2020 May PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee meeting 5/11/2020

3-5 pm via Zoom.

Present: Members: Beth McEvoy, Carole Boothroyd, Gretchen Huettner, Steve DeGoosh, George McKay

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

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


  • Minutes of 3/9 and 4/13 approved. Motion-George, Second-Gretchen
  • The Treasurer’s Report of 3/9 and 4/13 approved. Motion-Gretchen, Second Carole

Program Updates

 4-H Program Update- Sheila Norman and Emily Mott

  • The State Public Speaking Tournament was held on April 25, via Zoom. Ingrid qualified for the Eastern States’ Team as the first alternate for the Communication Science Team. Recording of the awards ceremony is on Facebook and YouTube.
  • 4-H summer events, such as 4-H at UMaine, June Jamboree, and Maine 4-H Days will be adapted to virtual formats. Youth can register once and pick the webinars/activities they want to participate in.
  • 4-H Virtual Arts and Crafts Showcase will be displayed on the Extension website. Youth can submit artwork created between March 1 and May 31.
  • 4-H “Intro to Zoom and Other Techy Tips” session is on May 12at 5:30.
  • Learn at Home: Educational Resources
  1. Mainely Dish Recipes video series-Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program for “Mainely Dish” Mondays
  2. QuaranTEEN Virtual Science Cafes
  3. “Wednesday in the Woods” Outdoor Activities and Facebook Live
  4. Growing Maine Gardeners
  5. Learn at Home with 4-H FRIDAY FUN
  6. 4-H Bingo- simple and complex activities to do at home

Discussion: Gretchen asks that 4-H communicate clearly with youth regarding cancellation of 4-H participation in the Bangor State Fair. The lack of internet access and the inferiority of the Zoom format for 4-H meetings and activities were talked over. Beth suggests a survey to find out what Piscataquis youth might need or want. Sheila and Emily are mailing a flyer with resources for kids and starting a pen pal exchange with 4-H youth in New Mexico.

Home Horticulture Report – Trisha Smith 

  • Garden-in-a Box workshops cannot occur via Zoom, given that many are not able to access the internet. One-on-one, in-person contact is not safe right now, so soil, containers, and seedlings will be safely distributed and support will be offered via telephone and printed materials. Alternatives to monthly in-person workshops are under discussion.
  • The Nature Trail Restoration project- Trisha walked the trail with Carolyn Clark, Stacey Shorey, Ben, and Mason Fagan and the Principal and V. Principal from Sedomocha Elementary School. Most of a $7350 grant from the Maine Community Foundation will be used on materials that make the trail easier to navigate. Carolyn has identified 8 places on the trail as “Learning Stations”. Another trail walk is scheduled for 5/13 with a focus on non-native invasive species, such as honeysuckle and Oriental bittersweet. Trisha mentioned an SWCD workshop with Sarah Robinson on invasive plants on June 3 at 9:30 am.
  • Sedomocha School Garden- Garlic is up. Trisha has planted peas, carrots, arugula, and kale and will use row cover from Kate in Penobscot County to protect from flea beetles. Trisha has started lettuce, tomato, and broccoli at home.
  • Piscataquis 4-H Passport program will not occur this summer.
  • The Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard- Trisha reports they are a strong financial position due to generous donors and grantors and providing good food to lots of people. A “make room in our freezers” distribution on May 2 fed 85 families. Trisha will distribute One Tomato seedlings on May 30.

Discussion: Steve is working on an online farmer’s market through the East Sangerville Grange, with a pick-up and distribution plan. Beth suggests that there is a need for a map of food distribution in the county and a report on Cooperative Extension’s role.

Piscataquis Activities-April-May – Donna Coffin

  • Donna reports contact with 91 people, with questions ranging from soil testing to recordkeeping and sales tax exemptions.
  • 87 people registered for Raising Backyard Poultry with Dr. Colt Knight via Zoom at 5:30 pm.
  • The Greenhouse Plastic Recycling Drop Off at the Coop Extension office is postponed until June 15.
  • Maine Garden Chat is offered online Monday at 9 am, Wednesday at noon, and Thursday at 6 pm at https://extension.umaine.edu/gardening/gardening/gardening-chats/ There is also Victory Garden with Trisha, Thursdays at 3 pm. On 4/20, 55 people attended for Weed Troubleshooting; on 4/27, 36 attended for Small Fruit with David Handley.
  • One Tomato distribution: June 1, 11 am to 3 pm -Indian Hill Store, Greenville

June 2, 11 am to 3pm-KC Store. Parkman

  • Overall, 200 people have participated in the Weekly Maine Farmer Zoom meetings.
  • On April 22, Donna joined 56 others for a webinar about the CARES Act with Congressperson Chellie Pingree and other congressional delegation members.

Unfinished Business

  • How can the Executive Committee help staff reach more people? Carole suggests a webinar on ticks with 2-3 panelists. Gretchen suggests a webinar for the Annual Meeting.

New Business

  • A list of statewide and Piscataquis County resources is being mailed to stakeholders, including County Commissioners and Budget Advisory members.
  • Donna has in place a protocol for safely reopening the office after May 30, which includes continuing Zoom meetings, staff wearing masks and practicing distancing, monitoring their own temperature, and offering masks to visitors.

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.

Next meeting: June 8, 2020, at 3-5 pm.

Submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary 5/29/2020