2019 August PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee Meeting  8/12/2019, 3-5 pm

Present: Members: Beth McEvoy, Karen Murphy, Carole Boothroyd, Gretchen Huettner, George McKay

Staff: Donna Coffin, Sheila Norman, Trisha Smith, Lisa Phelps

Call to Order– President Beth McEvoy called the meeting to order at 3:05 pm.


  • Minutes of 7/8/2019 meeting were approved, with a request to include the names of persons who make a motion and second the motion in future minutes. Motion to approve: Gretchen. Second: George. Vote: unanimous yes.
  • The Treasurer’s Report was approved, with no corrections. Motion to approve: George. Second: Carole. Vote: unanimous yes.

Update from Lisa Phelps

  • The new Dean of Cooperative Extension, Hannah Carter, will be meeting with staff in Penobscot County on September 20 and in Piscataquis County on October 3.
  • July 1 marks the start of the new fiscal year for UMaine. Despite possible budget cuts, the full-time CEA (Community Education Assistant) position for Penobscot and Piscataquis counties will go forward.
  • The current UMaine Provost, Jeff Hicks, is leaving. Faye Gilbert is the new interim Provost.

Program Updates

 4-H Program Update- Sheila Norman

  • 4-H exhibits will arrive at the Piscataquis Valley Fair on Tuesday 8/20, judging takes place on Wednesday 8/21 and the fair opens on Thursday at noon. Sheila has been focused on the Bangor State Fair which ended on August 3.
  • Gretchen proposes to ask the Piscataquis Valley Fair to supply paint for the 4-H building. If not, she asks the Cooperative Extension to cover the cost. Motion to cover the cost of paint for 4-H: Beth. Second: Carole Vote: unanimous yes.

Home Horticulture Report – Trisha Smith 

  • Master Gardiner Volunteer training resumes in September for 2 classes plus final exam/celebration. MGVs have been active in the community leading and assisting 4-H SPIN Clubs, maintaining public gardens, volunteering for the food cupboard and working in the Shared Earthly Blessings community garden in Dexter.
  • Piscataquis Passport Project- kids have harvested garlic scapes and bulbs, lettuce, kale, chard, carrots and peas. Nearly $200 in Veggie Vouchers have been redeemed out of the $400 distributed. The last date for voucher distribution is August 17 and they can be spent until October 26. George reports that the water collection system at the school garden is excellent, but that the automatic distribution system is hampered by lack of pressure. A better solution is needed for next season.
  • Piscataquis Regional Food Center/Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard- there have been delays in the food cupboard move-in due to issues such as an accessibility ramp and fire inspection. The last food distribution in the PRFC parking lot was on 8/9 and served about 100 families. Kate Garland was offered 200 bags of growth media, they are being stored at PRFC.
  • Merrilee from PRFC completed the new Free Produce Stand. Photo on the Facebook page.
  • Voices from Home Oral History Project- there is a training on interviewing Tuesday 8/20 at 5:30 pm at the Monson Library and a booth at the Piscataquis Valley Fair.
  • Fall Programs- Plan Next Year’s Garden Now is at PHEC on October 7.
  • Gleaning- Gretchen requests that Kate Garland come to a meeting in September or October to inform us about gleaning programs. Donna will contact both Kate and Lynne Holland (CEA Androscoggin and Sagadahoc) to see if they can meet with us by ZOOM.

Piscataquis Cooperative Extension Activities Report- Donna Coffin

  • Donna reports 15 one to one contacts for July-August 2019. Questions include: greenhouse grants, cattle prices, aquaculture, farm ponds, weed, insect and disease identification.


  • Winter poultry Care workshop with Livestock Specialist Dr. Colt Knight is on 9/26 at 10 am and 6 pm at the Extension Office in Dover-Foxcroft. Sign up online https://extension.umaine.edu/piscataquis/
  • Helping Customers Find You – Digital Resources and Tools for Farmers and Direct Marketers is October 28 from 6-8 pm at the Piscataquis County Extension Office. Sign up through Adult Ed. $5 fee.
  • Low Stress Cattle Management and Pasture Walk, based on Temple Grandin’s principles, with Fred and Ben Cookson and Colt Knight at Shaw Road Farm on July 20 had a great turnout. Ben has requests for another workshop this fall.
  • There were 20 participants for Women Caring for the Land, with SWCD and NRCS, a free all-day event for women landowners on July 11.
  • Tractor Safety Tips on July 30 with SWCD at the Law Farm was cancelled due to low registration.
  • Laurie Bowen’s Preserve the Harvest on July 17 and August 5 at the Extension office in Dover-Foxcroft was cancelled due to low enrollment.


Unfinished Business

  • The committee anticipates 500 responses to the Piscataquis County UMaine Extension Media Survey. It will be available online and will be handed out by members of the committee.
  • The 2020 Budget Request is due August 30 and is ready for Donna to deliver. Gretchen requests that future budget summary categories be broken down further and that financial scholarships be added as a line in the budget.

New Business

  • The committee discussed scheduling programs and events outside of Dover-Foxcroft, which could introduce a new audience to Cooperative Extension services.
  • Donna requests that the committee purchase a laminator for larger items. The estimated cost is $185. Motion to purchase a laminator: George. Second: Gretchen. Vote: unanimous yes.
  • Donna will present information about the Annual Meeting/Dinner at Bissell Brothers at the next meeting.
  • Beth wants the committee to set aside meeting time this winter to review job descriptions for staff and Executive Committee.
  • Donna will look into options for a locked mail box or other secure mail depository.



The meeting adjourned at 5:15 pm. Next meeting:  September 9, 2019 at Piscataquis County Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft 3-5 pm. Note: Donna will be away.

Submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary 8/28/2019