September 11, 2017

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee Meeting, 9/11/17   3-5 pm

Present: Karen Murphy, Carole Boothroyd, Dotty Hadler, George McKay, Beth McEvoy, Richard Neal, Donna Coffin, Sheila Norman, Barb Baker, Lisa Phelps via Tandberg.

  • Minutes of the August 14 meeting were approved with no corrections. David was thanked for providing very thorough minutes for August meeting.
  • Budget Report– Donna discussed the 8/25 expense ($111.83) for a new canopy to replace the old one which has been damaged by wind. The old canopy cloth will be saved for emergency use. A discrepancy between two different ending balances was questioned and Donna stated that this would be explained later in the meeting when staff changes are addressed. The Budget Report was approved, with a request for further information on costs of staffing the office.*
  • Staff Changes– the Committee accepted Amanda Miles’ letter of resignation, as of 9/18/2017, from her position as Administrative Specialist with Piscataquis County Extension. Amanda has accepted the full-time position of Accounting Support Specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Lisa Phelps described Amanda’s new responsibilities and reported that Amanda will still do her work from the Dover-Foxcroft office. There was a discussion about the Piscataquis Extension Office receiving a nominal reimbursement from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for use of the office. Lisa will put forward our request for a nominal contribution to our budget and report back to Donna.
    • *Donna explained that as Amanda made the transition to her new job, Anette has handled many of her duties on a temporary basis. A new hire for a permanent part time position must occur before 2018 and will require a higher salary because Orono had been covering a portion of Amanda’s wage due to the position re-classified. Donna’s budget figures therefore reflect the anticipated increase in the County budget for the Administrative Specialist position. Barb will be head the team for the search committee for the Administrative Specialist.


Program Updates

Barb Baker has volunteered to take on responsibilities as Piscataquis County Extension’s Civil Rights Coordinator and Support Staff Supervisor. Barb described a training program offered by UM Human Resources professionals to county interview committees; the program is to learn how to conduct interviews, etc. Beth, George and Carole volunteered to get some training and be the new support staff interview team. Details TBA

Barb and Sheila provided a written 4-H Program Update. Highlights from the Piscataquis Valley Fair Report:

  • The Leaders Association raised $1,018 for the 4-H scholarship fund with their silent auction of 57 donated goods.
  • 4-H volunteers Brenda and Ron Oldfield organized Animal Land, with help from the Parkman Area 4-H Adventure Club
  • More than 29 youth in 5 clubs from two counties created 132 exhibits (including 4 club exhibits) and received $423 in premiums from Piscataquis Valley Fair.
  • There is strong interest in starting a new 4-H club in Dover-Foxcroft. Two potential leaders have begun the VOLT training. Sheila will be contacting three potential leaders interested in starting a Cloverbud club for children ages 5-8.
  • The new 4-H year begins October 1 and re-enrollment forms have been disseminated. The 2017 Annual Award Night event is a potluck dinner on October 7 at Valley Grange at 6 pm. All are welcome to recognize and celebrate last year’s accomplishments.
  • Trisha Smith enrolled many of her summer Passport Program kids in a new 4-H SPIN Club (SPecial INterest). Trish plans to offer a wonderful food and nutrition curriculum to SPIN Club members this fall/winter.
  • Rebecca will attend the Eastern States Exposition with the 4-H Public Speaking team from Sept 23-25. Sheila will accompany her to Springfield, MA as chaperone and staff representative.
  • New ideas: a design and build a chicken-tractor competition for 4-Hers, the Maine Poultry Association’s chicken coop competition.

Donna provided a written summary of Piscataquis Activities in August. Highlights:

  • Over 20 one to one contacts by phone, email, walk-in or surface mail on a variety of issues.
  • The 2018 budget request was hand delivered to the County Commissioners’ office
  • Roger’s Farm field Day, Old Town, Sept. 9-Soil Cover Crop and Compost Table- 50 attendee contacts
  • Started a new UMaine Extension Livestock Facebook page- Please like and follow

       Upcoming Programs/Meetings

  • 16 -Display at Steve and Diane Hobart’s SWCD Life Time Achievement Celebration. Blanchard.
  • 22 – One Tomato harvest survey, Guilford
  • 2- Piscataquis Civil Rights Meeting
  • November – Donna is organizing The Annual Meeting with a Smoking Chicken Demonstration, side dishes, guest speaker, etc. Penobscot County Extension will be invited. Details TBA The annual meeting is a good time to appeal for new Executive Committee members.
  • Spring- In Piscataquis, a sheep, goat and camelid program to address nutrition, health and foot care. Various demonstrations and presenters are being planned.

Unfinished Business

  • Budget Preparation Update- the budget package has been completed and delivered to the County Commissioners. Copies were handed out. The public hearing will occur at the end of November. It’s a good idea to show public appreciation for the continued support of the County.
  • Office Beautification- the office has been furnished with cork strips and Richard Neal has graciously agreed to display his artwork in the office.

Next meeting October 16, 2017

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm. Minutes submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary   9/13/17