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Extending Knowledge, Changing Lives!

June 2020 edition! The official e-newsletter for University of Maryland Eastern Shore Extension.

Staying connected...

Thank you for your continuous link to UMES Extension!  Words are hard to find when trying to describe the heap of trials that citizens in Maryland are circumventing every day…from the pandemic and unemployment to disturbing social restlessness. It is good, therefore, to be able to stay in touch.

At UMES Extension, we continue supporting the nutritional needs of families and educating small farmers and ranchers.  Presently, UMES Extension educators are getting ready to join faculty and staff who are making preparations to go back to campus offices at the beginning of July. The teleworking experience has enriched our online capabilities allowing us to serve our clients even though things are “not normal.” For example, we have held three webinars over the last three months.

In this edition of Connections!, you will learn a bit about those webinars. I’m hoping it will entice you to  join us for the next one. In addition, you will learn about some important research and about some of the work we are doing in the community.

Finally, UMES Extension’s Health and Nutrition team is preparing for several very busy virtual youth camps this summer; and the Small Farm team is planning for the next Small Farm Conference in November 2020.  Among other things, you can help them decide if it should be a virtual event or not. A link to their survey is below:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JJC2WJC

The 4-H STEM robotic team will soon begin preparations for future contests and for activities that teach how to build and program robots. Stay tuned for enrollment dates. 

Well, that’s it for now! Keep safe…stay at home…wash your hands!!!
 
Nelson Escobar, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Administrator
UMES Extension
enescobar@umes.edu

USDA-backed study shows small farm success linked to networks 

 

A four-year study of the social networks of small-scale and minority specialty-crop farmers in Maryland, Delaware and Tennessee has come to a close.  The findings, recently reported in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, show that farmers who play a prominent role in their network realize greater profits.  Supported by a half-million dollar USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Capacity Building Grant, the research can help farming groups and agricultural support organizations leverage networks to enhance farmers’ success. 

It aligns with NIFA’s global food security challenge area, especially pertinent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
                                                                                                               READ MORE ►

 

Tri-County communities focus of UMES health program


Creating “healthier, more sustainable places to live, work and play” across the country is the goal of the Well Connected Communities Initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Under the leadership of Dr. Virginie Zoumenou, 1890 Nutrition and Health Programs director, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is the recipient of a $65,000 WAVE 2 competitive WCC sub-grant to continue its efforts to “initiate the culture of health” in the Tri-County area.
    
                                     READ MORE >

UMES is part of multi-state research team studying benefits of grazing on organic crops
 

 
The USDA awarded $9.5 million to 11 collaborative, multi-state projects to “enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops.” The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is a collaborator on one of the projects.

UMES, in partnership with the University of California at Davis, University of Minnesota, The Organic Center in Washington, D.C. and the USDA-Agriculture Research Station in Beltsville, Maryland, were collectively awarded a nearly $1 million grant to “investigate the benefits of livestock integration through cover-crop grazing on bacterial population dynamics, food safety, and soil and environmental health,” said Dr. Fawzy Hashem, co-director on the project and a research associate professor in UMES’ Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences.

   

 
UMES participates in research to ensure food at farmers markets are safe
 
Keeping products sold at Delmarva's farmers markets safe from potential foodborne illness and preparing local farmers for the mandated 2021 compliance to the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act is the goal of nearly a half-million dollar USDA Capacity Building Grant.  Dr. Salina Parveen, professor of food science and technology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore joins researchers at Virginia State University and Delaware State University in the project titled, "Preparing for the Future: Building Capacity for Food Safety Compliance at Farmers Markets.”
 
 
Click image for WMDT 47abc interview with UMES' Dr. Salina Parveen.
Food Safety Fridays: A How-To Webinar Series 
 
The  monthly webinar series will focus on how to comply with key provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule from enacting practices to efficient record keeping strategies. 

How to: Get A Handle On Water Quality, July 17, noon 
How to: Manage Wildlife, August 21, noon  
 
Register for the above webinars and more at foodsafetyfridays.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact Sarah Everhart at severhart@law.umaryland.edu or call 410-706-7377.

The webinar series is hosted by the Maryland Food Safety Network in cooperation with the UMES and UMD Extension services, the UMD Agriculture Law Education Initiative and the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Helping farmers keep abreast of COVID-19 programs
 

University of Maryland Eastern Shore Extension partnered with the Small Business Development Center Eastern Region, the Agriculture Law Education Initiative and the Maryland Agricultural and Resource Based Industry Development Corporation to provide a timely, free webinar on May 20 for farmers impacted by COVID-19.  The aim of the webinar was twofold:  to provide agricultural producers with the most current, practical information about loan and grant solutions available to help them weather the financial impacts of the pandemic and to inform farm employers about changes in employee paid sick leave and paid family leave laws.    Read More>

UMES Extension Makes the Shift
 
UMES Extension’s "Integrated Parasite Management Workshop" was originally planned as a March 26 face-to-face event. Then came the major and seemingly sudden shift brought on by COVID-19. Extension educators left their offices Friday, March 13, without a clue as to when they would return. Along with the rest of the world, quite literally, they were forced to adapt as quickly as possible to serving from a distance.
 
Mid-Atlantic Local Food Resource Map Now Live
 
Future Harvest and the Maryland Farmers Market Association have announced a new online map to help people find fresh, local foods in the Chesapeake Bay region during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are already 500+ entries on the map. The organizations invite more farmers, markets, and producers to participate.

You can view the map here. By clicking on the doc link in the top left-hand corner, users can find the form to submit an entry and to read the safety protocols. In case people have a hard time finding the docs, they can access the submission form here to get on the map. 

Equally as important! All farmers, markets, and producers are asked to read and abide by the safety protocols here, for the sake of farmers and consumers alike.
 

Upcoming Event


How to:  Get a Handle on Water Quality
July 17, noon

 

UMES Extension in the News
 

UMES helping with study on food safety at farmers markets
WMDT, June 25, 2020

Livestock Grazing Holds Potential Benefits in Organic Systems
AgNet West, June 15, 2020

Agricultural Researchers awarded more than $1 million in grants
The Farmville Herald, June 11, 2020

Princess Anne farmers market announces grand opening celebration
WMDT 47ABC, June 10, 2020

Virginia State University agricultural researchers awarded $1.4M in grants
Augusta Free Press, June 9, 2020

$4.8 million invested in Centers of Excellence
FarmProgress.com, June 4, 2020
 
USDA announces $9.5 million in grants for specialty crop industry
FreshPlaza.com , April 27, 2020
 
Big Funding for Specialty Crop Multi-State Programs
California Ag Today, May 1, 2020

Webinar: SBA and other Loan and Grant Solutions for Agriculture Producers
University of Maryland Extension, May 15, 2020

UMES researcher busy working underground
American Farm Publications, Delmarva Farmer, May 22, 2020

Specialty grant to examine impact of integrating animals in crop rotations
AberdeenNews.com, May 24, 2020

Multistate project explores livestock grazing impacts on organic crops
Feedstuffs, May 26, 2020
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