Agriculture and Food

Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply

Job Openings with UConn Extension

UConn Extension is hiring! We have several positions open. Please visit the individual position links for full descriptions and information on how to apply:

Meet Solid Ground’s new Program Co-Coordinator: Brittany Hall! Inbox

Hey Farmers!
Just wanted to give a face to a new name you might see floating around to help with out Solid Ground Projects. Though we were so lucky and grateful to have Charlotte Ross for many years helping with the project, she has stepped down and Brittany Hall has taken her position!  Here’s a little bit about her and we hope you’re excited as we are to work with her!
Meet Brittany:
selfie of Britney
Brittany came to farming following a career in nonprofits where she wore many hats over the years, including: case manager, donations coordinator, volunteer coordinator, and wellness programs manager. Unbeknownst to her, the skills she learned in nonprofits would be valuable when she began farming in 2018. Since then she has been fortunate to learn from several farmers who have passed on their indispensable knowledge. She is passionate about food justice, providing healthy and organic produce to local consumers, and queering the food system. Brittany and her partner recently established Beets & Blooms Farm, an organic cut flower and vegetable farm in East Hampton, CT.
Using her background in farming and program management, Brittany comes to the Solid Ground team as Project Co-Coordinator, helping with farmer trainings; creating online programs that farmers can access from anywhere; and sharing the ingenious farm hacks she learns from local Connecticut farmers.

Hemp Fest Registration Open

hemp fest flyerDear hemp growers, service providers, and businesses interested in the hemp industry,

We invite you to join us for an educational and networking event on Thursday, June 2, 2022, from 3-7 pm at Running Brook Farms, Killingworth, CT. The educational portion will include farmer panel discussions covering Hemp IPM as well as reduced tillage for plant growth and soil health. The day will include updates from the field & greenhouse with a Hemp Tour at Running Brook Farm. USDA NRCS will be on site with the Soil Health Rainfall Demo to show the impact of runoff.

The second half of the event will include a Seed Swap and Clone Sale. Enjoy food and a chance to connect while listening to live music sponsored by CHIA. A variety of vendors and exhibitors will be at the farm for the duration of the event. This event will provide valuable resources for local producers seeking to make connections, gain knowledge, and connect with the Hemp community.

Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2022-connecticut-hemp-fest-tickets-327616568977

This program is a joint effort of CT RC&D, USDA NRCS, UConn Extension, CT Department of Agriculture, and CT Hemp Industry Association (CHIA).

FSA Job Openings

Hartford/Tolland County FSA Hiring for Two Temporary Program Technician Positions

The Hartford/Tolland County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Windsor, CT is hiring two full time, Temporary Program Technicians (PTs). The deadline to apply is May 27, 2022.

Duties include general office activities supporting FSA programs administered at the field level. These positions will support other offices in Connecticut and local travel will be required. Mileage reimbursement will be provided for use of a personal vehicle but government vehicles may be available for use. The positions may be required to perform field visits for the purpose of measuring fields. Successful applicants must be reliable, have a professional attitude and enjoy working with the public.

If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested, please share this information with them. To apply please submit a copy of your resume to Jule Dybdahl at Jule.Dybdahl@usda.gov.

Contact Jule Dybdahl at 860.871.4097 if you have specific questions regarding the position.

Job Opening – Project Outreach Coordinator in Northeast Connecticut

Job Opening – Project Outreach Coordinator in Northeast Connecticut

(Accepting applications until May 30, 2022)

UConn Extension is actively seeking to fill a part-time, six month position of Project Outreach Educator in Northeast Connecticut. This is an exciting opportunity for the right person who is versatile, responsive, and demonstrates an interest in local food and farms in Connecticut.

PLEASE DO NOT APPLY UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO WORK EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS.

The Project – With funding from USDA, UConn Extension is leading a project in Northeastern CT, Grown ConNECTed, that is focused on increasing sales and customers for farms producing locally grown food. The target region includes over 130 local farm and food retail businesses in 23 towns of Northeastern CT. The project is led by a Communications Coordinator and guided by an Advisory Board of farm businesses.

Summary of Primary Responsibilities – The Project Outreach Coordinator will deliver outreach across the 23-town region. Through outreach, there is a potential to tap into the social capital and networks that already exist in the region by engaging with town elected leaders, agriculture commissions, municipal employees, community-based projects, organizations and boards, as well as through tabling and making presentations about local food at community events. This approach will help build momentum for the regional marketing campaign, Grown ConNECTed.

Supervisor – Jiff Martin, UConn Extension Educator in Food Systems.

Work week – 20-30 hours per week with flexible hours. This position will require weekend and evening duties. Please do not apply if you are not available most weekends in the summer and fall. Some collaborative work (in the Vernon office) will be required, some focused work (at home) is expected, and some time traveling throughout the region for events, tabling, etc.

