Archive for the ‘Cooperative Extension’ Category

Morning Sentinel Advances UMaine Cooperative Extension Pruning Workshops

Friday, March 28th, 2014

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.

UMaine Animal Health Laboratory Researchers Studying Maine Moose

Friday, March 28th, 2014

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.

UMaine Cooperative Extension Takes on State’s Identification Program with New Tick ID Lab

Friday, March 28th, 2014

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is the new home of the state’s tick identification program. Portland’s Maine Medical Center, which handled the program for 25 years, eliminated the service last December due to funding deficits.

UMaine Extension’s Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, which identifies 3,000 plant, pest and insect species each year, will expand its services to compensate for Maine Medical Center’s cut by creating the Tick ID Lab. The lab is expected to receive up to 1,300 additional tick specimens this year.

“It’s going to give the people a much better awareness of ticks and how to avoid ticks in the first place. That’s the big thing this portion of our lab will do,” says Jim Dill, pest management specialist at Cooperative Extension.

Last year, Maine had 1,349 confirmed cases of Lyme disease — a statistic that Dill says is increasing every year. By opening the Tick ID Lab to citizens as well as the usual doctors and veterinarians, Dill believes the lab can help provide peace of mind to Maine citizens.

The Tick ID Lab can help clients determine if they need to seek help from doctors. There are 14 tick species in Maine, not all of which carry disease. Dill adds the Tick ID Lab can help determine if the submitted tick is one of the disease-free species helping “ease your mind or the mind of your doctor.”

Tick identifications cost $10 — to cover supply costs — and can be submitted in person, by mail or through photos on the lab’s new website. The site also provides information on preventative protection from ticks, tick biology, tick removal and more.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

Forstadt Quoted in Press Herald Piece About CEO’s Pregnancy Announcement

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Leslie Forstadt, a child and family development specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke to the Portland Press Herald for an article about Melissa Smith, the new CEO and president of South Portland-based WEX Inc., announcing her pregnancy to the company’s board of directors and executive leadership team, as well as through a memo to 1,400 employees. Forstadt said men tend not to disclose they are starting families and that as a female CEO, Smith “realized she was bucking the norm.” She added, “It would be great if it wasn’t news that people in positions of power are trying to balance work and family issues, but work and family integration is an ongoing discussion.”

Mason Quoted in Press Herald Article About Fire Victim, 4-H Volunteer

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Mitch Mason, the 4-H youth development educator for the University of Maine’s Cumberland County Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about Gorham resident David Smith, a well-known member of the area’s farming community whose cabinet shop was heavily damaged in a fire. Mason said Smith is very active in the 4-H program. He teaches children how to take care of their animals, hauls animals to fairs and clinics, makes house calls if children have questions, and teaches a woodworking class at an annual 4-H forum. “David’s one of those folks who’s always around, willing to volunteer,” Mason said.

Morning Sentinel Advances Hayfield, Pasture Management Workshop

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

The Morning Sentinel reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Franklin County will hold a workshop on hayfield and pasture management April 3 in Farmington. Richard Kersbergen, Extension educator from Waldo County, will lead the class for farmers and others who want to make their lands more productive and profitable.

Kennebec Journal Advances Cooperative Extension Poultry Producers School

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

The Kennebec Journal reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Poultry Growers Association will offer a daylong school for poultry producers Saturday, April 5, at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. The school is designed for farmers with a poultry enterprise and is appropriate for backyard keepers, bird fanciers and 4-H teenagers. Topics will include best management practices, bird health and disease prevention for egg layers and meat birds, poultry nutrition, poultry product quality and organic practices.

UMaine Extension Selling Blueberry, Strawberry, Asparagus Plants

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is taking orders for highbush blueberry plants, asparagus crowns and strawberry plants.

A set of three blueberry plants costs $39.95; varieties are appropriate for Maine’s climate. A set of 25 strawberry plants costs $15 and a set of 10 asparagus crowns totals $15. A packet with links to online videos comes with each order and provides information about site selection, planting and care of the specific plants.

Proceeds from this “Grow it Right!” sale go toward scholarships for UMaine Extension’s statewide Master Gardener Volunteer Program and fund statewide community-based horticulture projects. UMaine Extension educators and industry experts annually provide research-based horticulture training to more than 250 Master Gardener Volunteers, who then share what they’ve learned with community neighbors.

Orders can be placed online until May 1. Plants will be available for pickup May 17 at various locations throughout the state.

For more information, contact Richard Brzozowski at 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (toll-free in Maine) or richard.brzozowski@maine.edu; or contact Marjorie Peronto at 207.667.8212, 800.287.1479 (toll-free in Maine) or marjorie.peronto@maine.edu.

WABI Interviews Hopkins About Maine Maple Syrup Season

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

WABI (Channel 5) spoke with Kathryn Hopkins, a maple syrup expert and University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor, about the current state of Maine’s maple syrup season. Hopkins said while some people may be concerned about the slow start to this year’s season, it’s actually back to the traditional time frame for maple syrup production following a couple of earlier seasons. She said the maple syrup season in Maine can range from the end of January until the middle of April and predicts there will be plenty of syrup available in April.

Morning Sentinel Previews Hops Growing Workshop

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

The Morning Sentinel reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and RSU 19 Adult Education are sponsoring a workshop on how to grow hops in home gardens. The workshop will be held Tuesday, April 1 at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport. Participants will learn the history of hops production in New England, what is needed for hops to thrive in Penobscot County, basics of planting and care, pests that can affect hops, and harvesting.