January 2017
Your Monthly News & Updates
showcase76th Maine Agricultural Trades Show
Tuesday through Thursday
January 10 to 12th
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.
Click here for the program PDF.
Click here for the agenda and trade show vendors.

Some meetings planned include:
Tuesday: MOFGA, MESAS, Maine Cheese Guild, BFRN, Greater Portland Council of Governments, Maine Federation of Farmers Markets, Maine Christmas Tree Association, Maine Milk Commission, Pesticide Training, Nutrient Management Training.

Wednesday: BFRN, Pesticide Training, Maine Grass Farmers Network, Maine Beef Producers Association, FSA, Maine Highland Cattle Assoc., Maine Geological Survey, Maine Sheep Producers Assoc., Nutrient Management Training, Maine Maple Producers, United Farmer Veterans of Maine, Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Assoc., Maine Pomological Society, Small Woodlot Owners Assoc. of Maine.

Thursday: Maine Winery Guild, Revision Energy, Maine Farmland Trust, MDACF, Maine Farms, Maine Pork Producers, Pesticide Training, BFRN, WIC Farmer Training, GPCOG, Maine Nutrition Assoc., United Farmer Veterans of Maine, Maine Hops School, FISMA.

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 10th-11th, 2017.
Red Barn
A short course for farmers thinking about starting a new farm enterprise has been offered a number of times in the past. 
The purpose of this course was to equip participants with the business knowledge and skills to start, adapt, and maintain a profitable land-based business. It was designed for people who want to start a profitable farm or expand their farm hobby to a profitable business.
To help us determine the best format (live, video, webinar, etc.) for this program please complete this survey. We anticipate offering this program in the spring 2017. 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is preparing the mail list for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The Census of Agriculture is the leading source of facts and figures about American agriculture. Conducted every five years, the Census provides a detailed picture of U.S. farms, ranches and the people who operate them. It is the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the United States.
I am asking for your help to make the 2017 Census of Agriculture as accurate as possible. A major challenge is having a list of farmers that is as complete as possible, especially with so many new farmers. If you have never received a Census of Agriculture or survey questionnaire from NASS then they may not have you on their farm list. Please take a couple minutes and provide NASS your contact information at https://www.agcounts.usda.gov/cgi-bin/counts/.
Even if you do not think of yourself as a farmer or rancher, your enterprise is considered farm if it meets the Census of Agriculture definition of an operation that sold or normally would have sold $1,000 or more of agricultural products in a year.  If you own or rent agricultural land, grow vegetables, grow horticultural or floricultural products, have fruit or nut trees, cattle, horses, poultry, hogs, bees, aquaculture products, or consider yourself a farmer or rancher, they need to hear from you.
All individual information provided to NASS is confidential and only used for statistical purposes. In accordance with the Confidential Information Protection provisions of Title V, Subtitle A, Public Law 107-347 and other applicable Federal laws, your responses will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed in identifiable form to anyone other than their employees or agents. By law, every employee and agent has taken an oath and is subject to a jail term, a fine, or both if he or she willfully discloses ANY identifiable information about you or your operation.
If you have previously received a Census of Agriculture or survey questionnaire from NASS then you will be receiving your 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire in late December 2017 or January 2018. Your cooperation is appreciated.
newstaffNew UMaine Extension Staff
  • Sukhwinder Bali has been appointed University of Maine Cooperative Extension assistant professor and University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) assistant professor of sustainable agriculture. Bali earned a master's degree in soil science with a minor in botany from Punjab Agricultural University. She recently completed a second master's degree in natural resource management from North Dakota State University. Bali has lived in Maine since September 2015. Based in the Aroostook County Extension office, Bali will join a team of Extension and University of Maine at Presque Isle staff, and will provide classroom instruction at UMPI. She will develop and conduct educational outreach and applied research with an emphasis on Aroostook County; work with other faculty to offer off-campus programs addressing the educational needs of commercial agriculture; and teach academic courses in the UMPI sustainable agriculture concentration. Bali can be reached at sukhwinder.bali@maine.edu.
  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension has hired Colt Knight as the new Extension livestock educator. Knight grew up in West Virginia and has a background in livestock production and management. He received his doctorate from the University of Arizona where he researched grazing patterns of cattle using precision agriculture technologies.
    He recently completed postdoctoral work at New Mexico State University on enhanced GPS tracking systems and expedited data analysis, resulting in a booklet on the construction and use of GPS tracking collars. The booklet will be made available to researchers and students.
    With UMaine Extension, his focus will be on developing and conducting educational programs and applied research projects statewide with an emphasis on livestock enterprises, animal health and nutrition, meat science, small-farm management, and sustainable farming practices.
    Knight will begin at UMaine in Orono on Jan. 9. More information about the Extension livestock program is available online (extension.umaine.edu/livestock) or by calling 207.581.3188.
interestItems of Interest
  • Rural Tax Education: Farmers, ranchers, other agricultural producers and Extension educators will find on this website a source for agriculturally related income and self-employment tax information that is both current and easy to understand.
    Tax issues are important for agricultural operations because income and self-employment taxes are a major cost.  Also because more and more USDA programs are being linked to a producer's federal income tax return.
  • IRS Farmers Tax Guide #225
  • According to the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service, 8,174 farms could be identifying their farm and listing their products and services on www.getrealmaine.com. This is a free listing and when I get inquires about how to find a farm that sells a certain product, this is where the search starts.
  • New Ag Service Provider Directory Hosted by the MDACF - Farm owners and operators who access the Maine Agriculture Service Providers Directory search for Agricultural Consulting Services and/or Business Consulting Services, then by topic and category to identify the public and private sector - educators, technical assistance advisors, and consultants - who may be best suited to help them address their agricultural and business development needs.
  • Growing Home - A new first-of-its-kind 30 minute television program to begin airing in Maine in January, 2017. The documentary series, Growing Home, is the first to tell the stories of U.S. veterans who have transitioned to a life of agriculture and outdoor related careers. The program will air Sundays at 11am, beginning January 8, 2017 on NBC affiliate WLBZ2 in Bangor and WCSH6 in Portland. 
  • Local Foods Marketing Practices survey released by USDA concluded that more than 80 percent of all direct market food sales occurred within 100 miles of the farm, and that most farms selling to consumers were less than 20 miles away from their largest grossing marketplace. This is number of miles the farmer traveled to the marketing outlet.
  • National Sustainable Strawberry Initiative Seeks Input Via Survey (U of Arkansas) to identify the critical research and outreach needs of the strawberry industry and to develop a project around these issues. If you are a strawberry grower, nurseryman, Extension Educator, or advisor to strawberry growers, please contribute to this national strawberry-industry needs assessment by taking the online survey before February 10, 2017.
  • Positions Available: UMaine Extension Plant Pathologist and Accounting Support Specialist CL2 both based in Orono. Aldermere Farm Apprentice based in Rockport.
  • Maine Hay Directory - You can list hay that you have for sale or you can look for hay to buy. Listings are free.
resourcesFeatured Resources

