University of Maine Cooperative Extension continues its legacy as a trusted source of expert advice; enriching programs; and reliable, research-based information. As the outreach branch of Maine’s land-grant university, UMaine Extension is grounded in helping Maine people help themselves through education.
The Maine Food System cultivates sense of place through celebration of the local community, a rich history in agriculture and fisheries, and a bright future. UMaine Extension supports the growth of Maine’s vibrant and innovative food culture through practical education, diagnostic services, volunteer training, and vital food and agriculture research.
An important part of UMaine Extension’s work is the study and identification of pests and pathogens, which can cause damage to plants and animals, including those we use for food, those we keep for comfort, and those that are part of Maine’s beautiful wilderness.
When farms, businesses, and families are threatened by these pests, generations of Mainers have sought the recommendations of UMaine Extension experts. Now, with the UMaine Extension Diagnostic and Research Laboratory, our experts may expand diagnostic services and move to the forefront of scholarly inquiry. This high-containment facility situates UMaine Extension as an ideal collaborator for other research institutions, as well as for industry partners and state and federal agencies. The Aquatic Animal Health Lab has great potential for more advanced R&D projects, as it will be one of very few specialized containment aquaria facilities in the country, and the only facility with adjoining BSL-3 laboratories.
The capacity for efficient diagnostic testing grows as well, including new equipment, new testing services, and more storage. For instance, the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will now have the capacity for the necropsy of large animals, including cows and moose. Currently, UMaine Extension provides the only tick identification service in the state, and when this new lab opens, UMaine Extension will offer the only public resource for tick pathogen testing in Maine.
“Maine has needed a facility like this—a state-of-the-art facility that is all things Maine: agriculture and aquaculture; plant, animal, and ocean. This UMaine Extension Diagnostic and Research Laboratory was a long time coming, and this is an amazing opportunity for Maine.” Paul Anderson, Former Director of Maine Sea Grant