Extension Leadership Team Minutes August 20, 2018

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
Monday, August 20, 2018
Orono – 102B Libby Hall

Facilitator: Jon Prichard
Note-taker: Dennis Harrington

Others in attendance: Dick Brzozowski, Lisa Phelps, Fran Sulinski, John Rebar

Update – Camps

The University of Maine System legal office has informed the ELT that CBD (Cannabidiol – an oil known as cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant including hemp) cannot be brought to camp by kids despite the fact that is may be legally prescribed to the child.

Blueberry Cove: The Tanglewood/Blueberry Cove Board has voted to tear down the unusable Crow’s Nest building and rebuild the facility from the ground up. UM Facilities has approved this effort.

The Blueberry Cove half-marathon fundraiser will take place this weekend August 26th.

Update – Technology

The UMaine account for ZOOM is currently up and running. It is managed such that every individual employee has an account that they can access through the UMS MyCampus portal. Staff are encouraged to connect with IT for training.

Update – Extension Dean Search

The search committee has met recently to review additional applications. Video interviews will be scheduled soon. Tentative on-campus interviews and public sessions will be scheduled for late September and/or early October.

UMaine Human Resources Guests

Cooperative Extension’s HR Partner Brian Drisko and VP of Campus Human Resources Chris Lindstrom were guests of the Extension Leadership Team for an update and orientation to our collective work and issues.  Brian and Chris presented a new timeline for position searches and explained changes that will increase standardization for hiring new positions through HireTouch.

UMaine Office of Conferences and Institutes

Will Biberstein, Director of UM Conferences and Institutes, met with the ELT to communicate the services and resources available through his office. C&I office can help you organize both large and small events, on or off campus and across the state. Off campus sites could include Extension offices and camps.  Relevant information is available at https://umaine.edu/conferences/. These services are fee-based and typically cost a negotiated percentage of the registration fee up to 15 percent. Will Biberstein – williamb@maine.edu 207-581-4091

In-state Travel Requests in CONCUR

The ELT supports the creation of blanket travel requests in CONCUR for in-state travel for a given fiscal year for those who prefer to do so. This is a personal choice, but is not required.

Computer Ordering

The ELT has reaffirmed that all computers must be ordered through Sheila Vaillancourt to ensure appropriate set up and service. From Plugged In:

Ordering Computers

  1. Cooperative Extension staff should contact Sheila to order a new computer. Sheila has information about the kinds of computer packages our staff have typically ordered. If there are any special issues that come up with the kind of computer needed, Sheila will work with Jon Bubier, who is the UMaine System IT tech who provides IT support for Extension.
  2. Sheila will invoice counties/units/camps for computers ordered as she has done in the past.
  3. Sheila will have the computer sent to Jon Bubier from UMaine System IT and Jon will work on setting it up for you, including getting files transferred over.


Congratulations to Dave Fuller as one of a cadre of co-authors nationally who collaborated on a new USDA report by the USDA that provides science-based information to help decision-makers, practitioners, and researchers to promote the sustainable harvest of nontimber forest products (NTFP).  The 268-page Assessment of Nontimber Forest Products in the United States Under Changing Conditions synthesizes the best available science for managing nontimber forest resources in the U.S.

Congratulations to PI James Dill who has been awarded $175,444 by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program via USDA NIFA for Year 2 (of 3) for the “Maine Integrated Pest Management CPPM-EIP” project.  The overall goals associated with this project include minimization of pesticide use in Maine agriculture and communities, increased crop yield and profitability, increased awareness of complex pest issues, and increased implementation of IPM practices.

Congratulations to PI Kate Yerxa who has been awarded $36,404 by the University of New England for years 3 and 4 of the “Supermarket Science” project (a USDA AFRI project).  Through research, education and extension, this project aims to promote healthier food and beverage grocery purchases and consumption by families participating in the SNAP program by providing nutrition education at the point of purchase and monetary incentives in the retail food environment.

Congratulations to PI Jen Lobley who has been awarded the Year 2 funding in the amount of $19,000 by the National 4-H Council for her “Youth Community Leaders (YTD)” project, (AKA Microsoft Changemakers).  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 Lakesh Sharma who was recently recognized with the Achievement Award by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents at their annual meeting that took place in Chattanooga, TN.

Congratulations to Tori Jackson who was recently recognized with the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents at their annual meeting that took place in Chattanooga, TN.

Future Agenda Items:

  • Next steps in Extension Opioid Response
  • What should the focus of the next Hall of Flags be? Do we have a date yet? The 4-H Page component is very visible and beneficial. Possible features for the next Hall of Flags include the Food Safety Modernization Act.
  • Audrey Cross will be joining the September 14th ELT meeting at 10 AM to discuss Hall of Flags.

Search Updates

Dean of Extension – Advertising
Produce Safety Professional – Preparing to advertise
Web Professional – Orono Communications – Michelle Snowden hired
4-H CEA – Somerset County – Advertising
Extension Crops Entomology Specialist – Advertising
Administrative Specialist CL2 (Cumberland) – Advertising
Administrative Specialist CL1 (Piscataquis) – Preparing to advertise

ELT Meeting Dates

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

Facilitator Notes Location
September 14 Harrington Brzozowski Orono – 102B Libby Hall
October 3 Brzozowski Sulinski Augusta – Farmhouse 11
October 25 Sulinski Phelps Orono – 102B Libby Hall
November 14 Phelps New Dean Orono – 102B Libby Hall
December 7th New Dean Prichard Augusta – Farmhouse 11