Extension Leadership Team Minutes December 12, 2017

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
December 12, 2017
102B Libby Hall – Orono

Facilitator: Dennis Harrington
Note-taker: Richard Brzozowski

Opioid Webinar Link Sent
This past week, John Rebar sent the link to all staff regarding the recent webinar on the Opioid Crisis and Extension’s potential role.

Fair Labor Standards Act
There are 2 Extension employees for whom the overtime rule will likely apply.

SNAP-Ed Proposal Meetings
PA’s have been meeting with their respective counties to discuss the SNAP-ED proposal and their role.  Kate Yerxa is usually involved in these meetings.  Many counties have had meetings and those in other are being scheduled.

Diagnostic & Research Lab
The new lab will go by the name “University of Maine Cooperative Extension Diagnostic & Research Laboratory.”  This name has been approved by President Susan Hunter.

The Maine Food and Agriculture Center
Audrey Cross is preparing reports from the 2016-2017 projects.  She is also preparing the 2018 Request for Proposals (RFP) which will be announced in late February, 2017.

Information Technology
Lisa Phelps reported that the second GIS training of Extension staff took place. Kate Beard has agreed to make online GIS accounts available. She offered a good deal on access to 8 of those accounts.

Volunteer Management System for Maine Master Gardeners Program
The HHPLT has worked for the past year in gathering information on a Volunteer Management System (VMS) produced by the University of California – Davis.  After much thought, discussion, and interaction with the designers at UC-Davis, the HHPLT members have decided unanimously to subscribe to the system. The cost of the VMS involves a setup fee and a yearly subscription.  The annual subscription fee is based on the number of volunteers.  Cindy Eves Thomas was also involved in the discussions.

UMS Academy
UMS is preparing to launch a learning management system known as the UMS Academy. In January 2018, staff will be able to sign in to UMS Academy through the campus portal. Employees will be able to participate in training as well as to track their current certifications. UMS Academy will consolidate all required trainings. The learning management platform is housed with HooNuit https://www.hoonuit.com/home . Generic program training is also available as part of this learning management system.

MPRS Reporting
The final reporting deadline was Dec 11, 2017 and most staff have reported in the MPRS either individually or as part of a combined/aggregated entries (e.g. camps staff).  While we have a handful of good Impact Statements, many of our most noteworthy programs are not represented. Jon will be working with staff to refine impact statements that represent the breadth and depth of Extension’s programming

Retirement Recognition Protocol
When university employees retire they may be eligible for a university retirement gift if they are at least 55 years old and have worked at the university for at least 10 years.  It is preferable to have the supervisor facilitate the acquisition of the gift. The current HR process does not highlight this for the supervisor. Fran will ensure all supervisors do attend to this important piece of recognizing the significant contribution of a retiree.

Outstanding Volunteer Award
Nominations for an outstanding volunteer award are being solicited.

Results of the Staffing Survey
To date, web support and videographer were the key needs identified by staff.  The survey will be open until January 18, 2018.


Congratulations to PI Mark Hutchinson on his award of $64,759 from the University of California: Davis for the “OREI: Multi-Regional risk analysis of farm manure use: Balancing soil health and food safety for organic fresh produce production” project.  This award is the 2nd year of a 4-year Project.  As part of a multi-regional team, this integrated research-extension risk-based approach will fully assess current management practices affecting the time survival of pathogens and soil health used by the organic industry related to raw manure and untreated manure.

Congratulations to PI Mark Hutton and Co-PIs Mark Hutchinson and Eric Gallandt who have been awarded $139,329 from USDA/NIFA through Cornell University to facilitate the development of organic agriculture production, breeding, and processing methods by advancing the adoption of innovative strategies to reduce tillage on organic vegetable farms.  This is the final installment of the total $543,624 award.

Congratulations to PI Ryder Scott and Co-PI Danielle O’Neill who have been awarded $77,503 by the Emanuel & Pauline A. Lerner Foundation for their “Aspirations Incubator Program” project.  Along with the previously awarded “Lerner Start-up funds”, this is the balance of the first year of a 6 year – $600,000 award.  The Lerner Foundation’s goal is to create a comprehensive mentorship-based pilot program for middle-school and high-school students from eight school districts and 39 communities in rural parts of Maine.  Bryant Pond 4-H Center has named its program “NorthStar” and will work with students in Telstar Middle and High Schools throughout the project.  Programming will include outdoor leadership experiences, adventure challenge, travel and service learning and will utilize Bryant Pond’s staff and facilities to provide mentorship and learning opportunities for students.

Congratulations to PI Steven Johnson who has been awarded $12,482 from USDA ARS for year 2 of his “Controlling Black Leg Disease” project.  This award focuses on Blackleg of potato and is a portion of a larger award through the Maine Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station on which Steve is the Co-PI and Jianjun Hao is the PI.  This project plans to meet the following objectives: 1) Detecting new introductions and monitoring the spread of Dickeya and Pectobacterium strains in the United States by developing microbial forensic capabilities. 2) Improving and validating field and laboratory assays for rapid diagnosis of blackleg pathogens. 3) Examining the threshold level in seed potato lots and effectiveness of disease management via seed treatment, operation, and storage.

Congratulations to PI Ellen Mallory who has been awarded $45,054 from USDA NESARE for year 4 of her “Strengthen Soil Security in Maine” project.  This project continues to conduct soil health professional development opportunities for farmers in New England.

Search Updates
Home Horticulture Professional – Cumberland County – Advertising
Ornamental Horticulture Specialist – OronoInterviewing
Wild Blueberry Specialist – OronoInterviewing
Marine Extension Associate (Joint appt. with Sea Grant) –  Interviewing
Nutrition Education Professional – Alyssa Adkins Hired
Community Education Assistant CL2 (Lewiston) – Updating job description for reposting
Finance and Budget Professional – Orono – Interviewing
Administrative Specialist CL1 – Piscataquis County – Advertising
Administrative Specialist CL1 – Cumberland County – Preparing to advertise

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

Facilitator Notes Location
January 19 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