Farm Scoop – February 2019
Open Farm Day
QuickBooks for Farms Workshop
Climate Change Adaptation Research for Beginning Farmers
Learn to graft fruit trees with UMaine Extension March 30
Lisbon Falls, Maine—University of Maine Cooperative Extension and FEDCO Trees are offering a tree grafting workshop March 30, 9 a.m.–noon, at the UMaine Extension office, 24 Main Street, Lisbon Falls.
This hands-on workshop will include discussion and demonstration of the proper techniques for grafting fruit trees and supplies for each participant to graft a pear tree to take home. Southern Maine Community College instructor and retired longtime Bath city arborist Thomas Hoerth will lead the workshop.
The $55 fee includes all supplies; pre-registration is required. Register online. Class is limited to 20 participants. One MELNA [Maine Landscape and Nursery Association] and three ISA [International Society of Arboriculture] credits are available. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Melissa Freeman, 207.353.5550; email@example.com.
Legal Food Hub Winter Webinar Series for Farmers, Food Entrepreneurs and Food Focused Organizations
The Legal Food Hub is pleased to invite you to its upcoming Winter Webinar Series for farmers, food entrepreneurs, food-focused organizations, and anyone else who has an interest in the legal framework of the food system. Please see the attached flyer for more details and links to register for each webinar. After airing, the webinars will be made available online at legalfoodhub.org.
Tune in next week to two webinars:
Tuesday, 2/26, 12 PM EST: Entity Governance for Non-Profits (Transactional Law Clinics of Harvard Law School)
Although being involved with a non-profit organization can be very fulfilling, both personally and professionally, the law and best practices regarding its governance can be confusing. This webinar provides a brief introduction to non-profit and charitable organizations, and addresses the duties and responsibilities for running such an organization including the role of the Board, management and ongoing state and federal filing responsibilities.
Wednesday, 2/27, 12 PM EST: Selected Topics from the FSMA Produce Safety Rule (Sumana Chintapalli, Attorney, Law Office of Sumana Chintapalli, LLC, and Lori Pivarnik University of Rhode Island)
This webinar will provide a brief discussion of certain portions of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, touching on the basic framework, a few of the standards, and an overview of coverage and exemptions. This introductory conversation is a good starting point and an opportunity for those unfamiliar to become better acquainted with the Produce Safety Rule.
Coming up in March, we have three more webinars to round out the series:
Tuesday, 3/4, 12 PM EST: Legal Considerations of Agricultural Easements (Beth Boepple, BCM Environmental and Land Law, PLLC)
Tuesday, 3/12, 12 PM EST: Employment Law for Farmers in Rhode Island (Erica Kyzmir-McKeon, CLF Senior Fellow & Attorney, and Gina A. DiCenso, Attorney at Law
Tuesday, 3/19, 12 PM EST: Student Loan Basics for Farmers (Erica Kyzmir-McKeon, CLF Senior Fellow & Attorney, and Deanna Loonin, Attorney, Project on Predatory Student Lending at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School)
And, you can watch the recording of Words Matter: Protecting Your Trademarks and Copyrights (Mary Rose Scozzafava, CLF Senior Fellow, former Partner, WilmerHale) here. In this webinar, find out what you can do to protect your market brand and avoid problems with others. This webinar will walk through choosing and registering your business name as a trademark, and provide tips on avoiding pitfalls and protecting your IP on your website.
Maine Department of Education Seeks Farmers and Food Producers
The Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition Program is excited to announce the launch of Maine’s Harvest of the Month (HOM) Program, piloting in Spring of 2019. The program is a nationwide marketing campaign promoting the use of seasonally available, local products in schools, institutions, and communities. Each month, a different Maine product will be highlighted and participating schools will pledge to serve the product and promote it through educational materials and activities.
