Extension Leadership Team Minutes March 5, 2018

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
March 5, 2018
102B Libby Hall

Facilitator: Fran Sulinski
Note-taker: John Rebar

General Updates:

  • Lisa attended the National 4-H Program Leaders meeting in Las Vegas last week.
  • 4-H Animal Science Committee Meeting was held on Saturday, March 3. The ELT thanks the many staff with 4-H responsibilities that attended to work with and support the 4-H volunteers who conduct animal science programming.
  • There is a new travel Administrative Practices Letter (APL) that applies to all employees. The amended APL will initiate consequences for those employees who travel out-of-state without prior approval.  The APL further clarifies that in-state travel meals are not reimbursable, however this policy continues to be reviewed for exemptions for specific job categories. Everyone is encouraged to review the APL and ask UMS Procurement questions or raise concerns. Information on the changes and the APL were sent to all employees by Amanda Miles via email on Feb. 9.
  • The USDA-NIFA Annual Report of Activities and Accomplishments for FY 2017 is due by April 1, 2018. Jon and Dennis are working diligently on UMaine Extension’s report.
  • The National AgrAbility Conference will be occurring March 19-22 in Portland. The ELT commends Leilani Carlson for her outstanding efforts for her role in organizing the conference.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Frank Drummond who has been named UMaine’s Distinguished Maine Professor for 2018. The award is made by the UMaine Alumni Association and is considered the most prestigious faculty award. Frank holds a joint appointment with the School of Biology & Ecology and Cooperative Extension.
  • The ELT thanks Kate Yerxa for her leadership in the development and submission of the SNAP-Ed proposal that was submitted to the state in February. This grant application was the largest single proposal ever submitted in Extension’s history and represents a huge potential to bring quality education to SNAP recipients.  The ELT also is very grateful for the way that our entire organization has embraced the potential of bringing SNAP-Ed back into Extension’s portfolio.
  • John Jemison has been nominated for the Steve Gould Award for his work with the Orono Community Garden. This award recognizes outstanding public service and has been awarded to Extension in the past with the Harvest for Hunger program.
  • A new director has been appointed to Maine Sea Grant. Gayle Zydlewski, Associate Professor of Marine Science at UMaine will begin her new position on July 1.  Jon Prichard will lead an orientation to Extension for Gayle.

York County Administrative Specialist Vacancy
Rebecca Gowdy is retiring on May 10th and the York County Extension office has requested approval for fill the anticipated vacancy.  The ELT is very grateful for the work that Becky has done for Extension in York County and beyond.  The ELT approved initiating the search for a successor to Becky.

Maine 4-H Foundation Annual Meeting
The date for this year’s Maine 4-H Foundation Annual Meeting will be on May 16th at the Wells Conference Center.  The focus will be on 4-H science.  This is a premier event for the 4-H Foundation and will have a different format for this year.

Revisions and Updates to Volunteer Training Modules
Jennifer Lobley and Dan Cox, Graduate Assistant in Instructional Design, who is funded through Extension (Doris Ladd Fund) are updating four modules that help orient new volunteers to UMaine Cooperative Extension.  Lisa shared the progress that is being made to date. The new modules will have active links to programming resources and additional information on Extension.   The ELT appreciates Jen’s leadership in the creation and management of education information for volunteers, and the ELT is excited with the technical enhancements that Dan has introduced to the modules.

MOU between UMaine Cooperative Extension and the Maine 4-H Foundation
There is no formal agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) between the Maine 4-H Foundation and UMaine Cooperative Extension.  John is suggesting that an agreement be developed and approved by both organizations.  An agreement would protect the interests of both entities and clearly delineate the working relationship between the organizations.  John will work with Lisa and Susan Jennings on an initial draft.  The tentative goal is to complete the MOU by the May 16th Annual Meeting of the Maine 4-H Foundation.

Request to Support Incentives for Faculty Awards
The Policy Advisory Committee of the faculty is seeking ELT support for incentives for awards to Cooperative Extension faculty.  The PAC has three annual awards.  The ELT has decided to allocate up to $1,500 in additional professional development for award to deserving faculty members by the PAC each fiscal year (October – September) The awards will be available until September 30; of the year the award is made.  This allocation is contingent upon the availability of professional development funding and may not be available in difficult budget years.  These additional funds will be available for the first time in FY 2019


Congratulations to PI Lakesh Sharma and Co-PIs Sukhwinder Bali and James Dwyer who have been awarded $91,432 by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Specialty Crop Block Grant program for their “Development of Advance Phosphorous Recommendations for Maine Potato Growers” 3-year project.  Objectives of this study are to create robust grower specific Phosphorous recommendations utilizing multiple sites that will include varied soil textures, soil moisture, and weather conditions.

Search Updates

Home Horticulture Professional – Cumberland County – Pamela Hargest hired
Ornamental Horticulture Specialist – Orono
Offer made and accepted
Wild Blueberry Specialist – OronoOffer made and accepted
Community Education Assistant CL2 (Lewiston) – Offer made
Administrative Specialist CL1 – Cumberland County – Re-posted
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Diagnostic Lab/Orono – Screening applicants
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Cooperative Extension/EFNEP/Wild BB – Orono – Advertising
Administrative Specialist CL3 – Bryant Pond – Joyce Donnaruma hired
Pesticide Safety Education Program Professional – Preparing to Advertise
Molecular Diagnostic Professional – Preparing to Advertise
Food Science and Safety Specialist – Preparing to Advertise

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

Facilitator Notes Location
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