ELT Minutes: February 3, 2016

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
February 3, 2016
Augusta – Farm House Conference Room 11

Facilitator: John Rebar
Note taker: Jon Prichard

At the next 4-H PLT meeting, Fran is facilitating a session with 4-H staff to help them come to a common understanding of the breadth and depth of what 4-H is.

The ELT has agreed to participate in a Concur training with Patti on February 19 so that we can become a stronger support to our supervisees.

Reminder of Extension Contracts Process & Purchasing Agreements

Contracts, MOUs, leases, bills of lading, and any other documents that commit Cooperative Extension and/or the University to any activity or course of action need to be reviewed through our Operations office and signed by John Rebar or another designated University administrator. Unless specifically authorized to do so, Extension’s staff and volunteers may not sign in the name of the University. Please route all agreements to Dennis Harrington or Megan Tardif, with as much lead time as possible. If necessary Dennis or Megan will review and route to the appropriate University offices for further review, and obtain the appropriate signatures. Also, agreements that commit the University to purchase goods and/or services need to be processed through MarketPlace. Renae Byard in our operations office can be helpful with purchasing policies.

Maine 4-H Showcased at Hall of Flags

On February 2, 4-H was showcased with displays staff on hand in the Hall of Flags at the State State House, and a group of 4-H youth volunteered as pages for the legislature during the day. The day was a success for many reasons, the most important being our faculty and professional staff actively engaging legislators and university leaders to explain the wonderful work that is being done statewide in 4-H.  UMaine Provost Hecker and President Hunter were also on hand and spent a good deal of time engaged with staff as well.  Next year’s showcase will likely be on Extension’s programming in the Maine Food System.

The Power of Social Media

A national blogger picked up Jim Dill’s bed bug video which then ended up on national news programs.  As a result the video had over 250,000 views in a single week and has topped even Dave Handley’s very popular raspberry video.  The bed bug video currently has over 345,000 views.  This is a good reminder to all staff of the power and reach of social media as an educational outreach tool.

Maine Agriculture Center (MAC) has a New Name

The Maine Agriculture Center has a new name – The Maine Food and Agriculture Center.  John Rebar is the Chancellor’s emissary to this group. Dick Brzozowski serves as the Associate Director for the Maine Food and Agriculture Center.

MPRS Reporting Strategy

It has been mentioned that it may be a better reporting strategy for the ELT to identify specific impact statements that we wish to see created during the current programming year and used in the FY16 annual report. This is a strategy that we have employed in the past with some significant success.  We agreed that we need to improve how we work with staff to plan for and create high quality success stories.  In our two key program areas, 4-H and Maine Food System, Lisa and Dick will explore potential success stories and strategies for working with program staff to create them by the end of 2016.



Richard Kersbergen
Building Resilience and Sustainability in Dairy Forage Systems in New England YR1
Congratulations to Richard Kersbergen who has been awarded $15,999 from USDA NIFA via University of Vermont to research the hypothesis that harvesting forage from winter cover crops can improve feed inventories, reduce production costs, and recover nitrogen released from fall applied manure. Additionally, having a variety of cropping options available to producers helps to eliminate risk associated with variable climate conditions.

 James Dill
2015-2016 NPDN Diagnostics
Congratulations to James Dill  who has been awarded $23,100 from USDA NIFA via Cornell University to maintain a registry of trained first detectors and cooperate with regional and national staff, as requested, to disburse important observations and notices to those registered in our state, review and accept new content for the First Detector, Train-the-Trainer program as applicable to our region, and continue development of a Maine photographic index of plant diseases for the historical documentation of plant pathogens and as a diagnostic resource for diagnosticians.

 Mitch Mason and Kristy Ouellette
Youth Voice Youth Choice 2015-16
Congratulations to Mitch Mason and Kristy Ouellette who have been awarded $35,000 from National 4H Council to support and expand efforts by UMaine Extension 4-H along with its community partners to improve the health decisions made by Maine youth. In particular, the outcomes will be to improve the attitudes and behaviors towards eating healthy foods and also increase likelihood that youth ages 5-18 will partake in physical activities.

Keri Kaczor
Maine Healthy Beaches 2016
Congratulations to Keri Kaczor who has been awarded $175,499 from ME Dept. of Environmental Protection to provide a unified coastal water quality monitoring program to ensure safe coastal swimming experiences. Program elements include monitoring, assessment and notification of water quality conditions on Maine’s coastal beaches.

Jason Bolton
Defining and Overcoming Economic Factors Hindering Adoption of Food Safety
Congratulations to Jason Bolton who has been awarded $17,186 from USDA NIFA via University of Vermont to assess farmer perceptions and beliefs about PSA food safety practices and what they consider sufficient economic incentives to adopt them. The overall goal of the project is to increase the number of fresh produce growers adopting food safety practices to improve the economic viability of small and medium-size farms in New England.”

Ellen Mallory
Investigating Diversity as a Climate Resilience Strategy for Potato-Grain Systems Using DSSAT and Collaborative Modeling
Congratulations to Ellen Mallory who has been awarded $11,902 from USDA NIFA to develop proficiency in using a crop simulation model (DSSAT) to produce specific, tangible information, in terms of crop yields and economic outcomes, as well as the risks and opportunities associated with changing climate and more variable weather for potato and grain production systems.

Announcement Invitation:

The ELT invites you to submit items to be included in the minutes/announcements of the next regularly scheduled ELT meeting.  This is an opportunity to share with the ELT and the rest of the organization any of the following:

  • Notable programmatic accomplishments
  • Development or fundraising success
  • Significant new partnerships and/or opportunities
  • Important transitions

Please take the opportunity to share your good works through this avenue. Keep it brief, approximately two to four sentences would be appreciated. To submit an announcement, please contact your PA or appropriate member of the ELT.

Please remember to visit University of Maine’s news site for additional University of Maine Cooperative Extension highlight.

Search Update:

  • Cumberland County Sustainable Agriculture ProfessionalFilled (Jason Lilley)

ELT Meeting Dates –2016 – Meetings are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm – unless otherwise noted.

March 1 Prichard Harrington Orono – 102B
March 23 Harrington Brzozowski Orono – 102B
April 4 Brzozowski Sulinski Augusta – Farm House 11 conf. room
April 29 Sulinski Phelps Orono – 102B
May 12 Phelps Rebar Orono – 102B
May 26 Rebar Prichard Augusta – Farm House 11 conf. room