Farm Scoop – December 2015

January 11, 2016
Specialty Crop Producer Buying Opportunities — One-on-One Meetings

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is hosting an event for interested Wholesale Specialty Crop Producers from Maine and local Wholesale Buyers to meet one-on-one for networking, introductions and future sales opportunities.

This event will be held on Monday, January 11th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center. It will start with a short reception for Specialty Crop Producers to visit table top displays and sign up for meeting times, followed by short and timed buyer and producer one-on-one meetings. Service Providers will also be on-site throughout to take one-on-one meetings or answer wholesale specific questions.

Sign up for this event is free, however, space is limited so advance sign up is required. All attendance requests must be received by Sunday, January 3rd, 2016. Reservations may be cut off prior to the listed deadline if capacity is reached, so sign up early!

Please confirm your attendance by emailing Jessica Nixon. All included on the attendance list will receive set up instructions and suggested tips on how to prepare for this event.

January 20 – February 24, 2016
Holistic Financial Planning (BF 203)

Building Farm Profit Into the Picture

Webinars will be on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. EST

If you’ve been struggling to make your farm operation profitable without driving yourself into the ground, this financial planning course is for you. Ultimately it will help you with the delicate balancing act that all farmers must succeed in:  balancing healthy profits with healthy land and a healthy farm family and personal life.

You will learn how to make financial decisions toward farm & family values and goals, and how to build profit into your plans up front, rather than hoping there is something left once expenses are subtracted from income. If you have been struggling with the financial statements in your business plan, this is a great course to help you focus in on these and get clear on your numbers.

More information and registration can be found online.

get real. get Maine! Scheduled Website Upgrades Notification

The get real. get Maine! program and website are promotional resources of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (MDACF) intended to be a tool for farmers and producers to directly reach consumers. MDACF makes updates to this website to continuously improve on the connections between Maine agricultural producers and the important and growing market for local products, with the intent that producers have continued access to their own listings for updating and promoting. There will be some upcoming functionality changes taking place January 12th, 2016 – January 31st, 2016 which will impact listings on this website.

Scheduled Upgrades:

The get real. get Maine! website will continue to be a free resource for its users to update their listings and have access to consumers seeking products and services. Our January 2016 upgrades will be changing this website over to a membership based approach where users will have the ability to annually renew their membership on this website. This will require a quick call to action for users moving forward, just once a year, to relay that they wish to continue using this free resource and to verify the accuracy of the data. Those who opt not to renew or respond will then be removed from the website so as to provide the public with the most relevant and current information possible when they search for local products. Contact Jessica Nixon or call 207.287.3494 for information, or if you have questions.

Grazing Management Course (BF 231)
January 14 – February 18, 2016

Improve Your Triple Bottom Line Through Better Grazing an online course through the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project.

Grazing means more than simply turning livestock out onto a green area and hoping for the best. With planning and basic grazing infrastructure, you can reduce your workload, keep your animals fat and happy, and improve your soil health through grazing. In this course, you’ll learn the key concepts of successful grazing operations.

This course is designed for livestock producers who have already initiated grazing practices on their farm, and who have at least a basic knowledge of the grazing behavior of their animals and of their pasture ecosystems. Producers who do not yet have livestock are welcome to participate. More information and registration can be found online.

USDA Removes Farm Program Payments to Managers Not Actively Engaged in Farming

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today finalized a rule to ensure that farm safety-net payments are issued only to active managers of farms that operate as joint ventures or general partnerships, consistent with the direction and authority provide by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill. The action, which exempts family farm operations, closes a loophole where individuals who were not actively part of farm management still received payments. More information can be found at USDA Removes Farm Program Payments to Managers (Word).

2016 Maine Vegetable & Fruit School
March 15 and 16, 2016

Held at Seasons Event & Conference Center in Portland on March 15 and at the Bangor Motor Inn on March 16. More information will be available next month.

get real. get Maine! Product Showcase

The Showcase will take place on Tuesday, January 12, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the 75th Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show. This showcase is a special opportunity for get Real. get Maine! producers to showcase their products at one of the biggest agricultural events in the state.

Producers who are members of get Real. get Maine! may apply for a space in the showcase. A limited number of exhibit spaces are available; the fee for each 8’ x 10’ exhibit space is only $75.00. This fee will include the cost of any electrical hookups, tables, and chairs. Wireless internet access is available through the Augusta Civic Center.

To apply for exhibit space at the 2016 Maine Agricultural Trades Show, please visit, the Get Real, Get Maine! online registration. Please fill out the online application as accurately and in as much detail as possible. In order to sample food & beverage at your booth, you must present a copy of your food & beverage license and/or certificate with your application.

Hurry, registration ends Friday, December 11th, 2015. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

2015 New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference ad

New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference and Trade Show

The New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference and Trade Show will be held December 15, 16, 17 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH and will include more than 25 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special topics. A Farmer to Farmer meeting after each morning and afternoon session will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussion on certain issues.

There is also an extensive Trade Show with over 100 exhibitors. We hope that you will enjoy your time here, and meet with fellow growers, advisors, researchers, and industry representatives. We want you to leave with new ideas and new information that will have a positive impact on your farm.

To register, go to

Pesticide Applicator Exam Training for Growers
January 12, 2016

This training will be held at the Augusta Civic Center, Fort Western Room

Training – 10:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Exams – 2:15 p.m. – 4:00p.m.

UMaine Cooperative Extension/Maine Board of Pesticides Control—Fort Western Room Pre-registration is required* UMCE and BPC will present a three-hour training session to prepare growers for the Private Pesticide Applicator Core exam.

In the afternoon, Core exams will be administered only to those who attended the training.

*Pre-registration required for the exam training. Please register online to reserve a seat.

For growers that are already licensed, a continuing education program will also be offered that morning. This will be held in the Fort Western Room, 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. (One pesticide applicator recertification credit approved).

Medical Marijuana Pest Management and BMPs—Kathy Murray, DACF

*No registration is required for the continuing education class.

Raspberry School
January 14, 2016

Raspberry School will be held at the Augusta Civic Center. More information and the agenda can be found on a blog post on the Highmoor Farm website.

Farmer Veteran Coalition — Maine Chapter’s documentary film event showing, Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields
December 3Searsport

“Our warriors are coming home from battle. They face a daunting transition back to civilian life, marked by unemployment, prescription drug addiction and astronomical suicide rates. They need a new mission.  Simultaneously, we are losing half of American farmers to retirement and the USDA is calling for one million new farmers to fill the gap.  Agriculture’s problem is the veterans’ solution. “Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields” champions combat vets who are rebuilding their own lives as organic farmers and ranchers and revitalizing their communities with access to local, affordable, fresh, healthy food. These heroes blow the lid off stereotypes and you’ll be rooting for them all the way to your farmers market.

For more information regarding the Farmer Veteran Coalition-Maine and its brand ‘Homegrown by Heroes’ please call or email Jerry Ireland, or 207.322.7625 or check out their Facebook page.