Farm Scoop – February 2020

Wild Blueberry Conference 2020

UMaine Wild Blueberry Conference
Date: February 22, 2020 (Snow date Feb 29)
Location: Hollywood Casino, 500 Main St., Bangor, ME 04401
Time: 8:30 am – 4:15 pm
Registration Deadline: February 16, 2020.
Register early, space is limited to 200.

Growing Hemp in Maine

Interest in hemp production has increased significantly with the passage of the 2018 farm bill. Hemp can be grown to produce grain, fiber, and medicinal products. “Growing Hemp in Maine” will be offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension on Friday, March 6, 2020 from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm at Jeff’s Catering, Littlefield Drive, Brewer.

There are specific rules and licensing requirements that affect the production of this crop in the State of Maine. At this conference, we will be discussing newly changed licensing requirements / regulations, production, pest management, harvest, drying and processing of hemp. As well as potential markets and economics of the crop. Come learn the latest on regional research and network with others either currently growing or planning to grow this crop.

Regional and state of Maine experts will be presenting at this program including Dr. Heather Darby, UVM Extension Agronomy Specialist who conducts research in hemp cultivars and growing techniques in the northeast; Dr. Scot Waring, Director of eLucidation LLC, a Vermont-based business providing scientific and professional services to the hemp industry; Gary Fish, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, State Horticulturist heading the Hemp Licensing in the state of Maine; Dr. Alicyn Smart, UMaine Extension, Plant Pathologist; Dr. John Jemison, UMaine Extension Soil and Water Quality Specialist, Dr. Matt Wallhead, UMaine Extension Horticultural Specialist and Chris Grigsby, MOFGA.

Early registration $50 per person until February 7th, 2020 after that registration will be $75 per person. Includes refreshments and lunch. For more information and to register online go to:

Growing Hemp in Maine. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Theresa Eldridge at 207.581.3878 or 1.800.287.0279 (in Maine) or

New England Farmer Microgrant Program (NEFMP)

The New England Farmer Microgrant Program (NEFMP) from American Farmland Trust is designed to provide between $500-$5,000 to assist farmers in New England with financial barriers to land access, expanding onto new land, and farm succession planning.  The goal of NEFMP is to fund farmers in two primary categories: professional services and infrastructure costs related to assuring agricultural land is in production.

The New England Farmer Microgrant Program is requiring all applicants have a brief letter of support from a provider to validate how the funding and services being requested will support the farmer in addressing their specific barriers. This as a great way to get more farmers in New England connected with this extensive network and support system. Letter of support guidance is provided on the website.

Applications period begins March 1, 2020 and will continue to do so on a rolling basis until all available funding is distributed.

Farmers can find the grant guidelines, online application, and letter of support template, as well as a resource list of regional service providers by category on the NEFMP site.

Beginning Farmers:  We want to hear from you about the weather!

Researchers at the University of Maine are looking for farmers to participate in a focus group on climate adaptation resources as part of a USDA-AFRI funded project. This focus group will be held from 2:00-4:00pm on Tuesday, March 31st at the UMaine Cooperative Extension Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties Office in Lisbon Falls, ME.  Participants will be compensated $50 for their time on a per farm basis, with participation limited to 10 farms. If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more, please contact Ruth Sexton Clements at

2020 Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund

Are you a veteran farmer? The 2020 Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is now open! Since the program began in 2011, more than $2 million has been awarded to over 170 farmer veterans across the nation. The funds are used to purchase vital equipment, supporting the launch of veteran owned farm businesses. Please see the program information eligibility requirements here.  The link to the application is here. The deadline to apply for the Fellowship Fund is March 6, 2020.

Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm Workshop

MOFGA is excited to be hosting a workshop in collaboration with Farm Commons on farm law from 9:30-4:30 on 2/23. It features Buckle Farm as a farmer co-presenter. It is free but we are asking folks to register.

Legal Food Hub Resources

Hello from the Legal Food Hub! We are excited to announce two Legal Food Hub resources that we hope you’ll find useful.

WINTER WEBINARS: We have a free Winter Webinar Series kicking off next week. We’ll be covering trade secrets, coop law, food safety, and more. Please see the attached flyer for more information and free registration.

LEGAL RESOURCE LIBRARY: Our new Resource Library has launched! Check out handy legal guides on common legal questions for farms and food businesses.

2020 Crop Insurance Deadline Approaches

March 15, 2020 is the deadline to enrollcancel, 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. Locate a private licensed crop insurance agent.

Learn More! Contact Erin Roche, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Crop Insurance Education Professional (949.2490), More information at Crop Insurance.