With over 115 schools signed up to participate so far, the DOE now seeks Maine farms, producers, and distributors to sign up to provide local HOM products. To help Food Service Directors successfully source each month’s product, a list of participating producers is being created to help them connect with local producers. Businesses providing HOM products to schools have the chance to be highlighted on the DOE website, HOM social media, etc. If you are interested in more information, contact Jenn So at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up at www.maine.gov/doe/harvestofthemonth/producers.
What do entry-level beef cattle farmers need to know to be successful in New England?
Regional universities and technical schools are updating their programs to make sure that our future beef farmers have the knowledge, skills, and training experiences needed to meet region-specific demands and challenges in the beef industry.
We need your input in a roughly 20-minute New England Beef Farmer Skills Survey by March 3, 2019 — a vital contribution to the future of the industry in New England.
Participation is voluntary, and personally identifiable information is not collected with responses.
We expect survey findings to benefit our region’s beef cattle industry by creating a greater pool of well-prepared young farmers: (1) to serve as apprentices or employees, (2) to expand the infrastructure of the beef industry in New England, and (3) to purchase land, animals, and equipment from farmers considering retirement without family successors.
To participate in this survey, please go to www.vasci.umass.edu and click on “New England Beef Farmer Skills Survey.”
If you would prefer to complete a paper survey, please contact Dr. Katie Beltaire, DVM, DACT in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst at (413) 545-2428 or email@example.com.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Your experience and input are critical to help our regional educational facilities support the beef cattle industry in New England.
2019 Crop Insurance Deadline Approaches
March 15, 2019 is the deadline to enroll, cancel, or change policy coverage for crop insurance on spring-seeded crops in Maine such as corn, sweet corn, barley, oats, spring wheat, and potato. Those producing other “non-insurable” spring-seeded crops such as tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, etc. may seek coverage through the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) available through the Farm Service Agency. March 15th is also the deadline to enroll in Whole Farm Revenue Protection, a crop insurance policy that protects a farm’s adjusted gross revenue.
Contact Erin Roche, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Crop Insurance Education Professional at 207.949.2490, firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at www.extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/crop-insurance/.
‘Weather Tool Show and Tell’ at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show
Sonja Birthisel & Erin Roche
“So many tools,” one farmer wrote on our feedback survey after attending the Weather Tool Show and Tell session at this year’s Maine Agricultural Trades Show. The session’s purpose was to raise awareness about tools to help growers deal with variable weather. These included physical tools like weather stations and tensiometers, as well as digital apps to help with weather record keeping and agronomic decision making. An ‘open mic’ discussion during the session allowed attendees to share their experiences with specific weather tools.
With technology change, the number of tools and apps is proliferating rapidly. This session highlighted websites that allow a user to search for tools related to specific goals – for example, tracking growing degree days. A key take-home point, noted by most of the 13 people responding to our feedback survey, was simply how many tools are now available. It was also noted, as one farmer put it, “How practical these tools are.”
The session was presented by the Maine Climate and Agriculture Network (MECAN) as part of a day-long series on weather-based crop management tools. You can find links to tools and resources for dealing with variable weather and climate change on our website: https://umaine.edu/climate-ag/.
Disease Identification & Management Workshop
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 – 10:00am to 3:00pm
Fernald Hall Room 107, 270 Stockbridge Road, Amherst, MA 01002
Learn to make better disease management decisions by understanding how different types of pathogens behave and the conditions that favor disease. We will review new diseases like spinach downy mildew, dig deeper into perennial diseases like Alternaria in brassicas, and cover other major disease outbreaks from 2018. We will take a tour of UMass Plant Diagnostic Lab and use a microscope to identify disease-causing organisms. Get all your questions answered and develop your own IPM plan for managing important diseases on your farm.
Workshop is limited to 25 attendees.
4 pesticide recertification credits are available for this workshop.
View the original event posting (link) at UMass Extension’s website for more details and to register online. Registration deadline is Friday, February 6, 12:00 noon.