Candidates must provide their own transportation. The office is located at: Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Avenue, Vernon, CT 06066

Compensation – $25/hour. Timesheets are submitted every two weeks. This is a temporary, project-based position without benefits. There is an opportunity to renew the contract at least once after 6 months. This is a grant-funded position. Travel to events will be reimbursed at the federal mileage rate.

Duration – Position starts as soon as possible. Continuing or renewed employment in the following year is dependent on job performance.

Duties:

● Prepare, schedule, and implement presentations in targeted region about why and where to buy local food

● Table at farmers markets, agriculture/food events, as well as adjacent sector events (such as a health services fair or a festival where families are likely to attend) in targeted region to share communication materials, sign up residents for email, and build overall brand visibility in the region for consumers

● Distribution and delivery of marketing campaign materials to businesses, farms, town halls, farmers markets, food retailers etc in the region

● Help identify key events in the region that we should be participating in and complete registration and requirements for tabling

● Assist the Communications Coordinator in gathering content for digital and print communications, this includes updated info on farm locations, hours, products

● Provide critical input to the project team on what consumers are saying, what residents are looking for, and how town leaders are responding to the marketing campaign

Ideal Qualifications:

● Excellent time management and organization skills, including the ability to prioritize tasks while managing multiple activities and stay ahead of deadlines

● Strong presentation skills in group settings, both in-person and virtual

● Enjoys communicating with people from diverse backgrounds

● Is comfortable tabling in public settings, including setting up the display, being prepared to manage various weather conditions, maintaining engaging interaction with the public

● Familiar with region of Northeastern Connecticut; applicants from the region are strongly encouraged to apply

● Professional writing and email skills necessary to interact with public officials, business leaders, and other stakeholders

● Experience using social media, demonstrating an understanding for what works on different platforms

● Proven administrative skills, maintaining contact info, scheduling meetings, and managing Google Drive folders/docs

● Experience working with a project team, collaborative, or coalition that includes representatives of state agencies, municipalities, non-profits, and the private sector

● Works well independently as needed, good problem-solving skills

● Interested in the interconnected issues of food, health, nutrition, equity, and justice

● Must have own transportation

● Spanish speaking is a plus

● College degree preferred

To Apply – Send a resume and cover letter by May 20th to lauren.manuck@uconn.edu

The University of Connecticut is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

People of color, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and members of traditionally underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Infant Formula Shortage

Infant Formula Shortage – y en Espanol

infant formula shortage infographicHave you or someone you know been impacted by the infant formula supply shortage?  You may be wondering how this happened and what to do about it. In February 2022, Abbott Laboratory, an infant formula company, recalled several of its formulas due to complaints about infants affected after formula consumption. In addition, there was bacteria found in part of their building that did not produce the formula.  Abbott voluntarily recalled those formulas. The formula recall plus the pandemic related food supply shortage has resulted in a nationwide shortage. There are some important steps to keep in mind so that all babies have enough and safe sources of needed formula and or breastmilk. Breastfeeding is always healthier for a baby’s nutrition and immune system, but some moms are not able to breastfeed or may not produce enough breast milk. Get advice from your doctor and nutritionist/dietitian. If you receive W.I.C. (Women, Infants and Children) Program benefits, you can talk with the program nutritionists about getting help with breastfeed techniques if you are breastfeeding or receiving formula sources that your baby needs.

     Do

     Don’t

Do choose a safe infant formula. Don’t make homemade formula.
Do follow formula directions to prepare properly and safely, Don’t give watered down formula.
Do follow your doctor and nutritionist advice for formula. Don’t give your baby cow’s milk, toddler milk or milk substitutes (unless told by your doctor).
Do find safe places to buy or get safe donations. Don’t buy formula from unknown online sites or  from outside the United States.
If you do need breastmilk, find safe breast milk banks, Don’t accept breast milk donations from unknown sources.

Remember to wash your hands before preparing formula and to store formula or breastmilk properly.    Find Infant Formula   CT WIC updates   CT Formula Temporary Substitution List

*The Federal Government has now started emergency production as well as locating formula that meets FDA standards as well as locating formula sources from oversees  that meet FDA safety standards. 

Sources: https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/abbott-voluntarily-recalls-powder-formulas-manufactured-one-plant  ; https://www.fns.usda.gov/ofs/infant-formula-safety; https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/InfantandToddlerNutrition/formula-feeding/choosing-an-infant-formula.html

Written and Compiled by

Umekia R. Taylor, MS, RDN, CDN, Heather Peracchio, MS, RDN, CDN, Sherry Gray, MPH, RD, Michael J. Puglisi, Ph.D., R.D. 

