Volume 8 | July 2019
Your monthly news & updates
What's New?
  • Low Stress Cattle Handling Workshop and Pasture Walk - July 20
  • Food Safety on Farm and Value-added Products - July 10
  • Women Caring for the Land - 2019 Summer Soil Health Meetings July 11
  • Tractor Safety and Operations 101 Workshop - July 30
  • Swine 101- Introduction to Producing Pasture Pork - July 19 to Aug 24 various locations
  • Healthy Farm Partnership Project
  • New Checklists Help Agritourism Operators Measure Risks
  • Highmoor Farm Field Day - July 31
  • More Plants is Not the Answer - Red Meat Harvest & Processing Study
  • Items of Interest
  • Featured Resources
  • Upcoming Events
  • Newsletter Subscription Information
  • Mission and Quick Links
  • Local Weather Anytime - Need Pesticide Credits?
Low Stress Cattle Handling Workshop and Pasture Walk
Saturday, July 20th
Noon to 3 pm
Shaw Road
Free lunch included.

Attendees will hear a presentation on reducing stress in cattle by Colt Knight, UMaine Extension Livestock Specialist with a live demonstration of Shaw Road Farm’s practices of separating three beef animals from a herd of approximately 50. 
Also, the Cookson's will discuss they have changed their practices to more effectively reduce long term and immediate stress on the herd.
Also, attendees will have an opportunity to see Shaw Road Farm’s mob grazing pasture management system and water delivery system with a pasture walk.
If interested in attending contact Colt.Knight@maine.edu.
Food Safety on the Farm and Value-added Products

Worcester’s Blueberries,
356 Lyford Rd
Ornville Twp, ME

July 10, 2019
9:00 am - 10:30 am

Expertise: Lee and Everett Worcester, Lily Calderwood, Chris Howard, Dept. of Ag staff
Lee and Everett Worcester will explain their process for harvesting and storing wild blueberries before distribution, their experiences with GAP certification, and value-added product production. UMaine Extension and DACF staff including Lily Calderwood, Chris Howard and Leah Cook will be there to share information about the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
FMI 581-2321

July 9 College of the Atlantic - Bar Harbor
July 10 Viles Arboretum - Augusta
July 11 Hall's Christmas Tree Farm - Sangerville
8:30 am to 3 pm

(Free lunch and field tour included)

Are you a female landowner who wants to learn about the best natural resources management of your farmland? Join us for a free women landowners meeting this summer, meet with female conservationists, and discuss how your local professionals from USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service can assist you with soil health and conservation planning.

Sponsored by NRCS, SWCD, UMaine Extension and Women Food & Ag Network.

Any female landowner is welcome's to attend.
For more information and registration  Women Food & Ag Network
Tractor Safety & Operations 101 Workshop

On Tuesday July 30th, 2019 from 5:30-8:30pm Rick Kersbergen from University of Maine Cooperative Extension will be teaming up with Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) to offer a Tractor Safety & Operations 101 Workshop. We wanted to offer the opportunity for local farmers in Piscataquis County and all adults (18+) who wish to learn the basics or have a refresher on how to safely operate farm equipment in this introduction course.
Rick will be joining PCSWCD at the Law Farm located on Lee Cemetery Rd. in Dover-Foxcroft where we will go over the basics of learning how to handle tractors and equipment safely, how to identify hazards, and how to minimize the chances of accidents. There will be no driving time but a chance to ask questions and learn the tips and safety tricks of safely operating or learning more about a tractor. Registration is required and spots are limited for this event with reservations at $20 per person. 
Swine 101 – Introduction to Producing Pastured Pork

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is excited to announce a FREE series entitled Swine 101 – Raising Pastured Pork.

This seminar will be held in multiple locations across the state, and a meal will be provided.

Join Dr. Colt W. Knight, University of Maine Cooperative Extension State Livestock Specialist, for a 2 hour primer on raising pastured pork.

Topics include: Breed Selection, basic reproductive information, swine nutrition, fencing, housing, meat yield, and more.

Meal – Smoked pork chops.
Swine 101 – Introduction to producing pastured pork Dates / Locations / contact to register:

Friday, July 19, 2019. 11:00AM -1:00PM or 5:00PM-7:00PM, Waldo County Extension Office, 992 Waterville Rd, Waldo, ME 04915 Contact – Richard Kersbergen 342-5971

Monday, July 22, 2019. 5:00PM-7:00PM, Somerset County Extension Office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, ME 04976 Caragh Fitzgerald 622-7546
Wednesday, July 24, 2019. 5:30PM-7:30PM, J. F. Witter Center, 160 University Farm Rd, Old Town, ME 04468 Contact – Wendy Robertson 942-7396

Friday, August 9, 2019. 11:00AM-1:00PM, Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Extension Office, 24 Main St. Lisbon Falls, ME 04252 Contact – Tori Jackson 353-5550

Monday, August 12, 2019. 11:00AM-1:00PM, Knox-Lincoln Extension Office, 377 Manktown Rd.  Waldoboro, ME 04572 Contact – Mark Hutchinson 832-0343

Tent. Wednesday, August 14, 2019. 11:00AM-1:00PM, Hancock County Extension Office, 63 Boggy Brook Rd, Ellsworth, ME 04605 Contact – Marjorie Peronto 667-8212

Saturday, August 24, 2019. Noon-2:00PM, Aroostook County Extension Office in Presque Isle, 57 Houlton Rd. Presque Isle, ME 04769, Contact – Linda Trickey 532-6548
The Healthy Farm Partnerships Project
Farming with a spouse presents a complex layering of business and personal values, interests, assets, and goals. As such, Farm Commons has launched a new initiative on healthy farm partnerships.

