September 14, 2015

Piscataquis County Extension Association

Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

September 14, 2015

Present:  Walter Boomsma, Donna Coffin, Georgia Underwood, Janet Yelch-Weatherbee, George McKay, Dotty Hadler, Richard Neal, Trisha Smith, Sheila Norman

Meeting called to order at 3:10 PM. No introductions were necessary, but it was noted there has been a change in supervision of the counties. Our new supervisor will be Lisa Phelps. She has been our supervisor before.

Secretary’s Report – There was no secretary’s report as it had not been distributed and was not readily available. Sheila volunteered to serve as secretary in Karen’s absence.

Budget Report – see attached report.

Program Reports

Farming/Agriculture – Donna reported that she talks to lots of people, but only 5 were face-to-face here at the office. Email and phone calls were about equal in number. There were lots of requests for information about tomato disease. The traveling One Tomato got late blight. John Piotti is coming for the annual meeting. The annual report is finished and place mats are being developed. The budget request has been submitted. The end of the fiscal year is Sept. 30 so information is being gathered for civil rights reporting. Walter has signed an affidavit that the Executive Committee will not discriminate. About 1400 people came to the exhibit hall at the fair. One person correctly identified all the herbs in the identification activity.

Home Horticulture – Trisha reported that there are about 100 people on the Master Gardener mailing list and 37 on the email list. She is updating the lists. The school garden produced some beautiful garlic, but the garden is overgrown and the fence is tilting on one corner. The pumpkins are about ready to be picked. We will need to get it ready for kids to plant more garlic on October 8. The fence is bird netting on 6’ oak posts, but the posts are not deep. There was discussion about work that needs to be done at the garden such as mowing, mulching, resetting fence posts, and making a new raised bed. The date chosen for a workday was September 24 at 3:00. Trisha will be working with David Murray’s 2nd grade class. Georgia noted that summer crops went by unharvested because no one was there to tend them.

4-H Youth – Sheila reported that the silent auction brought in more than $1300 for scholarships for Piscataquis County 4-H youth. Adventures in Health Science was held at CA Dean Hospital on July 17-19. Milo Afterschool programs are organizing for fall programs. There will be buses taking 4-H members and their families to Eastern States Exposition on October 3. The next Tractor Supply Company Paper Clover Campaign will be held from October 10-18.

Unfinished Business

Telephone System Update – Janet reported calling the Fairpoint people to follow up on the letter she sent. We need to provide proof that someone from Fairpoint required a letterhead request to get disconnected and switched to OTT. We should be reimbursed for what we overpaid due to the slowness of getting changed over. Janet will look into what to do now to get our money back if it was Fairpoint’s error.   Richard moved and George seconded to have Janet continue to look into this. Motion passed.

Work Plans and Public Relations – Keep saving/clipping newspaper articles for the Piscataquis County Cooperative Extension Accomplishments scrapbook. These articles and pictures can be used for the Annual Report!

School Garden Update – At the last meeting there was a consensus to use some of our carryover funds to pay for someone to work at the SeDoMoCha garden in the absence of a Food Corps worker. George moved Richard seconded to spend $3000 to pay for a person to work at the SeDoMoCha garden from Aug. 2015 to July 2016 for an average of 4 hours per week. Trisha will do the work. Motion passed unanimously. The group also agreed to schedule a “work day” on October 24 starting at 3 pm. Some of the planned tasks are weeding, mowing the paths between the beds and adding woodchips, resetting fence posts and possibly building one more bed. We will coordinate plans by email. Walter will also arrange a meeting to include Trisha and Julie Kimball for introductions and to discuss expectations.

Budget Strategy Update and Discussion – There was a value of $72,000 in volunteer hours last year. Walter notes that he believes this is a conservative estimate. Highlights report is finished, formal budget request has been submitted.

The Annual Meeting – Trisha had some good ideas about ways to improve the effectiveness of the Extension promotional placemats.   There was discussion about whether to invest in them again or whether to spend the money on other forms of advertising, such as promoting the annual meeting in the papers. Georgia suggested promoting the event through social media. Janet moved and George seconded to spend $200 to promote the annual meeting in the Observer and Gazette and Facebook. Motion passed unanimously. The annual meeting will be held at the Congregational Church in Dover-Foxcroft. The meal will be $10 per plate and the funds will come to our treasury. We should give a donation to the church for the use of their facility. People should contact the office to RSVP. Natasha Colbry will cater the meal.

New Business – A suggested date for the annual joint county meeting with Penobscot County is November 9, pending approval from Penobscot County. Walter suggested we allow Penobscot County to plan the program/guest speaker this year.

Next month’s Executive Committee meeting date will be Oct. 5 due to Columbus Day.   By-laws will be a high priority on the agenda.

Meeting adjourned at 5:05 PM.