Volume 8 | January 2019
Your monthly news & updates
What's New?
Caribou Native Named Dean of University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Maine Agricultural Trades Show (MATS)- January 15 - 17, 2019
2019 Ag Leadership Kick Off
Maine Agriculture Needs Sessions - Calling All Farmers
Maine Agriculture Development Grant Proposals Now Being Accepted
Beginning Farmer Resource Network Workshops
Expanding Opportunities for Small-Scale Farms in the Specialty Food Market
Reducing Legal Risks Through On-Line Education
Improving On-farm Communication with UMaine Extension
Farm Labor Sessions at MATS
Respirator Fit Testing at MATS
Pesticide Recertification Training at MATS
Flowering the North Conference
Strawberry School at MATS
Items of Interest
Featured Resources
Upcoming Events
Newsletter Subscription Information
Mission and Quick Links
Local Weather Anytime - Need Pesticide Credits?
Hannah Carter portrait
Caribou, Maine native Hannah Carter has been named dean of University of Maine Cooperative Extension, effective May 1.
Carter is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida (UF), which is part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). She also directs UF’s Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, and is interim director of the UF/IFAS Center for Leadership.
Carter received her Ph.D. and master’s degree in agricultural education and communication, specializing in agricultural leadership and Extension education, from the University of Florida, and has been a member of the UF community since 1997. She is a graduate of the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
“For more than a decade, Dr. Carter has been involved in leadership development programming on state and national levels, particularly as it pertains to agriculture and Cooperative Extension,” says Jeffrey Hecker, UMaine executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “She also knows UMaine Extension and the difference it can make — from 4-H, the most successful out-of-school youth education program in Maine, to the integrated pest management program that supports the state’s agriculture industries. The fact that, following an extensive national search, the candidate who rose to the top of the applicant pool has deep roots in Maine is the icing on the cake. We are thrilled that Hannah will return to her home state to lead the university’s most extensive community outreach enterprise.”
Photo: UMaine
Maine Agricultural Trades Show
January 15 - 17, 2019
Augusta Civic Center

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.  
The whole program is available on the  GetRealMaine.com  website.   
farm field day talk
Thursday, January 17, 2019
12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Please join the conversation! How do producers and service providers meet the needs in Maine for building and developing Agriculture Leadership capacity? This half-day session will begin building a plan for developing the capacity of producers and service providers to advocate for the needs of the Maine agricultural industry.

We need your knowledge and ideas to shape the future of agriculture in Maine! Attend an upcoming work session to share your thoughts about what you need to strengthen your farm business and grow Maine agriculture.

