2020 March PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee meeting  3/9/2020, 3-5 pm

Present: Members: Beth McEvoy, Carole Boothroyd, Gretchen Huettner

Guest: Steve DeGoosh

Staff: Donna Coffin, Trisha Smith

Call to Order– President Beth McEvoy called the meeting to order at 3:08 pm.


  • Minutes of 2/10/20 approved. Motion to approve: Gretchen. Second: Beth. Vote: unanimous yes.
  • The Treasurer’s Report approved. Motion to approve: Gretchen Second: Carole. Vote: unanimous yes.

Program Updates

 4-H Program Update- Sheila Norman and Emily Mott

  • Sheila and Emily were unable to attend today’s meeting because they were busy starting up the Brownville/Milo Afterschool program. 21 youth members signed up for Arts and Crafts or Choose Health: Food, Fun and Fitness. Thanks to the additional commitment of two-parent volunteers, the program can accept all the kids who wanted to participate!
  • The Piscataquis County Public Speaking Tournament on March 14 was canceled due to low enrollment, but Susanna qualified for states at the Penobscot Public Speaking Tournament! 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. If you can volunteer, contact Sheila or Emily.
  • The Sew Much Fun SPIN Club has been so successful that 4-H Leaders are planning to offer the program during April school vacation.
  • The Choose Health: Food, Fun and Fitness SPIN Club met at the Guilford Library on March 5 with 3 youth who played active games, learned about nutrition and made flavored water and fruit smoothies. More kids are welcome to sign-up.
  • Ben Fagan is completing his volunteer training and plans to meet soon with a new Forestry SPIN Club.

Home Horticulture Report – Trisha Smith 

  • Master Gardner Volunteers Jackie Robinson and Susan Stevens are Garden Coaches for the Garden-in-a-Box Free Learning series, which meets monthly for public workshops. There are 20 participants and for those unable to attend in person, sessions are uploaded to YouTube. Karen Murphy serves on the planning committee. The next workshop on Getting the Most Out of a Small Space is on April 24 at Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft from 4-5:30 pm.
  • 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. Penobscot Coop Extension provided wildflower seed for the seed bomb station.
  • Trisha is planning to plant peas and carrots with the whole 2nd grade at the Sedomocha School Garden in April and start indoor seedlings in April-May.
  • The Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard is planning a fundraiser at Shaw’s April 10-11.
  • Sign of the Seasons citizen scientist training is on April 8 at Sedomocha Library, 4-6:30 pm.
  • A Demonstration Garden at the Piscataquis Regional Food Center is under discussion with Steve Grammont.
  • Trisha is starting sign-ups for the Piscataquis 4-H Passport program at Earth Day events and school concerts. Gretchen is working on summer educational programs at Center Theater for Passport kids and is seeking a high school drama student to take volunteer training. Participants would receive coupons for free movies, popcorn or bottles of water.

Piscataquis Activities-Feb-March – Donna Coffin

  • Donna reports 11 one-to-one contacts, including questions on meeting plans, new veteran farmer, hay and beef awards and more.
  • The location of Keeping Small Ruminants Healthy workshop on April 18th has been changed from the Organic Learning Center to the Extension Office from 1-4 pm. Beth will arrange with Wendy Russell to bring sheep. Microscopes will be downstairs in the conference room.
  • Growing in a Greenhouse for Home Gardeners and Small-Scale Farmers on March 12 at the Extension Office was canceled due to low enrollment.
  • Donna will offer a Soil Display at SWCD Plant Sale on May 9.
  • Slow Money Maine, which provides funds for various food systems, small farm projects, or value-added products is scheduled for April 28 at the Commons at Central Hall from 9 am to 2 pm.
  • The Greenhouse Plastic Recycling Drop Office will start at the Coop Extension office in April.

Unfinished Business

  • Piscataquis County Extension has received authorization for the 8-hour increase for Anette. The Executive Committee voted to pay the full costs of the additional wages, benefits and future increases through an increase in the county invoice. Motion to approve: Gretchen. Second: Carole. Vote: unanimous yes. Gretchen made a motion to start opening the office for four days starting the week of March 23. Second: Carole. Vote: unanimous yes.
  • An Open House at the Extension Office, to celebrate our 4-day week and the completion of lobby renovations, is scheduled for Wednesday, April 8 from 10 am-noon. Coffee and pastries will be offered; Gretchen volunteered to make 4 dozen cookies; Carole volunteered a gluten-free coffee cake; Beth-muffins.
  • Dean Carter will visit with County Commissioners at one of their Tuesday meetings.
  • Three varieties of cherry tomatoes seedlings for the One Tomato program have been ordered from Ellis Greenhouse.
  • In a discussion about what the Executive Committee can do to assist staff to reach more people, it was agreed that members should search for someone from the Milo area for the Executive Committee.

New Business

  • Beth McEvoy requests that private emails to the President be limited to factual questions and/or requests for agenda items for upcoming meetings.
  • Planning for the fall 2020 Annual Meeting- Donna suggests Jessica Leahy, Ph.D. from UMO as a prospective speaker. Dr. Leahy is Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, who worked with Oregon State University and can share results of the research project “Rural Youth Futures 2019 Survey” in Piscataquis and Somerset County. The discussion centered on a brunch to be held at Bartley’s Family Center in Greenville on a Saturday in October. Gretchen suggests asking Somerset Coop Extension to collaborate and she has volunteered to seek sponsorships for the brunch.
  • The Executive Committee voted to install Steve DeGoosh as a member. Motion to approve: Carole. Second: Gretchen. Vote: unanimous yes. Welcome, Steve!
  • Two chairs in the office need to be replaced and Donna estimates the cost to be under $200.

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.

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

Submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary 3/22/2020