Extension Leadership Team Minutes September 28, 2017

Extension Leadership Team
Meeting Minutes, Farmhouse, UM – Augusta
September 28, 2017

Facilitator: Lisa Phelps
Note Taker: John Rebar

Attendees: Dennis Harrington, Fran Sulinski, Richard Brzozowski, Jon Prichard, Lisa Phelps, John Rebar

Items of Interest

The new UMS-Human Resources partner for Extension is Brian Drisko.  Brian is asking to meet with the ELT to gain a greater understanding of the work done within our organization.  Fran will follow up and schedule Brian to attend a future ELT meeting. Brian is also interested in touring an Extension sites and programs.

ELT meeting for December has been changed from the 6th to the 12th in Orono.

Amanda Miles has assumed her new full-time responsibilities in Operations with a focus on procurement, travel, and hourly payroll approvals.  Among Amanda’s important roles is to review MarketPlace and CONCUR transactions for adherence to policies and correct chartfield and to guide staff to the resources offered by UMaine’s Central Procurement to build their capacity to work with the procurement management systems of the UMS.

The job description and PDQ for an Operations Professional is about to be submitted to UMS-HR.  This position will address many of the day-to-day accounting issues that are required of Extension within the UMS financial management system.  The complexity and requirements for management within the UMS financial structure have increased dramatically under the “One University” initiative.

There has been a policy change regarding the awarding of faculty start-up funding for new hires by the Vice President for Research that are sourced by the Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF).  The funding is allocated annually and should be spent within the fiscal year awarded.  The letter of award has specific time period and reporting requirements.  PA’s and Dennis will familiarize themselves with these new requirements.

The recent 4-H Program Leadership Team meeting was very successful and led by faculty members Kristy Ouellette and Jennifer Lobley.  It was the largest gathering of 4-H faculty, professional and CEA staff within UMaine Extension in over a decade.  The event was very successful with a focus on building the capacity of our field staff to implement new changes within the 4-H program.

Falmouth Land Trust is hoping to build a new building at the Tidewater Farm and partner with Extension on the use of the site into the future.  The demolition of the existing buildings is also part of the plan.  However, this action hinges on the decision of the Town of Falmouth and its approval relative to Bateman Development.  The Cooperative Extension garden site continues to expand and looks beautiful.  Kudos to Amy Witt and all the MG Volunteers for their successful fund raising efforts for the garden site.

The Sea Grant Director search is moving forward. Jon Prichard is a member of the search committee.


There will a donor recognition event at Bryant Pond 4-H Camp & Learning Center on October 17th.  President Hunter and Provost Hecker will be attending.

The 4-H Foundation is sponsoring the 4-H Challenge fund raising initiative in conjunction with the Fryeburg Fair Association.  There will be a retreat for the 4-H Foundation Trustees on Oct. 27th in Augusta.  Lisa is attending.

The Plant, Animal and Insect lab project continues to move forward on time and within budget.  The lab managers meet regularly to address issues and make plans for the effective use of the new facility.  An issue to address is the disposal of carcasses in a cost-effective manner.  Composting may be a viable option.

IT – Dan Cox (graduate student in Instructional Design) and Jen Lobley are working together on an update of the orientation modules for volunteers.  Dan is funded through the Doris Ladd gift fund to Cooperative Extension and supervised by Lisa.

Taglines on Email

There is an Extension policy in place that prevents employees from having individual email signatures.  Sayings, poems, quotes from others can be seen as representing a position for Cooperative Extension.  All employees are reminded not to include a personal statement on their work email.  Any questions could be directed to the administrator for your unit.  The policy regarding this issue is at: https://extension.umaine.edu/plugged-in/policies-guidelines/policies-procedures-manual/section-two-administration/2-12/.


The ELT reviewed the previous marketing plan for Extension from 2005-2008.  John asked the group what was relevant about that plan for the present day?  The intention is to create a new plan that can help guide the priorities of Audrey Cross as the organization’s marketing professional.  After a discussion, the group agreed that John will draft a marketing plan that is an outline of priorities for the organization based upon outcomes.  The ELT will review and edit the plan.

Revenue Generation Ideas

UMaine Extension will host Northeast Ag/NR program leaders on October 19-20.  A focus of one of the sessions will be revenue generation.  A request has been made to share ways in which we raise revenue.   For UMaine Extension the best outcome is self-sustaining efforts such as the camping programs.  However, most programs that generate revenue through fees do not cover the complete cost of the program.

Future ELT Meeting Dates:

January 17- Orono
February 8- Augusta
March 7- Orono
March 28- Orono
April 19- Augusta
May 9- Orono
May 31- Orono
June 21- Augusta


Congratulations to PI Deborah Bouchard and Co-PIs Heather Hamlin, Robert Bayer, and Jean McRae who have been awarded $28,423 by the State of Maine Department of Marine Resource for Year 2 of the “Addressing Lobster Health” project.  This project is addressing the effects of changing ocean ecosystems on lobster health and susceptibility to disease in the context of rising water temperatures.  Focus is on how these changes may directly impact lobster biology in regards to reproductive development and susceptibility to disease.

Congratulations to PI Kristy Ouellette and Co-PI Mitch Mason who have been awarded $140,000 in CYFAR funds from USDA/NIFA for the 4th year of a five-year cycle of funding to support the Maine Sustainable Communities Project – Maine Community Central: Integrating 4-H Science and Life Skills with Schools, Communities and Families.

Congratulations to PI Mark Hutchinson who has been awarded $50,000 by USDA APHIS for the “6th International Animal Mortality Management Symposium”.  This project is a cooperative agreement between the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) to conduct the Symposium in Amarillo, Texas June 4th-8th.

Congratulations to PI John Jemison and Co-PI Richard Kersbergen who have been awarded $104,876 by the University of Vermont (sub award on a USDA NIFA grant) for their “Expanding No-Till” project.  This 3-year research project will gather information to disseminate to growers regarding the stoppage of primary tillage and, in turn, using cover crops to help dairy farmers obtain higher yields and more consistent corn silage quality

Search Updates
4-H Youth Development Professional – Hancock County – Offered and accepted
Ornamental Horticulture Specialist – OronoReposted
Wild Blueberry Specialist – OronoReviewing Applicants
Accounting Support Specialist CL2– OronoOn Hold
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Pest Management, Orono – Interviewing
Community Education Assistant CL1 (Horticulture) – Oxford County – On hold
Marine Extension Associate (Joint appt. with Sea Grant) –  Advertising
Nutrition Education Professional – Advertising
Community Education Assistant CL2 (Lewiston
) – Advertising
Community Education Assistant CL2 (Andro/Sag)
– Advertising
Administrative Specialist CL2 (Cumberland)
– Advertising (Internal Search)

ELT Meeting Dates –2017–18. Meetings are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm – unless otherwise noted.

Facilitator Notes Location
September 7 Sulinski Phelps Orono – 102B Libby Hall
September 28 Phelps Rebar Augusta – Farmhouse 11
October 26 Rebar Prichard Orono – 102B Libby Hall
November 16 Prichard Harrington Augusta – Farmhouse 11
December 12 Harrington Brzozowski Orono – 102B Libby Hall
January 17 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono – 102B Libby Hall
February 8 Sulinski Phelps Augusta – Farmhouse 11
March 7 Phelps Rebar Orono – 102B Libby Hall
March 28 Rebar Prichard Orono – 102B Libby Hall
April 19 Prichard Harrington Augusta – Farmhouse 11
May 9 Harrington Brzozowski Orono – 102B Libby Hall
May 31 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono – 102B Libby Hall
June 21 Sulinski Phelps Augusta – Farmhouse 11