Contact: Richard Kersbergen, (207) 342-5971; Jen O’Leary (207) 581-3106
ORONO, Maine–A team headed by Rick Kersbergen, University of Maine Cooperative Extension professor, has received the Northeast Extension Directors’ Award of Excellence 2006 for “Building an Organic Dairy Research and Extension Program.” The award was presented during a recognition dinner last month in Washington, DC.
Kersbergen presented the results of the program to the Northeast Extension regional leadership and carried home citations for team members Mia Morrison, dairy farmer and executive director of Maine Organic Milk Producers (MOMP); Timothy Griffin, agronomist at USDA/ARS New England Plant Soil and Water Lab; and Chris Reberg-Horton, organic cropping specialist at North Carolina State University, as well as a check for $1,000 to support future related programming in Maine.
Maine has the highest percentage (20%) of organic dairy farms in the nation, thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of Kersbergen and his team. Kersbergen is leading efforts to research alternative cropping systems to feed organic herds, expand grain production and usage on organic dairies in Maine and Vermont, and reduce dependence on grain brought in from the Midwest and Canada. His three-year alternative forage project has resulted in double cropping systems that produce quality forage with significantly reduced weed pressure.
Data from the UMaine team