Waldo County Extension Association, with support from Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, is celebrating women farmers with a new “Women Farmer of the Year” award to be given to female pioneers and leaders in Waldo County agriculture.

The recipient of the 2015 award will be recognized at a Waldo County Extension Association field day Tuesday, Sept. 1, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Windgate Farm, 36 Stevens Road, Unity.

In a press release, the association noted that "Waldo County farmers have always been pioneers in Maine agriculture. According to recent agricultural statistics, Waldo County farmers have shown themselves to be pioneers in the growth of women farmers, as well."

In addition, the field will celebrate 2015 as the “International Year of Soils.” For centuries, farmers have been using cover crops to prevent soil erosion, improve nutrient cycling, and sustain their soils and our diets. Recent swings in growing conditions throughout the United States have renewed many growers’ interest in cover crops to help mitigate the effects of unpredictable weather conditions, the press release stated.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension recently received funding from several agencies to research farming practices that enhance soil health. The Sept. 1 field day will feature short presentations to describe the projects and successes to date.

Windgate Farm has participated in several of the projects and is a leader in no-till corn silage production, a proven soil health practice, according to the press release. In addition, Will Brinton, from Woods End Lab and Cooperative Extension faculty associate, will briefly discuss some innovations in soil health testing.

During the last part of the field day, the Waldo County Executive Committee will hold its annual meeting to elect new members and present the 2016 county budget request for approval.

The public is invited to celebrate women farmers, learn about soil health and learn more about the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Waldo County Extension Association. For more information, contact the Waldo County office of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension at 1-800-287-1426.