AUGUSTA – Seminars, exhibitors and educational opportunities will abound during Maine’s three-day 2009 Agricultural Trades Show from Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 13-15, in the Augusta Civic Center.

Where else can one learn the basics of breeding goats and beef cattle, making sense out of unpredictable weather and climate, or how to reap the wind for farm energy needs?

“The show provides an atmosphere for everyone to walk through, observe and educate themselves about the different areas of agriculture,” Judy Blaisdell, trades show coordinator, said in a Dec. 30 news statement.

Hosted by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, the 68th annual event will feature dozens of lectures, demonstrations and meetings involving 40 major agricultural organizations, committees and agencies.

Additionally, the sold-out exhibit floor will showcase more than 100 exhibits featuring the newest in agricultural products, equipment and services.

“Not only does the trades show furnish a showplace for farmers and producers to come and see the most up-to-date farm equipment and farming needs, it also provides an opportune juncture for networking and exchanging ideas,” Blaisdell said.

The event is also a boon for non-farmers and new and beginning farmers.

“It is a great opportunity to learn how locally grown food is harvested and processed. . . . With economic troubles a growing concern, the benefits of local agriculture are even more important,” Blaisdell said.

The main auditorium will feature a stage with periodic floral design demonstrations presented by the Maine State Florists Association.

Energy is one of the more popular topics this year. Blaisdell said discussions will be presented regarding what farmers can do to conserve and produce energy.

Other topics being covered in presentations during the three days range from new farm marketing strategies to cultural agricultural issues, floral design and woodlot management.

Additionally, on Tuesday, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Board of Pesticides Control will present four 60-minute training sessions. Licensed pesticide applicators and dealers may attend the sessions to earn credits toward recertification. One credit will be allowed for attendance at an entire hour of each topic covered. Four credits are available.

“Whether you are a farmer, a hobbyist, an educator, or supplier, simply coming together keeps Maine agriculture strong,” Blaisdell said.


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