2021 February PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee Meeting February 8, 2021
3pm By Zoom


Present: Members Beth McEvoy, Rick Cabot, Judy Cross, Steve DeGoosh, George McKay,
Donna Coffin, Sheila Norman, Trisha Smith, Anette Moulton, Emily Mott


  • President Beth M called the meeting to order at 3:05 pm. Donna Coffin was appointed a timekeeper.
  • Check-in and introductions were completed. Judy Cross introduced herself and she was welcomed to the group.
  • Minutes of the January 11, 2021, annual meeting were unanimously approved, Beth Assigned George Mckay as “recorder” for this meeting.
  • Emily Mott provided a Tech tip to members and Staff present
  • Treasurer’s Report Was Presented by Donna Coffin as Karen Murphy was not in attendance, report was unanimously approved.


  • Program updates from Staff:

Sheila Norman
Emily Mott

  1. We finished up our Mission to Mars program with Brownville Elementary School in December. We are planning to do a program for 3rd and 4th-grade students called The Art of Math this spring.
  2. In-person meetings for 4-H clubs are still restricted to outdoor or barn locations. This will be revisited on March 1.
  3. Isleen Halverson is a new 4-H leader. Her plans are to lead a new SPIN club that focuses on outdoor activities such as cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
  4. County Public Speaking: Our usual county tournaments will not be held this year, as it would be too difficult to arrange so many ZOOM tournaments. Instead, committees are currently meeting to develop statewide public speaking workshops open to all youth, including Cloverbuds and a track for those who are not interested in competition. Members must earn a spot on the Communication Science Team at the state tournament.
  5. Our Sew Much Fun SPIN club cannot be held in February due to the COVID 19 restrictions. I hope we can schedule a sewing project later in the year.


Donna Coffin
Covid-19 Era – Statewide Activities
January to February 2021

Donna Coffin

  1. One to one contacts – phone (13), email (39), Facebook (11), Face to Face (2),

Surface Mail (3) from 58 people included questions on alternative forage crops, new

farmer, Boston Fed Grant, upcoming program details, water testing, marketing storage

crops, farm insurance, assessing a value-added business, cartwheel source, a new crop

info, beekeeping, pesticide credits, nutrient testing, forage pricing, composting

livestock mortalities, tree seedling source, grant info, insect identification, seed

starting, maple syrup making, plant hardiness, annual meeting plans, assist with county meeting.

  1. Upcoming Programs/Meetings/Activities
  2. Livestock Nutrition Webinar Series Feb 3rd (Poultry) and Feb. 10th (Processing Expectations) at noon by Zoom.
  3. Gardening Webinar Series Wednesday nights at 6 pm. We are working with UNH to do the six-part series.
  4. Master Gardener Volunteer training program first session for our area is March 8th at 6 pm. Pre-work is March

1st. Using Brightspace.

  1. So You Want to Farm in Maine – during April Monday and Thursday at 5:30 pm. For beginning farmers and will

be an FSA borrower training.

  1. Past Activities
  2. Piscataquis County Extension Association Annual Meeting Dr. Jessica Leahy with the Rural Youth Futures Project (8

views) that UMaine Extension in Piscataquis assisted with. Sue Mackey Andrews discussed the Working Community

Challenge Boston FED Grant. And a Pecha Kucha presentation (7 views) of programming in the past year was aired.

17 people attended the live Zoom.

  1. Preparing Beef Short Ribs / Cuts of Meat and cooking demo – Colt Knight and Rob Dumas did a video for the

Maine Agricultural Trades Show. (92 views)

  1. Selling Meat in Maine –a red meat session and poultry session with MDACF staff, Extension, and processors/farmers.

By Zoom during the Maine Ag Trades Show.

  1. Livestock Nutrition Webinar Series starting January 13th at noon Beef, Small Ruminants*, and Swine. By Zoom.

* From UMaine Extension Social Media: The Small Ruminants nutrition event caught on in the Middle East and we have page

views from over 109,600 people. There were also over 2100 engagements (likes, shares, comments) of which 862 were

likes. Just prior to the start of the event there were over 100 actual registrations so the event and it would be interesting to see

how many actual attendees you had. The Poultry event is on the same trajectory…

  1. Staff
  2. With every other month executive committee meetings, staff will send regular reports of their activities every month.

