Highlights and Survey Feedback from Extension Staff

sketch of a tree with apples and leaves and shows the root systemThank you all for joining us at the 2022 University of Maine Cooperative Extension All Organizational Conference!

Tuesday, November 1-Thursday, November 3, 2022
Wells Conference Center, UMaine Campus, Orono, Maine

It was an incredible time to be together and share in our excitement for Extension!

We had special guest speakers share inspiring and thought-provoking presentations, engage in breakout sessions led by colleagues and devote time to really connect (and laugh and dance) with each other.

The Conference Planning Committee collected your thoughts prior to the conference as well as after and we appreciate your taking the time to do so. We’ve compiled some highlights and resources here for you.

As you head into the New Year, we encourage you to bring what you’ve learned and been inspired by from the conference connections and presentations.


Dean Hannah Carter presenting at the conferenceWe asked you to share three highlights from attending the conference and here’s what you said! Responses were compiled and categorized into the top three based on the number of mentions.

Connecting with Colleagues

“seeing people in person” — “meeting new colleagues” — “interacting with staff” etc. received 38 mentions

Speakers, Presenters

Cara Pelletier and her presentation were named the most number of times — nine — however, if we combine all mentions of speakers/presenters, we have 25 total mentions. Other presentations are listed below.

Evening Social Activities

Jeopardy, dancing, etc. were mentioned 18 times!

Other specific responses that we loved reading:

  1. Conga line led by Melissa
  2. Justin singing “Cripple Creek”
  3. Family Feud
  4. Fran’s red leather pants

Connections Map at the conferenceSatisfaction by Logistic Category

  • Pre-registration information (emails, website, videos): 72% excellent
  • Ease of online registration: 76% excellent
  • Lodging: 55% excellent and  26% neutral
  • Wells Conference Center: 58% excellent and 26% neutral
  • Food: 47% excellent and 39% satisfactory
  • Social Networking
    • Badges/ribbons: 35% satisfactory, 33% excellent, 24.5% neutral
    • Table Conversation Starters: 54% neutral, 28% satisfactory
    • Connections Map: 43% neutral, 32% satisfactory
    • Program Sharing: 38% excellent, 38% satisfactory

We listened to your feedback and have taken diligent notes on a variety of suggestions such as:

  • Timing — including duration of the conference, hour-by-hour, social events, etc.
  • Remote access/hybrid attendance
  • Catering (more robust breakfasts!)

UMaine Extension swag given out as door prizes at the conferenceDemographics of Registrants

We were thrilled to gather with staff from all areas and programs of Extension!

  • Professionals: 56
  • Admin Specialists: 22
  • Faculty: 21
  • Community Education Assistants: 8
  • Administration: 4
  • The 4-H program was most represented!
  • Fort Kent was the furthest traveled, and South Paris came in second.

Quotes from Attendees

“great get together after time away. good start to getting excitement re-flowing”

“Loved meeting in person! Excited to be part of extension and learn more.”

“It was so nice to meet the people I did and all were very welcoming and actually carried on a conversation together!”

“After the few years we immediately had with the pandemic, I think this conference is exactly what we needed to reconnect. I think it also allowed everyone to take a breath with one another, since it’s pretty much been “go-go-go!” with the amount of work that’s been accomplished since 2020.”

“I love that there were ample breaks and “open” time so we were not sitting for huge periods and we could socialize and even walk the campus a bit. Great conference!”


Full bios are provided on Plugged In’s Conference Breakout Sessions and Presenters Bios page.

Dean Hannah Carter’s Roadmap Presentation:

Amy Harder’s two breakout sessions:

Jason Bolton’s Innovation Engineering session:

Special Guest Cara Pelletier’s Presentation on Everyday Inclusion: Harnessing the Power of Diversity to Build Stronger Teams and Organizations

Special Guest Craig Freshley’s Presentation on Preparing the Soil for Magical Growth (and the Vital Ingredient: Inclusivity)