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UMFK Board of Visitors to discover benefits of new lab on November ballot

October 7, 2014

NR14075

The University of Maine at Fort Kent Board of Visitors' Business Breakfast Series will present an informational session by John Rebar, executive director of Cooperative Extension, on a bond issue to build a new lab. This is Question 2 on the November 4, 2014 referendum ballot.

According to the Cooperative Extension website, the new lab facility, will support Maine agriculture, monitor diseases in common parasites, promote the growth of Maine's natural resources industries, monitor Maine's moose herd for diseases and parasites, and reach out to the public to help Maine citizens manage emerging pest issues and monitor and respond to invasive pest threats.

Mr. Rebar will speak to the community on Wednesday, October 15 at 7:30 a.m. in the Nadeau Hall Conference Room on the UMFK campus.

Question 2 reads: Do you favor an $8,000,000 bond issue to support Maine agriculture, facilitate economic growth in natural resources-based industries and monitor human health threats related to ticks, mosquitoes and bedbugs through the creation of an animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service?

Tickets for the breakfast are $10 each, and interested persons may purchase their ticket at the UMFK University Relations Office, or by calling 834-7557.

John Rebar has been a member of the Cooperative Extension Service (University of Maine's largest outreach component) administrative team for 15 years, carrying out a variety of roles.

Rebar stated that he credits his success to believing in the mission of Extension - helping people to help themselves through education - and to his family.

Ten years earlier, he was based in the Somerset County Extension Office in Skowhegan as an associate extension professor, where the focus of his work was 4-H youth development and family living.

During the recession of the early 90s, Rebar led a statewide program called “Good Ideas for Tough Times” that helped individuals and families facing job losses and financial hardship. He has been a pioneer in reaching new audiences. Rebar has supported 4-H opportunities for children with special needs and brought his value for diversity into his everyday role as Extension director.

More than two decades ago, he created the first large print newsletter for the visually impaired. In March 2014, he helped to create the first issue of Maine Home Garden News. This newsletter is a response to the increasing numbers of Maine gardeners in these tough economic times.