When & Where
At the following Cooperative Extension offices:
·    Waldoboro, Jan. 10, 10am-12pm (snow date Jan. 30, 10am-12pm), 377 Manktown Rd.
o  Locally-sourced refreshments provided.
o  RSVPs are appreciated!
·    Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Jan. 16, 5-6pm and Jan. 17, 10-11:30am, 76 Community Dr., Augusta
Can’t attend a session? Visit https://sites.google.com/view/maineagneeds for more information about a webinar and online survey.
The Division of Agricultural Resource Development at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF) has released its Request for Proposals for the 2019 Agricultural Development Grants.
This program provides grants to conduct market promotion, market research and development, value-added processing and new technology demonstration projects. Public agencies, private companies (such as farms and food producers), and non-profit organizations and institutions are eligible to apply. Proposals due by January 31, 2019. The grants are competitive, and matching funds (which can be in-kind) are required.
Each year, the DACF Commissioner determines priority issues for the grant program. This year’s priorities include projects that:
  • assist farms in increasing sales to institutions
  • improve sales to local buyers
  • help farms diversify markets
  • help Maine farms adapt to drought and other climate-related crop disturbances.
The Agricultural Development Grant program was created in 1996, capitalized by the interest earned on the   Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund bond.
A new Maine law, “An Act to Expand the Local Foods Economy by Promoting Local Foods Procurement,” will create new opportunities for farmers and food producers seeking to expand their local and institutional markets. Agricultural Development Grants are one way producers may pursue such expansion.
The Request for Proposals is available online at:  https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/grants/agricultural_development.shtml
For more information, contact: 
Leigh Hallett, Director, Division of Agricultural Resource Development, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, at 207-215-7388 (cell) or by e-mail at   Leigh.Hallett@Maine.gov.
Beginning Farmer Resource Network logo
Beginning Farmer Resource Network (BFRN) Workshops
BFRN will host a variety of programs throughout this year’s Maine Agricultural Trades Show, with special workshops on Wednesday, Jan. 16. While the free BFRN workshops focus on the needs of aspiring and beginning farmers, they are open to all who are interested in attending.
Digging into Soils: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. (Aroostook/Androscoggin Room) Join soil scientists and farmers who have worked together to apply innovative strategies to improve soil health. Learn how different soil types influence management and what methods farmers are using to increase soil health, decrease fertility needs, and improve soil water management.
Gearing up after Buying Land: 10 a.m. – noon (Piscataquis Room) You’ve purchased your farm land, now how do you set up the infrastructure to make it work for you now and into the future? Learn how farmers have worked with technical service providers to realize their production and financial goals.
Problem Solving Resources: Figuring out who to call: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. (Aroostook/Androscoggin Room) Hear from experienced farmers who’ve worked with professional agricultural and business service providers to solve a variety of problems on their farms. Learn how service providers can help you identify problems and strategize/plan solutions to become trusted members of your professional resource team.
Making Your Woods Work for You: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Piscataquis Room) Your woodlands can be an economic and ecological asset for your farm. Learn how you can work with local professionals. Program features farmers and professionals from the Maine Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Soil & Water Conservation Districts.
BFRN will also offer presentations each morning of the Trades Show on the Main Stage beginning at 9:15 a.m., and Agricultural Service Providers working with BRFN will also be on hand each day to meet with farmers in the Knox Room and discuss opportunities for farm business success.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “a beginning farmer is someone who has operated a farm for ten years or less.” Since this definition is used for all USDA beginning farmer loan programs, it has become the most commonly accepted definition. Nearly one third of the farmers in Maine reported having 10 years or less of experience on their present farm, according to the latest USDA 2012 Agricultural Census.
For more information visit the BFRN website at:  https://extension.umaine.edu/beginning-farmer-resource-network/  or contact  Tori Jackson : (207) 353-5500 or   Stephanie Gilbert : (207) 287-7520.
Oregon State University researchers determined through surveys and interviews,
that many specialty manufacturers are interested in sourcing directly from smaller farmers. The key advantages that smaller farmers offer include quality assurance, traceability, reliability, and trust. Many of these benefits can be highlighted in marketing messages that carry farmer stories through to consumers. The challenges of sourcing from these farmers include assuring a year-round supply, higher cost, and meeting food safety standards.
They developed five factsheets:
Benefit: How Can Sourcing Directly from Farmers Benefit Specialty Food Manufacturers?
• Criteria : What Criteria Must You Meet to Sell to Specialty Food Manufacturers?
• Connections : How Can Farmers and Specialty Food Manufacturers Connect?
• Standards : What Standards Must You Meet to Supply Ingredients to Specialty Food Manufacturers?
• Value Added : Should You Produce Your Own Specialty Food Products?
They also produced a 51-minute webinar that features a farmer and a manufacturer who currently participate in this sector. In this  webinar , they discuss their experiences as they relate to these five fact sheets

Weather-based crop management tools are a strategy farmers can use to increase resilience to extreme weather. Farmers and service providers are invited to five sessions about using weather-based tools 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Augusta Civic Center, Howard Room, 76 Community Drive.
The free sessions, to be held during the Maine Agricultural Trades Show, are sponsored by the Maine Climate and Agriculture Network, which is organized through UMaine.
Pesticide and CCA credits available.
white barn with red doors

On-farm communication is critical for farm viability, and is one of the most common sources of conflict and frustration for farmers, family members, employees, and customers.

Your participation in   Improving Communication  will give you tools to adapt to different communication styles, structure dialogue between generations, identify obstacles to shifting management roles, and improve internal and external communication.

Jan. 8, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., at University of Maine Cooperative Extension Hancock County office, 63 Boggy Brook Road, Ellsworth
Feb. 5, 9 a.m.–noon,  online only

