February 2018
Your Monthly News & Updates
quickbooksIntroduction to QuickBooks ProTM for Farmers
This  free workshop is for farmers who are first-time users of QuickBooks or with less than one year's experience. The presenters, QuickBooks ProAdvisors from Austin Associates, will introduce the basics of QuickBooks Pro including setting up a chart of accounts, customers, vendor bills and bank reconciliation. The last hour is for optional one-on-one assistance with a ProAdvisor.
Pre-registration is required. Class is limited to 15. 
To register or request a disability accommodation, contact Pamela St. Peter, 207.933.9700,  pamela.stpeter@maine.edu
Sponsored by UMaine Extension Crop Insurance Education Program.
Participants will be entered in a drawing to win a limited number of QuickBooks Pro™ subscriptions.
sheepSheep! Market Lambs!...and those who raise them - 4-H needs your help...

We are looking for your help with three things related to our Penobscot County 4-H Program: 
  1. We want to help youth learn how to raise sheep and be in 4-H. Do you know youth ages 9-18 who are already raising sheep or who would like to learn about joining 4-H and showing at Bangor State Fair 4-H Shows? We are trying to form a new 4-H club or find new members for a few local 4-H clubs.
  2. If we cannot find enough youth who are 4-Hers to participate in the Bangor State Fair (BSF), we may need to contact some farms to display about 5 sheep/pen for 7 days of the fair, let us know if you might be interested. At this time, we do not know how many pens, if any, might be available at the fair.  The fair wants to support 4-H & local farmers and we need a variety of sheep to make a good exhibit, but note, the BSF Sheep Show is only for 4-Hers.
  3. If you are interested in becoming a supporter or leader of a 4-H sheep club or a 4-H Market Sheep club or provide a sheep or market lamb educational clinic, please let us know very soon. 
Please contact Barb Baker, Penobscot County 4-H Extension Educator barbara.baker@maine.edu  or call Wendy or Sheila at 942-7396.  

"4-H membership is open to all Maine youth ages 5 to 18. We encourage you to call our office to inquire about 4-H clubs, groups, camps and events. Maine 4-H is focused on educating and empowering Maine youth through hands-on and community-based experiences, with self-directed learning, and collaborations. 4-H members will acquire knowledge and skills that will contribute to leadership and the ability to succeed now and in the future."
fertilizerHow Do Fertilizers Help With Food Security?
Consumption of crops is outgrowing the production of crops around the world. Malnutrition and starvation are major international issues. Fertilizers can help growers increase food production, but how? The January 22 Sustainable, Secure Food blog post explains how fertilizers help growers provide nutritious, affordable food for the world's growing population.
According to blogger Amanda Ramcharan, Pennsylvania State University, "Without the use of fertilizers-whether organic or inorganic-we cannot currently feed the world's population. It is estimated that at least 30-50% of crop yields globally are attributable to fertilizer application. This makes fertilizers a key ingredient for maintaining food production to meet global population growth. Agronomists continue to develop better management practices to grow enough nutritious, affordable food while protecting the environment."
The blog explains the nature of different fertilizers and their use.
It's not just about yield; it's also about the nutritional content of the food. Ramcharan uses an example of two tomatoes grown in a home garden. "Let's say you plant two tomato plants of the same variety," she writes. "One tomato plant goes into a robust, nutrient-rich soil in one area of your garden. In another area of your garden, you forgot to add compost last fall or didn't add fertilizer. That soil is nutrient-deficient, but looks fine to your eyes. You plant your second tomato there. Both plants yield red, juicy tomatoes that taste the same. But the tomatoes-if tested for nutrients-would be different. The one grown in the healthy soil will have more nutrients for you to consume than one grown in a poor soil. But you cannot tell that just by looking at the tomatoes! It's also quite likely that your garden will yield fewer tomatoes from the plant grown in nutrient-deficient soil."
To watch videos about healthy soils and healthy foods, go to our YouTube channel to watch visit Soils Support Agriculture: or  Soils Support Health
Sustainable, Secure Food: This blog is sponsored and written by members of the  American Society of Agronomy and  Crop Science Society of America. Our members are researchers and trained, certified, professionals in the areas of growing our world's food supply while protecting our environment. We work at universities, government research facilities, and private businesses across the United States and the world.

