January 2018
Your Monthly News & Updates
fittest Respirator  Fit  Testing-  Monday January 8th, 2018
To be held at the Augusta Civic Center on  Monday, January 8, 2018, the day before the Annual Agricultural Trades Show. There is a $10 fee and pre-registration is required. 
To register and schedule an appointment for your  fit-test, contact:
 Lynne Hazelton at the Cumberland County Cooperative Extension Office: 
Medical Evaluations:
  • All participants must pass a medical evaluation and receive a written determination stating they are physically fit to use a respirator.
  • Medical evaluations can be conducted with any licensed health care professional or through several online services.
What you must bring to your  fit-testing appointment:
  • Written medical evaluation clearance form. This is mandatory to participate
  • The respirator that you will be using to make pesticide applications.  The respirator you are fit-tested in will be the respirator you are required to use.
  • Shave beforehand. There can be no hair obstructing the seal of the mask.
(Note: This event is not approved for recertification credits.)
For more info regarding  fit testing, medical evaluations, or the Worker Protection Standard please contact the Board of Pesticides Control at  207-287-2731 or  pesticides@maine.gov.

Tuesday through Thursday 
January 9 to 11th 
Civic Center in Augusta 

The State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show takes place every January and serves as a source for agricultural resources and products. Producers and consumers alike visit this three day show to take stock of current programs, new technologies and to gather information on the agriculture industry.  The event is sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The Ag Trade Show provides promotional opportunities for businesses and organizations on the trade show floor, but also houses various lectures, certification courses and annual meetings throughout its duration. The event has activities geared towards promoting industry collaboration and progress. 
While the 2018 program wasn't available at press time here are some sessions that have been publicized. Soon the whole program will be available on the GetRealMaine.com website.  

If you have questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Samantha Howard, Agricultural Promotions Coordinator, at  Samantha.Howard@maine.gov or  (207) 287-7620. We look forward to seeing you in Augusta, January 9th-11th, 2018.

PesticidePesticide Applicator Exam Training Sign-Up for Ag Trades Show

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control will offer training at the Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center on  Tuesday, January 9, 2018. The training covers only material covered in the core exam, which is required for either an Agricultural Basic or a Private Applicator License. The Private Applicator License also requires passing a commodity exam (  more on licensing).  This training is not for those wishing to license as Commercial Applicators.

Please study the Core Manual before attending this training. The manual is available for purchase at  UMCE's training manual Web pages.

If you have any questions, please contact Anne Chamberlain at  anne.chamberlain@maine.gov.

 weather1Farming in a New Weather Reality
Photo: Remsberg
January 9, 2018 @ 1:50 pm -  4:00 pm
Augusta Civic Center, Hancock Room

Organized by the University of Maine Climate & Agriculture Network
Moderator - Ellen Mallory, University of Maine
1 pesticide credit will be offered for this session.
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.
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018 1 - 4 p.m. - At the Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 9 a.m.-12 noon - University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor
  • Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 9 a.m.-12 noon - UMaine Extension, 63 Boggy Brook Road, Ellsworth
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.
Grape Introduction to Growing Grapes in Maine
Thursday, January 11- 10:30 am to 3 pm - Augusta Civic Center (during the Ag Trades Show)
This school is designed to help people who are interested in small scale grape production as a commercial enterprise. Interest in grape growing in Maine is expanding as demand for locally grown produce expands and new, hardier varieties of grapes are being introduced. Basic site requirements, site preparation, plant selection, care of young plants, trellising and pruning options, nutrient management, and pest management will be discussed with Dr. David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Dr. Terence Bradshaw, Tree Fruit & Viticulture Specialist, University of Vermont.
A registration fee of $25.00 will be charged for participation in the Grape Workshop and space is limited, so  preregistration is strongly advised. Please register by January 5, 2018.  Participants will be provided with the publication  "Growing Grapes in Wisconsin" for an excellent reference companion to the workshop.
Participants may receive 3 Pesticide Applicator recertification credits for attending the entire workshop.
mffmMaine Federation of Farmers Market Convention!

Thursday, January 11 at the Ag Trades Show.
Network with friends and neighbors, learn about business-strengthening innovations and connect with industry leaders at this dynamic, full-day event.  Features include a keynote by food systems expert Philip Ackerman-Leist, author of  Rebuilding the Foodshed;  workshops and break-out sessions tailored to the needs of market farmers; tracks for beginners and experienced farmers' market participants alike; DACF scale testing; a help desk for those interested in accepting SNAP; and an exhibit hall packed with resources. 
The registration fee (which costs $30-38 for people who are members or managers of a farmers' market, and $40-48 for others) for this jam-packed day includes a continental breakfast, coffee all day, and a hot buffet lunch (including vegetarian and gluten-free options).  Don't miss this rare opportunity to gather with over 130 farmers' market participants from all over the state, all in one place.   
Pre-registration is required. Click here to register.
mofga MOFGA Day at the Trades Show - Tuesday
Offering a wide range of talks on sustainable agriculture topics. Annual Meeting will be 1:30 to 3 pm in the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room.
  • Organic Certification Basics & Compliance
  • Commercial Dairy Value-Added Licensing
  • Plant Diseases Seen in 2017*
  • Cooperative Vegetation Management Agreements*
  • Organic Pricing: Past, Present & Future?
  • Nutrient Management Planning in Organic Systems
  • Low Impact Forestry & Woodlot Management Panel
  • Flower Forum