COST:  $15/person or $25/couple, and includes workbook and refreshments for live trainings; $10/person for online session. Register  online  . 
Farmers have been asking for assistance learning legal requirements around employment law, tips in creating leases, financing, insurance, help selecting business structures to protect personal and business assets, and understanding Agritourism and value-added rules. They have also asked that it be more accessible and easier for them to attend, rather than day long conferences.
To meet this demand we have designed a program that you can participate in from your kitchen table. The program consist of five different modules, completely on-line, allowing you to go back to the material as many times as you want or need. You read the material and complete the live exercises at the time of your choosing and directly apply the laws and regulations to your own farm. Have additional questions during the program? We will have, three, on-line video conferences with the experts. This will allow question and answer access to the best Ag lawyers in the industry and extension contacts. All the materials are state specific for ME, NH, VT, MD and DE.
First session starts Jan. 28th.
Farm Labor Sessions at Maine's Agricultural Trades Show
Have you experienced challenges finding good labor on your farm? If this is the case, you are not alone. Join the Farm Labor Link Network, MOFGA, University of Cooperative Extension, the Maine Department of Labor, legal experts, and fellow farmers on Tuesday (January, 15th) at the Agricultural Trades Show.
Session I: 9-11am:  
For more information contact: Yvette Meunier at (207) 592-0640 or  Yvette.meunier@maine.gov .
Photo: Remsberg
Respirator Fit Testing at the State of Maine 
Agricultural Trades Show
Get your Respirator Fit Test done at the State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 15th and 16th. Under the revised  Worker Protection Standards , anyone applying pesticides that require the use of a respirator, must complete (and maintain a record of) a respirator fit test. Respirator fit tests must be completed with the same make, model, size, and style of respirator that will be used in the field. Prior to respirator fit testing, each applicator must pass (and maintain a record of) a medical evaluation demonstrating they are physically fit enough to wear a respirator.
Pre-registration is required.  Registration costs $15. For more information on testing requirements and to register, contact Lynne Hazelton at the UMaine Cumberland County Cooperative Extension Office at 207.781.6099.
Pesticide Recertification Training and Initial Training at Maine Ag Trades Show
This three day event offers many opportunities to earn pesticide recertification credits.
There will also be a Core Training for Private and Agricultural Basic pesticide licenses on January 15, 2019. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. When spots are filled individuals will be added to a wait list.  Details and sign-up

Pre-Conference, January 28, 2019
Main Conference, January 29 & 30, 2019
Abromson Center of the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

A winter meeting to share knowledge about Zone 5 growing, marketing, and designing with farm fresh flowers.

Pre-Conference: Looking to grow your wedding and event design game? Come join us for a hands-on day-long workshop with a talented team of expert designers.Stacy Brenner from Broadturn Farm, Carolyn Snell of Carolyn Snell Designs, Anna Jane Kocon of Little State Flower Farm and author and designer Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo East will team up to teach for the day.

Main Conference Topics Include: 
  • Organic Certification for Flowers
  • On-Farm Communication and Strategies
  • Harvest and Post Harvest Efficiency
  • Planning Your Planting Season
  • Nutrient and Water Management Strategies
  • Costs and Value: Pricing and Marketing Flowers
  • Field Spring Crops
  • Hoophouse Crops
  • Dahlias
  • Woody Crops
  • and more!
Thursday, January 17, 2019  
10:00 AM to 4:30 PM Fort Western Room
Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center
This school is designed to help people who are interested in strawberry production as a commercial enterprise. Interest in commercial strawberry production in Maine is expanding due to the high crop value and increased consumer demand. Basic site requirements, site preparation, plant selection, care of young plants, nutrient management, pest management and business management will be discussed with Dr. David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
A registration fee of $25 will be charged for participation in the Strawberry School and space is limited, so preregistration is strongly advised. Please register by January 11, 2019. Participants will also have the opportunity to purchase the Strawberry Production Guide for the Northeast, Midwest and Eastern Canada at the school for an excellent reference companion to the workshop. Cost for the book is $45. Cash and checks will be accepted at the registration table; checks should be made out to “University of Maine Cooperative Extension”.
Two Pesticide Applicator recertification credit hours will be available for participants who attend the entire school.
Register online at  Click here for more information. or contact Pam St. Peter at  pamela.stpeter@maine.edu  or 207.933.2100 to preregister before January 11, 2019.
Items of Interest
  • Personal Protective Equipment On-line Catalog from New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health.
  • The American Lamb Board's Local Lamb Promotional Funding program is designed to expand ALB's efforts to promote American Lamb throughout the country. The program provides funds to state and local lamb organizations to support activities and programs that promote American Lamb at the local level to consumers, media, chefs, and/or retailers.Applications are due February 28, 2019.
  • We just saw a news report of a Goat Farm accepting Christmas trees after the season is over. ATTRA-NCAT has an interesting publication on Vegetation Management Services as part of their sheep and goat marketing tips series.
  • Missouri Farmer Pleads Guilty to $140 Million Organic Grain Fraud Scheme of selling conventionally produced grain as certified organic.
  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are continuing to provide free consults to Maine farmers through January 2019 on production and financial record-keeping. Consults will be done by phone, email and video chat unless in-person assistance is needed. Consults are free, confidential, and require only a participant’s time. For more information, to set up a consultation or request a reasonable accommodation, contact Calvert Schaefer at 443.340.4324, calvert.schaefer@maine.edu.
  • 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.
Featured Resources
Getting the Best from Yourself and Your Employees Online Tuesdays, January 8, 15 & 22, 2019 from 10:30-Noon Eastern Time Cost: $70 for the series. National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S.D.A. Register Now
Small Farm Webinar Series : U. of Illinois. Free sessions in 2019. Topics include: Understanding Financial Statements, Growing and Processing Industrial Hemp, Digital Marketing in Local Food Systems, Healthy Soil - Healthy Vegetables, etc.
Women in Ag - Virtual Conference, Jan. 23, 2019 Noon to 4 pm.

