Maine Ag Trades Show Walk-Through

The 75th Maine Agricultural Trades Show took place January 12-14, 2016 in Augusta and I visited the show to see what’s up. Booths on gardening, maple syrup, farm equipment, composting, dairy, apples, fruit trees, grains, alpaca, sheep and forestry were just a few of those present. I picked up seed catalogs from Fedco and Johnny’s; fact sheets from MOFGA on “Feeding Whole Grains to Chickens,” and the “Basics of Organic Vegetable Farming;” a copy of ZEST magazine; a tea towel from the Maine Grain Alliance (see the photo); and a $4 book (quite comprehensive) on “Raising Small Numbers of Sheep.” In the breakout rooms, Maine Fiber Frolic Association met to plan for the 16th annual show (always the first weekend in June; volunteers needed), and there were many, many talks by other groups on: researching plums, high tunnel tomatoes, managing farm conflicts, organic certification, creating a farm legacy, protecting intellectual property, digital marketing, and the keeping of bees, to name only a few. I learned that Ashley Sears is now the Marketing Specialist at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; spoke with Chellie Pingree who was present at the show; and found dates for agricultural shows and The Kneading Conference that will be added to our Bulletin. All in all, a good encapsulated intro to farming in Maine.

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