  • Striped Cucumber Beetle Webinar on January 11th at 2 PM (EST) - Join eOrganic for a webinar on management options for striped cucumber beetle on organic farms by Abby Seaman and Jeffrey Gardner of Cornell University. Striped cucumber beetle (SCB) is one of the most challenging insects to control in organic cucurbit production. The presenters will discuss the basics of SCB biology, cultural practices that can minimize damage, the latest on the effectiveness of insecticides allowed for organic production, and a discussion of breeding work underway to help reduce beetle impact. Click here to register now.
  • Avian Genetics and Breeding on January 12th at 3 pm (EST) sponsored by eXtension.org There has been a lot of interest in breeding small poultry flocks. This webinar will present an introduction to avian genetics and the basics of poultry breeding. Dr. Darrin Karcher at Purdue University will provide the overview of avian genetics while Dr. David Frame from Utah State University will discuss the basics of poultry breeding.
  • 2017 Small Farm Winter Series Webinars by University of Illinois Extension. Free webinars on Thursdays noon to 1 pm. Topics from microgreens, flowers, plasticulture, hay, bees, windbreaks and high tunnels.
Visit the UMaine Extension online Publications Catalog
 for agriculture information, such as: 
  • Maine Family Farms: Life and Business in Balance Series #4800 This 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. Consists of five fact sheets. $3.00 for whole series.   
  •   So You Want to Farm in Maine?# 2433 Have you ever thought about moving to a farm and wondered whether it's really the right life for you and your family? Answering the questions in this 4-page bulletin related to the realities of farming in Maine will help you decide.   Free download.
  • Maine Farm Safety Program - 67 factsheet series: Farm accidents can cause serious injury and even death, and present tremendous financial challenges to small-scale farmers. Many accidents can be prevented through education. This series of 66 farm safety fact sheets forms a comprehensive farm safety library. Free download.

