2023 March PCEA-EC Minutes

Beth opened the meeting.  Rick moved to accept the minutes from the last meeting.  It was seconded by Kim.  The minutes were approved by the group.

Treasurer’s Report:  (Rick) The account was reviewed.  There was no special information to report.  Expenses over the last three months were reviewed.  The treasurer’s report was accepted.

Administrative Contacts Report:  The report was reviewed.  Email contacts will be added to the chart as we want to capture every contact.  Will keep track of it monthly and report it bi-monthly at each PCEC meeting.

Staff reports:  (Trisha)  Maple Sugaring 101 was finished up and it went well.  It was a positive experience with Duck Grove Farm.  There is a public speaking tournament with four or more kids interested.  The state tournament is on April 8th.

Laurie discussed the 2/16 Thompson Free Library Pollinators in the Forest Program.  78 joined online.  9 were in person.  There was an in-person master gardener meeting on 2/7 to discuss the 2023 program.  There was a seed starting program run by Donna and Laurie on 2/9 with 19 people in attendance.  There’s lots of interest (even in the winter) for the Pollinator from the Garden Program.  There was a Bee Keepers meeting.  The Central Maine Garden Newsletter was discussed;  there is interest in these articles.  

Activity Report:  (Donna)  A chart was viewed which showed specific Piscataquis County stats and one-to-one contacts (63 people).  Upcoming programs/meetings/activities were discussed.  Donna has worked with the interview committee for 4-H CEA.  Welcome back and congrats Trisha.  Donna also worked with the interview committee for Extension Veterinarian—to be announced.  Brett from Somerset County is working with Piscataquis County Christmas Tree Farm to trial pesticides.

Lisa discussed how we are monitoring the situation regarding the UMaine budget.

Old Business:  (Beth)  Executive Committee recruitment is important as always, now Joe is leaving after the May meeting.  CEA position:  Trisha.  Laurie said May 4th is a possible date for a combination Piscataquis County/Penobscot County collaboration meeting.  May 24th is also a possibility.  A search for a venue is taking place.  An email will be forthcoming with more details when finalized.  Beth discussed the school gardening planning.  Trisha and Laurie are going to meet to work out a plan going forward.  Sarah offers assistance as her schedule allows and Beth offers assistance with gardening tools.

New Business:  Rick summarized the recent call that took place.  The two main takeaways are:  there will be a statewide emphasis and things will move at a slower pace.  Lisa discussed that the plan is to hire faculty to replace the departing faculty.  There will be a focus on sustainable ag.  It is recognized that there will be some gaps and the call team can help fill the gaps.  Currently waiting for the green light to proceed.  There is a needs assessment coming in the next few months.  Lisa checked the latest info and there is no signed letter yet for the state veterinarian position.

Update on One Tomato:  (Laurie)  The plan is to try to distribute all plants over about a one-week stretch of time.  The Black Fly Festival is on June 3rd (Saturday).  Kim offered to help.  Discussed various options in Piscataquis County communities where tomatoes could be distributed.  Options discussed included but are not limited to:  Congregational Church, community suppers, Greenville grocery store, town meetings etc.

Soil and Water District:  (Sarah)  The Soil and Water District is hosting a Green Jobs Fair;  working with 6th and 7th graders from Guilford and Dover.  At Law Farm.  Sarah will send the flyer to Sheila and Trisha.  

Our next regular meeting is on May 8th.