Their staff member Eva is the lead for this project, as she knows firsthand about the complexities of being in a farm partnership. She and her former husband began  Heartstrong Farm in 2017 on 16 acres of leased land in North Carolina. Though they formed an LLC, put together a robust CSA program and supporting membership agreement, they did not have in place processes for allocating business responsibilities, methods for valuing equity in the farm business, or an exit strategy.

“Once we separated, I realized how much we had left to assumption – ownership of tools and equipment, access to the farm property, and equity in the farm business. It was really tricky separating and making clear those things once we broke up. Things were so tricky I wasn’t sure the farm business would even continue. Thankfully it did, with the support of my amazing CSA community and many loved ones, but it was still a really tough row to how, as they say."

Now growing forward from these experiences, Eva has minimized her farm business to a size that serves her quality of life goals, and maintains clear processes for communication, record-keeping, and valuation of equity. She’s also passionate about supporting others farming with loved ones to cultivate healthy, legally resilient farm partnerships through her work at Farm Commons.

If you feel called to share with us your farm partnership story, we would love to hear and learn from you so that we may co-create a legal educational resource to best support farmers in growing healthier farm partnerships forward.
To schedule a time to share your story in confidence, email our Outreach + Education Manager Eva at  eva@farmcommons.org.
New Checklists Help Agritourism Operators Measure Risk

Farmers and landowners who open their property to the public face some unique risks and responsibilities.
To help ensure their operation is following best practices, a group of agritourism experts with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has put together six checklists that cover the many types of liability an owner may face.
Compiled by Kendra Meyer,  Visit Iowa Farms  program coordinator at ISU Extension and Outreach, the checklists ask producers to mark “yes” or “no” to each question, or “not applicable.”
The checklists are not to be considered a certification, but they do help producers understand their strengths and weaknesses, Meyer said, and identify areas where they may need to improve.
“The checklists serve as a measurement tool to help guide agritourism operators through best practice techniques to use on their farm, to alleviate the risks that arise once employees and visitors come onto their farm,” Meyer said.
Topics include employee and visitor health and hygiene, employee training, recordkeeping, food preparation and storage, legal risks and much more.
The checklists were written with federal and food safety standards in mind, Meyer said, and with input from the  Agritourism Destination Safety and Health Best Practices  workshops that were held in 2018.
Input was provided by Iowa State’s Center for Food Security and Public Health, and experts from Iowa State’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, Pesticide Safety Education Program, and Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.
The checklists are  available for download  from the ISU Extension and Outreach Store.
Highmoor Farm Field Day   will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth.
Registration fee is $30.00 and includes dinner.  Preregistration is strongly encouraged. Please register by July 19 to give us an accurate count for dinner.  Register online at the web address above or contact Pam St. Peter at  pamela.stpeter@maine.edu  or 207.933.2100.
Topics include:
Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Monitor Spotted Wing Drosophila
Plum Curculio Trapping in Tree Fruits
Apple Market Promotion
Two Concurrent Experiment Station Research Tours
Tree Fruit Tour:  Managing plum curculio, minimizing biennial bearing in Honeycrisp with ethephon and spur pruning, Gisela rootstocks for sweet cherry, growing Toka (Bubblegum) plums, high density apple and peach trees
Berry and Vegetable Tour:  Strawberry varieties and their pests, high tunnel tomatoes with compost for soil health and soil-borne diseases, sweet corn and melon trials, and using traps to monitor Spotted Wing Drosophila in berry crops
Also, please mark your calendar for the  New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference 2019  at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Manchester Downtown (formerly known as the Radisson), NH on December 10-12.
Cover of meat processing study
More Plants is Not the Answer: Red Meat Harvest & Processing Study

Cornell just released a study on the State of the USDA Inspected Red Meat Harvest & Processing Industry in New York & New England (pfd) that highlights key findings about the constraints of the industry to expansion.
  • Availability & Quality of Labor - lack of access to qualified workers is the biggest constraint to the industry.
  • Limits to Cold Storage constrains their product throughput.
  • Limited Access to Funding in order to grow their business and increase cooler space.
  • Seasonality of Livestock - plants need business in the off-season to remain viable. If producers start finishing livestock during the slower season (Feb. to May) then existing plants can attract year round labor.
It is important that existing plants operate closer to capacity year round to become economical for the livestock industry.

It is important that industry stakeholders and policymakers seek strategies that help plants become viable year round through finding labor, providing livestock to harvest year round, and help with funding to update and expand existing plants.

Items of Interest
  • Biochar may not be the miracle soil additive that many farmers and researchers hoped it to be, according to a new University of Illinois study. Eureka Alert AAAS
  • Maple season was short, but syrup production was up this year. Maine produced 580,000 gallons the third largest of the national 4.2 million. Lisa Rathke AP
  • Maine Harvest of the Month - The Maine Harvest of the Month (HOM) is a campaign that helps to promote the use of seasonally available, local products in schools, institutions, and communities. The program, which highlights a different Maine product each month, aims to provide students with local and healthy produce, while supporting Maine’s farmers and producers.
  • The Pork Checkoff is excited to announce the launch of  pork.to/showpig . An interdepartmental team at the Checkoff developed resources and information to help broaden the awareness and understanding of biosecurity and pig health for the show pig segment of the industry. 
  • Equine Affaire looking for volunteers to help with the November 7 to 10 program at W. Springfield,MA. Volunteer and get in free.
  • USDA Terminal Market Reports for specialty crops.
  • MOFGA Price Reports
  • 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.
  • Job openings at MOFGA.
  • Jobs at UMaine Extension:  a number positions throughout the state.
Featured Resources
Algorithms, drones and robots can make farming a lot friendlier to the environment


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

Upcoming Events
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