University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a 10-session Master Food Preserver training program starting June 19 and ending Sept. 25. Lectures, discussions and hands-on kitchen lab education will be conducted 10 Thursdays, 5:30–8:30 p.m., at Gorham Middle School, 106 Weeks Road, Gorham, and at the UMaine Extension Office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
A Master Food Preserver is a UMaine Extension volunteer who has successfully completed the practical, research-based program on food safety and preservation. Volunteers agree to give back 20 hours of time for community-based projects within a year. Projects could include hands-on food preservation workshops, staffing educational displays and demonstrations and providing information at farmers markets, county fairs and other food-related events.
May 2 is the deadline to apply. Fees are on a sliding scale, from $125 to $330, based on household income. To request an application or disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine). For more information, contact Kathleen Savoie, Extension Educator, 207.781.6099, email@example.com.
Applications are available online.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension publication “Children and Respect” was cited in an examiner.com parenting report titled “Respect: You get what you give.” The article states the publication helps breakdown what respect is and how better to teach it. Marilyn Ellis, a UMaine Extension 4-H youth specialist, prepared the publication.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a six-class workshop on building, planting, maintaining and harvesting square-foot gardens in raised beds and containers.
Classes meet monthly from May through October at the UMaine Extension office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan. The first class is 9–11 a.m. May 1; the final class is Oct. 9. UMaine Extension Somerset County staff will teach the classes, and local Master Gardener Volunteers will work with participants in demonstration gardens throughout the growing season. Harvested produce will be shared with area schools and senior and food kitchen programs.
Course fee is $10 per person. Scholarships are available. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, call Pete Bastien at 207.474.9622 or 800.287.1495 (in Maine).
Kathy Savoie, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, provided the Portland Press Herald with a step-by-step demonstration on how to make flavored vinegar. Savoie’s method can be used with any herbs, such as rosemary, basil and mint; and for any type of vinegar, such as apple cider or champagne.
The Free Press reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant will offer free training sessions for Signs of the Seasons, a program for volunteers to contribute local plant and animal life-cycle data for climate change research. Sessions are open to all interested volunteers, and registration is required. Sessions in the midcoast area will be held March 22 in Newcastle, March 25 in Belfast and April 5 in Boothbay.
WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2), Portland Press Herald, Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension has taken over state tick identification from the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, which had operated the program for 25 years. UMaine Extension’s Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, which identifies 3,000 plant, pest and insect species each year, will expand its services with the Tick ID Lab. The lab is expected to receive up to 1,300 additional tick specimens this year. Jim Dill, pest management specialist with UMaine Extension, said the lab is excited for the opportunity and is ready for the increased workload.
The Morning Sentinel reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a six-class workshop on building, planting, maintaining and harvesting square-foot gardens in raised beds and containers. The first class is scheduled for May 1 at the UMaine Extension office in Skowhegan.
The Portland Press Herald reported Maine lawmakers are taking up a proposal for a $73 million bond package that would target investment in the state’s biotechnology and marine sectors and help the growth of small businesses. The package, called the “small business and innovations jobs bond,” includes a proposal of $8 million to renovate and improve a University of Maine Cooperative Extension lab that assists farmers and foresters and identifies pests, as well as plant and animal diseases.
The Morning Sentinel reported on two upcoming pruning workshops offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. On Saturday, April 12, Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District will host the UMaine Extension’s David Fuller who will discuss how to prune apple trees at the Extension office in Farmington. Walter Gooley, a conifer expert and retired Maine state forester, will also speak at the event. UMaine Extension will also offer a free apple tree pruning and grafting field day at Avalon Acres Orchard and Farm in Saint Albans on Saturday, April 19.
The health of Maine’s moose is a top priority for researchers and students at the University of Maine’s Animal Health Laboratory. The lab’s director, Anne Lichtenwalner, was approached five years ago by a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W) moose biologist who wanted to know what was causing occasional calf deaths.
In the past two years, Lichtenwalner, an assistant professor of animal science, and her students examined 150 sets of lungs from Maine moose. Many were infected with lungworms, winter ticks and lung cysts. Lungworms, which can cause pathology, pneumonia, and may even contribute to death, were found in about 24 percent, Lichtenwalner says.
Echinococcus granulosus (EG), the intermediate stage of a tapeworm, was found in the form of lung cysts. The form of EG found in moose is unlikely to affect humans, but it can still infect dogs, making it important to inform the general public, especially hunters and dog owners, about the parasite. The lab published information about EG online and informed state veterinarians to remind clients that tapeworm medication is advised for dogs that may eat infected moose meat or viscera.
The lab is also part of a two-year tracking study assessing the health of moose in Maine and New Hampshire. The lab conducts blood work and processes tissues from the 90 radio-collared Maine moose in the study to test for diseases and parasites.
UMaine operates the Animal Health Lab with support from Cooperative Extension as a service to the state’s veterinarians, livestock producers and animal owners. The lab is used to perform diagnostic services such as necropsy, microbiology, virology and pathology.