3rd Annual Northern Maine Rural Living Day

August 9th, 2017 1:15 PM

girl patting donkeySaturday, September 9, 2017
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Millar Civic Center & Fairgrounds, Houlton, Maine

Cost is $5.00/person or $20.00/family of 4 or more for entire day (does not include lunch); children under 10 are free!

  • Informative classes
  • Fun activities
  • Livestock displays
  • Herding dog demonstrations
  • Local craft demonstrations
  • Locally grown Harvest Lunch

Preregistration for classes is highly recommended to insure availability!

For complete information or to register, visit 2017 Northern Maine Rural Living Day.

Field Day at MSAD #1 School Farm, July 26, 2017

July 18th, 2017 10:14 AM

Aroostook County potato fieldUMaine Extension Field Day
July 26, 2017, 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
MSAD #1 School Farm, 340 State Street, Presque Isle, Maine

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is pleased to invite the public to a Field Day on July 26, 2017, at 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM at the MSAD #1 School Farm, 340 State Street, Presque Isle, Maine. Please join us!

Registration: 10:00 – 10:15 AM.

Introduction and Welcome: 10:15 AM, Jim Dwyer and Brian Carpenter

Demonstration Trials:

  1. Corn variety trial with different nitrogen rates (no-till), Dr. Lakesh Sharma
  2. Corn split nitrogen application trial (no-till), Sukhwinder Bali
  3. Potato fertility trial with different nitrogen fertilizers (one-time, lightly-disced before planting), Dr. Lakesh Sharma
  4. Potato nurse crop trial with different nurse crop rates and tillage methods (deeply disced), Sukhwinder Bali
  5. Demonstration of optical sensors and drone technology, Dr. Lakesh Sharma and others
  6. Insect activity update, Jim Dwyer
  7. Studies on Insect Pests of Potato, Dr. Andrei Alyokhin
  8. Overview of MSAD #1 farm activities and prospects


For more information or to request an accommodation, contact Lakesh Sharma at lakesh.sharma@maine.edu or 207.764.3361.

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Lakesh Sharma at lakesh.sharma@maine.edu or 207.764.3361 to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 7 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.

Food Preservation Workshops Being Offered in Aroostook County

May 17th, 2017 8:00 AM

produce ready for canningFood Preservation Workshops

Ever wonder how to preserve all those great garden fruits and vegetables? University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s hands-on food preservation workshop will teach you the basics of canning, freezing, and drying garden produce, including water bath and pressure canning. Learn from the experts. We will provide fresh produce and canning jars.

Cost: $25.00 per person

Register online

Pre-registration is required and class size is limited.

Locations, Dates, & Times

Houlton Regional Hospital, 20 Hartford Street, Houlton ME  04730
Saturday, June 17, 2017
1:00PM to 5:00PM

UMaine Cooperative Extension, 57 Houlton Road, Presque Isle ME  04769
Saturday, June 24, 2017
1:00PM to 5:00PM

Fort Kent Community High School, Pleasant Street, Rm 111, Fort Kent ME  04743
Saturday, July 15, 2017
1:00PM to 5:00PM

For more information, contact Sharon Paradis, 207.834.3905, 1.800.287.1421 (in Maine) or sharon.paradis@maine.edu.

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call Sharon Paradis at UMaine Cooperative Extension at 834.3905 or 800.287.1421 (in Maine) to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 5 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.

Gardening Basics

April 4th, 2017 4:23 PM

Whether you are new to gardening or would just like a refresher on planning, planting and maintaining your garden, join us on Saturday, April 8 at the Lynwood Hanson Library in Mars Hill.

Linda Trickey from UMaine Cooperative Extension will be on hand to discuss gardening from the ground up.  Class will cover topics from learning how to test and improve your garden soil, to how to plan and create a garden that will provide you with fresh, healthy vegetables all summer long and into the winter.

For more information call the Lynwood Hanson Libarary at 429-9625

Northern Maine Sheep Breeders Sheep Education Seminar

February 14th, 2017 11:12 AM

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Presque Isle Extension Office
57 Houlton Rd, RT 1
Presque Isle

8:30 am – 3 pm
Seminar and lunch are free and open to the public.

Please RSVP by March 1st for lunch count.

To register, contact Cindy Kilgore 215-4968  or email:  cindy.kilgore@maine.gov

For more information – contact Linda Trickey 532-6548  linda.trickey@maine.edu – or Cindy Kilgore – see info above

Soil and Agronomy Workshop

January 30th, 2017 8:00 AM

freshly dug potatoes in field

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: University of Maine Presque Isle Campus Center, 181 Main St., Presque Isle
Cost: $20 U.S. / $25 Canadian

Online Registration is closed, we are accepting registration at the door.  If you have questions, please contact Lakesh Sharma at 207.498.0316 or lakesh.sharma@maine.edu

Who should attend: Farmers, industry representatives, students, and faculty. Pesticide credits are available; CCA credits available.


8:00 a.m.: Registration

8:15 a.m.: Introductory Remarks, Dr. Jason Johnston, Professor, Department Chair, UMPI

General Soil and Agronomy Session

8:30 a.m.: Improving Farm Income: Rotational Crop and Potato Irrigation, Dr. Lakesh Sharma, Soil & Crops Specialist, UMaine Extension and UMPI Professor

9:00 a.m.: Wireworm Survival in Soil and Its Control, Jim Dwyer, Crops Specialist, UMaine Extension

9:20 a.m.: Economic Benefit of Using Precision Agriculture Tools, Sukhwinder Bali, UMaine Extension Educator and UMPI Professor

9:40 a.m.: Rotational Crop Economics, Jake Dyer, Agronomist, Maine Potato Board

10:00 a.m.: Nematodes Survival in Soil and their Control, Dr. Dave Lambert, Plant Pathologist, UMaine


Soil Health Session

10:30 a.m.: Soil Information System™, Soil Mapping Technology, Sam Delano, Agronomist, McCain Foods

10:50 a.m.: How to Determine Soil Health? Will Brinton, Woods End Laboratories, Inc.

11:10 a.m.: Soil Health in the Potato and Grain Rotation, Patrick Toner, Soil Management Specialist, Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries

11:30 a.m.: Fertilizer and Liming in Soil, Dr. Lakesh Sharma, Soil and Crops Specialist, UMaine Extension

11:50 a.m.: LUNCH (on your own)

1:30 p.m.: Soil Health, Yield Stability, and an Overview of Soil Health Strategies, Dr. Ellen Mallory, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, UMaine Extension

1:50 p.m.: Forms and Efficiency of Applied Phosphorus in Soil, Bruce Hoskins, Maine Soil Testing Service and Analytical Lab, UMaine

2:10 p.m.: Soil Productivity and No-Till in Potato Systems, Sam Wright, Cavendish Agri-Services

2:30 p.m.: Cover Crops and Soil Moisture and Temperature Issues, Tony Jenkins, Soil Conservationist, NRCS

2:50 p.m.: Nurse Crops — Strengths and Weaknesses, Dr. John Jemison, Soil and Water Specialist, UMaine Extension

3:10 p.m.: Strategies to Keep Soil in Place, Eric Giberson, Soil Conservationist, NRCS

3:30 p.m.: Adjourn

For more information, please call Pam at 207.764.3361 or 1.800.287.1462 (in Maine).

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Lakesh Sharma at 207.498.0316 or lakesh.sharma@maine.edu to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 7 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.

Annual Maine Potato Conference, trade show Jan. 18–19

January 11th, 2017 10:49 AM

Registration is open for University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s 32nd annual Maine Potato Conference and trade show, Jan. 18–19, at Caribou Inn and Convention Center in Caribou.

The conference is designed for potato producers, farm workers and crop advisers.

Scheduled speakers include UMaine Extension crop and soil specialists, UMaine and UMaine Presque Isle researchers, Maine Board of Pesticides Control and Maine Potato Board staff, and McCain Foods agronomists.

Topics include soil health and combating drought, storage practices, technology in agriculture and certified seed results. Participants will receive 2.0 pesticide recertification credits and 3.5 Certified Crop Adviser credits.

Cost is $20 for one day, $25 for two. Registration is online. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Pam Hickey at 764.3361 or pam.hickey@maine.edu.

UMaine Extension to celebrate farming at Maine Agricultural Trades Show, through publications

January 11th, 2017 9:58 AM

This month, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will celebrate farming in the state at the annual State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show.

Residents are encouraged to visit the UMaine Extension booth during the show, Jan. 10–12 at the Augusta Civic Center.

UMaine Extension offers a variety of farming resources, including several publications:

This series recognizes that the needs of farmers at each life stage are unique, as choices about farming practices, child rearing, business growth, and succession planning enter into decision-making. The series consists of five fact sheets.

Have you ever thought about moving to a farm and wondered whether it’s the right life for you and your family? Answering the questions in this four-page bulletin related to the realities of farming in Maine will help you decide.

Farm accidents can cause serious injury or death, and present tremendous financial challenges to small-scale farmers. Many accidents can be prevented through education. This series of 66 fact sheets forms a comprehensive farm safety library.

Visit the Cooperative Extension online Publications Catalog for more farming and gardening information, including new bulletins:

Other seasonal publications include:

Master Gardener Volunteers served 35,000 hours for educational, food security projects in 2016

December 30th, 2016 3:32 PM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is celebrating the 952 Master Gardener Volunteers who, combined, gave more than 35,000 hours of their time to a variety of educational and food security projects in 2016.

The team supported 80 community gardens, 86 school gardens, 103 demonstration gardens and 56 programs involving 1,579 youth in horticulture activities this year. Those involved with food security projects distributed 257,426 pounds of food to 142 food distribution agencies and countless neighbors in need as part of the Maine Harvest for Hunger program.

The Master Gardener Volunteers program provides participants with a minimum of 40 hours of in-depth training in the art and science of horticulture. Trainees receive current, research-based information from UMaine Extension educators and industry experts, and are connected with service projects that match their interests, skill set and availability.

All gardeners are encouraged to join the Master Gardener Volunteers team. Several counties are now accepting applications for local training programs starting this winter with application deadlines as early as Jan. 4.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 800.287.0274 or visit the UMaine Extension website.

UMaine Extension names new sustainable agriculture professor for Aroostook County

December 30th, 2016 2:49 PM

Sukhwinder Bali has been appointed University of Maine Cooperative Extension assistant professor and University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) assistant professor of sustainable agriculture.

Bali earned a master’s degree in soil science with a minor in botany from Punjab Agricultural University. She recently completed a second master’s degree in natural resource management from North Dakota State University. Bali has lived in Maine since September 2015.

Based in the Aroostook County Extension office, Bali will join a team of Extension and University of Maine at Presque Isle staff and will provide classroom instruction at UMPI. She will develop and conduct educational outreach and applied research with an emphasis on Aroostook County, work with other faculty to offer off-campus programs addressing the educational needs of commercial agriculture and teach academic courses in the UMPI sustainable agriculture concentration.

UMaine Extension also has hired Colt Knight as the new Extension livestock educator.

Knight grew up in West Virginia and has a background in livestock production and management. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona where he researched grazing patterns of cattle using precision agriculture technologies.

With UMaine Extension, his focus will be on developing and conducting educational programs and applied research projects statewide with an emphasis on livestock enterprises, animal health and nutrition, meat science, small-farm management and sustainable farming practices.

Knight will begin at UMaine in Orono on Jan. 9.

More about the Extension livestock program is available online or by calling 581.3188.