August 11th, 2014

Piscataquis County Extension Association
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
August 11, 2014

Donna Coffin, Sheila Norman, Ana Bonstedt, Brenda Mowdy, Janet Yelch- Weatherbee, Karen Dolley, Walter Boomsma, Tish Dutson, Natasha Colbry

Meeting called to order at 3:05 PM

Secretary’s Report
No corrections noted by Committee members, motion made by Janet to accept minutes as written, motion seconded by Tish, motion passed unanimously.

Budget Report
See attached report. Major expenses since the last Executive Committee meeting have been the payment for the Food Corps position and the payment for personnel. Some corrections to total were noted, $10, 900.00 to be carried over into fiscal year 2015.

Program Reports
Copies of written reports received and emailed. Copies distributed to Executive Committee members. A few highlights:

  • Farming/Horticulture – see attached reports. Donna attended the NACAA meeting in Alabama and presented a poster which can be viewed at the Extension office. Congratulations to Donna who received a State Winner Communication Award for her article on burning wood pellets in Maine! Ana and Donna were at Forest Heritage Days in Greenville and talked with many people! Donna demonstrated a new app for the I-pad that can be used to keep track of people who stop by to look at displays and to ask questions. One Tomato updates can be seen on Facebook. Check out the fall Adult Ed classes to see some familiar names teaching/facilitating some classes! Volunteers and volunteer hours are important to Piscataquis county Cooperative Extension and to Piscataquis County. Volunteers include but are not limited to 4-H leaders, gardeners who open their farms to the public and even Executive Committee members! Donna notes that all the hours are worth more than $65,000.00/year! Executive Committee members are impressed with Ana Lucia Bonstedt’s photography skills!
  • 4-H – Brenda reminds Committee members that the Piscataquis County Fair is August 21-24 at the fairgrounds in Dover Foxcroft. 4-H plans displays and exhibitions. There will be a demonstration of gardening in containers and of the One Tomato Project. Volunteers are needed. A sign-up sheet was distributed and will be updated by Amanda. Brenda notes that volunteers should use Gate 2. Sheila notes that after school programs are being planned now! The Adventures in Health Science program was very well attended in Greenville but less so in Dover. Sheila is exploring the use of the junior Master Gardener program for the middle school in Milo. There will be Piscataquis county youth participating at the Eastern States Exhibition in Massachusetts. Walter noted he was able to speak with several members of the 4-H club from Greenville at the Blacksmith Shop in Dover during Homecoming weekend. 4-H also participated at Forest Heritage days in Greenville. Walter notes he would be willing to do a workshop for 4-H club reporters. For more information on the Greenville group see the Highlights Report. Sheila offered to obtain a list of all the 4-H groups in Piscataquis County for the Highlights Report.


Unfinished Business 

Budget Strategy
The Highlights report was discussed. Walter reports that Donna has been doing the majority of the work associated with this! On page 7 is a good visual chart showing financial support for Piscataquis Extension since 2009. Natasha notes the significant drop in support and Walter presents a brief summary of the history associated with the funding of Piscataquis Extension. The Highlights Report will be printed in house for the Annual Meeting and for the County Commissioners meeting. Donna will request a meeting time with the Commissioners per Walter’s request. The Benefits of UMaine Cooperative Extension in Piscataquis County was discussed. Committee members wondered if copies should be made for possible placemats to be distributed to local restaurants and to have available at the Annual Meeting. Decision made to have about 100 placemats copied in house and available for the annual meeting. The idea of making copies for local restaurants will be discussed at a later meeting. Additional posters for publicity were discussed and Walter will e-mail them for distribution. A large poster that could be made and shown in time for the Piscataquis County Fair was discussed. A motion was made by Karen and seconded by Tish to spend up to $50.00 to have a large color poster made, motion passed unanimously. Donna will try to get this poster made as soon as possible.

Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting is planned for September 6, 2014. A photo collage for the meeting/dinner was made by Natasha which will be on Facebook to share-please share! Walter has written a press release. Donna has confirmed John Jemison as a speaker to discuss Maine food systems. Displays can be upstairs in the Grange Hall or outside-weather permitting. Any local farm that has donated food for the harvest dinner will receive credit and publicity with the use of a display and “table tents”. Please coordinate with Donna if you would like to display. Walter wonders if live music would help motivate people to go upstairs to look at displays and attend the Annual Meeting. Tish may know a group that would be willing to perform and she will look into this. Walter notes personal invites have been sent/will be sent to John Rebar, the County Commissioners, and the President of the University of Maine.

Executive Committee Website Page
Walter notes that the by-laws need to be reviewed. The decision by Executive Committee members at the last meeting to not post by-laws to the web site until they can be updated was again approved by Committee members.

Work Plans and Public Relations
Executive Committee members are needed! Continue search efforts! Keep saving/clipping newspaper articles for the Piscataquis County Cooperative Extension Accomplishments Book!


New Business

Donna reminds Committee members that Kate Garland and Sonja Birthisol may be at the next Executive Committee meeting to discuss the Food Corps position.

Next Cooperative Extension Executive Committee meeting planned for September 15, 2014.

Meeting adjourned at 5:02 PM.