UPCOMING REGIONAL ORGANIC GROWER MEETINGS:
York County Organic Grower Meeting – February 14, Springvale, ME
This event will provide the southern Maine community of farmers an opportunity to connect with one another, to hear about MOFGA technical services and programs for commercial growers, and to learn more about the York County Farmers’ Network. Our intent is to offer high value content and to hear from local farmers about how we can better support one another.
A local foods lunch will be provided. Please RSVP so we make sure we have enough food for everyone, but registration is not required to attend! All commercial growers are welcome.
For more details including topics and agenda, please visit the MOFGA website (link).
Maine Highlands Organic Grower Meeting
February 16, MOFGA, East Sangerville Grange. Register online here (link).
Downeast Regional Organic Grower Meeting
February 27, MOFGA, Ellsworth City Hall. Register online here (link).
Aroostook County Regional Organic Grower Meeting
February 28, MOFGA, Meduxnekeag Ramblers Snowsled Club. Register online here (link).
Farmer and Grower Winter Potluck
February 16, 2019 (snow date February 23) – Saturday, 4 p.m.
United Farmers Market of Maine, 18 Spring Street, Belfast, ME. Click here for a map.
The Waldo County Extension Association is inviting all local farmers and growers in the area to the third annual winter potluck in Belfast. Glen Koehler from UMaine Cooperative Extension will speak about “Farm Response to Changing Weather.” For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Rick Kersbergen 207-342-5971 or Richard.email@example.com
Beginning Beekeeping Workshop
Saturday, February 16, 2019
10 a.m. to 4 p.m
MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, Unity
Fee: $50 for MOFGA members; $75 for non-members
Please bring your own lunch to this event
Our beekeeping short course will cover the essentials to get you going in the world of beekeeping, such as where to locate your apiary, characteristics of different races of bees, where to purchase bees and equipment, how to assemble that equipment, and how to establish your first hive and get it through the first season.
Instructor David Smith is an experienced beekeeper who has maintained over 200 honey bee colonies for 35-plus years. He has served as assistant state apiary inspector, and he owns and operates Sparky’s Apiaries in Hope, Maine.
Register online here (link).
Insect Biology & Management Workshop
Event date/time: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 – 10:00am to 3:00pm
Event location: Fernald Hall Room 107, 270 Stockbridge Road, Amherst, MA 01002
Attendees of this workshop will:
- Learn about insect biology and use microscopy to understand how insect pests damage crops.
- Learn about insecticide modes of action, resistance issues in common New England pests, and how to avoid them, as well as ways to protect beneficial insects and pollinators.
- Get updated on recent research results in insect management in the Northeast.
- Leave class with a complete Integrated Pest Management plan for managing insects tailored to your farm.
Workshop is limited to 25 attendees.
*4 pesticide recertification credits are available for this workshop.
See the University of Massachusetts Extension event page (link) for more details and online registration.
Beef Nutrition Workshop
Beef Nutrition 101- South Paris
Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Come join Dr. Colt Knight and learn the basic principles of corn- and grass-fed beef cattle nutrition including digestive anatomy, rumen development, and Body Condition Scoring. Participants will become Beef Quality Assurance certified.
Register online here (link).
Workshop: Advanced Business Planning with Richard Wiswall
February 24, 2019
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center
$100 per person; $135 for two people coming from the same farm.
Register online here (link).
Find out your farm’s profit centers – which parts of your farm make the most money and which may actually lose money. Learn about efficient farm planning and analysis, efficient farm office management, key financial statements, employee management, and financial tips for success. Set aside the day to finally work on these, and other important farm business concerns.
For more information, view the MOFGA website event page here (link).
Two Upcoming Soil Workshops
Soils Part 1: Soil Testing & Nutrient Management Planning Workshop
Event date/time: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 – 10:00am to 3:00pm
Event location: Paige Laboratory, 161 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA 01002
This workshop is Part 1 of a 2-part soils workshop, but you do not need to attend both parts. Part 2 will be held in Brattleboro, VT on February 28, 2019. Click here for information about Part 2: Soil Health, Cover Cropping, & Nutrient Management Planning.
