A University of Maine-led child food and fitness study was cited in a USDA news release announcing $9 million in grants that were awarded to develop childhood obesity intervention programs through colleges and universities in 12 states and Puerto Rico. “Successful projects funded in previous years include the University of Maine’s iCook project, which developed online tools to encourage families to cook, eat and exercise together while improving culinary skills and increasing physical activity,” the news release states. The project is a five-state, $2.5 million USDA study designed to prevent childhood obesity by improving culinary skills and promoting family meals.
Officers will be elected at the Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties Extension Association annual meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, April 13, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls.
The public meeting will include presentations by UMaine Extension educators Tori Jackson and Kristy Ouellette and Master Chef Tom Poulin. A catered meal and a baking contest sponsored by King Arthur Flour will follow the meeting. All attendees are eligible to participate. The two baking categories — pies and other desserts — each offer two prizes. First place is a $50 King Arthur gift card and second place is a $25 King Arthur gift card.
The ASCEA is recruiting new members. In partnership with UMaine Extension staff, County Extension Association members give input on programming needs and oversee budget appropriations that support education programs for county residents. For more information, to RSVP or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.353.5550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ellsworth American reported University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor Marjorie Peronto and her husband Reeser Manley, who teaches for the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Program, will give a public talk in Ellsworth about how to grow organic fruit crops. The gardening experts and co-authors of “The New England Gardener’s Year,” will share their knowledge about organically growing strawberries, raspberries and high-bush blueberries March 31 at Ellsworth City Hall Auditorium, according to the article. The free public event is hosted by the Ellsworth Garden Club. Peronto and Manley will cover organic gardening techniques for each of the small fruit crops and will answer questions after the presentation, the article states.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Poultry Growers Association are offering a school for poultry producers from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at Kennebec Valley Community College, 92 Western Ave., Fairfield.
Topics will include raising poultry on pasture in Maine, proper nutrition and health, predation prevention and efficient management. The school is designed for small- and medium-size producers who raise poultry for eggs or meat. Many topics are suitable for poultry enthusiasts and 4-H teens.
The fee is $25 for MPGA members, $35 for others. Refreshments, lunch and a reference notebook are included. Registration and more information is online. To request a disability accommodation, call 781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine).
Richard Kersbergen, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator on sustainable dairy and forage systems, wrote an article for the Bangor Daily News titled “How Maine’s vast pastureland can help farmers grow revenue.” Even though Maine is seeing a surge in small farms, Kersbergen suggests farm revenues and viability can be increased by tapping into an underutilized resource: grass. “Maine has a huge amount of grass pastures and hayfields that can produce quality milk and meat at a low cost,” Kersbergen wrote. He added Maine has a lot of acreage that could potentially produce high-quality forage for beef and lamb production.
WVII (Channel 7) reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer an introduction to beekeeping class on April 23 at the Extension Office in Bangor. The free three-hour class will be facilitated by a lifelong beekeeper who will discuss the importance of backyard beekeeping in Maine. Topics will include the required equipment, licensing, insurance, inspections and memberships, according to the report.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension publication “Starting Seeds at Home,” by Extension educator Marjorie Peronto and Extension master gardener Theresa Guethler was cited in a Sun Journal article about gardeners getting a jump on this year’s growing season. The publication states growing seedlings inside and transplanting them outside is important for plants that take longer to mature or are sensitive to frost, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and melons. “You can start enjoying flowers and harvesting vegetables four to six weeks earlier than if you had waited for the ground to warm up enough for you to sow the seeds outside,” the bulletin states.
Kathy Hopkins, a maple syrup expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal article titled, “Maple Sunday to go on in central Maine even if sap doesn’t.” More than 100 sugar houses across the state will open their doors to the public as part of the 32nd annual Maine Maple Sunday, even though producers have little sap to boil, according to the article. Hopkins said syrup production began last week in most places, but there is still a shortage of sap. The ideal conditions for sap collection are temperatures that dip into the 20s during the night and rise into the mid-40s during the day — plus plenty of sun and little wind, the article states. “We’ll still have a good season, I think,” Hopkins said.
The National Sea Grant College Program has awarded Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships to three Maine graduates.
Jeffrey Vieser, Liana James and Andrew Strosahl join 49 fellow graduates from around the country who will spend a year working on marine policy in Washington, D.C. The fellowships provide the opportunity for recent graduates to apply their scientific background to marine and coastal policymaking at the national level.
Vieser of Metuchen, New Jersey is one of two Maine Sea Grant scholars selected in 2012 for a year of Sea Grant graduate student research support in the dual degree program in marine science and policy at the University of Maine. As part of his graduate research, Vieser evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the first grid-connected, in-stream tidal power device in the United States. Vieser has worked at the NY/NJ Baykeeper and AmeriCorps, where he faced challenges solving freshwater and marine environmental issues. For his Knauss Fellowship, Vieser will work as a fisheries science coordinator for the National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Science and Technology.
James of Boulder, Colorado, a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, completed her undergraduate degree at Juniata College. As an undergraduate, James sailed aboard the Robert C. Seamans during her semester with Sea Education Association (SEA). During her time with SEA, James sailed to Christmas Island, part of the Republic of Kiribati, where sea-level rise poses an immediate danger to island communities. James has been appointed policy liaison to the executive director of the Committee on the Marine Transportation System.
Strosahl of Southington, Connecticut and Dover, New Hampshire is a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy and received his law degree at the University of Maine School of Law, where he developed legal briefs for the Law School and the Conservation Law Foundation. Before completing his law degree, he worked in the merchant marine as a civilian with the U.S. Navy. He received several awards for his service with the Navy, as well as a Commandant’s Citation at Maine Maritime Academy. Strosahl will serve in the office of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii during his Knauss Fellowship.
The Knauss Fellowship was established in 1979 for students interested in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and the national policy decisions that affect those resources. Qualified graduate students spend a year with hosts in the legislative and executive branch of government. The program is named in honor of one of the founders of the National Sea Grant College Program, former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release advancing “Everything Equine,” a University of Maine 4-H Science Saturday workshop to be held April 4 at the J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center in Orono. Youth in grades K–12 are invited to learn about horses with Anne Lichtenwalner, a UMaine Extension veterinarian; and Robert Causey, an associate professor of animal and veterinary sciences.