Farm Scoop – May 2017

2017 Census of Agriculture

Make Sure Your Farm Counts!

NASS conducts a census of all agricultural operations every five years as well as other agricultural surveys. We need to know about all types of agricultural operations of all sizes. The Information you provide is kept confidential by law and will not be disclosed to any other government or private entity.

Organic Farming — Principles and Practices: May 17-18, 2017

MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, Unity

$100 per day or $150 for both days Discounts for MOFGA members.

This is a two-day immersion course for MOFGA apprentices but is open to any participants interested in learning the fundamental principles and practices of organic farming. Register online.

Join specialists from MOFGA’s Agricultural Services Department and a panel of organic farmers for a two-day introductory course in organic farming. Register for either or both days. Lunch will be provided.

Day one will focus on the fundamentals of organic vegetable farming. MOFGA’s Eric Sideman, Organic Crops Specialist, and Dave Colson, Agricultural Services Director, will cover theory and best practices for organic management of soils, and cover plant families. After lunch we will tour a neighboring farm.

Day two will address the fundamentals of organic livestock husbandry, production systems, and pasture management taught by MOFGA’s Organic Livestock Specialist Diane Schivera and a panel of organic farmers.

Overnight accommodations are available (contact to reserve).

Pasture Walk and Forage Management Demonstration: May 16, 2017

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a pasture walk and no-till drill demonstration from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, (rain date May 17) at Kennebec Cheesery, 795 Pond Road, Sidney.

Pasture and hay management topics include soil fertility, forage selection, weed management and reseeding decisions. The demonstration will show how a no-till grass seeder can be used to renovate pastures and hayfields without disturbing the soil. Tours of the farm will be available and UMaine Extension faculty will lead a discussion and answer questions.

The program is free; pre-registration is required by May 15. To register or to request a disability accommodation, call the Kennebec County Extension office, 207.622.7546,

Open Farm Day Registration Closes May 19, 2017

Don’t miss your chance to participate in the 28th Anniversary of Open Farm Day scheduled on Sunday, July 23rd, 2017! We are looking forward to this opportunity to promote Maine’s diverse agricultural community.

Open Farm Day is the perfect way to connect with neighbors, your town, interested visitors, and tourists, and teach them about how their food and fiber is produced. Many who attend bring children to learn and connect with local farms. If you would like to participate, please sign up online and complete the online form.

Conservation Compliance (AD-1026) Deadline June 1, 2017

All farmers must have the Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Compliance form (AD-1026) filed for their current entity by June 1, 2017, with their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Anytime a farmer changes their entity (name, entity type, Substantial Beneficial Interest [SBI], or SBI percentages), they must re-file their AD-1026 with FSA as soon as possible or they may lose USDA program benefits. Farmers who have previously filed their AD-1026 do not need to re-file if entity changes have not occurred.

Farmers should contact FSA to verify their AD-1026 status. For more information on crop insurance in Maine please visit the Maine Risk Management and Crop Insurance Education Program website or contact Crop Insurance Education Program Manager Erin Roche or 207.949.2490.

The 17th Annual Maine Fiber Frolic: June 3 & 4, 2017

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM each day, Windsor Fairgrounds, Windsor, Maine

Have you ever seen a sheep shorn, petted an alpaca, walked along side of a llama, combed an angora bunny, spun wool into yarn, felted wool into fabric?

Come immerse yourself in Maine’s tradition of keeping small farms alive while supporting your local independent farm. Maine fiber breeders and fiber artists celebrate the 17th year of the Maine Fiber Frolic on June 3 and 4 2017, Maine’s premier sheep and wool event!

If you are looking for a special event for your child or the child in you, stop by the fair on Saturday and Sunday and be entertained by Maine’s Dan Grady, “Marvelous Marionette Medley.” The show is a fast-paced, stringed puppet production comprised of routines that have that special something which is sure to tantalize, captivate, enchant and delight all those who attend. Show times are 10:00, 12:00, and 2:00. On Saturday the fair will showcase Maine’s “Long Branch Boys” playing original bluegrass tunes from 11am-2pm on Saturday.

If this is your first visit, the Maine Fiber Frolic extends a warm Maine welcome to Maine families. The Maine Fiber Frolic happens rain or shine, with an admission of $5.00 adults, $2.00 seniors, $8.00 for a 2-day-pass, and children under 12 are free.

Applications of UAVs/Drones and LiDAR in Agriculture and Forestry

Drone Technology and LiDAR Conference
June 16, 2017
8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

University of Maine at Presque Isle Campus Center

To register or become a sponsor, visit the Maine GIS User Group website.

For more information, contact Chunzeng Wang at or Joseph Young at

Licensed Foresters will receive 4.5 category-1 CFE credits and 0.5 category-2 CFE credits.

Agenda (PDF)

Portland Food Launch: Thursday, June 22, 2017

Day-long business and networking sessions for Maine food entrepreneurs and producers.

8:00 AM: Keynote address with Founder & Owner of Holy Donuts Leigh Kellis. Hear about Leigh’s road to success as the 2017 SBA Maine Small Business Person of the Year and how Holy Donuts’ employees are giving back to their communities.

Cowabunga 5K and Family Dairy Day: Sunday, June 25, 2017

The MDACF will be partnering with the Maine Dairy Promotion Board to host the inaugural Cowabunga 5K and Family Dairy Day in Portland, ME. The event will feature a 5K run/walk, local farmers, live calves, educational demonstrations, local and state dairy businesses and organizations, and dairy products for attendees. Proceeds will be donated to the Howard C. Reiche Community School’s food pantry, which operates through the summer, as part of the Milk2MyPlate program.

Any inquiries can be directed to Ashley Sears or Jami Badershall at the Maine Dairy Promotion Board,

Apply Now for August Armed to Farm Training in Maine

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is partnering with United Farmer Veterans of Maine (UFVME) to bring its Armed to Farm (ATF) training to the Northeast. Veterans who want to attend the week-long training in Bangor, Maine, can apply online now.

ATF allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore career opportunities in agriculture. At ATF, participants learn about business planning, budgeting, recordkeeping, marketing, livestock production, fruit and vegetable production, and more. Participants gain a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farm. In addition, ATF attendees join a nationwide network of supportive farmer-veterans and agricultural advisors.

ATF trainings include an engaging blend of farm tours, hands-on activities, and interactive classroom instruction. NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will teach the training sessions. Staff from USDA Agencies and experienced crop and livestock producers will provide additional instruction.

Applications are available at the NCAT website and are due by July 12, 2017.

This training is for veterans in the Northeast, with preference given to those in Maine. The number of participants will be limited. NCAT will notify selected participants by July 19. Spouses are welcome to apply as well.

Dates, Location, and Cost

Armed to Farm will take place August 21-25, 2017, in Bangor, Maine. Participants will attend classroom sessions and travel to local farms, including several successful, veteran-owned operations, for hands-on learning experiences.

The event is free for those chosen to attend; lodging, transportation to local farms, and most meals will be provided. Participants must pay their own travel costs to and from the event.


NCAT is organizing and hosting this Armed to Farm event in partnership with the UFVME. Financial support comes from the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.


Please contact Margo Hale at or 479.442.9824.