lastseedThe Final Seed / The Last Straw
Monthly Safety Blast:  Produced by the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education,  January 2018

It was planting season, and stress was high. Matt worried about the weather and worked around the clock to get his crop in the ground on time. He hadn't slept in three nights and was struggling to make decisions.
"I remember thinking 'I wish I could pick you up and put you in the car like you do with a child,'" Ginnie says. "And then I remember thinking ... and take you where? Who can help me with this? I felt so alone."
Ginnie felt an "oppressive sense of dread" that intensified as the day wore on about her husband. At dinnertime, his truck was gone and Matt wasn't answering his phone. It was dark when she found the letter. "I just knew," Ginnie says. She called 911 immediately, but by the time the authorities located his truck, Matt had taken his life.
A few years back, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture - including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters - take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.

Warning Signs of Suicide:
If someone you know is showing one or more of the following behaviors, he or she may be thinking about suicide. Don't ignore these warning signs. Get help immediately.
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
Don't wait for the 'final seed' sometimes called the 'last straw.'  Get help for yourself or your loved ones before a  trying time becomes a tragedy.
In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is  1-800-273-8255

Monthly Blast written by Outreach Education Coordinator,  Nykole Kafka Vance, MS, CEP, CHES
Disclaimer: The facts and information listed above are merely suggestions for your safety, but are in no way a comprehensive and exhausted list of all actions needed to insure your safety.

Maine Statewide Crisis and Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1.888.568.1112
lettuce planted in field
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Training
A recent article in the Bangor Daily News (Jan. 28, 2018) outlined the changes that are coming for farmers selling fresh produce. This month large farms selling over $500,000 worth of produce  will be required to complete the food safety training.  By 2019 farmers with sales between $500,000 and $250,000  will need the training and by 2020 farms that sell between $25,000 and $250,000 worth of produce will need the training. Farms that sell less than $25,000 worth of produce are exempt as well as farms who produce is not normally consumed raw. 
Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, farm food safety best practices, and co-management of natural resources and food safety are invited to participate in UMaine Extension's low cost Produce Safety Alliance Grower trainings.  The next one will be March 27th in Portland. Click here for more details. 
The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires "At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration."
SAVE THE DATE: 2018 Maine Grain Conference
Thursday, March 8th
Spectacular Events, Bangor, ME
Mark your calendars for the 2018 Grain Conference! Topics for this year include expanding crop options, seed production, disease management, and more. Guest speakers include:
David Mol  is a pedigreed seed producer and leading grain producer in PEI. He grows wheat, fall rye, barley, flax, and soybeans on approximately 1300 acres, and also manages about 70 acres of organic barley, soybeans, and field peas. David regularly hosts research trials on his farm, is the president of the PEI Federation of Agriculture, former president of the Canadian Seed Growers, and a member of Atlantic Grains Council.  He will give an overview of his operation and talk about the grain and seed industry on PEI, adapted varieties, storage and processing considerations, and together with his organic production co-operator, Fred Dahler, their organic production practices.   http://peifa.ca/member_profile/david-mol/
Dr. Heather Darby  is Agronomy Specialist with University of Vermont Extension.  She runs a diverse research and outreach program including forages, grains, pulses, oilseeds, hops, hemp, and even milkweed. Heather will speak on alternative crops, organic grain disease management, and supplying livestock feed markets.  http://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/uvm-extension-crops-and-soils-team
Save Thursday, March 8th  on your calendar.  Full agenda details and registration information coming soon!
In the meantime, enjoy UMaine Today's feature article and video on Maine’s grain economy.

