May 2018
Your Monthly News & Updates
boar goats
Northern Maine Sheep Producers 
Annual Sheep & Goat Health Seminar
Saturday May 12, 2018  9:00am - 3:30pm
Presque Isle Extension office -  57 Houlton Road

Contact:  Linda Trickey at  207.561.8123 or
FAMACHA Certification and Parasite Workshop    
May 26th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
University of Maine,  J. Franklin Witter Teaching & Research Center  ( Witter Farm), 160 University Farm Rd., Old Town, ME 04468
The workshop will include information on parasites and management practices, along with fecal egg analysis using microscopes. Registration fee for Maine Sheep Breeders Association (MSBA) Members $20 per farm includes one FAMACHA card; additional card $12. Non-members $40 per farm, includes MSBA membership.  Bring your own bag lunch. 

  To register  or for more information please contact,  Sally Farrell,  or call 207-324-2814.
neleNortheast Livestock Expo    
May 17 to 19 at the Windsor Fair Grounds
The mission of the Northeast Livestock Exposition (NELE) is to provide marketing, selling, and educational opportunities to local livestock producers and educate the public on the connection between local farms and their products.
The Maine Beef Producers, the Maine Sheep Breeders Association and the Boer Goat Breeders of Maine would like to thank everyone who attended the 2017 Northeast Livestock Expo. 

The livestock expo draws beef cattle, sheep, Boer goats, rabbits, dairy cattle, and poultry for shows, youth events and auctions. 

