Thursday, May 17, 2012

DRDC / Farm Project updates

Good morning DRDC members and other important people~

1.  DRDC President Roger Brawn & Engineer Keith Ewing of Plymouth Engineering announced last Friday the "low bidder" of the Fossa Building Renovation of "leaking wall" is J. Wilbur Construction; coming in almost 2/3 less than the next bid and came in at the approximate price that the Engineer firm 'figured'.
The signing of the contract took place on Wednesday, May 16th.
CDBG Terry Ann Stevens was contacted and it is a go!!!  Thanks to Terry Ann for all her quick responses and help while I am learning proper procedure!

2.  J. Wilbur Construction & Roger Brawn and Keith Ewing (and me) gathered at 8 am yesterday, Wednesday May 16th to sign the contract.  Within a few hours, Jonathan and crew began work and plans on having the inside wall finished this week and the outside next week.  The roofing company that did our original roof work, is sub'ing on finishing up the changes done to the roof.  So this part of the project should be done in 2 weeks and we can start the final phase.

3.  Keith, Roger and I met last Friday (Jason was unable to attend) and we went through the plans for working on the Bid package to finish the project.  We also met with Dexter's Code Enforcement Officer Jana Wood about what she needs from us and to all be on the same page.  We found out that by Dexter's code, we do not need an occupancy permit but we do need Fire Marshal and all electrical & plumbing has to be done by Masters of each field.

Keith Ewing contacted QA13, our original architect and they denied the use of the blue prints for this phase of the project so Keith is doingnew plans  to fit our current needs.  I am so thankful to have Keith (Plymouth Engineering) on board!!!  He is taking care of us every step of the way.  Roger & I have tremendous faith in his work.

4.  Mr. Mike Rollins called from USDA about our $40K grant for the kitchen equipment.  There is now a big RUSH on getting kitchen equipment bought because current deadline isJune 30th with (maybe) a written extension if need be.  But Mike would rather we use it up now.  I guess I will be busy the next few weeks.  Mike talked with both Roger and myself so we both are on the same page ;)
On a good note, Mike said that the wood or oil fire oven can be covered under this grant IF it passes the Fire Chief's standards.

  5. I met with the knowledgeable  Linda Titus last Friday morning at the store.  Linda is with Ag Matters and she teaches about food safety, GAP, kitchen stuff, and lots more.  When the time comes, she will come and teach some classes that I feel are needed for our farmers:  which is especially important when selling wholesale to restaurants, hospitals, schools etc. 
She gave me names of other nonprofits that have commercial kitchens (one of which I was at in Farmington last month), to get more info on details of what we need, licensing, etc.
Lauchlin and Linda Titus's company website is at:  -  They are very well know in the Ag world and are a wealth of information.

I also have been talking with Trish from Western Mountain Alliance as I told you at our last meeting.  The grant for the DBT is not a fit for us, but she gave me better news and a name to call who may pay for the whole system.  That call is coming up soon.  I will let you know how that goes.

5.  I am scheduled to speak at Dexter Kiwanis tomorrow, Friday, May 18th at 6:15 am  (yup, me at 6:15 AM is not pretty), but anyway, they have been after me to do it, so off I go :)
    Keep your fingers crossed that I have presence of mind to "talk in an understandable manner".  This will be the 3rd such talk in the past couple years they have invited me to talk about the Farm Project.  I am inviting them to a tour following the meeting, about 8 am, if anyone would like to stop by.  I have conveyed this to the J. Wilbur Construction company and he will make sure things are "picked up" as he said while they are doing the 'look/see'.

6.  I am so sad to tell you that our benefactor Ernestine Fossa (who she & family donated the store to us) has passed away this week.  I am saddened that she never got to see it open as she was so excited about our project.  I am sure she will be looking over us and helping us to make it happen anyway.  RIP Mrs. Fossa... Her obituary is at  She was a wonderful lady!!!  Roger and I made an executive decision yesterday to make  donation in her name.

That is it for now.... I am probably forgetting a lot, but call me with your thoughts and or questions.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Preconditioned Feeder Calf Sale May 19th

Grass has started to grow and backyard beef producers looking for beef calves to turn out on pasture this spring have an opportunity to buy healthy calves. The Maine Beef Producers Association (MBPA) is sponsoring a preconditioned feeder calf sale at the Northeast Livestock Expo on Saturday, May 19th at 11 am at the Windsor Fair Grounds, just off Route 32 in Windsor .

Cow Calf producers have taken the time to precondition their calves for this sale. Preconditioning reduces the incidence of respiratory disease, enteritis and pinkeye by increasing the immunity of the calf in preparation of the stress of weaning and shipping. Dehornings and castrations are healed. “This is a great opportunity to purchase high quality calves for your summer pasture,” says Dick Brown MBPA Director and auctioneer for the sale.

Some cow calf producers consigning animals to the sale have also signed affidavits attesting that their animals have been raised under the MBPA Natural Meats program protocol of never having received hormones, antibiotics, or feeds or feed supplements containing animal-by-products. And/or their animals are 100% grass (forage) fed, no grains, grain-by-products, grain crops, grain crop silages, or other prohibited feeds under the USDA grass fed guidelines have been fed.

The MBPA are expecting about 100 calves weighing from 400 to 900 pounds to be sold at the May 19th sale at 11 am. If you are interested in buying a few or a lot of animals or have questions contact Sale Manager, Pete Dusoe at 207-948-3233, 207-416-5441 or or Bob Dusoe at 207-322-5609.