2018 August PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee Meeting on August 13, 2018

Present: Members: Beth McEvoy, Carole Boothroyd, Dottie Hadler, Karen Murphy, Gretchen Huettner, David Bridges

Staff: Donna Coffin, Barb Baker, Trisha Smith, Sheila Norman

  • President Beth McEvoy called the meeting to order at 3:05 pm. Keren Murphy was appointed timekeeper.
  • Minutes of the 7/9/2018 meeting were unanimously approved.
  • Treasurer’s Report was unanimously approved.

Program Updates

Highlights of 4-H Program – Sheila Norman and Barb Baker

  • Committee members are encouraged to participate as Extension Ambassadors to the public in the 4-H Bell Building and reminded of the 4-H Silent Auction on Friday and Saturday at the Piscataquis Valley Fair. The Silent Auction is entirely run by 4-H members and raises money for scholarships.

Home Horticulture Report- Trisha Smith

  • The final tally of kids enrolled in the Passport Program is 40. Trisha has 8 regulars in the school garden, 2 moms with their kids and 2 older kids who get dropped off. Rebecca had a steady group for activities at her 4-H Fun booth at the Dover Cove Farmer’s Market, including David Sturn’s popular physics demonstration. Trisha will be at breakfast and lunch to trade 4-H participation cards, which give free access to the fair, for Passports. Gretchen will do the same at the Dover Cove Farmer’s Market. Passport kids will receive an invitation to the Bell Building to learn more about 4-H. Annette is making invitations for this. Gretchen notes that kids are really using the Passports to attend activities this summer.
  • August 18 is the last day for Veggie Voucher distribution; kids have until the end of the outdoor market season in October to redeem them So far, $105 in Veggie Vouchers have been redeemed. The program has sparked interest in a follow-up 4-H Club, focused on nutrition.
  • Trisha reports that the portable shade structure purchased for the school garden provided much-needed relief from the heat this summer.
  • Deer ravaging the school garden crops prompted a discussion of ways to prevent it. Suggestions included netting or electric fencing around the fence top.
  • Master Gardener volunteers: Pat Jones tends to the Marion Doore Park on Pleasant St. and the planter at Will’s Shop N Save. While Janet Weatherbee recovers from back surgery, Pat also tends the alley garden beside the former Athens Pizza building. Pat and Karen Maas did the work on the Central Hall landscaping.

Piscataquis Activities- Donna Coffin

  • Donna reports 12 one to one contacts including questions on marketing at the Big E, selling organic beef, selling beef animals and farm, plum disease, spruce damage, plant ID, transporting firewood and tortoise beetles.

Upcoming Programs/Meetings

  • Piscataquis County Annual Meeting is on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at 5 pm at the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church. Dinner by DKB Catering from Greenville. Speakers: Dr. Alicyn Smart, Plant Pathologist, and Dr. Matt Wallhead, Ornamental Horticulturist. Their topic: What’s Killing My Plants? Top Identifications of 2018 and Prevention. The exact price of the dinner per person is yet to be determined, but all agreed that it needs to be kept as low as possible to encourage a wide attendance.

Past Programs/Meetings

  • Barb Baker attended the tour of the Plant, Animal and Insect Lab and urges members to visit this first-class, bio-secure facility. Barb also reports that Master Gardeners meet at Roger’s Farm on Tuesday evenings and a party at the garden is planned for September 8.

Unfinished Business

  • Annual Report– Donna presented the 2017-2018 Annual Report and the committee expressed approval of it.
  • 2019 Budget Request– Donna reviewed annual budgets for the past several years and explained why the 2019 budget is projected to be $4, 050 higher than the 2018 budget. Donna presented four options for the budget request to the County: ask for no increase and take $4, 050 from reserves; ask for a $700 increase to cover half support staff costs; ask for $1400 to cover all support staff costs; ask for $4,050 to cover all staff costs. After much discussion of the options, the committee’s desire to see continued growth of programs in Piscataquis County prompted Gretchen to put forth the motion to include an increase of $4050 to cover all staff costs in the budget request to the County. Seconded by Carole and supported by a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee. David and Carole agreed to collaborate on a cover letter for the budget request, which is due to be delivered to the County Commissioner by August 31. Committee members are encouraged to contact members of the Budget Advisory Committee or County Commissioners to explain and advocate for the budget request.

New Business

  • Staff Search Committee– the position of Administrative Specialist CL1 for the Piscataquis Cooperative Extension office is open again. Search Committee members are Beth McEvoy, David Bridges, Carole Boothroyd, Donna Coffin from Piscataquis County Extension and Wendy, Administrative Specialist from Penobscot County Extension. Donna will place the ad for the position with the University. The Search Committee agreed to do screening on Sep. 10, after the monthly meeting and meet on Sep.25 from 3-5 pm for interviews.
  • Barb Baker announced that she is retiring on Sep 30. Barb and Sheila (Community Education Assistant) have worked out a plan to support 4-H programs in Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties until a full-time professional is hired. Thank you, Barb, for your dedication to 4-H for the past 12 years!

Meeting Adjourned at 5:10 pm

Next Meeting: September 10 at 3 pm at the Extension Office in Dover-Foxcroft

Submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary 8/30/18