Attendees of Part 1 of this workshop will:
- Learn about soil testing techniques and tour the UMass Soil & PLant Nutrient Testing Lab
- Learn about soil health assessment methods from Brandon Smith, NRCS National Soil Health Team Leader
- Practice basic soil monitoring techniques you can do on your farm, including pH and electrical conductivity testing
- Learn to interpret soil test results
- Create a nutrient management plan for next season for at least one field on your farm
Workshop is limited to 25 attendees. Registration deadline is Friday, February 22.
For more details and for online registration for Soils Part 1, visit the University of Massachusetts Extension’s event page here (link).
Soils Part 2: Soil Health, Cover Cropping, and Nutrient Management Planning
Event date/time: Thursday, February 28, 2019 – 9:00am to 2:00pm
Event location: Brattleboro, VT
This workshop is Part 2 of a 2-part soils workshop, but you do not need to attend Part 1 in order to attend Part 2, and vice versa. Part 1 will be held in Amherst, MA on February 26, 2019.
Attendees of this workshop will:
- Learn to use the online farmOS recordkeeping system
- Develop or complete a Vermont RAPs-compliant nutrient management plan using farmOS software
- Learn about the impact excess nutrients have on the environment
- Work in small groups with technical service providers to interpret soil test results, calculate nutrients, and choose soil amendments
- Hear from other farmers about their soil health strategies
For more details and for online registration for Soils Part 2, visit the University of Massachusetts Extension’s event page here (link).
LOOKING FOR EMPLOYEES OR INTERNS?
Attend the Horticulture Job Fair on Wednesday, February 20!
Storm date: Wednesday, February 27
4:00 – 4:30 Space is available for set-up
4:30 – 6:00 Job Fair
Location: Culinary Arts Dining Room
Directions and Campus Map:
- Tables and chairs will be available.
- Electrical outlets are available (Bring an extension cord if you need to plug in).
- Feel free to bring job descriptions, applications, business cards, brochures, portfolios, etc.
UMaine Wild Blueberry Conference
This free conference is in Orono on February 28 (snow date March 4).
Registration is required and lunch is provided!
This event takes the place of the three Spring Meetings that have been held in the past. Pesticide credits will be available.
By attending this conference you will gain:
- Management updates on diseases, pollinators and weeds
- New ideas about precision agriculture, post-harvest quality and blueberry fertility
- Valuable insight into food safety requirements
Register online here (link).
No-Till & Cover Crop Symposium
Save the date – visit the University of Vermont Extension’s event page (link) for details.
6TH ANNUAL NO-TILL COVER CROP SYMPOSIUM
February 28, 2019
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton (formerly the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center) in Burlington, Vt.
From dry conditions to wet conditions, come discuss with local farmers how adopting cover crops and no-till is helping them save fuel, money and improve crop yield. Talk to ag dealers, learn about funding programs, get updated on the latest research and approaches across the country, and help lead the soil health movement. Details coming soon at event page (link).
Newsletter for goat and sheep producers: Wild & Woolly
Wild & Woolly is a quarterly publication by the University of Maryland Extension. Its author, Susan Schoenian, is a small ruminant specialist at the Western Maryland Research & Education Center.
The Winter 2019 issue can be viewed online here (PDF). You can view other issues online at https://issuu.com/mdsheepgoat. You can also join the listserv to receive an email message when a new newsletter has been posted online. To subscribe to the listserv, send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the body of the message, type subscribe sheepgoatnews.
