Volume 8 | April 2019
Your monthly news & updates
What's New?
  • 2nd Annual Keeping Small Ruminants Healthy Clinic - Sold Out
  • Quickbooks Training with SCORE
  • Pasture Pork and Beginners Guide to Keeping Pigs
  • Home and Small-scale Greenhouse meeting
  • UMaine Cooperative Extension Offers Media Training for Farmers
  • Everything Chicken for the Backyard Poultry Keeper
  • Selling Eggs in Maine
  • GPS Cows
  • Swine Seminar
  • Items of Interest
  • Featured Resources
  • Upcoming Events
  • Newsletter Subscription Information
  • Mission and Quick Links
  • Local Weather Anytime - Need Pesticide Credits?
sheep on lush pasture
2 nd Annual Keeping Small Ruminants Healthy Clinic
 April 13 from 1 pm to 4 pm
Foxcroft Large Animal Veterinary Associates (FLAVA)
1441 Dexter Rd.
Sold Out -
Building awareness of disease and learning screening techniques for sheep, goats, alpacas and other small ruminants is the focus of this program. Sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension and FLAVA.

Topics include: what diseases are common in small ruminants and what screening techniques farmers can do to assess the health of their animals. Catarina Ruksznis DVM, FLAVA large-animal veterinarian will lead the discussion on disease awareness in small ruminants and an overview of screening tests available. Colt Knight PhD, UMaine Extension Livestock Specialist, will demonstrate and certify attendees in FAMACHA technique as a diagnostic tool.  

Participants are encouraged to bring fecal samples from their animals so they can learn how to prepare the samples and use a microscope to assess parasite load in their animals.
To find out how to collect fecal samples visit this page:  collecting samples
Live demonstrations will be held in the barn. Participants must dress for the weather and wear shoes that can be disinfected on-site. Those becoming certified in the FAMACHA technique will be able to purchase a FAMACHA card for $15 each. 
The workshop is free; registration is required. Register online. Youth under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. 

For more information or to request a disability accommodation contact  207.564.3301 or  extension.piscataquis@maine.edu   
QuickBooks Basics for Farmers

SCORE and UMaine Cooperative Extension are pleased to announce a FREE four-part workshop on QuickBooks Basics for Farms beginning on  Monday, April 8th! Please note the class is for QuickBooks Desktop Pro version and not for the on-line version of QuickBooks. If you have the on-line version you will still benefit from the classes but the hands-on exercises and temporary use license are for the desktop version.
QuickBooks is recognized as the #1 accounting solution for small businesses to help with invoicing, tracking sales and expenses, and handling bookkeeping requirements for tax preparation, as well as management of the business.
These 2 1/2 hour, 4 evening workshops (April 8th, 10th, 15th and 17th) will help you better understand how to use several key features found in QuickBooks. The instructor will introduce students to recording sales transactions, entering expenses, generating reports, and how QuickBooks keeps track of transactions "behind the scenes." Plus, students will practice learned skills through a simulated bookeeping exercise, to help you learn how to manage your business and keep your accounting records up-to-date and accurate.
If you are a first time user or just need hands on help with your questions, this is the workshop for you!
Please click on the Get More Information link below for complete course details, the presenter bio and to register. Space is limited, so please register by Wednesday, April 3rd. Please note that a PC laptop will be needed. If you do not have QuickBooks already installed on your PC laptop, we will provide a temporary QuickBooks Accountant 2018 license for these four classes. If you need the temporary QuickBooks installation, please come to the first class at 5:00 PM to allow time for installation.
Please contact either Erin Roche at Cooperative Extension or me if you have any questions about the event or how to register.
Pasture Pork and Beginners Guide to Keeping Pigs
May 10th
11 am to 2 pm
Penobscot County Extension Office, Bangor

Dr. Colt Knight will present this program is for folks who are planning to get a couple pigs this spring to raise through the summer and harvest in the fall as well as folks who are planning to get a sow to raise their own piglets.

  • When should you get your pigs
  • Who should you buy them from
  • Where will you keep them
  • How will you house them
  • What will you feed them
  • What health care is needed
  • When will you harvest them
  • Also, if you are thinking about keeping a sow to raise baby pigs

Also, for folks considering using pasture as a portion of their pig’s diet, Dr. Knight will go over some management information. 
A light lunch will be included. 
Course fee: $10
For more information and to register go to  https://extension.umaine.edu/penobscot/
Home & Small-Scale Greenhouse Program 
April 22nd
9:30 am to noon
Penobscot County Extension Office, Bangor

Today more and more homeowners and beginning small-scale farmers are growing bedding plants, vegetable transplants and house plants in greenhouses. The structures are usually small in size but can be as large as a small commercial grower’s greenhouse.

