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.
John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed by the Portland Press Herald for the article “Growing hemp nears legality in Maine, but just for research.” The article states Maine is one of a dozen states in which hemp could be grown for research purposes if the farm bill passed Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives becomes law. Rebar said as long as commercial hemp production remains a violation of federal law, it’s unlikely Maine research institutions would be interested in studying it. He also said the potential market for hemp remains unknown because it is illegal to grow commercially in the United States, and the farm bill wouldn’t change that.
The class, sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Kennebec County Farm Bureau and Kramer’s Inc., will meet 6-8 p.m. Mondays, March 31 through April 21, with a written exam and driving test April 28.
Jeff Bragg of Sidney, Neal Caverly of Clinton, Cliff Kramer of Kramer’s Inc., and Karen Hatch Gagne of UMaine Extension are instructors. They will teach participants to safely handle tractors and equipment, to identify hazards and to minimize the risk of accidents. The course is open to all; priority will be given to youth 14-16 years old. Participants who successfully complete the classroom sessions, written exam and driving test earn a federal certificate of training.
Preregistration is required. To register online, visit http://umaine.edu/agriculture/
Farmers and others interested in using alternative fuels for transportation and equipment are invited to a program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Piscataquis County Office, 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft.
The Maine Highlands Farmers and UMaine Extension are sponsoring the free program titled “Alternative Fuels Available to Farms and the Transportation Industry.” Tim Seymour, a sales representative at Darling’s, will talk about advantages and disadvantages of using alternative energy for transportation, as well as sources and supplies of alternative fuels and the future of fuels.
Following the program, the Maine Highlands Farmers will discuss upcoming group activities. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Extension Educator Donna Coffin, 207.564.3301, 800.287.1491 (in Maine) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) and University of Maine Cooperative Extension will sponsor a basic pesticide applicator license training for farmers March 3, 3-6 p.m. at the Penobscot County UMaine Extension office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor. The exam also can be taken from 6:30-8:30 the same evening.
Pre-registration is required by Feb. 28. The $5 registration fee covers the training and exam administration. To register or to request a disability accommodation, contact Theresa Tilton, 207.942.7396 or 800.287.1485 in Maine; Theresa.email@example.com. Please let her know if you plan to take the exam at the end of the training.
Growers who use only general-use (over-the-counter) pesticides and annually sell more than $1,000 of plant or plant products intended for human consumption are now required to be licensed by the Maine BPC. A three-year license costs $15 and requires one hour of continuing education annually.
By definition, a pesticide is any naturally or synthetically derived substance used to kill, control or repel undesired insects, weeds, fungi, bacteria, mammals, birds, rodents or other organisms. Organic products are also pesticides if they are used as described above.
In addition to this training, Maine BPC and UMaine Extension will be offering additional sessions to help prepare growers for the Private Pesticide Applicator core exam before the requirement becomes fully enforceable April 1, 2015. Exam candidates should review the Pesticide Education (Core) Manual, available from UMaine Extension, prior to taking the exam. The exam can be taken at the BPC office in Augusta or at county Extension office. Call BPC, 207.287.2731, to schedule a time or have the exam mailed to your local Extension office.
Monday, March 10, 2014
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Seasons Conference Center, Portland, Maine
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Bangor Motor Inn Conference Center, Bangor, Maine
Registration Fee: $35.00, includes lunch
PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please preregister by February 21, 2014.
This day-long school is offered for Maine farmers on two dates at two locations: March 10 in Portland or March 11 in Bangor. The agenda and registration form are posted on UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Highmoor Farm website.
Image Description: Highmoor Farm
Are 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.
Image Description: Agricultural Trades Show Maine logo
Thursday, January 9, 2014
9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Arnold/Howard Rooms, Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, Maine
Registration Fee: $20.00, includes book
PREREGISTRATION IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. Please preregister by January 3, 2014.
This workshop is designed to help people who are interested in using high tunnels for vegetable and fruit production as part of a commercial enterprise.
Please visit UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Highmoor Farm website to register online and for more information.
Naomi King, a Unitarian Universalist minister and daughter of authors Tabitha and Stephen King, moved to Sweden in 2012 to be closer to her family after her rare muscular disorder started to advance. King, who uses a wheelchair, took the management job at the family-owned farm business.
By February 2013, the challenges of managing a successful, growing mid-size farm began to take a toll.
“I was at the point where I could not work at all here anymore,” King says.
Then King discovered a reference to the National AgrAbility Project online. When she learned there was a Maine program, King contacted Maine AgrAbility Project Coordinator Lani Carlson to determine if the program would apply to her.
Maine AgrAbility, a USDA grant-funded state program helps farmers with chronic health conditions and disabilities gain more control of their lives, continue to farm successfully and live independently. The Maine AgrAbility program is a nonprofit collaboration of University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Alpha One.
Since receiving USDA funding in 2010, Maine AgrAbility has assisted more than 160 Maine farmers who have disabilities by offering services that range from answering agricultural questions, to suggesting ways to adapt tools or work sites, to referring farmers to other local support agencies.
“I was tremendously discouraged and convinced I couldn’t do anything related to the farm anymore,” King says. “So to be able to come to work six days a week is invaluable to me. It gives me a lot of purpose.”
Image Description: Naomi King and Alexandra Tomaso in an apple orchard
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.