New site for eXtension has launched; Webinars announced
A new website has been launched for small and backyard poultry producers. Visit the site at https://poultry.extension.org/. Five free webinars are already booked:
- What to think about BEFORE getting chickens for your backyard (February 20, 2019; 3 PM Eastern Time – 20 minutes)
- What kind of chickens should you get for your backyard flock (March 6, 2019, 4 PM Eastern Time – 20 minutes)
- Housing requirements for backyard chickens (March 20, 2019, 3 PM Eastern Time – 20 minutes)
- Overview of poultry equipment for backyard chickens (April 2, 2019; 3 PM Eastern Time – 20 minutes)
- Managing manure from backyard chicken flocks (April 18, 2019; 3 PM Eastern Time – 20 minutes)
There are also links to past webinars. Visit the new website’s webinars page (link) for more information and for webinar registration.
Free Accounting Workshop: Maine Farmland Trust offers Digging into Farm Accounting in Caribou
Accounting can be one of the most difficult and essential functions of owning a farm. At Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) we believe you can, and should, get to know the story your financials are telling you.
That’s why MFT is offering Digging into Farm Accounting, a free two-day farm accounting workshop, in a relaxed and friendly environment where all questions are welcome. Bangor Savings Bank is generously sponsoring this training.
The session will take place in Caribou on Friday, March 15th from 4PM-7:30PM and Saturday, March 16th from 9AM–5PM at the Northern Maine Development Corporation (NMDC) Board Room at 11 West Presque Isle Road.
Attendees will have the opportunity to understand the uses of, and relationships between, the three major financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow), and why each is important. You will have the chance to understand, identify, and calculate your critical financial data points. You will learn what information you need to plan for slow times, and for growth, while becoming better prepared for productive conversations with lenders and investors. You will better understand how to use your financial statement history as a planning resource for future seasons.
Sessions will be led by Rose Creps, Center Director & Certified Business Advisor at Maine SBDC at Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments. Creps is highly regarded by Maine farmers and value-added AG business owners. She has brought her expertise in financial analysis, forecasting, budgeting, management controls, recovery planning, loan packaging, and QuickBooks to many classrooms, AG businesses, and farm tables for well over a decade. Creps is an accounting instructor at Southern New Hampshire University in Brunswick and has previously taught at Southern Maine Community College. She earned her MBA in Global Business Administration at Southern New Hampshire University and a BS in Accounting at Southern New Hampshire University.
Workshop participants will receive Julia Shanks’, The Farmers Office: Tools, Tips, & Templates to Successfully Manage a Farm Business. Students will also have access to 11 essential farm business templates including QuickBooks charts of accounts for Mac & PC, and a PowerPoint Investor Presentation Deck.
Pre-registration is required by Tuesday, March 12th at noon. Register online at https://www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/event/digging-into-farm-accounting/ Questions about registration can be directed to Rachel K at the MFT office, email@example.com or 207.338.6575.
Lodging options are available for Friday night in Caribou and Presque Isle. Limited funds are available to help defray some overnight costs for Washington County farmers.
Contact: Elizabeth Sprague
Phone: (207) 263-8771
Webinar Announcement: The Legal Food Hub’s 2019 Winter Webinar Series
The Legal Food Hub is pleased to invite you to its upcoming Winter Webinar Series for farmers, food entrepreneurs, food-focused organizations, and anyone else who has an interest in the legal framework of the food system.
- Protecting Your Trademarks and Copyrights (February 5);
- Entity Governance for Businesses & Nonprofits (February 26);
- Legal Considerations of Agricultural Easements (March 5);
- Employment Law for Farmers in Rhode Island (March 12);
- Student Loan Basics for Farmers (TBA); and
- An Overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act (TBA).
Workshop: Women in Livestock Business
9:00am – 3:30pm Fridays, from Friday 02/15/2019 to Friday 03/08/2019
Pease Public Library – 1 Russell Street, Plymouth, NH 03264
Inspired by Annie’s Project Programming, the Women in Livestock Business workshop is a spin on our traditional Annie’s Project programming that will focus solely on topics surrounding livestock production and business management. Topics include:
- Communication and negotiation skills
- Rules and regulations livestock producers need to know
- Branding and marketing, what makes you unique?