eventsUpcoming Events
  • Jan. 6, 2017: Registration deadline for Farming for Wholesale 101, sponsored by Maine Farmland Trust. To be held on three Saturdays, starting January 14, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., at the Food Hub in Unity. Contact, alex@mainefarmlandtrust.org.
  • Jan. 6, 2017 DDATT Our Culture Contest, 6 pm Abbott Memorial Library, Dexter. FMI info@ddatt.org or 277-4221.
  • Jan. 9-18, 2017 Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese. Two-week intensive course taught by world-renowned master cheesemaker, Ivan Larcher, at Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vt., in conjunction with Jasper Hill, an American Cheese Society-Certified Professional Educator. Offered by The School of the New American Farmstead. Visit http://www.sterlingcollege.edu/cheese for details and registration.
  • Jan. 10-12, 2017 Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center.
  • Jan. 12, 2017 Hops School at the Augusta Civic Center.10 am to 3:30 pm. For those interested in commercial hops production. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Cost $25. FMI and to register click here.
  • Jan. 14, 2017 (Jan. 21 snowdate) DDATT Sharpening Workshop, bring your sharpening expertise or your dull hand tools. 9 am to 11 am at the Abbott Memorial Library, Dexter. FMI info@ddatt.org or 277-4221.
  • Jan. 18 - 19, 2017 Maine Potato Conference at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center located on US Route 1 in Caribou, Maine. The program will include presentations on: factors effecting fry color, Powdery Scab and Mop-Top Virus, soil health, Worker Protection Standards, plant stands, fumigation, PVY, Dickeya, post-harvest test results and much more.Pesticide recertification credits and Certified Crop Advisor credits have been applied for. FMI jimdwyer@maine.edu
  • Feb. 1 - 2, 2017 In-Service Training for Ag Service Providers, Holiday Inn, Portsmouth, NH. CCA and pesticide credits available.
  • Feb. 3, 2017 DDATT First Friday: Seed and Scion Swap and Making and Storing Ice for Refrigeration. 6 pm Abbott Memorial Library, Dexter. FMI info@ddatt.org or 277-4221.
  • Feb. 3 - 9, 2017 North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association Annual Convention Mystic, CT. The NAFDMA "farmers inspired" event includes bus tours, educational sessions, workshops, and a business exchange. Two days consist of bus-tour farm visits, followed by three days of sessions and workshops.
  • Feb. 4, 2017 Corn Tortilla Workshop, featuring Maine grown corn, sponsored by the Maine Grain Alliance. At Southern Maine Community College's baking kitchen in South Portland, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Feb. 10, 2017 (Feb. 17 snow date) Rural Renewable Energy workshop for landowners, farmers and small businesses. PCSWCD is sponsoring and plans to have speakers on different types of renewable energy (biomass, photovoltaics, small scale hydro, wind, etc.) and funding sources. TBA Dover-Foxcroft.
  • March 4, 2017 MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Keynote speaker Will Brinton and a panel of farmers focus on soil microbiology.
  • March 7-9, 2017 Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show, Sturbridge, MA
  • March 14, 2017 Dairy Seminar, Waterville, ME
  • March 18, 2017 Maine Grazing Conference, Waterville. Speakers include: Fred Provenza, Hue Karreman and Matt LaRouse.
  • May 19 - 21, 2017 Northeast Livestock Expo, Windsor Fair Grounds. Kids Day is Friday.
  • July 27 & 28, 2017 Kneading Conference
subscription  Newsletter Subscription Information
The Central Maine Farming Newsletter (CMFN), now received by over 860 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.
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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)