Unity College will host a workshop on natural ways to control pests in greenhouses in a daylong seminar offered in partnership with The University of Maine and The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry.
Cost is $15 per person and pre-registration is required. Register online before March 9.
The program includes lunch, hands-on activities, information about about advanced Integrated Pest Management practices, marketing tools, and a “Finding Your Niche” segment. The workshop is approved for two pesticide recertification credits from the Maine Department of Agriculture. For a full agenda, click here or see the bottom of this release.
The hands-on Integrated Pest Management segment will showcase the honors independent study project of Unity College student Jimmy Pickett, who is comparing banker plant species for the beneficial insect Orius insidiosus, or the minute pirate bug.
“We’re excited to host local greenhouse growers and showcase some the work we’ve been doing at McKay Farm and Research Station,” said Dr. Mary Saunders Bulan, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture Enterprise and Director of McKay Farm & Research Station. “We want to be a educational resource not just for Unity College students, but for the greater community engaged in agriculture, and this workshop is a nice example of that. It should be a great day of learning of all of us.”
Bulan and Unity College students offer a tour of McKay Farm, and will show how they’re using technologies such as thermal curtains, solar-heated radiant benches and automatic zone irrigation to meet their production goals. Attendees will be able to learn about ongoing projects including unheated and heated production of salad greens, organic vegetable and flower seedlings, containerized tomato and cucumber production, worm composting, and community greenhouse space rental.
Dr. Jim McConnon, a Business and Economics Specialist with the UMaine Cooperative Extension, will share ideas to help attendees research and target markets, develop marketing plans, and more. And Heather Omand, Organic Marketing and Business Coordinator for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association in Unity, will teach attendees how to use the media to increase a business’s profitability.
“I believe that the future of higher education is in partnerships. We love this partnership with UMaine and the Maine Department of Agriculture,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, “and there are more collaborations in the works.”
8:00 a.m.: Check in and enjoy a cup of coffee
8:30 a.m.: Welcome and introduction to the program
8:35 a.m.: Tour of the greenhouses
Dr. Mary Bulan and her Unity College students will show how they’re using technologies such as thermal curtains, solar-heated radiant benches and automatic zone irrigation to meet their production goals. Learn about their projects, including unheated and heated production of salad greens, organic vegetable and flower seedlings, containerized tomato and cucumber production, worm composting and community greenhouse space rental.
9:30 a.m.: Questions & Answers
Ask about what you see on the tour, and share your thoughts about how you might adapt what you see to your own operation.
10:00 a.m.: BREAK
10:15 a.m.: Marketing Tips for Business Success
Dr. Jim McConnon, UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Business and Economics Specialist, will share ideas to help you research and target your market, develop a marketing plan, and more.
11:15 a.m.: Group Discussion: Marketing
Share your ideas, chat about Jim’s suggestions, and learn from each other.
12:15 p.m.: LUNCH (included onsite)
1:00 p.m.: Integrated Pest Management: Hands-on Activities (1 pesticide recertification credit available)
2:00 p.m.: Pest Management Practices: Grower Panel (1 pesticide recertification credit available)
3:00 p.m.: Digital Marketing
Learn how you can use the media to increase your business’s profitability, from Heather Omand, MOFGA’s Organic Marketing and Business Coordinator.
4:00 p.m.: Program Evaluation; Summary
4:15 p.m.: Adjourn