Farm Scoop – December 2018

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 for back to back sessions to explore options and share ideas for addressing farm labor shortage on Tuesday January, 15th at the Agricultural Trades Show. Come find us with your labor questions. All are welcome!

Session I: 9-10am:  How to stay staffed throughout the summer

In a tight labor market what are your strategies to keep your farming operations rolling this coming season? In this panel session the Farm Labor Link Network will examine hiring incentive programs, the H2A temporary worker program, and provide you with the resources to recruit and retain employees.

Session II: 10-11am: Farm Labor Roundtable

The Farm Labor Link Network along with other service providers including MOFGA, University of Cooperative Extension, and Maine Department of Labor is coordinating an open discussion about agricultural labor needs and brainstorming solutions.

For more information, contact Yvette Meunier at (207) 592-0640 or

Opportunities to earn Pesticide Recertification Credits: 78th Annual Agricultural Trades Show

Augusta Civic Center, January 15-17

This three day event offers many opportunities to earn pesticide recertification credits.

Click here to view the sessions offering credits (PDF).

  • Calibration
  • Pollinators
  • Plant diseases
  • Emerging invasive insects
  • and so much more!

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. Click here for details and sign-up.

For more information about the Board of Pesticides Control visit

Flowering in the North Conference 

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

Pre-Conference: Focus on Design & Management for Weddings
Date: January 28, 2019
Location: Abromson Center of the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
Cost: $400 per person
Register online here (link).

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. We will cover all aspects of running a design business starting with marketing your work and the initial conversation with a client, to landing the job, pricing your work and getting the contract signed. We’ll discuss the work schedule leading up to the wedding, selecting and sourcing local blooms, and how floral design fits into a farm operation. You’ll get to dive in with a hands-on design session to create gorgeous design work that you’ll be excited to share with your future customers. Let us help you take your floral design business to the next level. 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: Flowering in the North
Date: January 29 & 30, 2019
Location: Abromson Center of the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
Cost: $150 per person
Register online here (link).

Main Conference Session Topics: 

  • Organic Certification for Flowers
  • On-Farm Communication & Strategies
  • Harvest & Post Harvest Efficiency
  • Planning your Planting Season
  • Nutrient & Water Management Strategies
  • Costs and Value: Pricing & Marketing Flowers
  • Field Spring Crops
  • Hoophouse Crops
  • Dahlias
  • Woody Crops
  • …and more!

Sponsors: The University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, Snell Family Farm, and Broadturn Farm

Upcoming Event: Strawberry School

Thursday, January 17, 2019    10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Maine Agricultural Trades Show
Fort Western Room, Augusta Civic Center
76 Community Drive, Augusta, Maine 04330

Preregistration is strongly encouraged. Please register by January 11, 2019.

Are you interested in growing strawberries as a commercial crop? Would this crop work well on your land?  Would strawberries give a bump to your bottom line?

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.

The school will be held in the Fort Western Room at the Augusta Civic Center during the 2019 Maine Agricultural Trades Show, which runs January 15-17; so, participants will have an opportunity to come early and spend some time looking at the supplies, equipment and services on exhibit that are available to help them with strawberry or other agricultural enterprises. Admission to the Trades Show is free.

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”.

We anticipate that there will be Pesticide Applicator recertification credits available for participants who attend the entire school.

Register online (link) or contact Pam St. Peter at or 207.933.2100 to preregister before January 11, 2019.

Any person with a disability who needs accommodations to participate in this program should contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request; however, all request will be considered.

Strawberry School Agenda

10:00 AM – The Strawberry Plant: What You Should Know
10:30 AM – Varieties
11:00 AM – Pre-plant Considerations and Preparation
11:30 AM – Irrigation Options
12:00 PM – LUNCH BREAK (on your own)
1:00 PM – Matted Row Perennial Production
2:00 PM – Plasticulture Production: June-bearing Plants
2:45 PM – Plasticulture Production: Day-neutral Plants for Off-season Harvest
3:15 PM – Pest Identification and Management
3:45 PM – Post-harvest Handling and Marketing Options
4:00 PM – Questions and Discussion

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Webinar: Orientation to Agricultural Worker Health

Join us for an upcoming webinar on Orientation to Agricultural Worker Health!

Tuesday, December 18th, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, CST

This training program is intended to provide new health center staff members with an orientation to the migrant and seasonal agricultural worker population and the Migrant Health Program.

This webinar will provide an orientation to agricultural worker health, including demographics, working and living conditions, occupational health and safety, unique health care issues, barriers to accessing health care, and service delivery models.

Sign up for the webinar online (link).

For more information, contact Sylvia Gomez: