2020 February PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee meeting  2/10/2020, 3-5 pm

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

Staff: Donna Coffin, Sheila Norman, Emily Mott, Trisha Smith

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


  • Minutes of 1/13/2020 meeting were approved, as amended by addition of Programs by Month and Program Allotments. Motion to approve: Karen. Second: Gretchen. 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

  • Sheila and Emily represented 4-H at the Youth Services Summit, January 14 at the Commons at Central Hall. Transportation was identified as a key issue for lack of youth participation in programs. Sheila has signed up for a discussion on Youth and Transportation at the National 4-H Conference. Donna suggests the LYNX as a model. A second Youth Services Summit will take place on March 24 with public school representatives joining the discussion.
  • The Piscataquis County Public Speaking Tournament is on March 14, 10 am to 12 pm at the Congregational Church in Dover-Foxcroft. For those who can’t attend on that date, they are welcome to join the Penobscot County Public Speaking Tournament on Feb. 29. The State Public Speaking Tournament is on April 4 at UMaine. Volunteers are needed as time-tabulators, room hosts and greeters and back-up judges.
  • The Sew Much Fun SPIN Club, led by Barbara Lockwood and Sally Downing, at the Extension Office on Feb. 18, 19 and 21 is currently full, but interested youth can join the waiting list.
  • The Choose Health: Food, Fun and Fitness SPIN Club, meeting at the Guilford Library, Thursdays from March 5-April 9, 3-4:30, has 2 youth signed up. Kids will play active games and prepare and sample healthy snacks.
  • 4-H is organizing a SPIN club that will work on the nature trail restoration project, with Ben Fagan as the leader.

Home Horticulture Report – Trisha Smith 

  • Master Gardner Volunteers will act as Garden Coaches at the Garden-in-a- Box project’s first public workshop, March 5 from 4-5:30 at Thompson Free Library.
  • Dexter-area MGVs have been put in contact with Sue Griffith at Ridgeview School about helping with a school garden.
  • Shannon and Galen Durose are working on establishing a forest garden on their land in Greenville.
  • Nature Trail Restoration Project Earth Day Event-April 22 from 3-5 pm, will start in the SEDOMOCHA library with a history of the trail, then a trail walk, some clean-up and other hands-on activities. Carole volunteered to help with a wildflower seed bomb table. Other presenters are welcome. It was established that the school is responsible for long term maintenance of the trail. There was discussion about using this project as a model for other schools to develop nature trails. Trisha is looking into interest from the Milo School District. Ben suggests having in-school curriculum. Trisha requested funds from the Executive Committee for snacks and $50 was suggested. Motion to approve $50 for snack food made by Carole, second by George. Vote: Yes. Ben suggested contacting farmers to donate healthy snacks and will coordinate with Trisha.
  • Trisha has been elected as Vice President of the Dover-Foxcroft Food Cupboard.
  • Newsletter open rate is 34.7%, with the most popular article being a republishing of Lynne Holland’s piece on mini roses.

Piscataquis Activities-Jan-Feb – Donna Coffin

  • Donna reports 13 one-to-one contacts, including questions on-farm enterprises and the plant clinics.
  • Keeping Small Ruminants Healthy is postponed until fall, but there will be an April 18th workshop on fecal parasites at the Organic Learning Center, American Legion Building in Dover-Foxcroft.
  • The first Fourth Friday Community Plant Clinic- Feb 28 at the Coop Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft 10 am-2 pm
  • Growing in a Greenhouse for Home Gardeners and Small-Scale Farmers- March 12 at the Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft 1-3 pm
  • Donna will offer a Soil Display at SWCD Plant Sale May 9.
  • Staff attended Assessing Forest Resource Needs of Wabanaki Communities in Orono and had a session with Colt Knight- Animal Science Inservice for 4-H staff.

Unfinished Business

  • The County Budget will include an additional $3000 from the county (we had asked for $5691). Given new information, the Executive Committee needs to decide among the options that Donna presented. The committee opted to table a decision until more details from UMaine are known.

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.

Next meeting: March 9, 2020, at Piscataquis County Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft 3-5 pm.

Submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary 2/27/2020