Current trends such as increased interest in locally produced food, questions about the cost effectiveness of shipping produce across the country as well as concerns about water availability for food production in the arid West may provide an opening for Oxford county growers to expand into new markets. However, no matter how big or small your operation is, a food safety and traceability plan is an essential business tool for the future. To learn about what a food safety and traceability plan are and how to get through the process, please attend the Growing for the Future workshop on Saturday, March 15th from 8:30 – 11:30 at the Oxford county Cooperative Extension office in South Paris. Cost is $10. Linda Titus, from AgMatters will lead the workshop. She has expertise in this field and has helped many growers across the state successfully complete GAP certification for specific crops or entire farms. Pre-registration is required by calling the Extension office at 743-6329 or emailing Lesley Quick at Lesley.email@example.com.
Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Anna Saar, who coordinates the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Senior Companion Program for Oxford, Androscoggin and Franklin counties, spoke with the Sun Journal about the program and her upcoming talk in Otisfield. Saar is scheduled to speak February 6, 2014 at a presentation hosted by the Otisfield Social Outreach Committee for residents interested in helping their elderly homebound neighbors stay independent. She said the need for volunteers is great, and the visits require nothing more than companionship.
The University of Maine Youth Development Program in Oxford County recently recognized Zachary Hebert and Alison Corey as Outstanding 4-H Members and Vicki Drew and Doug Bean as Outstanding 4-H Volunteers. They received plaques in December at an annual bowling celebration.
Outstanding members are selected based on 4-H, school and community activities and volunteers are honored for their dedication to 4-H.
Hebert, a senior at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, has been a 4-H member for more than 12 years. He has served as vice president and president of the Hebron Heartbreakers 4-H Club, participated in the Eastern States Exposition, traveled with the 4-H Teen Exchange Club, hosted out-of-state 4-Hers wanting to explore Maine and displayed projects at the Oxford County and Fryeburg fairs. The National Honor Society member is also an Eagle Scout and a Big Brother. He has traveled to China and participated on the soccer, cross-country skiing and lacrosse teams at OHCHS.
Corey, a junior at Gould Academy, joined 4-H at age 5. In fifth grade, she initiated a program that has since created more than 400 back-to-school packs. During her first year at Gould, Corey volunteered her photography skills more than 60 hours weekly at the University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond. Later, she was hired to be a summer lifeguard at the camp and a member of the video and photo production staff. Her photos have been featured in the USDA Children, Youth, and Families at Risk report as well as in University of Maine and Purdue University publications. Corey writes and illustrates stories and won the 2013 Molly Ockett Native American Essay Contest. She has attended the Grab the Torch Leadership, Ethics and Philanthropy Institute and UMaine Teen Leadership camps. Corey has been a volunteer snowboard instructor for the Sunday River RugRats, a learn-to-ski program.
Drew, a co-leader of the Oxford Caprine Milkers, has been involved at the club and county levels. As an Oxford County leader for 16 years, she has championed the dairy goat program, assisting 4-H members statewide at fairs and clinics. At the club level, Drew teaches 4-H members record keeping, showmanship, feeding, care and clipping of animals. She showcases goats at Fryeburg Fair. For years, Drew coordinated the 4-H trip to Story Land and collected items for auction fundraisers.
Bean has been a longtime 4-H volunteer with the Twisted Sticks 4-H Club that participates in shows at the Eastern States Exposition, Waterford World’s, Skowhegan State, Oxford County, Fryeburg, Monmouth and Windsor fairs. The Twisted Sticks offer a training demonstration at June Jamboree and Scribners Mill and exhibit educational displays in Waterford World’s, Oxford County and Fryeburg 4-H halls. In Twisted Sticks’ 4-H project records, members indicated they learned self-discipline, responsibility, motivation, critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as communication and determination.
The Sun Journal reported on an outdoor cooking demonstration on how to steam green beans with dressing, which was hosted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Oxford County and River Valley Health Communities Coalition. Barbara Murphy, Maine Harvest for Hunger coordinator and extension educator in home horticulture and agriculture, said the demonstration was one of 12 cooking lessons to teach residents “how to be clever with their vegetables.”
University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Barbara Murphy, consumer horticulture specialist, and Lois Berg Stack, ornamental horticulture specialist, were interviewed for the latest article in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series. Murphy and Stack spoke about fungal diseases in plants caused by heavy rain and gave advice on how to care for plants despite the wet weather.