Foster’s Daily Democrat carried a University of Maine Cooperative Extension release announcing that Jan. 5 is the deadline to apply for the Master Gardener Volunteer training in York County that begins Jan. 27 at the Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale.
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The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was one of five local organizations to be recognized by the Eastern Maine Development Corporation for its work serving the community’s economic needs.
EMDC Champion Awards were presented during the EMDC annual Meeting of Corporations in Bangor.
“UMaine Cooperative Extension has a longstanding partnership with EMDC. The expertise they provide to small businesses is beyond measure. The professionals at UMaine Cooperative Extension work with businesses of all sizes — starting with home-based businesses. UMaine Cooperative Extension is a collaborator in every sense of the word and they are constant supporters of business growth in our region,” EMDC wrote of UMaine Extension.
The Katahdin Region Transition Team, U.S. Small Business Administration of Maine, Cianbro and Penobscot Theatre also were honored.
A full EMDC news release is online.
The Senior Companion Program is celebrating 40 years of connecting volunteers age 55 and older with community service efforts.
Created by the federal government, SCP began in 1974 in 18 communities nationwide. Maine was added in 1978 when then-President Jimmy Carter expanded the program. University of Maine Cooperative Extension became the program’s sponsor in 1981 and last year, nearly 100 senior companions provided friendship and assisted more than 500 homebound clients in 12 counties statewide.
More information about the national program is online. For information about becoming involved in Maine contact Wanda Lincoln, 581.3326, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website. For information on the program in Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford or Sagadahoc county, contact Anna Saar, 743.6329, email@example.com. For information on the program in Aroostook County, contact Kim Hazlett, 532.6548, firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the program in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis or Waldo county, contact Terri Eldridge, 581.3870, email@example.com. For information on the program in Kennebec or Somerset county, contact Gene Tobey, 474.9622, firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the program in Washington County, contact Deb Gardner, 255.3345, email@example.com.
Tori Jackson, an associate professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about two new USDA-inspected poultry processing plants in the state that could spur production and expand the market for Maine birds. “On a national scale probably nobody else would notice. But for us, it is a really big deal,” said Jackson, who wrote a 2013 report on the need for more slaughterhouses.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Maine Harvest for Hunger program had its most successful year in 2014, as more than 300 volunteers donated 240,937 pounds of fresh produce to 104 organizations from York County to Piscataquis County.
Since the program’s inception in 1999, volunteers have provided more than 1.8 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to people, food pantries and soup kitchens statewide.
According to Feeding America, a national umbrella organization for food banks, 206,000 Maine citizens — 15.5 percent of the population — experienced food insecurity in 2012, a 50 percent increase since 2004. Also according to Feeding America, 36 percent of food insecure Mainers did not qualify for government food assistance programs. Food insecurity and obesity can co-exist for individuals and families, and a goal is to replace high-calorie, nutrient-poor food donated to food pantries with fresh fruits and vegetables.
John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for the report, “In Maine, more hipsters choosing life on the farm.” Rebar spoke about the increase in farming among younger adult couples. “Certainly in Maine, farmers under the age of 35 have increased 40 percent, when nationally that increase is 1.5 percent,” Rebar said. “So, in our state, we are way ahead of that national trend.” He added Maine, which was a hotbed of activity during the first back-to-the-land movement in the 1970s, has many knowledgeable people working in the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), which offers a training program for new farmers, the report states.
KFVS (Channel 12), a CBS affiliate in southeast Missouri, carried the Raycom News Network report, “Clean kitchens keep holidays happy, healthy.” The report mentioned the importance of washing fruits and vegetables to help remove any microbes that may be on produce and cited tips from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension was one of five local groups or businesses to be recognized by the Eastern Maine Development Corporation for its work serving the community’s economic needs. EMDC Champion Awards were presented during the EMDC Annual Meeting of Corporations in Bangor. The Katahdin Region Transition Team, U.S. Small Business Administration of Maine, Cianbro and Penobscot Theatre were honored along with UMaine Extension. The Maine Edge also reported on the awards.
James Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about the state’s increase in Lyme disease cases and the new research lab at UMaine that will help with treatment. In November, voters approved an $8 million bond to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. Testing at the lab will allow researchers to more quickly get information on infected ticks to doctors, which would increase the effectiveness of treatments, Dill told the Press Herald. He said the waiting period for Lyme test results should decrease from several weeks to about 48 hours. The Associated Press also reported on the increase in Maine Lyme disease cases and the new lab. The Maine Public Broadcasting Network carried the AP report.
The Portland Press Herald covered a conference sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry that focused on the plight of honeybees. Honeybees experience colony collapse disorder and presenters said perils for the bees include pesticides, malnutrition, being attacked by mites and being overworked.