Ag Show Delights!

Sue & Steve Verrill, Jim Owens and Terry Spencer share a moment in the Maine State Grange Booth.

Grange and Agriculture go together like… pick your simile! I had the privilege of spending a couple of hours at the Augusta Civic Center attending what must be one of the last free trade shows in the country. I saw some old friends… learned a lot… and just had a good time in general.  It’s difficult to pick out highlights… but one certainly had to be getting introduced to the “MooMilk” packaging and sharing in the excitement of this product coming to the shelf soon. The short version is that its organic milk produced locally. Look for it and try it. You’ll love the profiles of the local dairy farms on the container! Check it out at www.moomilkco.com

And speaking of previewing, I also got to preview an advance copy of the book we’ll be giving to classes as part of the ReadME program this year. Awesome! the title is Agriculture ME and it truly is about Maine agriculture. I’d say it’s going to be fun to read and the kids will find it interesting too! 

Lots of maple syrup related stuff at the show this year… and a big surprise for me. According to NE Agricultural Statistics maple syrup production was up 22% nationwide in 2009. But the really big surprise–production in Maine reached a record high 395,000 gallons up 65% from last year! GO Maine! 

I probably spent way to much time in the SWOAM (Small Woodlot Owners Association of Maine) and Maine Forestry Service booths–two organizations that I’ve personally found extremely helpful. If you are interested in trees, you need to know these two organizations! 

Speaking of resources, you might want to take a look at the Maine School Garden Network’s Educators’ Resource. The site enables educators, school nutrition workers and students to connect, ask gardening questions, register their gardens and learn about resources ranging from grants to curriculum. The site’s funding came in a large part from the sale of the Maine Agricultural License Plate. 

I could go on… but hopefully you are already sorry you missed it. That being the case, you can mark your calendar for next year: January 11-13, 2011. In the meantime, grow something!

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