The Working Waterfront spoke with John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Anne Lichtenwalner, director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory, about Question 2 on the November ballot that will ask Maine voters to approve an $8 million bond for animal and plant diagnostic services. The bond would allow UMaine Extension to build a new facility on campus to house labs for the monitoring and testing of insects and pests that affect domestic and wild plants and animals in Maine. “As a state with a large international border, thousands of miles of coastlines, and people and goods coming to Maine ports every day, the threat of disease and invasive species is increasing annually. This threat can destroy crops, kill or injure livestock and pose a threat to public health,” Rebar said, adding staff is “very limited” in what they can do in the current lab.
Archive for the ‘Cooperative Extension’ Category
The Bangor Daily News published the editorial, “Yes on Question 2: Why it’s worth it to have a lab that tests ticks, moose and more,” about a bond that asks voters to support giving $8 million to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. “This $8 million bond is an investment in needed infrastructure at the University of Maine to better protect human health through insect-borne disease detection and food safety testing,” the article states.
James McConnon, a University of Maine economics professor and a business and economics specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in the Sun Journal article, “More nonprofits, less money to go around.” According to McConnon, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent across the country between 2001 and 2011, while the economy struggled. McConnon said he’s not surprised that some nonprofits are having difficulty getting grants or donations. “My own advice is to focus on what you have control over and what you do well, and be open to change,” he said. “Be flexible and nimble.”
The Maine Hunger Dialogue, a two-day event held at the University of Maine that aims to mobilize the power of higher education to end hunger in the state, was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about one of the event’s speakers. Alex Justice Moore, a 2003 graduate of Bangor High School who works to help people out of homelessness at D.C. Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., returned to Maine to talk about a new approach to solving hunger. Moore spoke at the Maine Hunger Dialogue in Orono and during an event hosted by Eastern Maine Development Corp. in Bangor. “Hunger isn’t about food,” Moore said. “Hunger is ultimately about poverty. We’re never going to feed our way out of hunger.”
University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s yearlong monthly workshop series, “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen” kicks off from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
At the first workshop, “From the Maine Wild,” “Black Fly Stew” cookbook author Kate Gooding will discuss cooking wild game, including venison, moose and goose. She will prepare Burgundian Beaver Stew, which participants can sample for lunch. UMaine Extension Master Food Preserver Karyn Small will give tips on best food preservation practices for wild game.
Workshops scheduled through February include: “Gifts from the Maine Kitchen” with Kate McCarty, Dec. 6; “Making Sourdough Bread at Home” with Sheri Fistal, Jan. 17; and “Maine Seafood and Edible Seaweed,” Feb. 21.
The fee for the Nov. 15 workshop is $40 per person; proceeds benefit the UMaine Extension Nutrition Program in Cumberland County. Attendees will receive Cabela’s coupons and be entered to receive gift cards from Cabela’s. Registration is online. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact 781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine) or email@example.com.
WABI (Channel 5) reported students and faculty from colleges across Maine are preparing 10,000 protein-packed meals to be donated to campus-based food pantries statewide. The meal packing is part of the two-day Maine Hunger Dialogue at the University of Maine’s Wells Conference Center that aims to mobilize the power of higher education to end hunger in the state. Event organizer Barbara Murphy, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, said there’s a general misconception that if a college student can afford a semester at school, they can afford to eat. “One assumes if you’re attending there, all is good. Not so,” Murphy said. Attendees hope their collective efforts can inspire others to take action, according to the report. “No matter how small you think your effort is, it has ripple effects throughout the community and therefore throughout the state and the world,” Murphy said.
Clay Kirby, an entomologist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article, “October means season for invasion of the ladybugs.” Kirby said ladybugs, which have a tendency to come inside, are benign and helpful in controlling other insects that are harmful to plants, such as aphids. If a house is overrun with the beetles, he suggests vacuuming or sweeping them up and tossing them outside. For those who don’t want to harm the insect, he suggests storing the bugs in a shoebox in a garage or shed until spring. WVII (Channel 7) also reported on ladybugs heading indoors and spoke with Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with UMaine Extension.
WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a workshop for those interested in starting a small specialty or value-added food business Thursday, Oct. 23, at the UMaine Extension Penobscot County Office in Bangor. Workshop topics include personal goals, key business concepts, product development and licensing. Scheduled presenters are Extension faculty Louis Bassano, small business educator; Beth Calder, food science specialist; and Jim McConnon, business and economic specialist.
Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News for articles about the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirming the state’s first human case of neuroinvasive Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). Dill spoke about Question 2 on the November ballot, saying it would improve Maine’s surveillance for EEE. The bond would give $8 million to UMaine Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. Dill said having the lab would allow the state to improve its mosquito testing in addition to the other services.
The Maine Beef Producers Association’s (MBPA) 25th annual Beef Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Ramada Inn, 357 Odlin Road, Bangor.
MBPA and the Maine Grass Farmers Network (MGFN) are hosting the conference, which is sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Industry sponsors include the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Industry experts Dr. Bobbi Lorenz, beef nutritionist; Curt Pate, NCBA stockman instructor; and Darren Williams, NCBA communications director, are scheduled to join local specialists, including Ellis Additon of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, to provide beef producers with information on improving the profitability of their operations.
Nonmember registration, including lunch, is $60 for the first representative of a farm and $40 per person for others from the same farm. Discounts are available for students and MGFN and MBPA association members. For registration details, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Melissa Libby, 800.287.7170 (in Maine), 207.581.2788. Registration details are also online.