Nomination petitions were received from Edward Carter of Richmond and Benjamin Dearnley of Bowdoinham for the one open position for the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District's Board of Supervisors.
Election Superintendent Jane Heikkinen announced at recent Board of Supervisors meetin, "Ballot votes were verified on November 21 with a one point lead given to Benjamin Dearnley of Bowdoinham. Nomination petions were received from Edward Carter of Richmond and Benjamin Dearnley for the candidacy for the Board of Supervisors position with the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District." The election to this position involves a commitment of service for three years beginning January 1, 2014.
Elected Candidate Benjamin Dearnley graduated from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampsire. His major was in Environmental Science. Currently Dearnley serves as an Ed Tech III at the Spurwink School working with the special needs students. When not working, his time is consumed with working the "Life Force Farm"--an organic vegetable far. the farm property was purchased in 2005. Ben serously became involved in developing and implementing his organic vegetable farm plan in 2008. Dearnley has worked with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff to implement conservation measures on his farm through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program and developed a high tunnel for his organic vegetables. Dearnley said, "I want to give a voice to the needs of the organic farmer."
During his first term as Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisor member, Ben will join the other four members to focus on providing guidance in water quality, water quantity, forestry and economic feasibility issues, as well as programming to address these concerns.
Congratulations are extended to Benjamin Dearnley on a successful candidacy for the Board of Supervisor position.
USDA Local Work Group Meeting
The Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District will hos a meeting of the Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties USDA Local Work Group Meeting on December 19, 2013. The meeting will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the USDA Service Center, 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston.
This meeting is open to the public. Advanced reservation is required by December 12. Please call Jane Heikkinen at 207-753-9400 ext 400 if you have questions, plan to attend or have special needs to be able to attend before December 12.
Agricultural Workshop Program
Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District has received funding from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentive Program Agreeement #68-1218-13-17 to offer "The Andy Valley Successful Farmer". There will be four evening sessions to be held on Tuesdays beginning January 28 through February 18 and one full day session being planned for early May, 2014.
The first of six sessions, "Forest Harvesting Management" was held October 22, beginning at 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Leeds Town Hall, 8 Community Drive. Registration began at 8:30 a.m. with an introduction to Multi-use management, reading the forested landscape, silvicultural concepts and working with your forester; state regulations for boundaries, notification, shoreland zoning and tree growth tax program; in-woods management practices during/after harvesting to prevent erosion and protect water quality; developing and maintaining access roads and NRCS related gprograms. The afternoon included an on-site woodlot tour at The Kennebec Land Trusts' Curtis Homestead with more discussion of the morning topics.
To see the topics covered at the Forest Harvest Management Workshop, click here:
The other workshops have now been planned and the first four of the remaining five will be in the evening with registration beginning at 5:45 p.m. and the workshop will start promptly at 6:00. The final workshop will be an all day program with location and date to be determine. You will need to bring a lunch for the all day program,
The next four workshop sessions will be in the evening. the will be at the USDA Service Center, 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston. The cost is $15 person for each workshop or $50 per person for all five workshops. Scholarships will be available for a second person from your farm. Contact Jane at 753-9400 ext 400 for scholoarship details.
Farm Pond Workshop
The Farm Pond Walk and Talk Workshop was held Saturday, October 19, 2013, from 8:30 to 12 noon. This workshop was held on the Hemond Farm and MotorX area, at 695 Woodman Hill Road, Minot. The session included inside classroom time and an outside walk to three farm ponds for further discussion on farm pond uses.
This workshop was relaxed and informal, covered new pond construction tips, built pond maintenance ideas, planning for pond use and provided opportunity to learn from questions of the other attendees and answers that were given.
The Farm Pond Walk and Tak Workshop was sponsored by the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, hosted by the Hemond Farm and facilitated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agriculutral Engineer Cani Gilpatric. This workshop was offered as a result of requests received from farmers. However, please note that USDA NRCS does not provide cost sharing, technical assistance or construction engineering for new farm pond development.
Other Workshops Already Offered in 2013
Lake Auburn Watershed Septic Social was held Saturday, September 7, at the Volunteer Monitoring Program Office, 24 Maple Hill Road, Auburn from 8:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m.
All septic systems located within a watershed and all septic systems have the potential to impact a nearby waterbody. Learn how you can save money, extend you septic system's life and protect Lake Auburn. This septic social was offered to bring answers to your questions, help you stay on the right side of the law, and offer tips on preventing a system failure. The fantastic speakers and good company made it a fun morning. This Septic Social was offered with the collaborating efforts of Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, Auburn Water District, Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission, Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, W E Fenderson Septic Service, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The Sun Journal published a guest editorial about the event written by Heather Mccarthy. We extend our thanks to both the Sun Journal and Heather.
The first 15 Lake Auburn watershed residents who attended the Septic Social received a coupon from the Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission to add to the discount offered by W.E. Fenderson Septic Services for a septic tank pump out.
New Standards for Timber Harvesting in Shoreland Areas
Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District and Maine Forest Service partnered to offer this FREE workshop for code enforcement officers, woodlot owners, forest operators and any others interested. The workshop was held in the USDA Service Center's Conference Room at 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston.
The topics covered the new laws, options for municipalities and key changes for timber harvesting. The instructors took time to address questions and offered to do follow up visits.
The Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors election will be held to find a member living in Androscoggin or Sagadahoc County and to be elected for a three year term beginning January 1, 2014. A District Supervisor is responsible for decision making as it pertains to the protection, promotion and sustainability of our natural resources within the boundaries of Androscoggin and Sagadahoc County; for serving as a representative of the citizens in this Conservation District; as well as giving direction to help in the achievement of the operational goals and overall mission of this Conservation District. Nomination forms are available at the Office. Twenty five signatures of registered voters in Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counites are required to be nominated as a candidate. Call Jane at 207-753-9400 ext 400 for more information or to obtain a form.
OTHER EVENTS IN 2012
Earth Smart-“Farming for the Future”
A Maine Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction and Certification Program
Professional Development Workshop was held with about 30 people participating on June 20, 2012 at Maple Hill Farm Inn, 11 Inn Road, Hallowell, Maine.
Earth Smart is a Maine agricultural emissions reduction certification program developed by collaborating partners to provide a whole farm assessment and help farmers prioritize recommended practices that will reduce emissions on the farm while providing additional co-benefits. The program will recognize farmers for the implementation of good agricultural practices and will help position them to take advantage of current and future regional and national carbon offset markets, if they wish to do so.
The Earth Smart program was developed by: Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, Kennebec County Soil and Water Conservation District, Maine Department of Agriculture, Maine Forest Service, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Maine Rural Partners, AgMatters LLC and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Additional support and contributions were received from Maine Farm Bureau, Maine Association of Conservation Districts, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Farm Credit East, Time and Tide Resource and Development Area, Northeast SARE, National Wildlife Federation; Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Ivan Fernandez; Juan Alvez and others who have donated time to edit and comment on the documents. We thank all who have been involved, without their help this program would not have been possible.
New Farmer Workshop Series
Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District partnered with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Department of Agriculture and Maine Forest Service to provide a basic introduction to agriculture issues in a seven part series.