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Trades Show schedule of the Beginning Farmer Resource Network

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Augusta Civic Center

Each year at Maine's Agricultural Trades Show, MOFGA offers a series of presentations and discussion groups covering a wide range of sustainable agriculture subjects. All presentations are free and open to the public. Presentations are held in the Cumberland Room, the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room, and the Androscoggin Room (one presentation, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.). There is no pre-registration for the day's events.

MOFGA also has an information exhibit during all three days of the Trades Show. Staff and committee members are available to answer questions about MOFGA's ongoing programs.

MOFGA members are encouraged to attend the Association's Annual Meeting, which will be held from 1:30 to 4:00 in the Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room.

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MOFGA presentations at the 2015 Agricultural Trades Show

Cumberland Room Schedule

9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Calibrations for Backpack and Boom Sprayers for the Small Scale Farm *
Dave Colson, MOFGA Ag. Services Director and C.J. Walke, MOFGA Organic Orchardist
Proper calibration of backpack and boom sprayers can be a challenge for the small-scale farm operation. Pesticide labels often provide rates for application on a per acre basis while smaller equipment requires a conversion. Join MOFGA Staff Dave Colson and C.J. Walke as they demonstrate how to make the conversions and calibrations appropriate for smaller acreage.

10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Wholesale Buyers Panel
Martha Putnam, Farm Fresh Connection
John Naylor, Rosemont Market and Bakery
Marada Cook, Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative
Jeff Landry, Native Maine
Chelsea Wagner, Close to Home Specialist, Hannaford

Come hear from a panel of Maine wholesale purchasers about their business models, their expectations from the farmers they work with, and what types of things farmers need to consider when evaluating wholesale markets.

11 a.m. to noon
Wholesale Farmers Panel
Jed Beach and Emilia Carbone, 3 Bug Farm
Ralph Caldwell, Caldwell Family Farm
Jason Kafka, Checkerberry Farm
Steve Sinsi, New Leaf Farm

This panel of farmers experienced in selling to wholesale markets will complement the day,s earlier session from the perspective of wholesale purchasers. This panel will share their perspectives on how they got in to wholesale, major challenges and opportunities for Maine farmers in wholesale markets, and decision making criteria for farmers considering selling wholesale in the future.

Noon – Commissioner's Luncheon

1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
MOFGA Annual Meeting – Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room

3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Peter Abello, NRCS District Conservationist and Beth Schiller, Dandelion Spring Farm
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides cost share and technical assistance to farmers throughout the state. Come hear from a local NRCS representative about programs available and how to access NRCS services. We'll also hear from a farmer who has used NRCS programs about her experiences and advice.

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Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room Schedule

9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Organic Certification 101 *
Mary Yurlina, MOFGA Certification Director
If you market and sell products as ORGANIC, chances are good you need to need to be certified by a USDA-accredited certifier to comply with USDA regulations. MOFGA Certification Staff will provide an overview of organic production practices. Information on how to become certified organic will also be presented.

10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Knowing and Managing Pests and Diseases in High Tunnels *
Eric Sideman, MOFGA Crop Specialist
Over the past few decades more and more growers have moved more and more of their production under cover. The driving forces were getting away from pests and disease, growing crops out of season, and pushing the production to new limits. Now we all are realizing that although most common field production problems are eliminated, we are facing problems less familiar to us New England growers. Come learn what they are, what causes them, and how to deal with them.

11 a.m. to noon
No-till Spring Vegetables Using Winterkilled Cover Crops *
Natalie Lounsbury
Spring tillage can have deleterious effects on soil quality, compacting soil if it is too wet, and making it susceptible to erosion. Multiple years of research in Maryland showed that a winterkilled forage radish cover crop could replace spring tillage by creating a weed-free, dry, and nutrient rich seedbed for early spring vegetables like spinach. Results from one site year in Maine using the same system with an earlier fall planting date were encouraging for spinach, carrots, and peas. It may be possible, even in northern climates, to eliminate spring tillage with the right cover crops.

Noon – Commissioner's Luncheon

1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
MOFGA Annual Meeting – Piscataquis/Sagadahoc Room
Hear from MOFGA Staff, Board Members and Committee Chairs regarding the organization's activities and accomplishments over the past year. Elect MOFGA's Board of Directors for the coming year and network with members. Vote on proposed amendments to the MOFGA by-laws.

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Androscoggin Room Schedule

3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Jason Johnston
Jason Johnston and Krista Delahunty started Aroostook Hops in 2009, and sell to breweries in Maine and New Hampshire. Hops are a perennial plant that take grow 20+ feet each season, and take 2-3 years to establish and produce a crop. While hops grow well in Maine, the challenge of weed and disease management, trellising, mechanical harvesting, drying, and packaging require considerable planning and investment. Jason and Krista will discuss these challenges, along with the opportunity for expanded hops production in Maine, and share their experience growing and marketing their hops.


* Counts for one recertification credit for Pesticide Applicator Licenses

Growers who use only general-use (over-the-counter) pesticides and annually sell more than $1,000 of plant or plant products intended for human consumption are required to be licensed by the Maine Board of Pesticides Control by April 1, 2015. This requirement applies to growers who use pesticides that are approved for use in organic production. Once the exam is passed the applicant can apply for the three-year Agricultural Basic license, which costs $15 and requires one hour of continuing education annually. If you have questions about whether or not you need to comply with the law contact Gary Fish, Maine Board of Pesticides Control at gary.fish@maine.gov. More information on Maine.gov.


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