Extension Leadership Team Minutes February 8, 2018

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
February 8, 2018
Via Zoom Platform due to weather conditions

Facilitator: Lisa Phelps
Note-taker: Fran Sulinski

Check-in Items/Announcements:

Rural Information Center will assist those seeking grants. https://www.nal.usda.gov/ric/funding-resources  If you are seeking funding sources for a specific need, you can contact them directly.  email: ric@nal.usda.gov  phone: 1-800-633-7701

The National Agribility Conference (also known as the National Training Workshop or NTW) is scheduled to take place in Portland, Maine March 19-22. Maine Agribility will be seeking a grant renewal later this year after completing eight years of funding.

The new Administrative Practice Letter (APL) for travel will soon be released. Staff will no longer need to complete a trip request in anticipation of in-state travel. This will save many permissions and approvals. Extended day meals will continue not to be allowed. This will be made clear in the new policy. Other changes will also be announced.

The vehicle replacement policy of UMaine will require each vehicle is replaced every six years. The rationale is the vehicles will be sold at the height of their salvage value and before they begin (statistically) to cost more in maintenance.

Lisa will be meeting with the Maine Extension Homemaker Council to discuss the changes that will occur with Debbie Killam’s retirement at the end of February. Michaele Bailey will be serving as the state advisor for this group and will be working with the county groups except for Aroostook County which Lisa Fishman works with. There are approximately 600 homemakers statewide.

An additional 4-H Paper Clover Campaign will be supported this year by Joann Fabrics stores. A $1, $2 and $4 clover can be purchased with coupons (for the $4 clover only) from Joann Fabrics as an incentive. There was also a service day in the store on February 3rd that involved local 4-H clubs staffing a card making table at JoAnn Fabrics stores.  The service day was successful and the cards were given to local community groups.

We recently had a very successful Hall of Flags event held February 6. President Hunter and Provost Hecker attended and appreciated the work on display. Thanks to all who participated and supported the effort!

The Follow a Researcher® program coordinated by 4-H will follow a UMaine graduate student whose research is focused on the invasive green crab in Maine.  Look for news as this unfolds in the spring.

The Board of Trustees and the Chancellor toured the Diagnostic & Research Laboratory on Sunday evening, January 28.  Besides a guided tour of the facility, the group had a reception and dinner featuring Maine foods. Jim Dill, Alicyn Smart, Debbie Bouchard, and Anne Lichtenwalner gave brief presentations at their respective stations.  The guests were very impressed with this new facility!

The President’s search will have on-campus opportunities announced in the near future. It is advantageous for as many of our staff as possible to attend these events. Extension staff, who are on or near campus, should prioritize attending if you are able. For those off-campus please attend if you have other business but not necessarily go out of your way to attend.

Agenda Items Notes:

Members of the ELT will meet with Provost Hecker on February 9, 2018 to discuss aspects of the search for a new Extension Director.

Creating Podcasts of our educational resources may be beneficial and useful to some of our audiences (especially young adults). The new UMS Kaltura platform can support podcast development. It makes sense for us to explore podcasts simultaneous to our pursuit of the features and value of Kaltura. More information about Kaltura will be shared with staff in the near future.

Extension Education Institute – The program leaders for agriculture and natural resources in the northeast region have drafted plans for an Extension Education Institute.  The Institute would be comprised of several modules focusing on building skills in extension education for all disciplines – 4-H youth, family consumer science, community development, natural resources and agriculture. The Institute would move from state to state in the region depending on the lead personnel for each module. With this information, the ELT provided feedback. Lisa offered to bring the northeast 4-H program leaders in on the conversation if needed. Questions were asked about what other training like this is available and concerns about the amount of work involved in such an effort. Dick will provide updates as they are available.

Extension Staff Awareness of Maine’s Native American Population – The ELT discussed what might be needed for staff training in this area. The group agreed that it would be valuable for staff to know more about how other Extension staff have been successful working with the Maine Native American tribes. This is one of the positive outcomes of annual civil rights meetings where staff share successes and other staff can benefit from the relationships that have been established. Fran will bring this to the Staff Development Advisory Committee.

Name Change for the Integrated Program Enhancement Team (iPET) –  iPET approached the ELT about changing their name to the Extension Communications and Marketing Team. The team is comprised of Extension professionals who work with staff to deliver research-based information to Maine citizens in response to community issues and needs. The ELT is supportive of the name change and the work of the team. The team regularly assists staff with effective communication, branding and promotion, technical advice based on current trends and user data, editing, copyright issues, citations, and permission requests and liability issues, ADA compliance and analytics.


Congratulations to PI Jen Lobley who has been awarded $21,600 by the National 4-H Council for her “Youth Community Leaders (YTD)” project.  Food insecurity is an issue for many community members in Washington County.  The youth participating in this project hope to gain a better understanding of the available resources and accessibility to food.  The goal of this project is to create resources, via data collection, that will be made available in the community (digital, video, apps, etc.) that will easier for people in the community to find and access resources and raise awareness about this local food insecurity.

Congratulations to PI James Dill who has been awarded $22,700 by the eXtension Foundation for his “eXtension PSEFMP Grant” project.  The eXtension Foundation has received a grant through the EPA and is providing smaller grants in the form of Pesticide Safety Education funds to Land Grant Universities.  The main goal for this project is 2-fold; the first is to increase the number of certified Pesticide applicators in the State of Maine and the second is to develop an informational brochure that helps people determine who needs to be certified and licensed to apply Pesticides.  This brochure will be for use mostly at Farmer’s Markets.

Search Updates
Home Horticulture Professional – Cumberland County – Offer made and accepted
Ornamental Horticulture Specialist – OronoOffer made and accepted
Wild Blueberry Specialist – OronoOffer made and accepted
Community Education Assistant CL2 (Lewiston) Reposted
Finance and Budget Professional – Orono –
Michael Bailey Hired
Administrative Specialist CL1 – Piscataquis CountyJohn Albertini Hired
Administrative Specialist CL1 – Cumberland County – Re-posted
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Diagnostic Lab/OronoAdvertising
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Cooperative Extension/EFNEP/Wild BB – OronoAdvertising
Administrative Specialist CL3 – Bryant PondAdvertising

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

Facilitator Notes Location
March 5 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 28 Sulinski Phelps Augusta – Farmhouse 11