The Maine FARMcast

The Maine Farmcast broadcasts weekly episodes that discuss relevant topics in the livestock world, interviews with key livestock business personalities, researchers, extension agents, and farmers.

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Friday Jun 28, 2024

Dr. Gregg Rentfrow, University of Kentucky Meat Science Specialist, visited Maine to help with the Maine Meat Cutting School. While he was here, we sat down in my office to discuss what it takes to set up a commercial meat processing facility and what it takes to get setup processing animals for yourself and family.
Gregg started out as a retail meat cutter, then entered academia earning a BS, and MS in Animal and Meat Science from the University of Illinois and PhD in Meat Science and Muscle Biology from the University of Missouri while coaching the meats judging team and serving as the interim meat lab manager. He joined the University of Kentucky as the Extension Meats Specialist in 2006, with an extension/teaching appointment. Dr. Rentfrow received the university’s highest extension award, the M.D. Whiteker Award for Extension Excellence, in 2017. Rentfrow recently received the prestigious Animal Industry Innovation Award from the American Society of Animal Science. He lives in northern Madison County, Kentucky with his wife, Sheila, and their daughter, Brooke.
Dr. Gregg Rentfrow  -
Maine Meat Cutting School -
Guide to Designing a Small Red Meat Plant -
Maine Depart of Conservation, Agriculture and Forestry Meat Inspection -

Friday Jun 21, 2024

On this week’s episode of the Maine FARMcast, I am joined by Ashley Wright, an area assistant livestock agent with the University of Arizona. We recorded this podcast in my hog barn in Garland, Maine, so you may hear some barnyard noises in the background.
Ashley joined us in Maine for a week to help deliver a series of in-person seminars on getting started with poultry.
As a Livestock Area Agent with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, I provide leadership in extension programs focusing on livestock production and management across both large and small-scale operations in Cochise, Pima, and Santa Cruz Counties. My programs cover a diverse array of topics crucial to the livestock industry, including herd health and management, nutrition, reproduction, genetics, and marketing. While much of my program focuses on cow-calf operations, I also work extensively with Arizona's growing population of backyard chicken enthusiasts, especially those in areas who have recently relaxed zoning regulations to allow for urban chicken keeping. The educational content I produce covers an array of topics such as raising health chicks, poultry diseases, coop design, heat stress, nutrition, egg production, and egg safety. I live in Vail, AZ, just outside of Tucson and maintain a small backyard flock of laying hens. 
Ashley Wright ‘s Information -
If you would like to know more about raising poultry in Maine, please visit the University of Maine Cooperative Extensions Livestock Website -

Friday Jun 14, 2024

On the fifth episode of the Maine FARMcast, Dr. Colt W. Knight, Associate Extension Professor and State Livestock Specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, meets up with Dr. Derek Bailey, Professor Emeritus for New Mexico State University,  and Dr. Colin Tobin, Research Animal Scientist at the Carrington Research Station for North Dakota State University, to discuss some of the new technology emerging in livestock behavior and precision grazing including sensors to pick up location and activity, virtual fencing, and cameras that measure and weigh livestock in near real time. I attended the Society for Range Management (SRM) National Meeting in Sparks, Nevada this January where Dr. Bailey received the SRM Sustained Lifetime Achievement Award to take part in the Precision Livestock Management and Virtual Fencing Symposia. I was able to corner Dr. Bailey and Dr. Tobin to discuss their research and visions for the future of livestock production.
To learn more about Dr. Derek Bailey’s research visit –
To Learn more about Dr. Colin Tobin please visit –

Friday Jun 07, 2024

Title – Maine FARMcast Ep. 4 – Agriculture Mediation and Farm Mental Health with Lucy Weiss and Leslie Forstadt.
On this episode of the Maine Farmcast, Dr. Colt W. Knight(Associate Extension Professor and State Livestock Specialist) has a serious conversation with Lucy Weiss, Esq.(Program Director) and Dr. Leslie Forstadt (UMaine Cooperative Extension Faculty, Human Development Specialist, and Program Grant Administrator) about Farmer Mental Health and Agricultural Mediation in January 2024.
More information on Ag Mediation –
Maine Resilience Building Network –
16 Hour Course on Ag Mediation Training –
Leslie Forstadt, PhD –
Please seek help right away if you have trouble coping or feel overwhelmed or are worried about a friend or loved one.
The Maine Statewide Crisis Hotline is available 24/7. For assistance, call 1-888-569-1112.
The Teen Peer Support Text Line 207-515-8398, for ages 14-20, staffed by people under 23 years old.
The National Suicide and Crisis LIFELINE is 988.
The current Lifeline phone number1.800.273.8255 (para Español, call 1.888.628.9454) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally. For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 7-1-1 then 1.800.273.8255.

Friday May 31, 2024

On the third episode of the Maine FARMcast, Dr. Colt W. Knight, Associate Extension Professor & State Livestock Specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, has a late-night conversation with Scott Jensen, Extension Educator at the University of Idaho. Scott conducts applied research and extension programs in beef cattle, range and pasture management. He co-coordinates the Idaho Beef Quality Assurance program and conducts the longstanding Lost Rivers Grazing Academy. In addition, Mr. Jensen is the President-elect for National Association of County Agricultural Agents(NACAA) and works diligently with Extension Agents across the country and its territories offering professional development opportunities to those of in the field. I got a chance to sit down with Scott at the Winter Board Meeting for the NACAA in Dallas, Texas in December 2023  to talk about some of the differences in Western vs. North Eastern Beef production.
To learn more about Mr. Scott Jensen please visit –

Friday May 24, 2024

On the second episode of the Maine FARMcast, Dr. Colt W. Knight, Associate Extension Professor & State Livestock Specialist for UMaine Cooperative Extension, sits down with Dr. Brett Kaysen, the Senior Vice President of Producer and State Engagement for the National Pork Board. I met up with Brett at the national Pork Board Swine Educators and Outreach Professionals Conference held in October, 2023 at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Kaysen earned his PhD from Colorado State University, and served as an Animal Science Faculty member there for many years prior to going to work with the National Pork Board. Brett now resides in Iowa, and has a swine farm to keep him busy in his off time.
You can learn more about Brett Kaysen, PhD from –
If you would like more information on the Pork Check Off, please visit –

Tuesday May 21, 2024

On the very first episode of the Maine FARMcast, Dr. Colt W. Knight, Associate Extension Professor and State Livestock Specialist for UMaine Cooperative Extension, sits down with one of the University of Kentucky’s Agricultural Engineers, Dr. Morgan Hayes. Dr. Hayes is a professional engineer and serves as an Assistant Extension Professor in Livestock Systems in Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to Morgan’s impressive academic background, she is co-owner of a multigenerational cattle and hay farm, Fallen Barn Farm, in Central Kentucky. In this episode we discuss proper barn ventilation in colder climates.
Dr. Hayes podcast “Have you herd? Conversations with Josh Jackson and Morgan Hayes” is available on both Spotify -
And Youtube –
To learn more about Morgan Hayes, PhD, P.E. please visit her University Website –
If you would like more information on the University of Kentucky – Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering please check out the link –


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