James McConnon, an economics professor at the University of Maine and a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist, was interviewed by the Sun Journal for an article titled “Shopping forecasts call for increase in holiday spending.” McConnon said holiday shoppers are predicted to spend between 2.4 and 3.9 percent more this year, even though consumer confidence is still cautious. He said with the shorter shopping season, retailers are going to provide good deals and consumers will be looking for them.
Archive for the ‘Cooperative Extension’ Category
Ways in which commercial fishermen, aquaculturists and those in the tourism industry can work together to create greater economic success will be the focus of three workshops offered by Maine Sea Grant and University of Maine Cooperative Extension in partnership with the Lobster Institute, Island Institute and Maine Aquaculture Association.
The Fisheries, Aquaculture and Tourism workshops will take place 5–8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast; 5–8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 at Machias Savings Bank Community Room in Machias; and 1–4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 at University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Building in Portland.
Anyone involved in the fisheries, aquaculture or tourism industry or related support organizations is invited to attend any of the free workshops. Sessions will include information from guest speakers on topics such as the legal issues pertaining to offering boat or farm tours and ways seafood producers can enhance their businesses by building relationships with tour operators, restaurant owners and innkeepers.
“The workshops are intended to respond to the need for information expressed by fishermen and aquaculture farmers who seek to diversify their earnings by tapping into the tourism market by offering activities such as lobster boat tours or fish farm tours,” says Natalie Springuel, a marine extension associate with Maine Sea Grant. “Likewise, these workshops respond to the growing interest in the tourism industry to provide customers with fisheries and fish-farming-related experiences.”
Scott Gunst, an attorney with the admiralty and maritime law practice Reeves McEwing LLP in Philadelphia, Pa., will present at each session. Other guest speakers will vary depending on location. They will include fishermen and/or aquaculture farmers who will talk about their businesses, as well as members of the tourism industry who will share opportunities for marketing and partnerships.
The workshops will include an information session about the legal framework of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism, followed by interactive conversations with those who work in the field and a question-and-answer period with representatives of related resources, including the United States Coast Guard, insurance companies and the host organizations.
Pizza will be offered at the Belfast and Machias sessions and snacks will be provided at the Portland workshop.
This is the second time this workshop series has been offered. The first was offered at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockland in February 2013.
A registration form and more information, such as fact sheets and legal research produced for the series, are available on the Maine Sea Grant’s website. Registration is required.
The Maine Sea Grant college program at UMaine is one of 33 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs throughout the coastal and Great Lakes states and is focused on improving Maine’s coastal communities. The University of Maine Marine Extension Team (MET), is a collaboration of Maine Sea Grant and UMaine Extension, that provides educational and applied research programs in coastal community development, ecosystem health, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.
James McConnon, an economics professor at the University of Maine and a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist, was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News for an article on Small Business Saturday shopping in Maine. McConnon said he isn’t sure how much of an effect the day has on the state because it would depend on “how much was spent that day at local stores versus what’s spent outside the community or at chains that export some of the money outside the area.” But anecdotal evidence and national studies suggest there is a positive effect.
James McConnon, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist and UMaine professor of economics, spoke with the Sun Journal about the local food trend for an article about buying local for Thanksgiving. McConnon said interest in local foods is high for three reasons: nutrition, food safety and support of local business.
Charlie Armstrong, a cranberry professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald about the state’s cranberry crop for the article “Maine cranberry growers say it’s hard to stay out of the red.” Armstrong said in terms of health and abundance, the state’s crop is in great shape, but a recent national glut has caused cranberry prices to fall. He recommends Maine farmers who traditionally do wet harvesting for the juice industry move into dry harvesting for the fresh market because that’s where he thinks the demand is.
The Penobscot Bay Pilot and The Weekly reported Jason Bolton, food safety specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is available to give advice about preparing the turkey this holiday season. Bolton is part of a team of UMaine Extension food safety and nutrition specialists who are taking calls on a statewide holiday foods hotline (800.287.0274).
The Kennebec Journal interviewed Jim McConnon, University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist and professor of economics, about the city of Gardiner’s plan to develop a food policy that brands the city as a local food hub and encourages people and groups to purchase locally grown and raised food products.
McConnon said more of the money that is spent on products from local growers remains in the community. He cited a 2005 Iowa State University study that indicated each dollar spent at farmers’ markets in that state had generated an additional 58 cents in direct sales for the economy.
The Weekly previewed the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s 2013 Maine Food Summit to be held 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Wells Conference Center at the University of Maine.
A University of Maine Cooperative Extension class was mentioned in the latest entry of the Portland Press Herald blog, “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources.” The article, titled “Food safety and preservation training with UMaine Extension crosses borders,” focused on a two-part training program offered in Falmouth to people from the Democratic Republic of Congo who came to Maine for farm business and food safety training with the UMaine Extension.
Registration is underway for the 2013 Maine Food Summit, a daylong conference Friday, Dec. 6 at the University of Maine. The event, sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Wells Conference Center on the Orono campus.
The summit is an opportunity for food producers, business owners and anyone involved with and interested in Maine’s dynamic food system to share ideas about growing Maine’s agriculture and fishery, supporting the state’s economy and improving food security.
Tim Griffin, associate professor and director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University, and Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, are keynote presenters. In addition, there will be panel discussions, workshops and opportunities to meet others interested in food systems.
Cost is $30 ($20 students) for those who register by Nov. 22 and $40 ($30 students) for those who register from Nov. 23 until the Nov. 27 deadline. Lunch is included. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, call Meghan Dill at 207.581.3878. For more information, contact John Jemison at 207.581.3241 or visit umaine.edu/agriculture/maine-food-summit.
Contact: Meghan Dill, 207.581.3878