David Yarborough, a blueberry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and professor in the School of Food and Agriculture, was quoted in an Associated Press article about the abundance of rain in June and how it has affected Maine farmers. The rain has saturated some low-lying crops, made fields too muddy for farm machinery and delayed the first cutting of hay in some parts of northern New England, according to the article. Yarborough said wild blueberry growers needed rain after a dry spring, but the timing of the rain and cooler weather prevented maximum pollination, potentially reducing the crop’s size. The Portland Press Herald, Times Union and The Caledonian-Record carried the AP report.
David Marcinkowski, a dairy expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and animal and veterinary science professor in the School of Food and Agriculture, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about Portland business ImmuCell Corp. The company, which develops products to prevent and treat diseases among dairy and beef cattle, recently completed its most profitable quarter in 12 years in part because of harsh environmental conditions faced by cattle ranchers in the West, according to the article. Dairy farmers generally bring feed to their cows, which becomes expensive when farmers need to truck in hay from other locations, Marcinkowski said. As a result, the price of milk hit a record high in mid-2014 before dropping down because of overproduction, he said. In the beef and dairy industries, the price of a calf increased 40 percent from 2012 to 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Now that herds are expanding again in some states, prices should begin to normalize, the article states. However, Marcinkowski said it is a long process that could take four or five years.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network covered the launch of Maine State of Learning, a statewide effort supporting learning and skill-building to ensure growth, empowerment and success for all Maine residents. The project is fueled by public and private partnerships across the state to provide more learning opportunities to Maine residents of all ages; recognize that learning through digital badges; and connect it to statewide proficiency standards, career pathways and personal goals. The University of Maine is a founding partner of the initiative along with Breakwater Learning, Maine Afterschool Network, Badge Labs, Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Educate Maine. Jay Collier, Educate Maine program director, said the effort will allow learners to collect digital badges at a number of locations around the state, including after school programs and camps, according to the report. The badges are designed to serve as verifiable records of learning. Participants can earn three digital badges in the UMaine 4-H STEM Ambassador program.
A statewide effort supporting learning and skill-building to ensure growth, empowerment and success for all Maine residents officially launched at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute during Maine Startup & Create Week.
The Maine State of Learning (MSOL) is a project fueled by public and private partnerships across the state to provide more learning opportunities to Maine residents of all ages; recognize that learning through digital badges; and connect it to statewide proficiency standards, career pathways and personal goals.
The University of Maine is a founding partner of the initiative along with Breakwater Learning, Maine Afterschool Network, Badge Labs, Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Educate Maine.
MSOL also includes a cohort of learning providers including the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s 4-H youth development program. Participants can earn three digital badges in the UMaine 4-H STEM Ambassador program.
“The University of Maine is excited to be a founding partner of Maine State of Learning,” said Jeffrey Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine. “This initiative clearly fits with the land grant mission and vision of UMaine. Connecting learning opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom setting, will provide students multiple pathways for skill development, knowledge acquisition, and continued civic engagement. UMaine is committed to fostering lifelong learning opportunities for all citizens of Maine and beyond.”
The Sun Journal reported on the announcement of the annual Franklin County 4-H Award by the Franklin County Extension Association. Janna Winslow of New Sharon, who has been a member of the Happy H’s 4-H Club for 14 years, was named this year’s recipient. The award is given to a 4-H member who has demonstrated the character and life skills that 4-H promotes, and who will pursue further education after high school, according to the article. Winslow has completed her first year at the University of Maine at Augusta where she studies business administration. The Franklin County Extension Association supports the work of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Franklin County. 4-H is one of the association’s important programs, providing hands-on background in agriculture, community service, science and technology, the article states.
Kathy Hopkins, a maple syrup expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Morning Sentinel for an article about the Maine Maple Producers Association’s Maple Mania stop in Skowhegan on June 11–13. Maple Mania is an annual tour of Maine maple farms that seeks to share and promote the state’s maple syrup industry, according to the article. The event also includes workshops and educational components for maple syrup producers. “It’s a good time because it’s after the maple season is over and the cleanup is over,” Hopkins said. “In the far parts of the state, maple syrup production goes into May.” UMaine Extension works with the Maine Maple Producers Association to organize Maple Mania, which has been held at different locations around the state for the last five years, the article states.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release reminding growers and marketers of hay and hay products to update their listings on the University of Maine Cooperative Extension online hay directory. “Extension has maintained the hay directory for many years and growers and consumers have found the resource valuable,” said Rick Kersbergen, UMaine Extension educator in Waldo County.
Growers and marketers of hay and hay products are reminded to update their listings on the University of Maine Cooperative Extension online hay directory.
“Extension has maintained the hay directory for many years and growers and consumers have found the resource valuable,” says Rick Kersbergen, UMaine Extension educator in Waldo County. Kersbergen also advises having an analysis done when buying or selling forage products to ensure appropriate quality.
To list hay for sale on the directory, contact the Waldo County Extension office at 342.5971, 800.287.1426 (in Maine), or complete the online form. For more information about quality testing, contact Kersbergen at firstname.lastname@example.org or watch UMaine Extension’s educational videos on YouTube.
University of Maine professors Anne Lichtenwalner and Kate Yerxa were interviewed by the Bangor Daily News for an article about an expected rise in egg prices due to an avian flu outbreak that has killed 47 million chickens and turkeys across the country. “Eggs have been a really inexpensive source of quality protein for a long time,” said Lichtenwalner, a veterinarian and director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory. “On average, eggs will cost more. We may see a temporary spike for a while, but it will equilibrate. I don’t think we will have the very inexpensive eggs in the future.” Lichtenwalner added she thinks the outbreak will only be temporary. “I think we will step up and resupply and end up with a good industry again,” she said. Yerxa, a registered dietitian with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, said protein in eggs can be found in other sources such as lean meats, fish, cooked dry beans, peas and lentils.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release announcing the University of Maine Cooperative Extension has updated information about avian influenza (AI) in a bulletin for poultry producers. Anne Lichtenwalner, an associate professor of animal and veterinary sciences, provided the update. AI is a contagious type A influenza virus of birds that occurs worldwide. On June 8, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported a confirmed case of avian flu in Michigan, making it the 21st state in the U.S. affected by the outbreak. The updated information is in Bulletin 2109, “Avian Influenza and Backyard Poultry 2015.”