James McConnon, a University of Maine economics professor and a business and economics specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) for a report about an increase in the number of women who own businesses. According to the report, the number of women-owned businesses in Maine has grown by 34 percent since 1997, but that number is about half of the national trend, with Maine ranking 47th in the country. However, the number of people employed by women-owned firms has grown by 6 percent, and trends are encouraging. “Women business owners have continued to grow at a rate faster than male business owners in Maine and nationally. I think that’s good to see,” said McConnon.
The Portland Press Herald referred to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Tick ID Lab in an article about Maine ticks surviving the long, cold winter. The article mentioned different types of ticks — deer ticks and dog ticks — and stated if someone is not sure what type of tick was attached to them, they should send the dead tick to the UMaine Extension Tick ID Lab at 491 College Ave. in Orono or call 207.581.3880 for more information.
The Associated Press reported Maine’s Legislature approved roughly $50 million in bond proposals as it wrapped up for the session. One of the six approved bond proposals includes borrowing $8 million to renovate and improve a University of Maine Cooperative Extension lab that assists farmers and foresters and identifies pests, as well as plant and animal diseases. WABI (Channel 5) and seattlepi.com also carried the AP report.
WVII (Channel 7) spoke with John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and two members of the Black Bear Food Guild for a report about Maine’s high commitment to local foods. Jemison said people want to know what’s in their food and how it’s grown, and he has seen a lot of that interest in Maine. UMaine students and Black Bear Food Guild members Laura Goldshein and Lindy Morgan spoke about their work within the guild. The Black Bear Food Guild is a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that is organized and managed by sustainable agriculture students and offers CSA shares to community members in an effort to increase accessibility to fresh, seasonal produce.
The Penobscot Bay Pilot reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is taking orders for highbush blueberry plants, asparagus crowns and strawberry plants until May 1. Plants will be available for pickup May 17 at various locations throughout the state, including the Knox-Lincoln Extension office in Waldoboro and the the Waldo Extension office in Waldo. Proceeds from the “Grow it Right!” sale go toward scholarships for UMaine Extension’s statewide Master Gardener Volunteer Program and fund statewide community-based horticulture projects.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a 10-session Master Food Preserver training program starting June 19 and ending Sept. 25. Lectures, discussions and hands-on kitchen lab education will be conducted 10 Thursdays, 5:30–8:30 p.m., at Gorham Middle School, 106 Weeks Road, Gorham, and at the UMaine Extension Office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
A Master Food Preserver is a UMaine Extension volunteer who has successfully completed the practical, research-based program on food safety and preservation. Volunteers agree to give back 20 hours of time for community-based projects within a year. Projects could include hands-on food preservation workshops, staffing educational displays and demonstrations and providing information at farmers markets, county fairs and other food-related events.
May 2 is the deadline to apply. Fees are on a sliding scale, from $125 to $330, based on household income. To request an application or disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine). For more information, contact Kathleen Savoie, Extension Educator, 207.781.6099, email@example.com.
Applications are available online.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension publication “Children and Respect” was cited in an examiner.com parenting report titled “Respect: You get what you give.” The article states the publication helps breakdown what respect is and how better to teach it. Marilyn Ellis, a UMaine Extension 4-H youth specialist, prepared the publication.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a six-class workshop on building, planting, maintaining and harvesting square-foot gardens in raised beds and containers.
Classes meet monthly from May through October at the UMaine Extension office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan. The first class is 9–11 a.m. May 1; the final class is Oct. 9. UMaine Extension Somerset County staff will teach the classes, and local Master Gardener Volunteers will work with participants in demonstration gardens throughout the growing season. Harvested produce will be shared with area schools and senior and food kitchen programs.
Course fee is $10 per person. Scholarships are available. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, call Pete Bastien at 207.474.9622 or 800.287.1495 (in Maine).
Kathy Savoie, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, provided the Portland Press Herald with a step-by-step demonstration on how to make flavored vinegar. Savoie’s method can be used with any herbs, such as rosemary, basil and mint; and for any type of vinegar, such as apple cider or champagne.
The Free Press reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant will offer free training sessions for Signs of the Seasons, a program for volunteers to contribute local plant and animal life-cycle data for climate change research. Sessions are open to all interested volunteers, and registration is required. Sessions in the midcoast area will be held March 22 in Newcastle, March 25 in Belfast and April 5 in Boothbay.