UMaine Extension is hosting a program on Home and Small-Scale Greenhouses with Dr. Matt Wallhead, UMaine Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist, on Monday, April 22 nd from 9:30 am to noon at the Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave, Bangor (near the airport.) Program fee of $10 to cover handout materials. Pre-registration is required either online (Penobscot event site) or by calling 942-7396 or email  wendy.robertson@maine.edu

Greenhouses, hoop houses or high tunnels may be the best way to add at least a month on either end of the season or make winter crops possible. They can allow for greater control over the growing environment of plants when managed well.
A home greenhouse can be a simple, polyethylene-covered framework that can be put together in one afternoon for less than one hundred dollars or it can be a six-thousand dollar plus, prefabricated structure.
Come and learn the technical specifications of a greenhouse and key factors which may be controlled including temperature, levels of light and shade, irrigation, fertilizer application, and atmospheric humidity as well as planting schedules and crop selection.
taking records in field

Open Farm Day participants encouraged to register.
Learn how to respond to media requests and welcome visitors to your farming operation.
UMaine Cooperative Extension will offer media training April 29, 2019 as part of their leadership development programming. 10 am to 3 pm at the KVCC Alfond Campus in Hinkley.

Learn how to respond to media requests and welcome visitors to your farming operation.
This will be useful for farms wishing to be hosts for the 30th Anniversary of Maine Open Farm Day.
Interested participants should register online. The registration fee is $10 per participant, and is limited to 30 attendees.

Participants will receive hands on training about:
  • How to Tell Your Farm’s Story
  • Working with the Media
  • Social Media Best Practices
  • Crisis Responses

Complete your registration here for Media Training for Maine Farmers.

Photo: Remsberg
Brown Hen

April 30 3 pm to 6 pm
Millinocket Library
Prospective and beginning small-scale poultry egg producers will gain a general understanding of what it takes to have poultry in their backyard. Poultry breeds, housing, health, and nutrition for small-scale egg producers will be discussed by Colt Knight, UMaine Extension Livestock Specialist and Donna Coffin, UMaine Extension County Educator.

Knight will also demonstrate how to safely prepare and cook a whole chicken on a home smoker. Results of research conducted on different breeds of broiler chickens at the UMaine J. Witter Teaching and Research Center will be covered. 
Participants will have a light supper of smoked chicken. Other dietary options will be available upon request. $8 course fee with $20 optional course book “Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.” Limited number of partial course fee waivers available.  Sign up here.
Information compiled by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension (Revised October 2014)

No license or inspection is required by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Quality Assurance and Regulations for producers of eggs with less than 3,000 laying hens. However, there are several regulations that sellers of eggs must follow.

When selling eggs in Maine, the size and grade of the eggs must be labeled on the egg carton. The name, address and zip code of the packer must also be on the carton (an address sticker or stamp will suffice). Eggs in the carton must match what is on the carton as labeled (grade, size, and color). Cartons must also be labeled to state that refrigeration is required. Eggs must be stored and transported at 45 degrees F or less.

When reusing cartons, the USDA Shield must be obliterated from the carton because this shield suggests that the eggs have been inspected by the USDA. Cartons must be clean and odor free. Some grocery chains do not want their cartons to be reused. Generic cartons can be purchased from a local farm store or online. Keep empty egg cartons in a clean, dry odorless area.

Clean the eggs of any fecal matter as needed. Use a bleach solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of warm water to wash any soiled or dirty eggs and use single-use, disposable paper towels. Other egg wash materials designed for this purpose are available for purchase. One such product is Egg Wash Powder from NASCO. The temperature of the water for washing eggs should be at a minimum of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not soak the eggs. Eggs have a natural wax covering. Excessive washing may remove this wax.

Those who sell eggs are encouraged to have product liability insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance may not be adequate. Speak to your insurance agent to make certain your product is covered.

The candling of eggs to determine cracks is not required. However, cracked eggs should not be sold because cracks increase the risk of contamination and entry of bacteria. Eggs must meet a minimum of Grade B quality.

For specific questions or additional information about regulations please call 207.287.6319 or write:
Quality Assurance & Regulations
Dana Finnemore
Maine Department of Agriculture
State House Station 28
Augusta, ME 04333-0028
Email address:  dana.finnemore@maine.gov

For your information: The State of Maine Food Code is a manual that lists all regulations related to food. You can request a free copy of the manual from the Maine Department of Agriculture or obtain in online on Maine.gov’s  Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Quality Assurance & Regulations page.

For more information on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Egg Rule for medium and large-scale egg producers, visit the  Egg Safety Final Rule page on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food & Drug Administration website.

Consider highlighting products or services, sales or promotions, personal bios, and more. Use images that complement your message, and link your images to supporting resources.
Last year Colt Knight worked with Central Queensland University in Australia to develop a new youth STEM education program called GPS Cows.The GPS Cows program was designed to increase digital literacy and understanding of precision agriculture to rural students. Students participating in this program learn about: 

  • Precision Livestock Management
  • How GPS works
  • How GPS is used in modern livestock management and research
  • Scientific Method
  • How to use geospatial software, spreadsheet software, and
  • How to make a scientific poster

Students are then invited to the University of Maine campus for a tour, and a chance to make a GPS tracking collar. They are encouraged to design an experiment using their cattle( or borrowed cattle if they do not have access) and the GPS collar to test a hypothesis. 

In the end, participants make a Poster and compete for prizes in a poster competition. They are judged on their poster presentation, content, and delivery. Last year, prizes included a silver trophy buckle, gift certificates, and more.

Up to 20 Jr. High and High School age students participate in this years GPS Cows program / science fair. If you work with youth, or know of 4-H groups that would like to participate, please contact Colt.Knight@umaine.edu or Debra.Kantor@maine.edu
Swine Seminar
April 18, 2019
9 am to 3 pm
Viles Arboretum, Augusta

8:30 am registration
9 am Pork Quality Assurance Certification -Cindy Kilgore, MDACF Livestock Specialist
Noon - lunch pulled pork, etc.
1 pm Fever and its risk to Maine producers - Dr. Michele Walsh, State Vet.
1:30 pm Swine Nutrition - Dr. Colt Knight, UMaine Extension Livestock Specialist
2 pm Feral swine and their danger to livestock - Jesse Morris / Robin Dyer, USDA APHIS Wildlife Bilologists
2:30 pm Producer Profile - Pasture Fed Swine Program - Green Bounty Farm, Albion

Cost is $25 per person, $20 if member of MPPA. Make check payable to MPPA. Mail to Cindy Kilgore, DACF, 28 SHS, Augusta, 04333-0028. FMI Cindy.kilgore@maine.gov or 207-215-4968.
organization logos

Items of Interest
  • Farm Tractor Safety Course, UMaine Extension
  • Knox & Lincoln Counties, April 3-24
  • Kennebec County, April 8-May 13
  • Cumberland County, April 29-May 25
  • Oxford County, May 1-29
  • Waldo County, TBA
  • The Tick Lab, within Extension’s new Diagnostic and Research Laboratory, is now officially accepting tick samples for tick-borne disease testing. For $15, Maine residents can have ticks tested for the causative agents of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis (the three most commonly reported tick-borne diseases in Maine). This service is intended to provide surveillance information on ticks and tick-borne disease infection rates within Maine’s tick population. Tick identification without testing is free.
  • During the summer the UMaine campus is buzzing with a wide variety of youth programming. Summer camps are available for all ages in areas such as art, engineering, environmental education, music, outdoor adventure, recreation, sports, and writing.
  • Looking for a farmers' market to join? This Facebook page is offered as a clearing house for you. A project of the Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets http://mffm.org and http://www.facebook.com/mainefarmersmarkets.
  • New Plant Disease Submission Form for the UMaine Extension Diagnostic Lab. What to send and how to send it.
  • Maine Hay Directory - is available to help farmers with hay to sell and farmers looking for hay to buy. Be cautious of hay scams. 
  • Agrichemical and Fertilizer Suppliers in Maine - compiled by David E. Yarborough, Extension Blueberry Specialist.  
  • Maine Farm Labor Link Network - MDACF to link potential employers with job seekers.
  • Jobs at UMaine Extension:  a number positions throughout the state.
  • Small Ruminant Residency - Meadowcroft Farm, Washington. FMI contact Nanne Kennedy, 207-542-2587 or email queen@getwool.com.
Featured Resources
EPA has released a paraquat safety video that all applicators, mixers, and loaders will be eventually required to complete and pass a test on once the new labelling goes into effect this fall.