- Pricing your products and knowing your numbers
- Grazing and pasture management
- How to meet the nutritional needs of your livestock
- Infrastructure and facilities best suited for your operation
This program will run every Friday for four weeks on February 15, 22 & March 1, 8. First class must be attended in person, but subsequent classes will have remote access capabilities. In addition to the classwork, two Field Days will be scheduled in the spring-fall of 2019 at an agreed upon date among participants.
Limited scholarship opportunities are available, courtesy of Yankee Farm Credit. To be eligible you must be either a beginner farmer or a Yankee Farm Credit member. To request a scholarship, contact Kelly McAdam or Elaina Enzien.
This program is co-sponsored by UVM Extension and USDA Risk Management Agency. For special accommodations, please contact Elaina Enzien prior to the event start date. At least 15 business days are needed to accommodate requests.
Save the Date: 2019 Maine Grain Conference
Friday, March 1st, 9:00am-4:45pm
Campus Center, University of Maine Presque Isle
Topics for this year’s conference will include:
- Upping Your Grain Game – Best practices from seed bag to grain bin and beyond.
Eric Theriault, Eastern Grain Inc., Drummond, New Brunswick (http://www.easterngrains.ca/en/home.php)
- Industrial Hemp – Opportunities, Production Practices, Legal Requirements, and Other Considerations for Hemp Grain and Cannibidiol
Dr. Heather Darby, University of Vermont; Dr. John Jemison, UMaine; and Gary Fish, Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
- On-farm Experiences with Camera-Guided Precision Cultivation Systems
Tom Molloy, UMaine, and Dave Ouellette, Lake Shore Farms, St David, Maine
- Evaluating Organic Crop Options Using a New, Whole Farm Grain Budget Tool
Dr. Aaron Hoshide, UMaine School of Economics
- Grain, Pulse, and Oilseed Research Results
Mark Friday, March 1st on your calendar, and look for upcoming announcements with the full agenda and registration details!
Workshop: Saffron production and marketing
The North American Center for Saffron Research and Development at the University of Vermont (UVM) is hosting the 3rd annual workshop on Saffron production and marketing on Friday, March 15, 2019 in Burlington, VT. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, with a retail price of over $5,000/lb. It is made from the stigmas of a fall-blooming crocus flower (Crocus sativus), and is used as a culinary spice, coloring agent and medicinal herb. Saffron is a high-value crop that could significantly strengthen sustainable agriculture, and preserve the rural working landscapes of North America.
In 2015 UVM scientists began studying the potential of growing saffron in protected environments and obtained yields greater than what is reported in traditional saffron-growing areas of West Asia and southern Europe. Hundreds of farmers across the US are now growing saffron with great success, but they are eager to learn more. Saffron experts from Italy, Canada, Morocco, The Netherlands and the US will be on hand to share their knowledge. In addition, growers from across the US will be there to talk about their experiences with saffron production, processing and marketing the final product. This event is sponsored by funding from the Vermont Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Program; Univ. of Vermont Extension and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Roco Saffron (Netherlands); Clesia (Italy) and the USDA Hatch Program. To learn more about the workshop and for registration information, go to the UVM saffron website or contact Margaret Skinner at 1-802-656-5440; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reports of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is a serious agricultural pest that attacks a number of crops and ornamentals, notably apple, grape, stone fruits, tomatoes, etc. Up to 3 years prior to it being noticed as a plant pest, it is reported as a nuisance pest – seeking homes to overwinter. If you are not familiar with brown marmorated stink bug, you can learn more about it at www.stopbmsb.org. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has a website for BMSB (link) which contains status updates in Maine. Here you will find a map showing reports received by town.
If you believe you have seen this bug in your house, office, garage, etc., please take a photo of it and make a report using the reporting webpage (link). Your reports will help the DACF Division of Animal and Plant health to understand how widespread this bug is in Maine.