Agenda for BFRN Workshops at the 2020 Agricultural Trades Show

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 11:00am-12:30pm

Increasing your Scale and Efficiency with Mechanization

Learn about the decision-making process when taking the plunge towards mechanization. Farmers will discuss tools and equipment that has reduced their need for labor, reduced the wear and tear on their bodies, and increased their productivity. We will also focus on techniques used to ensure return on that investment. Speakers: Jason Lilley, Lani Carlson, others TBA.


Sean Murphy, Murphy Family Farm

Pheonix and Meg O’Brien, Hall Brook Farm

Ellen Gibson, AgrAbility

Jason Lilley, UMaine Cooperative Extension

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 1:00-3:00pm

Employment Law for the Farm

Agricultural labor laws can be confusing. Do you have questions about fair labor standards act, overtime, exempt work, workers compensation, and payroll tax? Hear from experts in the field on these topics and more. Get your questions answered.  Join US Department of Labor staff and attorney members of the Legal Services Food Hub as we untangle the web of labor laws concerning employees, interns, apprentices, independent contractors. Get specifics on the fair labor standards act, overtime, exempt work, workers compensation, payroll tax, and more. Get your labor questions answered!


John Lambert Jr., Lambert Coffin, Attorney

Steve McKinney, U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division

Seanna Crasnick, Maine Department of Labor, Deputy General Counsel, Workers Compensation Board

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 9:00-10:00am

Point of Sale (POS) Options and Opportunities in the Digital Age

You can download a smartphone app and start processing credit card transactions on your in under 20 minutes. That’s just the tip of the iceberg in the value of these programs for capturing valuable sales and customer data for your farm enterprise. In this session, we’ll hear from farmers on how they use their POS apps to conduct transactions, track sales, engage their customers, and plan for growth. Cybersecurity concerns and risk management best practices will be shared.


Abby Sadauckas, Apple Creek Farm

Kelby Young, Olde Haven Farm

Brittany Hopkins, Wise Acres Farm

Greg Warren, Warren Associates & Insurance Solutions

John Heller, American National Insurance

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 10:00-11:00am

Farming Right:  Municipal Ordinances, Zoning, and Other Considerations

Farming is a land use that is both supported and regulated by state laws and local ordinances. Gain new insights from service providers and farmers who are working with municipal officials to improve agricultural business opportunities in their communities. Join Jesse Tannenbaum, owner/operator of Eli’s Homestead in Lewiston; Misty Parker, Economic Development Manager for the City of Lewiston; Kate Newkirk, Soil Scientist and Co-Chair of the Winslow Agricultural Commission; and DACF service providers, Mark Hedrich, Caldwell Jackson and Steph Gilbert; for a fruitful facilitated discussion about typical farm/municipality issues and useful strategies to move forward with success.

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 11:00-12:00pm

Implementing Conservation on Your Farm: Working with NRCS & FSA

Join Abby Sadauckas & Jake Galle of Apple Creek Farm and USDA service providers to learn how you can implement conservation practices on your farm with financial and technical assistance from USDA. Abby and Jake will share how they have addressed resource concerns, improved infrastructure and made their farm vision possible by accessing financial assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and participating in Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs. Following their presentation, Susan Arrants, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, and Robbie McCurry, FSA Agricultural Program Specialist, will join Abby and Jake on a panel to answer questions about how to get conservation practices in place on your farm.

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 1:00-2:00pm

A Beginning Farmer Focus Group on Climate Adaptation Resources

This participatory focus group will provide opportunity to share experiences, identify resource needs, and provide feedback on draft educational materials related to climate adaptation on Maine farms. This focus group is part of a USDA-AFRI funded research project being conducted by University of Vermont and University of Maine. Speakers: Ruthie Clements, Rachel Schattman, Adam Daigneault, Eric Gallandt, Sonja Birthisel. Please pre-register by emailing; the first ten farmer registrants are eligible to receive $50 stipends for their participation.