Agriculture Is Alive and Well in Maine!

By Ellen Gibson

2 chickens
“Have you heard? The Ag. Trades Show is coming soon!”

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Instead, save the dates for the Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show taking place at the Augusta Civic Center on

  • Tuesday, January 14: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
  • Wednesday, January 15: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 16: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, this event is free and open to the public.

Maine AgrAbility staff and Advisory Council members will be on the exhibit floor and look forward to meeting you in person. Our theme this year is “What stresses you out on the farm?

Hmmm. Stressors could include health issues, intergenerational households, communicating clearly, equipment breakdowns, keeping organized, keeping track of finances, figuring out a farm succession plan, keeping track of the weather, or hiring labor. Maine AgrAbility can point you to many resources to help control stress and build resilience in your farm business: apps on your smartphone, polls in your computer, networks in your community. Stop by our booth and we can show you some of the places to start.

Staff from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will be on the exhibition floor, too, to answer all your farm and gardening questions from beekeeping to recordkeeping and everything in between. Choose from an extensive collection of farm and garden publications for sale, and don’t miss the delicious apples they give away from Highmoor Farm.

Workshops are the heart of this show. On Wednesday, January 15 at 11:00, Maine AgrAbility will be joining with other members of the Beginning Farmer Resource Network of Maine to present “Increasing your Scale and Efficiency with Mechanization.” What is the best time to scale up, and what tools and equipment offer the best return on investment?

There are so many great workshops and informational sessions offered, it’s hard to choose just one day to attend. Here is a small sampling:

It’s often said that soil is the key to your farm’s productivity. Healthy Soils 101 is one of the sessions in a series offered by the Maine Vegetable and Fruit Growers. If you have questions about the federal Food Safety Modernization Act and what it means for your farm, there is a session on Food Safety for Produce Farms. Understanding the balance of the insects in your garden is an ongoing challenge. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) can help with a session called New Pests of the Block. All this takes place between 9-10 a.m. on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, you can attend the Maine Woodland Owners Annual Meeting along with a number of sessions on best forestry practices. In addition, there will be meetings for sheep breeders, beekeepers, and the New England Emu Association. On Thursday, find out about farmers’ markets, growing hemp, and the Maine Senior Farm Share program.

For a complete schedule and guide to the Show, go to State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show!

We hope to see you there!