September 15th, 2014

Piscataquis County Extension Association
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
September 15, 2014

Donna Coffin, Sheila Norman, Ana Bonstedt, Barbara Baker & Kate Garland – via web, Janet Yelch-Weatherbee, Karen Dolley, Walter Boomsma, Tish Dutson, George McKay, Richard Neal – guest

Meeting called to order at 3:02 PM. Quick introductions by all for guest in attendance, Richard Neal.

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

Budget Report – see attached report.

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

  • Farming/Horticulture – see attached reports. Ana and Donna report 393 people at the Piscataquis County Fair stopped by. Many people had questions about ticks and Lyme disease. Ana’s photography skills continue to be highlighted on Facebook posts.
  • 4-H –see attached report. Sheila reports 4-H was well represented at the Piscataquis County Fair. Sheila reminds Committee members that the Tractor Supply Paper Clover Leaf campaign will take place October 8-October 19.

Unfinished Business  

Budget Strategy
Walter and Donna report meeting with the County Commissioners and talking with them about some of the great things that Extension is doing including, but not limited to, the One Tomato Project, the Super Science Club in Greenville, and community awareness of ticks and Lyme disease.  Walter notes the next step will be a meeting with the Budget Advisory Committee which he and Donna have requested. The Budget Advisory Committee holds 4 meetings before meeting with the County Commissioners to make their recommendations. George notes a newspaper article he had read which introduces the public to the new University of Maine President and her priorities. George mentions that the good work that Cooperative Extensions do statewide was mentioned. Walter recommends that all Committee members view new message, Cooperative Extension Update, from John Rebar which also highlights the good work that Cooperative Extensions do tempered with budget considerations. Committee members discussed making placemats to distribute to local area restaurants. Donna notes the research she has done on prices to make copies and notes that Printworks is the most cost effective. George makes a motion to print 1000 placemats, Tish seconds this motion. The motion was carried unanimously.

Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting/Dinner took place on September 6, 2014. Walter notes that $359.00 was raised to assist the Piscataquis Santa project. The number of persons attending the Annual meeting/Dinner was disappointing. Walter notes about 30 people were in attendance. Some ideas discussed for next year include MORE advertising, distribution of placemats in local restaurants advertising the Annual Meeting/Dinner before the meeting, and a different menu/theme. It was noted that John Jemison and his topic on Maine food systems was very interesting. A thank you note for John was distributed and signed by Committee members.

Piscataquis County Fair
The fair was well attended and Cooperative Extension spoke with many people. Sheila mentions there will be some changes for next year including the area where 4-H displays are located. Tentative plan will put animal land into one of the sheep barns and 4-H displays into the current Animal Land Building. Children enjoyed balloon rockets that were carefully displayed by Sheila! Some ideas for next year include more engagement with and activities for children, kid friendly displays and kid friendly labeling.

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 scrapbook!


New Business

Joint Meeting
The annual meeting with Penobscot County Extension was discussed. This will be held at the United Methodist Church in Corinth. Two possible dates were discussed including November 17th as a first choice and November 10th as a second choice. A “paid meal” preference versus a pot luck format was agreed upon by Committee members. Kate Garland will be meeting with the Penobscot County Executive Committee and will be discussing the joint meeting and their preferences with them. After this meeting a date/time and menu can be set!

Food Corps position
Kate reports Sonja will be returning to the Food Corps position effective September 2014. She continues her efforts with Harvest Lunch Week, School Garden Open House in Dexter, and installation of a fence around the school garden at Se-Do-Mo-Cha. There may need to be a transition to another person in January 2015. Kate will let the Executive Committee know. Kate discussed the desired skills necessary for a Food Corps person including knowledge of local communities and local schools. The Dover Foxcroft and Dexter schools will continue to be the priorities as will be identifying a long term vision with local school administrators. Executive Committee members are asked to think about a person they may know within the community who might want to “step in” to this position. A second Food Corps position with an emphasis on nutrition may be a possibility beginning in September 2015. Executive Committee members are asked to give some thought about a community partner other that Extension. The Maine Harvest Festival is planned for November 2014. Kate has asked for volunteers to man the Extension booth/display!

New Business from the Floor
George notes that Richard Neal is interested in Executive Committee membership and Richard is agreeable to this. George makes a motion that Richard be voted in as a new member of the Executive Committee. Tish seconds this motion. The motion was carried unanimously. Welcome Richard!

Next Cooperative Extension Executive Committee is our joint meeting. October meeting is planned for October 20, 2014.

Meeting adjourned at 5:07 PM.