Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes September 29, 2021

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
September 29, 2021
Virtual Meeting 3-5 PM

Facilitator: Jon Prichard
Note taker: Dennis Harrington

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


Brief check-in since we had a phone check-in just 2 days ago.

Hannah: Per the President, the current face covering policy will remain in place through October 31st. An update will come prior to that in case the mandate is extended.

Dennis: We have created a Shared Google Drive to store the hard drive and files of the computers of vacating staff. If you want to store something, please let Dennis know.

Communications & Marketing Team

The C&M Team does not have anything specific to bring to us this month.


RREA Funding is at Risk

With the departure of Brian Erickson in Somerset County we are in danger of underspending RREA funds and not meeting the FY22 RREA spending deadline. As a result of Kathy Hopkins vacancy, we had already stressed the deadline which necessitated a formal waiver request. It is not likely that the program will grant ongoing annual waivers for unspent funds.

During FFY 21 we spent 31% of the funds.

Notes: It was determined that programming with the use of RREA funds will necessitate other base resources. Dennis will assess the availability of funds and present scenarios in a future ELT conversation.

Filling a Vacant Administrative Specialist position in Waldo County

The ELT briefly discussed this matter on Monday, September 27. Dennis stated that the position that Dee (Yadina Clark) vacated was a 20 hour/week position. However, the WCEA would like to hire a person to work 24 hours/week. The ELT will decide if the hours for this position can be increased to 24 hours/week.

Notes: The ELT approved an additional 4 hours per week, to be supported by Waldo County.

Clarity on Mari’s Oversight of Educational Media

Notes: A discussion was held to gain clarity on the broader area(s) of oversight that Mari Glatter [Extension Instructional Design Professional] has for video production. We discussed her role and reiterated that her focus is on supporting Extension staff in the design of digitally enhanced programs and courses including online, hybrid, web-enhanced, and live programs and courses and providing expertise and guidance in the use of a variety of educational instructional technology applications. We are not currently requiring staff to vet their digital outreach products through Mari but encourage everyone to utilize her expertise. This may be revisited in the future and in collaboration with the new Director of Communications and Marketing when that person is in place.

Announcements & Congratulations

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Dill who was awarded $402,886 from the US Dept of Agriculture for the project Maine Integrated Pest Management CPPM-EIP 2021-2024.  The goal of this project is the minimization of pesticide use in Maine agriculture and communities, increased crop yield and profitability, increased awareness of pest issues, and increased implementation of IPM practices.

Congratulations to PI Dr. Bee Chim and Co-PI Dr. Ellen Mallory who were awarded $75,000 from the US Dept of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service for the project Cover Crop Management in the Northeast Region.  This project will explore the impact of cover crops in NE Maine to inform the best use of soil health practices to prevent erosion and sustain productivity.

Congratulations to Dr. Lily Calderwood who was awarded $74,959 from the US Dept of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service for the project Whole Field Mulching for Wild Blueberry Drought Management. This project will determine the most effective and financially feasible mulch thickness required to increase soil water holding capacity on wild blueberry farms in Maine.

Congratulations to PI Dr. David Handley and Co-PI’s Tori Jackson, and Dr. Colt Knight who were awarded $582,400 from the National Institute of Food & Agriculture for the project Equipping New Farmers with Practical Skills and Knowledge.  This project is for beginning farmers to participate in a comprehensive, individualized training program designed to increase profitability, improve decision-making, and consider life balance. Farmers will build a portfolio of knowledge and experience for successful farming through hands-on and classroom training, one-on-one support, and text and video materials.

Search Updates

4-H Professional Telstar Freshmen Academy – Offer stage
4-H Science Professional (part-time) – Advertising
4-H STEM Ambassador – Advertising
4-H Team Leadership (faculty) – Advertising
4-H Youth Development Professional (Aroostook) – Advertising (extended)
Administrative Coordinator (Libby Hall) – Offer stage
Administrative Specialist CL2 (Somerset County) – Advertising (extended)
Assistant Diagnostician (PDDL) – Advertising
Assistant Professor of Sustainable Ag/Dairy Forage – Preparing for HireTouch
Agricultural Engineer Professional – Failed Search/Preparing updated JD for HireTouch
Assistant Extension Professor/Dairy Specialist – Offer made
Climate Services Specialist/Assistant Extension Professor – Sean Birkel hired (joint w/Climate Change Institute)
Community Education Assistant CL2 – Waldo – Advertising
CRM Professional – HT approval process
Equipping New Farmers Program Manager – Preparing for HireTouch
Marketing and Communications Director – Advertising
Master Gardener Volunteer Manager – HT approval process
Nutrition Education Professional – Advertising
Program Director – Maine Agricultural Mediation Program – Preparing for HireTouch
Statewide Small Business Educator & Assistant Extension Professor – Failed Search/Preparing updated JD for HireTouch