interestItems of Interest
    Grants & Loans
  • FSA Microloan Program: The focus of Microloans (up to $50,000) is on the financing needs of small, beginning farmer, niche and non-traditional farm operations, such as truck farms, farms participating in direct marketing and sales such as farmers' markets, CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture), restaurants and grocery stores, or those using hydroponic, aquaponic, organic and vertical growing methods.
resourcesFeatured Resources

Firewood Scout is an online resource to help campers and other users of firewood find local sources of firewood.  Maine is part of the network.   Add your business  so that people can find you.
Ultra-Niche Crops for the Progressive Farmer presented by Rutgers. Sessions include a virtual field trip, online crop profiles & budgets as well as food safety & SWAT analysis. Crops include: Asparagus, Basil, Cut Flowers,Garlic, Lettuce in High Tunnel (Winter), Peppers (speciality), Plums (Beach) and Strawberries. 

All Bugs Good and Bad - 2018 Webinar Series - First Friday of the Month at 2 pm (Eastern) Feb. 2nd is on Feral Hogs, Ecology and Control. March 2nd is on Misidentified Pests in the Landscape. Sponsored by eXtension.org. 
Farm Transition Planning Join Farm Credit East Business Consultant Jon Jaffe for a free webinar on February 15 at 1:00pm EST, as he discusses the "five hurdles" you need to overcome to successfully transition your ag business. 

Visit the UMaine Extension online  Publications Catalog for agriculture information, such as: 
eventsUpcoming Events  
  • February 6, 2018 Introduction to QuickBooks Pro for Farmers, 9 am to noon, Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave (by the airport) Bangor. To pre-register call 207.933.9700 or pamela.stpeter@maine.edu 
  • March 3, 2018 Spring Growth Conference - Greenhouse Seedling Production. 10 am to 3:30 pm MOFGA, Unity 
  • March 3, 2018 Renovating Old Fruit Trees Workshop, 10 am to 2:30 pm in Dover-Foxcroft. Sponsored by Piscataquis County SWCD and MOFGA. $30/person 564-2321 ext. 3 or info@piscataquisswcd.org
  • March 12, 2018 Maine Greenhouse "Best Practices Workshop", 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, $30/person, Michell Center, Rm 107 Norman Smith Hall & Roger Clapp Greenhouses at the University of Maine in Orono. 
  • March 13, 2018 Growing Hops in the Backyard - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the  United Technology Center, Bangor. $20
  • March 14, 2018  Maine Vegetable & Fruit School at the Bangor Motor Inn Banquet & Conference Center. More information will be available next month.
  • March 14, 2018 Maine Food Business: Sanitation Class, 7:30 am to 5 pm $85 (includes lunch and notebook) 307 Maine Ave., Bangor, ME. Instructors: Dr. Jason Bolton, Food Safety Specialist, UMaine Extension Staff
  • March 15 & 16, 2018 Maine Food Business: Meat & Poultry 2-day class, $250 (includes Sanitation class, notebook and lunch) Sanitation class is a recommended preresquite for this class.  307 Maine Ave., Bangor, ME. Instructors: Dr. Jason Bolton, Food Safety Specialist, UMaine Extension Staff
  • March 17, 2018 Grazing Conference
  • March 19 & 22, 2018 AgrAbility National Training Workshop, the premier training event addressing issues of disability in agriculture. Professionals and consumers from all over the country will participate in four days of plenary sessions, breakouts, tours, networking, and special events. This year's conference headquarters is the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel in Downtown Portland.
  • March 20, 2018 Landscape Design Workshop: The Planning Process with Claire Ackroyd at the UMaine Extension Penobscot Office, 307 Maine Ave. (by the airport) Bangor. $30 per person. 
  • March 21 to 25, 2018 Maine Flower Show, Thompson's Point, Portland.
  • March 26, 2018 Is Farming for ME? - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Piscataquis County Extension Office in Dover Foxcroft.$10 Signup through PVAEC
  • March 27, 2018 Landscape Design Workshop: Principles of Design & Plant Selection with Claire Ackroyd at the UMaine Extension Penobscot Office, 307 Maine Ave. (by the airport) Bangor. $30 per person. 
  • April 3, 2018  Is Farming for ME?  - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the United Technology Center, Bangor. $20 
  • April 12, 2018 Smoking Chicken & Pasture Poultry Research  - evening. Dr. Colt Knight at the Passadumkeag Community Building, with the Howland Farmers' Market. 
  • April 5, 2018 Kitchen Licensing, 10 am to 4 pm MOFGA, Unity
  • April 12, 2018 Maine Swine Seminar, 9 am to 3 pm, Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St., Augusta. $25/person. To register call 215-4968 or cindy.kilgore@maine.gov
  • April 14, 2018 Annual Equine Continuing Education. Dover-Foxcroft. Sponsored by Foxcroft Veterinary Services. 
  • April 14, 2018 Keeping Small Ruminants Healthy for sheep, goat & camelid keepers, Dover-Foxcroft. Sponsored by UMaine Extension Piscataquis.
  • May 9, 2018 Organic Farming Principles and Practices, 9:30 am to 4 pm, MOFGA, Unity
  • May 16, 2018 Livestock 101: Animal Handling, MOFGA at Misty Brook Farm, Albion.
  • May 19, 2018 Northeast Livestock Expo Windsor Fair Grounds, Winsor
subscription  Newsletter Subscription Information
The Central Maine Farming Newsletter (CMFN), now received by over 875 readers, has been offered as an educational resource by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for over 10 years.  On January 1, 2015 the CMFN transitioned to electronic-only delivery. There is still three ways to receive the CMFN from your local UMaine Extension:

1) Central Maine Farming Newsletter remains available online for free! You can sign up to receive the newsletter through your email or view the archived issues anytime at  http://bit.ly/PPfarming If you currently do not have an email, you can get one for free from several email hosts. If you do not have a computer, community libraries have computers for you to use to access information on the Internet and to view your email.
2) Those with no email can opt to pay an annual subscription to receive the newsletters monthly for $15/year by contacting your County office. 
 3) A third option is to come into the Piscataquis, Penobscot or Waldo County Extension Offices and pick up a free printed copy of the newsletter.
We appreciate our readers referring others to the newsletter, and sharing it with their family and friends.   Thank you for your continued support of the CMFN, providing valuable agricultural information from Extension for folks in the central Maine area since 2003.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is the major educational outreach program of the University of Maine with offices statewide. UMaine Extension provides Maine people with research-based educational programs to help them live fuller, more productive lives.
Mention or display of a trademark, proprietary product, or firm in text or figures does not constitute an endorsement and does not imply approval to the exclusion of other suitable products or firms.
quick  Quick Links  
Donna Coffin, Extension Educator
Rick Kersbergen, Extension Educator
The goal of the Central Maine Farming Newsletter is to provide timely information on the production and marketing of crops and livestock grown in central Maine.
T he University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, 207.581.1226.
Photos: Donna Coffin unless indicated otherwise. 

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Penobscot Office - website 
Open Monday - Friday
8 am to 4:30 pm
307 Maine Ave. Bangor, ME  04401  207-942-7396 or 800-287-1485
Piscataquis Office  - website 
Open Monday, Thursday, Friday
8 am to 4:30 pm,
Open By-chance on Wednesday , Closed Tuesday 
165 East Main St. Dover-Foxcroft, ME  04426  207-564-3301 or 800-287-1491 
Waldo Office  - website 
Open Monday - Friday
8 am to 4:30 pm 
992 Waterville Road, Waldo, ME 04915-3117 Phone: 207.342.5971 or 800.287.1426 (in Maine)