Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes August 28, 2019

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
August 28, 2019
102B Libby Hall – Orono

Facilitator: Richard Brzozowski
Notetaker: Fran Sulinski

Please note: Due to the confidentiality and sensitivity of some agenda items, these ELT minutes do not represent the full content of each meeting.


Trustees Highlights – The following recent Extension-related highlights will be shared with the UMS Trustees via the Provost: Extension’s involvement at Maine Farm Days held in Clinton, Maine through corn silage variety plots, farm safety demonstrations, informational exhibits, and 8 workshops for pesticide credits for private applicators (farmers) over the 2-day event; 4-H Blueberry ½ Marathon

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) – The UMaine Extension DEI committee is actively involved in developing the DEI session(s) for the organizational conference.

2020 NACDEP Conference in Portsmouth, NH

The ELT will be a sponsor of the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) 2020 conference to be held in Portsmouth, NH. This could be a good opportunity for staff to attend without incurring large travel costs.

Blueberry Cove ½ Marathon raises over $22,000 for Camp Scholarships

Staff and volunteers of Blueberry Cove 4-H Camp and Learning Center coordinated the 9th annual Blueberry Cove half-marathon at Blueberry Cove in Tenant’s Harbor on August 25. The event attracted a record 225 registrants ranging in age from 14 to 71 from Maine, and as far away as California, Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Switzerland. The event raised more than $22,000 to help children have affordable summer camp experiences at UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Centers. Special thanks to volunteer race coordinator Steve Cartwright, and to our camp staff for superb support of the ½ marathon.

Extension Support for Student Recruitment and Retention

UMaine Admissions and Potential 4-H Collaboration Leadership will be meeting with the 4-H PLT and Hannah to explore ways for Extension to support UMaine recruitment and retention Also, Ryder Scott from our 4-H Camp and Learning Centers is collaborating with Maine Bound to explore ways for Extension to support new student orientation involving outdoor and camping experiences.

2019 Maine Farm Days

Thanks to the many UMaine Extension staff who took part in Maine Farm Days in Clinton.  A major part of Extension’s efforts included the work of Caragh Fitzgerald and Charles Armstrong who coordinated the pesticide credit workshops that awarded over 200 credits to private applicators over the 2-day event.

Dr. Deborah Reed of University of Kentucky recently visited Maine and shared with Maine AgrAbility and University staff her research addressing the health & safety of aging farmers using the farm theatre model. She also gave a short presentation to AGCOM on farming and stress.

Video Needs

The ELT recognizes that developing videos as a program support continues to be an unmet need, and decided to address this need by hiring an outside company/vendor on a contract basis. Our intention is to determine a list of priorities by coordinating an internal RFP process. Hannah and Lisa will take leadership to create an RFP for a vendor and the internal RFP process.

Cumberland County Admin Specialist Staffing Request

The ELT approved a request from Cumberland County to replace the departing Administrative Specialist CL1 with a CL2. The increase in salary and benefits will be covered by county funds and our UMaine position management will be adjusted to include the increase in overall salary expense.

How We Support Offices with County Budget Cuts

It is common for counties to have increases in salary or decreases in funding. We rely on the county office and executive committee to determine how they will handle these funding challenges. Organizationally our practice is for counties to support the salary of administrative staff and Orono will cover the benefits when possible. The ELT is willing to problem-solve with the county when unique circumstances arise; however, it is valuable for staff to be reminded of our practices.


UMS IT is asking us to respond to a survey about data collection. Some examples include the CDMS, 4-H Online, DRL, MG, county mailing lists, camp enrollments, and other databases. Michele Lodgek will research and respond to this request on our behalf.

Executive Committee (EC) Standards of Behavior Form

The ELT contends it is reasonable to assert a set of standards and expectations for EC members similar to the expectations we convey to our volunteers via Volunteer Standards of Behavior form. When going forward to institute such a form for EC members, legal counsel objected due to their opinion that EC members are governed by the Extension Act, and as such are an “arm” of county government and “a unique educational arm of county government”. To extend this thinking further, we therefore cannot remove an EC member(s) for violating our standards. Hannah, Fran and Dennis will explore this issue with the Maine County Commissioner Association.


Congratulations to PI Jason Lilley who has been awarded $8,992 by the NESARE, via Penn State University, for his “Adapting Chinese Morel Cultivation Strategies for Farmers in the Northeast” project.  This project will investigate cultivation techniques for the highly valuable morel mushroom in the Northeastern U.S. Morel mushrooms fruit in the wild in mid-spring in the northeastern United States, and can command a market price of $35 a pound for fresh foraged product.  The field trial research will take place at Highmoor Farm.

Search Updates

4-H Youth Development Professional – Oxford County – Sara Johnson hired
4-H Youth Development Professional – Waldo County – Sadee Mehuren hired
4-H Youth Development Professional – York County – Advertising
Community Education Assistant – Hancock – Interviewing
Community Education Assistant – Penobscot/Piscataquis – Preparing to advertise
Crops Entomology Educator – Advertising
EFNEP Education and Training Coordinator – Currently being scored by HR
EFNEP Nutrition Education Professional – Currently being scored by HR
Extension Crops Specialist – Preparing to advertise
Parent Education Program Manager – Waldo – Screening applications
Program Coordinator – Bryant Pond and Greenland Point – Haleigh White hired

2019 ELT Meeting Dates

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

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
September 16 Sulinski Phelps UMA: 111 Robinson Hall
September 30 Phelps Carter Orono: 102B Libby Hall
October 18 Carter Prichard Orono – 102B Libby Hall
October 30 Prichard Harrington Augusta: 111 Robinson Hall
November 18 Harrington Brzozowski Orono: 102B Libby Hall
December 13 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono: 102B Libby Hall