Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes January 30, 2020

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
January 30, 2020
Orono – 102B Libby Hall

Facilitator: Lisa Phelps
Note taker: Hannah Carter

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

Thoughts Regarding the Counties

Let’s ensure that county staff are familiar with their respective County budgeting process and that they communicate the process with the executive committee/Extension Association.

Nominations for 2020 Presidential Awards

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2020 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award, the Presidential Public Service Achievement Award, and the Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award. Nominations forms and guidelines are available at https://umaine.edu/provost/awards-recognitions/  Deadline for nominations is February 14.

Nominations for 2020 Classified Staff Award

Nominations are being accepted for the 2020 Classified Employee Recognition Award, to recognize classified employees’ exceptional service and dedication to UMaine, and to increase the campus community’s awareness of the indispensable contributions that represented and non-represented classified employees make to the quality, diversity and overall mission of the university.  Nomination forms and guidelines are available at  umaine.edu/ceac/outstanding-classified-employee-award/or emailing umceac@maine.edu. Deadline for nominations is February 24, 2020.

The ELT recognizes and celebrates that Extension has amazing classified staff around the state, and that many are worthy of this award.  The ELT identified three individuals for whom we would like to encourage nominations.  We will contact their immediate supervisors to see if they are in support and would prepare nominations.  Of course, anyone may nominate staff for these awards.

Penobscot County Snow Gauge

The ELT approved a staff request to allow the change of Penobscot County’s snow gauge to the University of Maine of Augusta Bangor Campus. Discussion centered around decisions to close during the day, in contrast to closing before office hours. Staff should contact their PA (Lisa Phelps) to seek approval to close if the Bangor Campus of the UMaine Augusta did close during the business day.

Waldo County Snow Gauge

The ELT reviewed a staff request for a change of the snow gauge in Waldo County. The new weather gauge for Waldo County Extension is the Waldo County courthouse due to their close proximity to the Extension office.

ELT Support for Staff  to Attend Extension Master Gardener Coordinator Conference

Becca Long requested ELT support to attend and represent UMaine Extension at the Extension Master Gardener Coordinators Conference in Knoxville, TN this September. https://mastergardener.extension.org/events/national-extension-master-gardener-coordinators-conference/   The ELT discussed this in a broader context.  For example, for programs that generate funds, could fees be increased to support the travel to conferences such as this?  However, we recognize that with some programs, if we increase fees we will lose participants who are unable to pay. The ELT decided to support $1,500 toward Becca Long and Pamela Hargest attending this MGV conference. For more information on our policy for supporting staff to attend national conferences see: https://extension.umaine.edu/plugged-in/policies-guidelines/policies-procedures-manual/section-three-personnel/3-4/

Change of ELT Meeting Dates

Two ELT meeting dates have been changed: April 30 meeting changed to April 29 (Orono), and May 15 changed to May 11 (Augusta)

Maine 10 Year Economic Plan & and Looking to the Future

The ELT reviewed and discussed Maine’s 10-year economic plan, and other areas in which Extension could play a role moving forward.  Our conversation built on the discussion and ideas that came out of our October retreat.  Maine 10-year Economic Development Plan

The ELT explored major themes of workforce development, climate change, aquaculture, internships for UMaine students, credentialing, and several others.  Hannah noted that as Extension looks to the future, this Plan will serve as a roadmap for possible new priorities and/or initiatives, and that it might be possible to “pitch” them to either UMaine administration or state government administrators for funding.  The next step to this discussion will be to send a survey to the organization to gather feedback on their thoughts on the plan, and ideas for Extension’s future.

Book Discussion

Hannah provided ELT members with copies of the book “Dare to Lead”, by Brené Brown, and we are using it as a prompt for discussion for portions of our ELT meetings.  For today’s meeting, we discussed the beginning sections of this book, and had a general conversation around leadership as well as leadership within the organization.  We will continue to discuss sections of the book in future ELT meetings.

