Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes November 29, 2021

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
November 29, 2021
Virtual Meeting 8:30-10:30 AM

Facilitator: Dick Brzozowski
Note taker: 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.


Lynne Holland and Cindy Eves-Thomas  of the Communications & Marketing Team joined the ELT to discuss social media policy. They brought the ELT information about Extension’s Social Media Policies & Best Practices, in particular the Social Media Commenting Policy and how ours differs from UMaine’s recently updated policy.

UMaine is seeking to have one social media policy. Extension believes our circumstances are different, especially given underage 4-H members who participate in our social media platforms. There appear to be reasons why Extension’s social media policy should differ with one reason being our 4-H and other youth audiences. We will seek advice from University Counsel. The new Communications & Marketing Director will take a lead role in this once on board. Thank you, Lynne and Cindy, for your work on this!

Extension Personnel Safety

This past year, UNH Extension conducted staff training in safety with a focus on when the staff person is making a visit to an unfamiliar area, family, or person by themself. Should UMaine Extension consider doing something similar? Dick will work with Fran and someone from safety on reviewing and editing the training documents.

University of Maine System Trustee Professorship for 2022-2023

Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development Jessica Miller has called for nominations for the University of Maine System Trustee Professorship for 2022-2023. Hannah will communicate this opportunity to Extension faculty.

MPRS Replacement

The IT infrastructure for the multistate Extension Logic Model Planning and Reporting System consortium (LMPRS) is hosted and supported by UNH-Extension. In the last 2 years, most of the LMPRS states have left the consortium and have adopted the PEARS reporting system built and maintained by Kansas State Extension. Since Maine and Massachusetts have not yet made plans for a new planning and reporting system, Darrel Covell at UNH-Extension has agreed to have UNH-E continue hosting for another year to serve as IT support for the LMPRS in order to support Maine and Mass as we explore alternatives. Darrel’s decision takes some of the immediate pressure off of us to find an alternative to our MPRS. At the same time, we need to be making some decisions. Jon is exploring options and will continue to seek input and direction from the ELT.


Salesforce Update

The Customer Relationship Management RFP has been awarded to Salesforce for UMaine Advancement, and discussions are now taking place among a broad group of UMS offices as to their willingness to buy in and what that might look like. Dennis is meeting with a group of non-academic users (Extension, Athletics, Events, Public Relations, and others) to map out needs that will be expressed to IMS:IT as the development process moves forward. No timeline has been determined so far.

Reminder about Travel

  • Permission to travel must be done through CONCUR
  • All air travel needs to be booked in CONCUR, no outside agents
  • new CONUS reimbursement declaration coming in January – this will allow for meal reimbursement to be greater in specific locations that have higher costs.

Announcements & Congratulations

Congratulations to PI Dr. Robson Machado and CoPI’s Christina Howard and Dr. Jason Bolton who were awarded $276,476 from the US Dept of Agriculture for the project Jumpstart to Farm Food Safety – Farm Food Safety Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Farms.  This project is a collaboration with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension to provide one-on-one Farm Food Safety Plan writing assistance and on-farm produce safety risk assessments to small and medium-sized produce growers in Maine and New Hampshire.

Congratulations to Dr. Ellen Mallory for the sub-award of $139,989 from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education for the project Building Capacity in Climate Adaptation Practices in Maine.  The goal of this 3-year SARE professional development plan is to increase agricultural service providers’ ability to help farmers adapt to climate change by increasing their knowledge, skills, and confidence in providing information and recommendations about specific agricultural practices that address the risks associated with climate change.

Congratulations to Ryan LeShane for the subaward agreement of $57,960 from the US Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National 4-H Council for the project National Mentoring Program 11 Maine 4-H Tech Wizards.  The program combines adult mentoring with service-learning projects in local communities.  Afterschool and school-based initiatives will increase capacity, community partnerships, and mentoring outreach and provide real-life service-learning through hands-on technological experiences.

Congratulations to PI Dr. Jason Bolton who was awarded $30,000 from the US Dept of Health & Human Services and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry for Produce Safety Education 2022.  This project will allow Dr. Bolton and Dr. Robson Machado to support farmer food safety education and inspection by providing Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce safety training targeted to any Maine resident and/or farmer interested in participating in this program and obtaining the course completion certificate.

Search Updates

4-H Community Education Assistant – Franklin – Kristen Grondin hired
4-H Professional Telstar Freshmen Academy – Matthew Christie hired
4-H Science Professional (part-time) – Offer made and accepted
4-H Teen Leadership and Development (faculty) – Interviewing
4-H Youth Development Professional – Aroostook – Interviewing
Administrative Coordinator – Orono – Angela Hart hired
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Somerset – Emily Collins hired
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Waldo – Advertising
Assistant Diagnostician (PDDL) – Stephanie Shea hired
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 – Glenda Pereira Parente hired
Climate Services Specialist/Assistant Extension Professor – Sean Birkel hired (joint w/Climate Change Institute)
Community Education Assistant CL2 – Waldo – Mackensie Schofield hired
CRM Professional – Pending approval in HireTouch
Equipping New Farmers Program Manager – Christina Howard hired
Marketing and Communications Director – Interviewing
Master Gardener Volunteer Manager – Advertising
Nutrition Education Professional – Advertising (search extended)
Parent Education Professional – Waldo – Interviewing
Program Coordinator (2 positions) – Blueberry Cove and Tanglewood – Pending approval in HireTouch
Program Director – Maine Agricultural Mediation Program – Advertising
Staff Coordinator – Interviewing
Statewide Small Business Educator & Assistant Extension Professor – Failed Search/Preparing updated JD for HireTouch