2019 May PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee Meeting  5/13/2019, 3-5 pm

Present: Members: Beth McEvoy, Karen Murphy, Carole Boothroyd, Ben Cookson, George McKay, Gretchen Huettner via Zoom

Staff: Donna Coffin, Sheila Norman, Trisha Smith

Mike Scott, ASAP Media Service via Zoom

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

Developing an App for Piscataquis County Cooperative Extension

The committee discussed the possibility of creating an app with Mike Scott and his team. Mike described the steps needed to address this issue: 1) analyze what the county is currently doing with the county/4H websites and 2) analyze: who is the user base and what is their preferred method of getting information? #1 will be addressed this week by Cindy Eves Thomas, the web developer for Cooperative Extension, who will be working on the county website. For #2, Donna will develop a survey designed to find out users’ preferred methods of communication, what type of information is important to them and their degree of tech ability. She will send the survey to Mike for feedback. Gretchen suggests that the committee should aim to collect 1000 surveys from various venues (e.g. Tractor Supply, Farmer’s Markets, One Tomato events)


  • Minutes of the March 13, 2019 meeting were approved, with no corrections.
  • The Treasurer’s Report was approved, with no corrections.

Program Updates

 4-H Program Update- Sheila Norman

  • Congratulations to Sheila, who has been chosen to fill the position of 4-H Professional for Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties. The search for a new CEA will begin soon.
  • Piscataquis Passport Program is taking enrollments for the summer session. Activities include several classes at the Law Farm with new 4-H leader Lynn Lubas, activities at the Dover Cove Farmers Market, led by Susan Stevens, free meals at SEDOMOCHA, activities at Thompson Free Library, at the SEDO school garden and other community events.
  • 4-H at UMaine is on May 31 and June 1, with Piscataquis County teen leaders and two volunteer leaders on staff. Sheila is not available to attend, but is on the planning committee.
  • Sheila attended the 4-H Foundation Annual meeting on May 13.
  • Piscataquis County will be represented at the Citizenship Washington Focus in Washington D.C. by Tyler and Susannah.
  • The committee voted to cover the $1 per person cost of limited medical insurance for participants in 4-H activities and events.

Home Horticulture Report – Trisha Smith 

  • Master Gardener Volunteer training is nearing completion. Partners for Peace has requested plantings at their office and garden beds at residents’ homes.
  • June 3rd is the deadline for enrollment in the Piscataquis Passport program. Lynn Lubas has organized a new part of the Passport: “Exploring the World Around You” kicking off at the Dover Cove Farmer’s Market and then meeting at the Law Farm and Brown’s Mill Park. Susan Stevens will lead a 4-H group at the farmers’ market this summer.
  • Students have been starting seeds and planting in the school garden: peas, radishes, carrots, chard, beets, kale and lettuce.
  • The garden needs some maintenance work on the irrigation system. George volunteered to attend to it.
  • Trisha has attended several conferences on Food Security and is working with the Piscataquis Regional Food Center on a gleaning program. Trisha hopes to organize a small-scale, volunteer Gleaning Group this season, with volunteers from the Food Cupboard.
  • The PRFC is considering a mobile Little Free Produce Cart to distribute fresh produce from gardeners or gleaners.
  • Trisha brought forward a request from Steve Grammont for Cooperative Extension to pledge financial support for a PRFC grant application due June 3. After discussion, the committee voted to table the request, pending further information.
  • Trisha is involved with the Oral History Project “Voices from Home” and proposes an Oral History 4-H Club, with help and recording equipment kits available from Thompson Free Library. The theme for August is “Blue Ribbon Fairs” and Trisha will present a proposal for participation by 4-H for the 4-H Leaders Association meeting on June 7.

Piscataquis Cooperative Extension Activities Report- Donna Coffin

  • Donna reports 22 contacts April-May 2019. Questions included: starting a farm, project canopy letter, beekeeping, plant diseases and identification.

Upcoming Programs/Meetings/Activities

  • Distribution of One TomatoTM begins on May 29 at the Community Café and continues in nine other locations throughout June. Donna has coordinated volunteers and staff to cover all the locations and times.
  • Kid’s Day at The Northeast Livestock Expo is on May 16. Donna will be doing a “What Animals Eat” display. May 18 is the preconditioned feeder calf sale.
  • Colt Knight is hosting a Beef Seminar and BBQ at his home in Garland on June 15. Time to be announced.
  • Low Stress Cattle Management, with Fred and Ben Cookson and Colt Knight at Shaw Road Farm on July 20. Time to be announced.
  • Women Caring for the Land, with SWCD and NRCS, is a free all-day event for women landowners on July 11. At Hall’s Christmas Tree Farm and Stutzman’s.
  • Tractor Safety Tips with SWCD is July 30 from 5:30-8:30 pm at the Law Farm

Unfinished Business

  • 30 people attended the Small Ruminant Disease Awareness and Screening. Donna presented evaluation results and says thanks to all involved in the success of the event
  • Carole reported on the Food Sovereignty Panel held at the Commons on Earth Day, April 22. Nine panelists, representing Cooperative Extension, local family farms, community organizers and the Piscataquis Regional Food Center discussed aspects of food sovereignty and security in our region.


The meeting adjourned at 5 pm. Next meeting:  June 10, 2019 at Piscataquis County Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft 3-5 pm.

Submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary 5/27/2019