Mulching and Tarping Conference Presentations :  VT Veg and Berry Grower Association

Hot Hay Alert   - Cornell University
Dealing with Flooded Berry Fields   - Cornell University

Visit UMaine Extension online Publications Catalog for agricultural publications such as:

Upcoming Events
  • April 6, 2019 25th Annual Rural Living Day, Mt View School in Thorndike, Maine (Route 220), Lots of topics from Amish technology to tick talk. Proceeds benefit 4-H Camp Tanglewood.
  • April 6, 2019 Birding by Ear with Bob Duchesne. 8 am to 10 am Dover Foxcroft Congregational Church, Sponsored by PCSWCD. To register call 564-2321 ext.3.
  • April 8,10,15 & 17, 2019 Quickbooks training with SCORE, 6 pm - 8:30 pm, Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave, Bangor. Registration required for this free class. Click here to register.
  • April 10 - 13, 2019 Maine Meat Cutting School, Charleston. SOLD OUT
  • April 13, 2019 2nd Annual Keeping Small Ruminant: Disease Awareness and Screening. Foxcroft Large Animal Veterinary Associates, Dexter Rd., Dover-Foxcroft. SOLD OUT
  • April 18, 2019 Swine Education Seminar, 9 am to 3 pm Viles Arboretum, Augusta. Sponsored by MDACF, UMaine Extension, and Maine Pork Producers Association. $25 or $20 if member of MPPA. Includes lunch of pulled pork and corn bread. To register contact Cindy.Kilgore@maine.gov or 207-215-4968.
  • April 22, 2019 Home & Small-Scale Greenhouse Program, 9:30 am to noon, Penobscot County Extension Office, Bangor. $10 to cover handout materials. FMI and to register Wendy.Robertson@maine.edu
  • April 29, 2019 Media Training for Farmers, 9:30 am to 3 pm, Hinkley (Barn), $10 Learn how to respond to media requests and welcome visitors to your farming operation. It will also be useful for farms wishing to be hosts for the 30th Anniversary of Maine Open Farm Day.
  • April 30, 2019 Everything Chicken for the Backyard Poultry Keeper, 3 pm to 6 pm Millinocket Library, Millinocket. Course fee $8 includes a light supper with smoked chicken. Optional course book for $20. Register online or call 207-942-7396 or in Maine 1-800-287-1485.
  • May 9, 2019 Cooking for Crowds, 5 pm at the Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave. Bangor. Participants will receive "Cooking for Crowds," a manual specifically designed for volunteer cooks, as well as a certificate of attendance, posters and a meat thermometer. Cost is $15 per person for the class, which meets the Good Shepherd Food Bank safety training requirements. Register online For more information or to request a disability accommodation call 207.942.7396 or within Maine 1.800.287.1485.
  • May 10, 2019 Pasture Pork and Beginners Guide to Keeping Pigs, 11 am to 2 pm, Penobscot County Extension Office, Bangor. Course fee $10 includes lunch. FMI go to http://extension.umaine.edu/penobscot
  • May 116-19, 2019 Northeast Livestock Expo, Windsor Fairgrounds
  • July 11, 2019 Women Caring for the Land, Piscataquis County.
  • July 14-15, 2019. In the Thick of It is a farm tour event sponsored by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. More info and registration
  • July 28, 2019 Open Farm Day. Registration is open until May 1st.
  • July 30, 2019 Tractor Safety Tips, 1 - 3 pm Law Farm, Dover Foxcroft - brief overview of tractor safety.
Newsletter Subscription Information

The Central Maine Farming Newsletter (CMFN), now received by over 900 readers, has been offered as an educational resource by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for over 15 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 at this website 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 or Penobscot 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.
Local Weather Anytime
Many farming activities are driven by the weather. Our local National Weather Service in Caribou has meteorologists on staff 24 hours a day. They are willing to talk with you about rain predictions for your town. Give them a call at 492-0180. Or check out their online detailed maps at  http://www.weather.gov/car/.

Need Pesticide Credits

Need Pesticide credits?  Check out the  Maine Board of Pesticide credit calendar.   Many approved pesticide applicator re-certification programs are listed. 

Edited by 
Donna Coffin, 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.

The 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.
Penobscot County Office
Piscataquis County Office
Penobscot County 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 County 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