watererSolution for Chicken Watering Issues
From students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute based on interviews with New England extension agents and local farms as well as a review of scholarly literature, extension websites and other farming resources. The whole report can be downloaded here as a pdf. Here is an infographic outlining their findings. 
resourceAgricultural Development Grants Announced
Investments in Wild Blueberries, Vegetables and Organic Poultry Processing
Commissioner Walt Whitcomb announced five (5) Agricultural Development Grant Program awards totaling $187,735 during Ag Day at the Maine Legislature. The projects address critical needs in the agricultural industry, Washington County in particular, for development of new markets and processing techniques for wild blueberries and organic poultry processing. They also include support for the creation of value-added vegetable products that can be marketed on a global scale.
FY18 Agricultural Development Grants
  • Blue Sky Produce (Scarborough) - $10,000
    In order to help stimulate demand for frozen wild blueberries, Blue Sky Produce and 13 fresh-pack wild blueberry growers will conduct 40 educational demonstrations for fresh wild blueberries in retail stores in New York and New Jersey
  • LaJoie Growers, LLC (Van Buren) - $50,000
    LaJoie Growers will expand vegetable and dehydrating processing capabilities to produce a value-added dehydrated beet product that can be marketed on a global scale.
  • Tide Mill Organics (Edmunds Township) - $50,000
    Tide Mill Organics will improve its organic poultry processing plant in Washington County to become a State-Inspected Processing Facility and to develop value-added products, such as ground turkey and chicken, poultry sausages, and pet food.
  • University of Maine (Orono) - $27,735
    Dr. Jennifer Perry of the School of Food and Agriculture will conduct research to optimize aqueous washing procedures for wild blueberries growers and processors to ensure improved food safety.
  • Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine (Orono) - $50,000
    The Wild Blueberry Commission will expand its marketing program to expand sales of frozen Wild Blueberries in the nation's public schools. 
It is anticipated that another Agricultural Development Fund RFP will be released in the future.
otherdevOther Agriculture & Natural Resource Grants Announced
The Maine Technology Institute announced their challenge grant awards to Maine companies that included:  Pleasant River Lumber Co., Dover-Foxcroft: $4,226,000 awarded toward a total $12 million project expanding and modernizing its Dover-Foxcroft facility with the addition of a new planer mill, continuous dry kiln and high-speed small-log sawing line.
According to MTI, Pleasant River Lumber - which has 300 employees statewide and additional facilities in Jackman, Sanford, Hancock and Clinton - plans to use the latest technology "to efficiently process small logs and balsam fir, both of which currently lack sufficient markets in Maine. This will help meet the needs of Maine landowners and also provide by-products for the recovering paper mill industry and lumber for the growing Cross Laminated Timber markets."
In its sixth year of awarding small grants with big impacts to American farms and agricultural nonprofits, The FruitGuys Community Fund announced its largest class of grantees to date: 13 recipients of environmental sustainability grants totaling $47,534. This year a Maine non-profit 47 Daisies in Vassalboro is a grant recipient. Their $2,500 grant will be used to plant an orchard of peach, pear, and plum trees, as well as native wildflowers to support pollinators, and to install bat and bluebird boxes for natural pest control.
Maine Farmland Trust has awarded grants to four farms of approximately $50,000 to implement changes in order to scale up their businesses. The farms participated in the 201 track of MFT's Farming for Wholesale program and spent two years working with business advisors to research and define business plans focused on scaling up for wholesale markets. These implementation grants are competitive and applications undergo an extensive review process by a committee comprised of MFT staff and industry consultants.
The 2018 crop of grantees, all of who received around $50,000, include Tide Mill Creamery in Edmunds, Two Farmers Farm in Scarborough, Herbal Revolution in Union, and Broadturn Farm in Scarborough. The farms will use the grant funds to scale-up infrastructure, equipment, and expand marketing efforts.
interestItems of Interest
  • Scientific, Ethical, and Economic Aspects of Farm Animal Welfare CAST report authors recognize this issue is multifaceted and involves consideration of not only the biology and psychology of animals, but also people's ethical concerns. Addressing the scientific aspects of animal welfare is challenging and complicated. This paper demonstrates the need for strategic engagement related to ethical concerns when communicating with a wide range of interested stakeholders-while also remembering the importance of keeping differing perceptions and levels of knowledge in consideration.
  • The Maine Wild Leek Project is a collaboration between the University of Maine Cooperation and the Maine Natural Areas Program. The purpose of the Project is to document the distribution of wild leeks./ramps Allium tricoccum for education and conservation purposes. 
  • Mummy berry season is starting on wild blueberries. Mid April Seanna Annis reported that pinheads were found in a Waldoboro  field.  Some flowers buds were starting to swell.  With the warmer weather, the plants and fungus will be starting to move along. To receive blueberry disease reports send an email to and she will add you to her list. 
  • The Penobscot Farmers Market, located on Wilson Street in Brewer is looking for vendors. They  have between 4-5 spaces they would like to fill and are looking for a baker, honey, maple syrup, a small vegetable grower, berries of all kinds, and maybe meat.  Contact David Kousky 884-8888, or Travis Thomas 485-5301 for more details.  
  • Milk to flow again at shuttered Bangor dairy under Pineland ownership article from Bangor Daily News about cheese making plant at the former Grant's Dairy. 
  • Industrial Hemp highlighted in Hemp History Week in June. 
  • Fava Bean cover crops can add a large amount of nitrogen to soil, but must be planted as early as possible after summer crop harvest. Also, residues should not be tilled into the soil and must be left on the surface for most benefit. SARE and Massachusetts Dept of Ag research reported in the Agronomy Journal
  • Maine Grass Farmers Network also has equipment that members are able to use. 
  • Maine Hay Directory - has been put up again 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.  
  • Shared Use Farm Equipment - Maine Farmland Trust list.
  • Jobs at UMaine Extension:  
resourcesFeatured Resources

  Small Scale Mushroom Production featuring Steve Gabriel of Cornell Extension and Wellspring Farm. Focus on mushrooms that can be grown in the woods. 
Direct Marketing to Institutions: Healthcare Case Study sponsored by NCAT ATTRA. Learn how to streamline your time when forming a relationship with an institutional buyer looking at the health care market in particular. 

  2017 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health video recordings are now available. This conference sponsored by SARE highlighted insights from some of the nation's most innovative producers, conservation leaders and scientists on using cover crops to improve soil health. 
Well Fed - We follow Dutch filmmakers Hidde Boersma (also a scientist & science journalist) & Karsten de Vreugd who set on a quest to tell a story about GMOs that seldom reaches the general public.
Avian Influenza  Backyard Producers 2018:  from University of Maryland.
Online Course: 
Climate Resilience - A Course for Farmers 
Farm Centered Learning Network supported by Western Extension Risk Management Education Center. In this interactive online course, you will learn and share knowledge with climate resilient agriculture experts, experienced farmers, and MESA's network of agroecology educators.  Topics will include: Agriculture and Climate Change, Agroecology practices and principles, Resilience methods and tools, evaluating Energy in your system and more. This is a free online course. 

