2019 December PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee meeting  12/9/2019, 3-5 pm

Present: Members: Beth McEvoy, Karen Murphy, Carole Boothroyd, Gretchen Huettner, Ben Cookson    Staff: Donna Coffin, Sheila Norman, Emily Mott, Trisha Smith

Call to Order– President Beth McEvoy called the meeting to order at 3:10 pm. Karen selected as a timekeeper.


  • Minutes of the 10/7/2019 meeting were approved. Motion to approve: Gretchen. Second: Karen. Vote: unanimous yes.
  • The Treasurer’s Report was approved, with no corrections. Motion to approve: Gretchen Second: Carole. Vote: unanimous yes.

Program Updates

 4-H Program Update- Sheila Norman and Emily Mott

  • Welcome to Emily Mott, our new CEA!
  • The Milo After School program completed its fall project work in Duct Tape crafts and Flight Command. Aided by a scholarship grant of $500 from the Challenger Center in Bangor and the Emera Astronomy Center at UMaine, youth who participated in the After School program will visit both centers on December 13.
  • Ben outlined an idea for next year: the Real World Design Challenge, in which high school students are provided with the software to design an airplane wing or other challenges.

Home Horticulture Report – Trisha Smith 

  • Piscataquis Master Gardener Volunteers reported 752 volunteer hours in 2019. Karen Maas is recognized as a superstar for the many hours she devoted to beautifying downtown Dover-Foxcroft. MGVs also supported the Shared Earthly Bounty community garden in Dexter, the Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard, Piscataquis 4-H Passport Project, the County Extension Executive Committee and gleaning at Marr Pond Farm.
  • Piscataquis 4-H Passport Club meets on December 14 with a learning session on making wire jewelry.
  • Piscataquis Regional Food Center won a $10,000 grant for the Garden in a Box project. Trisha will meet with Erin and Merrilee on Dec 13 to discuss implementation.
  • Trisha will participate in “Super Saturday” on April 11. It’s an all-day event for community members to sample Adult Ed offerings.


Piscataquis Activities-Oct-December- Donna Coffin

  • Donna reports 21 one to one contact, including questions on weed management in hay and pasture, trademarks, pork, maple syrup equipment, county budget and more.
  • Plans are in the works for another Low-Stress Cattle event and a Cattle Handling event with Temple Grandin at Shaw Road Farm in spring-summer of 2020.
  • The Maine Agricultural Trades Show is Jan 14-16 at the Augusta Civic Center.
  • Donna attended the Meat Science Series: Barbecue 101 with Chef Robert Dumas and Professor Colt Knight at UMaine; the Harvest Festival at Cross Center in Bangor; the Cattlemen’s College at Penobscot County Extension Office.
  • Donna, Beth, and Carole attended the Budget Advisory Committee meeting on November 7 to support the Cooperative Extension budget.
  • 25 people attended the October 22nd UMaine Extension Presents Brewery Tour and Fermented Foods Talk and Annual meeting at the Bissell Brothers Brewery and Taphouse in Milo. Matt Robinson guided the tours, Brian Perkins gave a presentation on food fermentation projects at UMaine. Buffet by Elaine’s Basket Café. Participants ranked the event as very good.

Unfinished Business

  • The County Budget will include an additional $3000 from the county so the Executive Committee needs to decide among the options that Donna presented. The committee opted to table a decision until the January meeting.

Options for office hours 2020

Commissioners agreed to an additional $3,000. We had asked for $5,691 for additional 8 hours per week

  1. No change
    1. open 24 hours per week on Monday, Thursday and Friday
  2. Open 28 hours per week all year
    1. open 4 hours on either Tuesday or Wednesday (~$3000)
  3. Open 24 hours per week for 6 months and 32 hours per week for 6 months (~3000)
    1. Open 8 hours on one day for 6 months (April to September) on either Tuesday or Wednesday
    2. Open 4 hours for two days for 6 months (January to March and October to December) on Tuesday and Wednesday
  4. Open 32 hours per week year-round ($5600) Feb 5th if Anette is available.
    1. Use carryover funds to cover the extra cost
  5. Other?


  • Program Allotment- A motion was made by Ben to direct Donna and Karen to make a list of program line items, with 2019 planned, 2019 spent and 2020 projected spending. Seconded by Gretchen.
  • There have been over 280 responses to the Media Survey.

Donna presented graphs of the results, which will be posted on the website and submitted to UMaine for their analysis. Key points: almost 80% of respondents prefer to receive information by email; less than 30% prefer Facebook, text or mobile phone. Top types of information: vegetable gardening, pest and plant ID, food preservation.

New Business

  • 2020 Program Ideas- committee members are asked to make lists of ideas for monthly programming.
  • Gretchen proposes that the Executive Committee provide a scholarship to 4-H leaders. After discussion, this was tabled.


The meeting adjourned at 5:20 pm.

Next regular meeting: January 13, 2020, at Piscataquis County Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft 3-5 pm.

Submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary 12/29/2019