Archive for the ‘Cooperative Extension’ Category

Sentinel Gears Up for Tractor Safety Courses

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Morning Sentinel reported that University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s tractor and farm machinery safety course will be start April 15 at Ingraham’s Equipment in Knox. The course, designed for youth ages 14–16, will continue for the next four consecutive Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Learn How to Strengthen Facilitation Skills

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine are offering a five-session spring workshop in Saco for people interested in strengthening their facilitation skills.

Sessions for Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1 will be held 4–8 p.m. April 17, May 1, May 15, May 29 and June 12 at City Hall, 300 Main St., Saco.

The workshop features experiential learning, including a chance to practice facilitation skills and receive feedback in a safe environment. The $120 fee covers instruction, a resource notebook and light meals. Kristen Grant, who enjoys creating programs that build skills of individuals and capacities of groups, will lead the workshop. Grant has a background in providing interactive, educational programs and works extensively in team settings.

Enrollment is limited to the first 18 people who register. Registration is required and is open. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, contact UMaine Extension at 207.324.2814. For more information, contact Grant at 207.646.1555, ext. 115, kngrant@maine.edu or visit umaine.edu/ext-community/strengthening-your-facilitation-skills/level-1.

Explore Farming with an Expert

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, UMaine Extension educator for Piscataquis and Penobscot counties and statewide resource for the Maine beef and equine industry, will lead the workshop. Cost is $5; preregistration is required. To register, call 207.564.6525 or visit bit.ly/pyoucan. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.564.3301 or 800.287.1491 (in Maine).

Learn About Hayfield, Pasture Management

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free workshop on hayfield and pasture management this spring around the state.

Rick Kersbergen, UMaine Extension educator in Waldo County, will lead the “Got Hayfields?” workshops, which focuses on how to best manage hayfields and pastures to produce high-quality feed for livestock. Topics include weed control, managing soil fertility, hay and pasture renovation techniques, grazing management and basics of forage quality.

Workshops will be held at the following dates, times and locations:

• March 25, 6:30–8:30 p.m., UMaine Extension, 992 Waterville Rd., Waldo

• April 3, 6–8 p.m., Farmington Grange, 124 Bridge St., West Farmington

• April 10, 7–9 p.m., UMaine Extension, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor

• April 24, 6:30–8:30 p.m., Vassalboro Grange, Rte. 32, East Vassalboro

• April 30, 2–4 p.m., UMaine Extension, 57 Houlton Rd., Presque Isle

• May 14, 5:30–7:30 p.m., UMaine Extension, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls

• June 3, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Noon Family Sheep Farm, 78 Sunset Rd., Springvale

Preregistration is requested. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, call 800.287.1426, or visit umaine.edu/waldo/programs/events/got-hayfields.

Brzozowski Comments on Mail Order Poultry Practice

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Richard Brzozowski, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension poultry specialist, commented in a Morning Sentinel story about day-old mail order baby chicks that died en route from Pennsylvania to Mercer, Maine, when their delivery was delayed. Brzozowski said Maine farmers often rely on mail order chicks because there are no commercial hatcheries in Maine.

UMaine Extension Offers Tractor Safety Class

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

A University of Maine Cooperative Extension tractor and farm machinery safety course will be held 5–7 p.m. five consecutive Tuesdays beginning Tuesday, April 15, at Ingraham’s Equipment, 3 Knox Ridge South, Knox.

This class is designed for youth ages 14–16 to earn federal certification to operate farm machinery as part of their employment. It is also appropriate for adults who want to learn how to drive tractors and operate implements. Participants will be expected to operate machinery during class. A written and driving exam will be administered at the final session in May; it is required for those wishing to earn federal certification.

A $20 enrollment fee pays for a manual and safety equipment. Preregistration is requested so course materials may be sent to enrollees prior to the first class. For more information, to register, or to request a disability accommodation, contact UMaine Extension in Waldo County at 800.287.1426.

UMaine Extension Offers Free Apple Tree Pruning Field Day

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free apple tree pruning and grafting field day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 19, 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.

Preregistration 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, call Tom Goodspeed, 207.474.9622, 800.287.1945 (toll free in Maine).

Registration Open for Grain Conference, Maine Edge Reports

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

The Maine Edge reported registration is open for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s annual Maine Grain Conference. The conference will be held Saturday, March 15 at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor and is designed for farmers, crop advisers and others involved in the agricultural community.

From Recipe to Market: Learn to Cash in on Opportunities

Monday, March 10th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a six-session course that covers moving a specialty food product to market.

The class, which meets 5:30–9 p.m. each Tuesday, April 8–29, will be held in two locations — 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, and 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft. Two May class sessions will include individual business consultations and a tour of the Dr. Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant, a state-of-the-art UMaine facility that assists food processors, entrepreneurs, farmers, researchers and students in the food industry.

Topics to be covered include licensing, safe preparation and packaging of food, assessing potential profits and locating resources to support a developing business. The class is for people operating a value-added business and those seriously considering one; participants must have a specific food product or recipe in mind and are expected to attend all sessions. Presenters include: Beth Calder, UMaine Extension food science specialist; James McConnon, UMaine Extension business and economics specialist; and Kathy Hopkins, Debra Kantor and Donna Coffin, UMaine Extension educators.

Cost is $35 per person. Partial scholarships are available. Registrations must be received by April 1 to reserve a space. More information, including online registration is online. For questions, or to request a disability accommodation at the Skowhegan site, call 207.474.9622 or email tammy.bodge@maine.edu. For questions, or to request a disability accommodation at the Dover-Foxcroft site, call 207.564.3301 or email amanda.miles@maine.edu.

Brzozowski Discusses Snow’s Effect on Spring Crops

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Richard Brzozowski, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about Maine’s snow depth and its potential to cause flooding and affect future crops. Brzozowski said the winter’s consistent snow cover is beneficial to gardens and farms. He said strawberry crops benefit from the snow protecting them from the cold, and lawns and vegetable gardens can enjoy nitrogen left behind by melting snow. He also warned a snowpack that lasts longer than usual could delay spring bulbs from sprouting, but added the insulating snow cover means the soil won’t take as long to thaw.