University of Minnesota includes pages on aronia, chokecherries, goji berries, honeyberries, service berries, wild plums, etc. 
Vegetable Packing Shed from Oregon State University Small Farms. Includes links to packing shed designs and layouts, post harvest handling & storage resources, storage buildings & construction resources, furniture designs, tote washer prototype, adjustable height packing table and spray table. 
Marketing from Cornell University Small Farms. This website includes publications and resources on general marketing, direct marketing, collaborative marketing, organic, value-added, wholesale, CSA, food hubs and agri-tourism. 

Visit the UMaine Extension online  Publications Catalog for agriculture information, such as: 

eventsUpcoming Events  
  • May 4, 2018 Getting Your Genetics Right: Converting Performance Records into Relevant Decision-Making Tools at Orono. FMI Dr. Colt Knight 581-2953 or 
  • May 4, 2018 Deadline to register for Open Farm Day with MDACF.
  • May 5, 2018 Orono Royal hosted by Maine Animal Club, UMaine, Witter Farm, 160 Witter Farm Road, Old Town. Come watch students show the heifers they have worked with throughout the semester! We will also be having some students show off sheep as well. Concessions and a raffle will be sold at this event.
  • May 6, 2018 Spring Fling Horse Show registration 7:30 am to 9 am show starts at 9:30 am at the J.F.Witter Farm & Research Center, UMaine, Orono. Hosted by the Maine Animal Club and sponsored by Forest Ridge Campground. Please email with any questions.
  • May 9, 2018 Organic Farming Principles and Practices, 9:30 am to 4 pm, MOFGA, Unity
  • May 10, 2018 Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms: farm tour & policy update, 4 - 6 pm Tour Stoneyvale Farm with Bob Fogler and Ellen Mallory of UMaine Extension to learn how farmers are building healthy soils that benefit both the climate and farm profitability. Free & open to all. Located at 226 Folger Road, Exeter. RSVP to by May 9. 
  • May 12, 2018 Mushroom Inoculation Workshop at Marr Pond Farm, 10 am to 4 pm. RSVP by May 5th by signing up here: or emailing Courtney at $30 fee. 
  • May 12, 2018 Northern Maine Sheep Producers  Annual Sheep & Goat Health Seminar,  9:00am - 3:30pm,  Presque Isle Extension office -  57 Houlton Road FMI
  • May 16, 2018 Livestock 101: Animal Handling, MOFGA at Misty Brook Farm, Albion.
  • May 17-20, 2018 Northeast Livestock Expo Windsor Fair Grounds, Windsor
  • May 21, 2018 Business Workshop Series: Pricing Your Products & Services, Penobscot Extension Office 307 Maine Ave., Bangor. 9 am to noon. Free. Click here to register and for more information. 
  • May 23, 2018 Business Workshop Series: Staying Safe: Protecting Your Small Business from Cyber Threats, by videoconference 9 am to 11 am. Free. Click here to register and for more information. 
  • May 26, 2018 FAMACHA Certification and Parasite Workshop, 10 am to 4 pm, UMaine, Witter Farm, Orono, MSBA members $20/farm, non-members $40/farm. Bring your own bag lunch. To register contact Sally Farrell, or call 207-324-2814.
  • June 1, 2018 Business Workshop Series: Empower Business Decision-Making with Market Research, by videoconference, Bangor. 9 am to noon. Free.  Click here to register and for more information. 
  • June 2 - 3, 2018 Maine Fiber Frolic at Windsor Fair Grounds, 9 am to 4 pm. Maine's premier sheep & wool festival. 
  • June 3, 2018, 2018 Sheep Shearing Competition!  Hosted by Maine Fiber Frolic at Windsor Fairgrounds  at 1:00pm.  Come compete, volunteer, or cheer on your favorite shearer at the  ONLY SHEEP SHEARING COMPETITION IN MAINE!  To sign up for this event or to become a sponsor, contact event coordinator: Edie Kershner at or call (207)322-­4601.
  • June 3, 2018 Maine Sheep Breeders Association Annual Wool Pool 8 am to noon at the Fiber Festival, Windsor. 
  • June 6, 2018 Summer Orchard Care sponsored by MOFGA, $50 fee.
  • June 14 or July 26, 2018 Poultry Processing Workshop sponsored by MOFGA. $75 fee.
  • June 11 - 14, 2018 Maine Meat Cutting School has been canceled for 2018
  • June 23, 2018 Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA. Free.
  • June 27, 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Crops Field Day at Rogers & Smith Farm in Orono. Hold the date, more details later. 
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 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)