Livestock and Poultry Production and Market Assistance
The Division of Animal and Plant Health can assist producers with establishing efficient production practices to produce a more desirable product for the consumer. The Livestock Specialist coordinates educational programs and marketing events for small producers to enable them to compete on the national scene. We promote preconditioning programs and sort cattle into uniform groups at sales. The Department works closely with all livestock commodity groups and other agencies on educational and marketing programs.
Programs and Services
Beef and Pork Quality Assurance Programs
These educational programs are available for beef and swine producers. The programs include livestock management, body condition scoring, correct use of antibiotics, proper injection technique and vaccine handling.
Cooperative Marketing of Livestock
Most producers in Maine are small and pooling their products makes marketing more cost effective. Working with the Maine Beef Producers Association (MBPA) on marketing feeder cattle has improved the quality of cattle in Maine and improved the producer’s economic gain. Currently MBPA has two feeder calf sales: the spring sale is in mid May during the Northeast Livestock Expo in Windsor and the fall sale is early November at D&S Corral in Richmond.
We provide the Maine Sheep Breeders Association with marketing assistance for their wool.
The Boer Goat Breeders of Maine hold an annual sheep and goat sale at Somerset Auction the 2nd Saturday in October.
USDA-approved official identification is required for all sheep and goats in Maine, and official identification is also required for any livestock moved across state lines.
Mobile livestock scales are available to weigh livestock on an appointment only basis. Proper handling equipment and trained personnel are required if livestock are to be weighed on farm. The scales are used at Maine Agricultural Fairs for weighing of 4H market steers, lambs and swine.
Poultry Health Program
From backyard flocks to commercial egg and meat poultry operations, the Department assists in attaining the goal of raising healthy poultry free from disease. Our poultry health technician consults with bird owners and visits farms if requested. Flock owners can participate in National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) pullorum testing and flock inspection. In cooperation with the University of Maine Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, causes of illness in flocks may be investigated.
Maine Cattle Health Assurance Program (MeCHAP)
MeCHAP provides livestock and dairy producers with assistance in addressing key animal health risk areas important to their farm, through an objective assessment of on farm conditions and practices, herd risk management plan development and diagnostic testing. The goals of MeCHAP are:
- Risk assessment and herd management plan development
- Herd testing and disease detection.
Financial support of farm visits and disease testing varies and is dependent on Departmental budget and independent grants awarded to the program.
MeCHAP gives credit and recognition to food producers who employ practices that foster healthy animals and safe food.
Maine Cattle Health Assurance Program is a cooperative effort involving the following:
- Maine State Veterinarian and the Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service Dairy and Livestock specialists
- Food processors and handlers
- Dairy, beef and livestock producers and their herd veterinarians
- Unlawful Use of Animals (Word or PDF 11KB)
- Information on Sheep and Goats: Identification and Scrapie (Word or PDF 26KB)
- Sheep and Goat Producers/Shippers: Identification Requirements (Word or PDF 50KB)
- Mandatory Scrapie Tag Initial Order Follow-up Letter (Word or PDF 80KB)
- Prize animal document (Word or PDF 44KB)
Livestock Auctions/ Sales/ Expos
- Somerset Auction in Fairfield: Every Monday; year round; exceptions may occur on holidays.
- New England Galloway National Sale: Last Saturday in April; held at Fryeburg fairgrounds.
- Northeast Livestock Expo: 3rd Saturday in May; held at Windsor fairgrounds.
- Maine Beef Producer feeder calf sales: Held in May and November
- Maine Boer Goat Breeders of Maine hold an annual sheep/goat sale at Somerset Auction the 2nd Saturday of October.