* counts for one recertification credit for Pesticide Applicator Licenses

bfrn Beginning Farmer Resource Network logo
Beginning Farmer Resource Network 
This coming year, at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show , January 9th through 11th, BFRN will offer aspiring and beginning farmers several exciting workshops and two main events.
  • The morning of Wednesday, January 10th , BRFN convenes Maine's first Beginning Farmer Conference: "What does it mean to be a "Beginning Farmer" from 2018 to 2028," a free, half-day conference.
  • This is followed by 7 different "hands-on" workshops (3 on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday) for participants to get something related to the workshop topic accomplished.  
  • On Thursday, January 11th , the Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets (MFFM) will hold its 10th Annual Convention at the Augusta Civic Center in conjunction with the Trades Show. Thanks to the collaboration of MFFM, up to 60 beginning farmers and service providers may register to attend the MFFM luncheon and keynote speech from 11:00AM to 2:00PM. The registration fee for the luncheon and keynote is $18.  
Wednesday Afternoon Talks
  • From Recipe to Market: How to Start a Speciality Food Business in Maine
  • Get Going with QuickBooks Pro - limited to 18 participants
  • Circle Up...Designing your Employee Handbook and Worker Training Plan
Thursday Talks
  • Accessing Farm Capital... Shark Tank Style!
  • Put down roots! Start to plan and write that farm or farmland lease
  • Make a note of it... Production Record Keeping
  • Find your "best fit" for Farm Business Planning & Training

The United Farmer Veterans of Maine are sponsoring an Industrial Hemp Symposium at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show on Wednesday January 10th, 2018  from 2 pm to 5 pm. 
Maine State Florists' & Growers' Association Session at the Trade Show
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 9:30 am to 4:00 pm 
Registration $10 for members and $25 for non-members
Click here for pdf of program. 
  • Increasing profits in a Maine Greenhouse Operation
  • Biological Control in the University of Maine Greenhouses
  • Cut Flower Growing for the Professional Market
  • Planning & Planting
  • Miner, Mercenaries and Magicians - Horticultural Actors (Pests) and Issues in Maine
interestItems of Interest
Grants & Loans
  • Organic Farming Research Foundation grant proposals deadline is Dec. 15. Their priority issues are soil health, innovative weed control, management of emerging insect and disease issues and livestock health. 
  • Value Added Producer Grant  and matching funds can be used for planning activities or for working capital expenses related to producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product. FMI   Click Here.   There is also a webinar called  "VAPG 101" and contains great information on how the program will be administered. Here is the link.
  • Rural Rehabilitation Trust Fund has a loan program to help beef producers purchase breeding stock or feeder cattle.  
  • 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


The  AgrAbility Virtual National Training Workshop (VNTW)  is a series of six, one-hour webinars conducted over three days. For session descriptions and more information, Jan. 23 - 25th 11 am and 3 pm. 

Farmers 2050 - Free Farm Game! Feed the World from the Palm of Your Hand.
Grow crops, raise livestock, craft and sell goods and engage with local and global partners as you level up. Feeding the world relies on balancing your economic, social and environmental sustainability so strive to be a leader. Along the way, real farmers from across the world will show you what they are doing on their farms. Apple or Android. 

Visit the UMaine Extension online  Publications Catalog for agriculture information, such as: 
  • Maine Family Farms: Life and Business in Balance Series, Item #4800 From UMaine Extension. The Maine Family Farms: Life and Business in Balance series recognizes that the needs of farmers at each various life stage are unique, as choices about farming practices, child rearing, business growth, and succession planning enter into decision making. This series consists of five fact sheets. For free downloads see individual items, or  buy entire series of 5 fact sheets for $3.00 
  • Winter Care for Horses #1007 This equine fact sheet addresses food, water and shelter requirements and other care necessary for horses during Maine winters. 4 pages. © 2001, 2003 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.75.
eventsUpcoming Events  
  • January 8, 2018 Respirator Fit Test, Augusta Civic Center. Pre-registration required. 207.287.2731 or pesticides@maine.gov 
  • January 9 - 11, 2018 Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center. 
  • January 16, 23, 30 & February 6, 2018 Charcuterie Workshop at Smith's Smokehouse, Monroe. Sponsored by MOFGA. Fee $350 - $400. Pre-registration required. 
  • January 17-18, 2018 33rd Annual Maine Potato Conference & Trade Show, Caribou Inn, Caribou.  Sponsored by UMaine Extension. 
  • January 22 & 23, 2018   Flowering in the North, A Flower Grower's Conference  for sharing knowledge about Zone 5 growing, wholesaling, retailing, and designing with Farm Fresh Flowers. The conference will take place  in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland, ME. This events is a collaboration between the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, MOFGA, and UMaine Cooperative Extension. Sorry Sold Out. 
  • January 20 & 27, 2018 Vermont Maple Conferences, Brattleboro & Hyde Park, VT
  • January 23, 24 & 25, 2018 AgrAbility Virtual National Training Workshop to include veteran info, accessibility, AT ideas, and mental health topics. 6 sessions at 11 am and 3 pm. 
  • January 27, 2018 CL & CAE Seminar 11 am to 2 pm. Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) & Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) will be discussed by  Dr. Anne Licktenwalner, UMaine Extension Veterinarian.  This  is a free program with lunch to those who pre-register. Sponsored by the Heart of Maine Dairy Goat Association. Pre-register with Scott Leeman. 
  • 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 14, 2018  Maine Vegetable & Fruit School at the Bangor Motor Inn Banquet & Conference Center. More information will be available next month.
  • March 17, 2018 Grazing Conference
  • March 21 to 25, 2018 Maine Flower Show, Thompson's Point, Portland.
  • 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)