May 11, 2015

Piscataquis County Extension Association

Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

May 11, 2015

Present:  Walter Boomsma, Karen Dolley, Donna Coffin, Georgia Underwood, George McKay, Dotty Hadler, Richard Neal, Sheila Norman

Meeting called to order at 3:09 PM.

Secretary’s Report – Report reviewed by the Committee and were unanimously approved.

Budget Report – see attached report. Donna reports we have no Fairpoint phone lines any more. Our most recent bill did not reflect the savings we were expecting. The Committee will wait for the next bill and reassess. It is noted that Janet Yelch-Weatherbee has written a letter that reflects the Committee’s disappointment with the lack of service and response we have received trying to switch over our phone lines. This letter has not been sent yet. Donna also notes that the replacement printer has been received and is working well. She notes the old cartridges do not work in this new machine as had been hoped. The Committee may be able to sell the old cartridges at a reduced cost to try to recoup some of the costs of their purchase price. The decision was made to pursue this possibility.

Program Reports – Copies of written reports received and e-mailed. Copies distributed to Executive Committee members. A few highlights:

Farming/Horticulture – see attached report. Donna notes that there have been no complaints about the new Piscataquis County Cooperative Extension office hours.

4-H Youth – see attached report. George had questions about 4-H funds and what they are used for that were answered by Sheila. She noted that the funds are used for, among other things, scholarships so that interested youth could attend 4-H programs. She noted that 65% of the TSC Paper Clover campaign money stays in Piscataquis County! The planning meetings for the Piscataquis County Fair have begun. Walter wonders if the Parkman 4-H club might want to partner with Valley Grange to offer the NRA Eagle Eddie Program, a basic gun safety, family oriented program. Sheila and Walter will discuss this possibility further. Sheila notes that Adventures In Health Science program is planned for July in Greenville and Karen will be assisting Sheila with this program.

Food Corps – no report submitted for this month.

Unfinished Business

Home Horticultural Aide Search – the screening process will begin today. Donna notes the position will be open until the vacancy is filled. There have been 3 completed applications. There are other persons that began the application process but have not finished the application; e-mail reminders to complete the applications have been sent to them. Dottie reports to the Committee that she has heard from Ana who says it is very hot in Florida!!

Open School Garden – Walter notes this event will not be held.

Work Plans and Public Relations – Keep saving/clipping newspaper articles for the Piscataquis County Cooperative Extension Accomplishments scrapbook. Karen notes that increased publicity for 4-H programs like Adventures In Health Science and 4-H@UMaine: Connecting Kids To Campus might increase 4-H membership and increase awareness of 4-H activities to help parents connect their children to extracurricular and summer programs. Walter and Sheila note this might be accomplished with a memo or attachment to a school information bulletin sent home to parents.

One Tomato Program – Donna reports plants have been purchased and will be ready to pick up for distribution at local food cupboards at the end of May and in June. Richard notes he has at least 100 tomato plants to donate! Thank-you Richard! Donna wonders if The Black Fly Festival in Milo on June 13, 2015 might be a way to reach people in the Milo area as there is no tomato distribution planned at the Milo food pantry. She notes a table there would cost Extension $25.00. A discussion followed. Richard makes a motion that a table space be purchased for the Black Fly Festival, George seconds this motion, and motion passes unanimously. Richard also volunteers to assist Donna at this event. Donna notes that Karen will be assisting her at local food pantries in Dover, Guilford, and Greenville and Janet will also be assisting.

Review of Executive Committee By-laws were tabled for this meeting.

Food Corps Update – Walter notes that he along with Donna, Kate, Bonnie, and Hannah met earlier this afternoon. Hannah has been working primarily with the Dexter school. The school garden fence in Dover is not up yet but plans are underway for that to happen soon. There is one teacher in Dover interested in doing a “pizza raised bed garden” and one other second grade teacher who has been very interested in the entire school garden project. The Committee notes the ongoing problem with caring for these gardens in the summer when children are not attending schools. Hannah reported not having much luck getting into the classrooms at Dover school this year. The Committee notes the best way to do that may be going into the school cafeteria during the lunch hours so as not to interfere with teacher classroom time. Walter notes there will be just one Food Corps worker for both Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties for next year. Some discussion by Committee members was had regarding what Piscataquis County funding for a Food Corps position for next year will be. Another meeting is being planned for June to discuss which schools this Food Corps person will be assigned next year. Penobscot County Extension funding for Food Corps pending.

New Business

Summer Meeting Schedule – summer meetings for the Executive Committee were discussed. Decision made for June 8, 2015; July 6, 2015; and August 10, 2015 with the understanding that some Committee members will not be able to make all the summer meetings due to their vacation schedules.

Agricultural Advancements in Maine/Piscataquis County – Georgia notes that John Rebar gave an excellent presentation on this topic and is wondering if this may be available for Cooperative Extension Committee members to view via web or You Tube. Donna will check with John and update Committee members.

Valley Grange – Walter notes ALL are invited to the Valley Grange this Friday to honor a “secret” community leader. Pot luck dinner begins at 6PM.

Next Cooperative Extension Executive Committee meeting planned for June 8, 2015.

Meeting adjourned at 4:55 PM.