call 207-942-7396.

Break Even Calculator for Poultry Enterprises

A break even calculator for poultry meat and egg enterprises has recently been revised by its original developer, Adam Hady of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. Adam has given permission for UMaine Extension to distribute it to producers in New England. Email Richard Brzozowski for an electronic copy of the excel spreadsheet. In addition, we plan to have a webinar on using the calculator. This spreadsheet could be a very handy tool in calculating your costs and determining a profitable price of the poultry meat (any poultry species) or eggs that are produced on your farm.

The 60-minute webinar is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, December 4 at 7:00 pm. Please contact Colleen Hoyt or call 207-781-6099 for more information.

Soil Sampling Before the Ground Freezes

If you sample your fields now before the ground freezes, you can hold the samples until after January 1, 2013, when there is a window of opportunity for a reduced fee for analysis ($12 instead of the regular $15). Make sure you label your samples for storage. More information on soil analysis and pricing from the Maine Soil Testing Service laboratory in Oronois is available at their Web site.

2013 Cucumber Project

Extension Educator Richard Brzozowski has an idea for a cucumber/pickle project next year. It is limited to farmers and growers in Cumberland County. To find out more about the project, contact Richard Brzozowski or call him at 207-951-7155.

Cull Cows

On average, how many cull cows (dairy or beef) do you send off your farm each month? UMaine Extension is looking into the possibility of helping dairy and beef producers get a better price for those cull cows in good condition by having the cows processed locally and sold as ground meat to institutions in Maine. If you are interested in possibly participating in this project or want to provide some input, please contact Extension Educator Richard Brzozowski or call 1-800-287-1471.

Chainsaw Safety DVD

Do you or those on your farm need a brush-up on safe chainsaw use? UMaine Extension has received a DVD on chainsaw safety from Stihl. This safety video applies to any make of chainsaw. To borrow the DVD, please contact Colleen Hoyt or call 1-800-287-1471.



All-Crop Technical Forum & Combine Clinic

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Allis-Chalmers All Crop Harvester Technical Forum & Operator Round-Table

Saturday, November 3, 2012 8:30 – 4:30 pm Spring Creek Farm Lyman, Maine

With Special Guest Tom Yasnowski from

Topics will include:

  • Pros & Cons of Pull-Type vs. Self-Propelled Combines
  • Capabilities of the All-Crop Harvester
  • Considerations for Finding & Obtaining the Right All-Crop Trouble-Shooting, Repairing & Sourcing Parts
  • Hands-on Machine Overview with AC Models 60A, 66 & 66 – Bagger
  • User Feedback & Input from the Field & Farm Encouraged – Q&A on All Topics

The goal of this event is to connect All-Crop Users & Small Grain Farmers from the Northern New England region. If you own a combine, or you would like to, please come! It should be an opportunity for you to share and enhance your experience with others.

Registration Fee: $20.00 (includes refreshments & lunch). For more information and to register contact Nick Armentrout or call 207-985-5652.


Marketing to Make Money: Two Online Courses

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Marketing to Make Money: Two Fall Online Courses for Experienced or Aspiring Farmers

Most people get into farming for the love of growing good food, without much thought for how they will sell what they grow, what prices they’ll be able to get, or whether they will be able to earn enough to keep doing what they love. The topic of marketing is so important for new and experienced growers that the Cornell Small Farms Program is devoting two online courses to it this November:

BF 102: Markets and Profits is an intro-level course. This course is for you if you are a new or aspiring farmer with lots of enterprise ideas, but still need to explore the details of how you will sell your bounty and whether your products will generate enough profit to support the farm long-term.  This course will help you create enterprise budgets customized to your operation, begin to explore concepts around branding and selling your products, and consider the pros and cons of marketing via farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture models, farm stands, restaurants, wholesale, and more. Read the complete course description and register here.

BF 201: Marketing Planning is a more advanced course. It is for you if you have already done the initial explorations about the right products and markets for your farm, and are ready to dive in deeper to be even more strategic as your farm operation grows. Each week of the course covers one section of the Marketing Plan, which you can complete and get feedback on from your instructors as you go. Read the complete course description and register here.

Both courses are six weeks long. BF 102 runs from Nov. 8 – Dec. 13 with webinars every Thurs. evening (except Thanksgiving), while BF 201 runs from Nov. 13 – Dec. 18, with webinars every Tues. evening. The courses are $200 each. Participants successfully completing all aspects of either course will receive a certificate.

For more information contact Erica Frenay or call 607-255-9911.