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

05/2022 


Escasez de Fórmula Infantil

infant formula shortage infographic¿Usted o alguien que conoce se ha visto afectado por la escasez de fórmula infantil? Quizás se pregunte cómo sucedió esto y qué hacer al respecto. En febrero de 2022, Abbott Laboratory, una empresa de fórmulas para bebés retiró del mercado varias de sus fórmulas debido a quejas sobre bebés afectados después de su consumo. Además, se encontraron bacterias en partes de su edificio que no produjeron la fórmula. Abbott retiró voluntariamente esas fórmulas. El retiro del mercado de la fórmula, más la escasez de alimentos relacionada con la pandemia ha resultado en una escasez a nivel nacional. Hay algunos pasos importantes a tener en cuenta para que todos los bebés tengan fuentes suficientes y seguras de fórmula o leche materna necesarias. La lactancia materna siempre será más saludable para la nutrición y el sistema inmunitario del bebé, pero algunas mamás no pueden amamantar o es posible que no produzcan suficiente leche materna. Obtenga el consejo de su médico y nutricionista/dietista. Si recibe beneficios del programa W.I.C. (Mujeres, Bebés y Niños), puede hablar con los nutricionistas del programa sobre cómo obtener ayuda con las técnicas de lactancia si está amamantando o recibiendo suministros de fórmula que necesita su bebé.

Qué Hacer

Que No Hacer

Elija una fórmula infantil segura. No haga fórmula casera.
Siga las instrucciones de la fórmula para prepararla de manera adecuada y segura. No le dé fórmula aguada a su bebé.
Siga los consejos de su médico y nutricionista para la fórmula. No le dé a su bebé leche de vaca, leche para niños pequeños o sustitutos de la leche (a menos que se lo indique su médico)
Busque lugares de confianza para comprar u obtener donaciones seguras. No compre fórmula en sitios de internet desconocidos o fuera de los Estados Unidos.
Si necesita leche materna, busque bancos de leche materna seguros. No acepte donaciones de leche materna de fuentes desconocidas.

Recuerde lavarse las manos antes de preparar la fórmula y almacenar adecuadamente la fórmula o la leche materna.  Find Infant Formula   CT WIC updates   CT Formula Temporary Substitution List

Fuentes:https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/abbott-voluntarily-recalls-powder-formulas-manufactured-one-plant  ; https://www.fns.usda.gov/ofs/infant-formula-safety; https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/InfantandToddlerNutrition/formula-feeding/choosing-an-infant-formula.html

Escrito y compilado por:

Umekia R. Taylor, MS, RDN, CDN, Heather Peracchio, MS, RDN, CDN, Sherry Gray, MPH, RD, Michael J. Puglisi, Ph.D., R.D. 

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

05/2022 

Seedlings in a Lawn

seedling infographic

Friend or foe? What are those seedlings coming up in your lawn? We are getting numerous calls and e-mails from people all around the state about seedlings coming up in their lawns and gardens. They believe, or are being told, that these are poison ivy, when in fact they are maple seedlings.
 
People need to check the leaves carefully – poison ivy is in threes, maples seedling have two leaves.
 
Some people do not want to mow their lawns for fear of being exposed to poison ivy. This is a mast year for certain maples, that is why there are so many.
 
Thanks to Pamm Cooper of our UConn Home & Garden Education Center for answering this question for us.
 
#AskUConnExtension

A Community of Farms in Northeastern Connecticut

little girl holding a sign that says fresh is best
Photo: Becca Toms

The UConn Extension Sustainable Food Systems program launched a new brand in Northeastern Connecticut to help connect residents in the region with farms and farmers providing products directly to consumers. This new brand “Grown ConNECTed: A Community of Farms in Northeastern Connecticut” consists of a new website (grownconNECTed.org) with multiple resources for finding farms that fit residents needs, social media channels on Facebook and Instagram, and providing resources and trainings for farmers to enable them to connect with more customers. 

The brand was chosen and created in partnership with farmers and community members in the region. The phrase and logo were chosen to indicate that there is more than just the labor that a farmer puts into the products they produce. There is a community they are connected with that supports them through not just buying their products, but creating relationships that make every meal—for the farmer and consumer, a little richer in it’s meaning (and flavor too!). 

Through the Grown ConNECTed campaign, you can find farmers markets, farms that have CSAs and Farm Stands, and also alternative locations like other retailers and restaurants that sell products from local farms. 

This program was made possible through a USDA Agriculture Marketing Services grant. Visit grownconNECTed.org  for more information.

Article by Becca Toms

Windham County Extension Council Annual Meeting

Dr. Joe Emenheiser performs an ultrasound scan on a beef x dairy calf at the UConn Kellogg Dairy Center
Dr. Joe Emenheiser performs an ultrasound scan on a beef x dairy calf at the UConn Kellogg Dairy Center. Photo: Kara Bonsack

Dr. Joe Emenheiser, our livestock ExtensionEducator, will present on the use of ultrasound technology for meat quality improvement.Demand for local meat is at unprecedented highs, and ensuring quality meat products is vital for economic development. Ultrasound technology allows meat quality traits to be objectively measured in live animals, enabling livestock producers to make more informed selection decisions. Join us for a fun and educational session! 

The meeting is Wednesday, May 11th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Download the flyer for more information.