March 9th, 2015

Piscataquis County Extension Association
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
March 9th, 2015


Donna Coffin, Barb Baker – via Tandberg, Sheila Norman, Walter Boomsma, Janet Yelch-Weatherbee, Karen Dolley, Richard Neal, George McKay, Georgia Underwood, Dotty Hadler, Tish Dutson

Meeting called to order at 3:08 PM.

Secretary’s Report

Minutes reviewed. It was moved by George and seconded by Tish to accept the Secretary’s minutes as written. Minutes unanimously approved.

Budget Report

Donna reports no significant changes to budget.

Program Reports

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

Farming/Horticulture – see attached reports. It is noted that the Master Gardener Program has 18 participants! Donna reminds Extension Committee members that this is Ana’s last week-she is planning to move to Florida-we all wish Ana well! There was a good turnout for the Farm Estate Succession Planning program. Donna reports a Facebook “boost” completed. Georgia notes that boosting is worthwhile to try to increase the numbers of views and likes on the Cooperative Extension Facebook page. The hiring of a part time horticulture coordinator for Piscataquis County has been approved; await approved job description before a hiring committee is formed.

4-H – see attached report. Some highlights include the Public Speaking Tournament, which was held on March 7th, 2015. There were 11 youth who participated! Janet, a volunteer judge herself, notes how difficult judging can be! Barb notes there are on line demonstrations available to review for both participants and judges and she wonders if this may assist with scoring. Janet notes she reviewed these videos prior to the tournament and still finds each volunteer judge has “individual differences”. Speakers are given a copy of their scorecards after their presentations to celebrate their strengths and to share where there may be room for improvement. Barb notes that speakers should be encouraged to view the on line resource demonstrations prior to their own presentations. Sheila notes more GrowME volunteers are needed. The 4-H group from Greenville/Monson is doing a fundraiser and is baking bread to sell; Sheila will e-mail Executive Committee members with more information about varieties of breads that will be available for purchase and prices.

FoodCorps – see attached report. There has been no news received regarding Food Corps funding.

Unfinished Business

Telephone System Update – continue to await FairPoint.

GrowME – Many activities including animal graphs, dirt babies, butter making, songs and plant parts, and activities with local Maine apples are being planned for the week of March 23-27, 2015. Grades pre-K through Grade 3 in many local school districts are participating! Walter distributed a GrowME Schedule with many opportunities available for volunteers. GrowME is collaboration between Cooperative Extension, Valley Grange, and the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District. Contact Walter to sign up! Walter notes that a media advisory did go out!

Work Plans and Public Relations – Keep saving/clipping newspaper articles for the Piscataquis County Cooperative Extension Accomplishments scrapbook. Walter and Donna will be meeting with the County Commissioners at their March meeting to keep them up to date regarding recent personnel changes including Amanda’s new office hours and Ana’s departure. Donna has made a sign for the front door noting the change in Extension office hours. A decision was made to have another sign made to display when employees were out of the office for lunch. The Extension hours will now be 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday, Thursday, and Friday; the office will be closed on Tuesdays; Wednesdays by chance.

Review of Executive Committee By-laws – Decision made to devote the next Executive Committee meeting to review/changing/amending the by-laws. Walter encourages each Executive Committee member to review the by-laws before the next meeting and note what things may need to be changed and/or amended.

New Business

Future Meeting Schedule – Executive Committee meetings will be held on April 13, May 11 and June 8. Decision made not to plan meetings beyond June due to Executive Committee members’ summer schedules.

Hiring Committee – Donna will await approved job description for Ana’s position and share this with Executive Committee members. She will be looking for volunteers to be on the hiring committee. Tish and George have both expressed an interest to be on the hiring committee.

Piscataquis County Heritage Balloon Festival – Donna notes there will not be a “festival” this year but there will be balloons on display. There will not be any associated activities this year.

Meeting adjourned at 4:45PM.

Next Cooperative Extension Executive Committee meeting planned for April 13, 2015.