Executive Committee will be meeting in odd-numbered months. January, March, May, July, September, November.

Look in the Google Drive for the reports. Note: we needed to meet in February to cover new business

  1. Recently my regular computer is in the shop for battery repair. I was using a very older computer that has limited

capabilities. I will need to replace my current computer and my current computer can be used as the office backup or

client use computer.

  1. Newsletters & Social Media

Email Sent Open Clicked

Maine Farm News (Jan. 23rd) 2,631 40% 20%

*Value-Added Producer Grant Link had 32 clicks

Facebook posts: 30 posts that reached 1,638 and 724 Likes

Date Content Reach


Trisha Smith


Everything is on time and on target, so far! Merrilee at PRFC has done great project management. We found our 4 Garden Coaches for the project; they will receive preview binders at the end of next week along with the roster of their assigned gardeners. The Garden Coaches will have a few weeks to offer feedback on the materials before we release the binders to the Garden in a Box gardeners.

Share Shed Piscataquis (same as January):
In storage ‘til spring.

Next season, Executive Committee members can help with this project by participating in dropping off and/or picking up from the Share Shed and posting a picture on Facebook with our hashtag (#ShareShedPiscataquis2021). Hashtags are a way to group images and posts together as well as make that group of images and posts searchable. We use capital letters in a multi word hashtags for people who rely on screen readers.

Merrilee and I have talked about how we could have Share Sheds in other towns. So far my best suggestion has been to offer the creation, maintenance, and management of a Share Shed as a Master Gardener Volunteer project. Merrilee designed and built the one we have, and can make an easily reproducible plan. It could be a great 4-H project, too.

Sedomocha School Garden:
I’m considering a small 4-H club “Garden Guardians” to plan, plant, and tend the garden when students aren’t in school. The Gosselin family lives within walking distance, and only need to renew their 4-H membership.

Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard:

The Annual Meeting is Feb 8. DFAFC financial situation is solid thanks to more income from grants than we anticipated, as well as careful and competent accounting from our Treasurer. We have adapted, along with PRFC, to accommodate an entirely different model of food distribution than we intended a year ago. We are also serving 2-3 times more families than a year ago.

Master Gardener Volunteer Training
We have 3 prospective MGVs for the online training beginning in March!

Side projects:

Sedomocha Nature Trail:

I have not heard anything from Laurie Sproul in Milo after contacting her about her work on the Brownville Elementary (I think) trail.  I am interested in learning more about outdoor educational opportunities around the school communities in Piscataquis County, and how Extension can facilitate and support multigenerational (MGVs! 4-H!) programming.

Voices From Home oral history project (Thompson Free Library):

In-person interviews are impossible right now. Phone and zoom interviews might work for some folks, we hope. Someone needs to record stories about the legendary farmers of Piscataquis County and save them to an online archive!

A number of ZOOM “Story Slam”s have been held since the pandemic hit, and have been stored on the online archive Omeka. Individuals are welcome to upload their own material to help build the archive.

  • Welcome New Members: Judy Cross introduced herself and was welcomed unanimously to the Executive committee.
  • Vote On Exe. Committee Officers: Beth states “we need a secretary” and unceremoniously appointed George, no one else volunteered however, Sheila stated that she would help with that task.  Beth agreed that she would serve out the two-year term as President, and Karen Murphy would serve another year as Treasurer.
  • RecapAnnual Meetimg-Pecha-Kucha: Donna gave a brief review of the Annual meeting which was conducted via ZOOM Jan 11, 2021, and pointed out that there was a link on youtube of the meeting.
  • Technology Funds from Orono Review: Donna Coffin gave a very thorough explanation of the need to upgrade computers and technology equipment in the Piscataquis Extension Office. These upgrades would bring our office up to date with the technology that is needed to provide services to the citizens of Piscataquis County. A motion was made by Steve DeGoosh to Purchase this upgraded equipment from U of M and amount of $3600  The motion was seconded by George McKay and the vote was unanimous to purchase the equipment.



            Next Meeting May 10, 2021 3 pm We will be meeting every other month in 2021 by ZOOM and live when possible


Submitted by George McKay