Libby Hall Flooring

Facilities Management will be replacing the broken and pitted hallway and entrance lobby flooring in Libby Hall. The replacement will match the new flooring in the Communications suite and be very similar to what is currently in the hallway. The quote is for $7,916 and will be paid from our facilities depreciation account which is one-time money. There will be some unavoidable disruption of access while the work is being done.


The Email Tagline Guidance was removed from the policy manual as the fact that was housed there projected the appearance of a policy versus “guidance”. While taglines and quotes are not prohibited, your email signature is very much like your business card. Our guidance to staff is to avoid placing personal sayings, quotes from others, poems or logos from other organizations to the end of your email signature. Such expressions can be perceived as the opinion or philosophy of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, UMaine or the University of Maine System and might also expose the University to copyright infringement.


Congratulations to Melanie Bryan and the Maine Families Program for being awarded $152,978  from the State of Maine [includes $39,557 in Federal pass-through funds] for our Maine Families Program. This program supports expectant families and families of newborns with a focus on parenting, health, and family strengths. The evidence-based home visiting model teaches child development, family and infant health, safety, and nutrition and aligns Maine State objectives to improve the health and well-being of families. The program’s outreach efforts include collaboration with other home-based and community-based early childhood services such as Public Health Nursing.

Congratulations to Dr. Debbie Bouchard and Meggan Dwyer on their award of $123,735 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a project titled “Applied Sustainable Aquaculture”. The program will address Maine and the East Coast aquaculture industry workforce and Extension needs by developing credentialed learning modules and industry/academic internships designed to provide a low-cost aquaculture certificate program that will facilitate alternative career opportunities for traditional fishing communities.

Congratulations to Mark Hutton on his award of $27,445 from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program for a project titled; “Small Vegetable Farms: Productivity”.  The project seeks to increase productivity for small-scale vegetable farmers around the Northeast reducing tillage and increasing productivity on their permanent beds.

Congratulations on Grants to 4-H Camp and Learning Centers on these four grants received over the last six months:

  • Ryder Scott on his award of $80,000 from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation for ELLMS Whole Schools/Whole Communities. ELLMS is a partnership including Chewonki Outdoor Classroom, Ferry Beach Ecology School, UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Centers at Bryant Pond, and at Tanglewood. This grant supports financial aid to schools and students to engage in ELLMS partners’ programs.
  • Ryder Scott on his award of $14,880 from the Quimby Family Foundation for the ELLMS Scholarship Fund.  This fund allows the four ELLMS partner organizations to help interested schools provide their students with experiential learning about the natural world, healthy living, environmental issues, quality of life and place, and the green economy.
  • Ryder Scott and Lyndsey Smith on their award of $95,447 from the Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation, for year three of the Aspirations Incubator. This is part of a $600,000 multi-year grant to 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond, enrolling seventh grade youth in long-term mentorship and leadership development programming.
  • Ryan Leshane and Tara Pocock on their award of a $155,920 grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice (National 4-H Council), for the Tech Wizards/National Mentoring Program (year 10). Tech Wizards supports combining adult mentoring with service learning projects in local communities. This project will support 200 high-risk rural youth in four Maine communities. The program is designed to increase the positive attitudes of youth towards learning, goal setting, social and life skills, and service learning.

Search Updates

Administrative Specialist CL3 – Highmoor Farm – Interviewing
Assistant Financial and Operations Manager – Advertising
4-H Youth Development Professional – Washington County – Advertising
4-H Youth Development Professional (Community Central) Advertising
Community Education Assistant CL2 (Horticulture) – Cumberland – Mary Wicklund hired
Crops Entomology Educator – Advertising
EFNEP Regional Supervisor – Advertising
Extension Crops Specialist – Advertising
Sustainable Agriculture Professional – Aroostook County – Preparing to advertise

2019 – 2020 ELT Meeting Dates

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

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
February 13 Carter Prichard Orono: 102B Libby Hall
March 9 Prichard Harrington UMA: 111 Robinson Hall
April 2 Harrington Brzozowski Orono: 102B Libby Hall
April 29 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono: 102B Libby Hall
May 11 Sulinski Phelps UMA: 111 Robinson Hall
June 4 Phelps Carter Orono: 102B Libby Hall