Training Modules:
Biosecurity Training Modules For Poultry Keepers The six biosecurity training modules developed by U of Nebraska- Lincoln provide the information you need to understand what biosecurity is, how you can use it to develop a biosecurity program to help keep disease from spreading to your flock, and how to recognize the signs of disease.

Our Farms, Our Future - SARE Podcast Series. Sustainability on the farm.

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

Upcoming Events
  • January 8, 2019 Tri-State Greenhouse IPM, Longfellows Greenhouses, Manchester, ME These workshops are for growers with greenhouses or high tunnels, extension specialists and professional pest managers. Click here for more information (pdf)
  • January 8, 2019 Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training, Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor, 9 am to 6 pm. $20. Grant funded - limited to Maine residents only. Register online or by contacting theresa.tiliton@maine.edu or call 207-942-7396.
  • January 15 to 17, 2019 Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta.
  • January 16, 2019 Maine Beef Producers Annual Meeting, 1 pm - Oxford Rm at the Ag Trades Show.  Meet your Board of Directors and other producers. There will be educational presentations and a farm profile by Steve Sinisi of Old Crow Farm in Durham.
  • January 23 & 24, 2019 Maine Potato Conference at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center in Caribou, Maine. The Central Aroostook Young Farmers (CAYF) Trade Show will also be at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center with informational booths. For more information and to register online click here.
  • January 24, 2019 Cooking for Crowds–Food Safety Training for Volunteer Cooks  at the UMaine Extension office, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor. Cost is $15 per person for the class, which meets the Good Shepherd Food Bank safety training requirements.
  • January 28-30, 2019 - Flowering in the North, flower growers' conference, University of Southern Maine, Abromson Center, 88 Bedford St., Portland. Share knowledge about zone 5 growing, wholesaling, retailing and designing with farm-fresh flowers. Cosponsored by MOFGA, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Snell Family Farm, Broadturn Farm and the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Information. Email lynne.b.hazelton@maine.edu to be notified when registration opens.  
  • January 29 to 31, 2019 Women in Agriculture Virtual Conference. noon to 4 pm each day. Sponsored by eXtension.org.
  • February 28, 2019, UMaine Wild Blueberry Conference, Black Bear Inn, Orono, ME. Topics include: Management updates on diseases, pollinators and weeds; New ideas about precision agriculture, post-harvest quality and blueberry fertility; Valuable insight into food safety requirements. For more information and to register click here.
  • March 21, 2019 Dairy Seminar, Elks Club, Waterville.
  • March 21, 2019 Home & Small-scale Greenhouse Program, 10 am to noon, Piscataquis Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft, Matt Wallhead, speaker. $10 per person. Registration online or by calling 207-564-3301.
  • March 23, 2019 Grazing Conference, KVCC Hinkley. More details later.
  • March 25, 2019 Hay / Pasture Seminar, 6 pm to 9 pm at the Piscataquis Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft, Rick Kersbergen speaker. More details later.
  • March 27, 2019 Hay / Pasture Seminar, 9 am to noon at the Penobscot Extension Office, Bangor, Rick Kersbergen speaker. More details later.
  • March 29, 2019 (snow date April 4) Produce Safety Training for Farmers, Dover Foxcroft Congregational Church, Dover-Foxcroft. Sponsored by UMaine Extension. More details later.
  • April 13, 2019 Small Ruminant: What tests can tell. Foxcroft Large Animal Veterinary Associates, Dexter Rd., Dover-Foxcroft. More details later.
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