Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes September 20, 2022

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
September 20, 2022
Virtual Meeting 10-12

Facilitator: Michael Bailey
Note taker: Jason Bolton

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


All Organizational Conference

The ELT was given an opportunity to learn more about the Nov 1-3 organizational conference agenda and provide input to that agenda.

  • Draft of agenda shared with ELT
  • Survey results (top subjects)
    • New Ways of Working
    • UMaine Extension Structure
    • Future of Programming
    • Equity and Diversity
    • Work and Life Balance
  • Extension Connections
    • What to expect from the Organizational Meeting
  • Meeting
    • Lunch on first day
      • 30-45 min – Where were we, Where are we, and Where the organization will go in the future using the Roadmap Committee information.

Professional development funds as mentioned in the Chancellor’s email

The Chancellor announced the availability of professional development funds housed within the Maine Community College System, the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce .  Eligible employees can use the funding for certifications and Continuing Education Units (CEUs), conference registrations, and skills development training. Accredited courses at UMS, the Maine Community College System, and other accredited institutions may also be funded.

The ELT had questions about this initiative and would like to be able to assist their supervisees to access these funds.

For the remainder of Calendar Year (CY) 2022, the grant covers 100% of expenses up to $1,200 per employee*, covering such costs as administration fees and/or registrations. For CY 2023–2025, the grant covers the employee in a 50/50 split with MWDC’s investment, not to exceed $1,200.” Fran sent additional information and the FAQ information to all staff immediately after the meeting. There is an email address for those who have questions. Please contact umsacademy@maine.edu.

Retention of Professional Staff

The ELT discussed salary stress and turnover within Extension professional staff. The situation is one that we fully understand and empathize with and we are trying to generate as many possible solutions as we are able to. We realize that beyond the impacts on the individual staff members the organization and our clients are impacted as well. After a discussion, the ELT agreed to invite HR staff members Nicole Lawrence and Brian Drisko to join us for conversation at a future meeting.

October Meetings

We have our 2-hour ELT meeting on October 11th.  If possible, I’d like to move the time to anytime after 9:30 a.m. (currently it’s scheduled for 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and there is a Deans Council meeting from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.).

Also our fall retreat is scheduled for October 20th and it will be at the Hutchinson Center.  It’s scheduled for 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Strategic Procurement Steering Committee

At this month’s meeting it was asked that departments provide clarity on the new mileage rate (0.46/mile) effective date: 7/1/22. There is confusion around which travel the new rate will be applied to: as in, if you traveled prior to 7/1/22 the old rate will be used – if you traveled after 7/1/22 the new rate will be used. The rate is entirely based on when the travel occurred and no other criteria.

New Indirect Distribution Formula

On July 1st a new indirect distribution formula was adopted.  Michael will share information on this new formula.

  1. VPR Calculation

Every fiscal year-end (June 30th), the VPR’s office applies the following formula to research totals from the previous fiscal year. In the current FY2023, the total Indirect Cost of UMaine for FY2022 will be used.

  • R/PI/Project = Amount of indirect returned to a specific PI/Co-PI of a project
  • FGCDB = the Fractions Responsibility reporting in the Grants and Contracts Database (from PARS)
  • FUMEIDC = total Effective IDC (Indirect Cost) of UMaine for that Fiscal Year
  • Constant = $250,000 = minimum returned to faculty staff every fiscal year

And the formula:

R/PI/PROJ = FGCDB x FUMEIDC x $250,000

  1. Cooperative Extension’s Role

In mid-July, individual entries are made for each PI to the following chartfield:

Dept 5400100 / Fund 13 / Project 5255999 / Class Code “FL” – Where “F” is the first initial and “L” is the last initial: Michael Bailey, would be “MB”. 

Annual calculations, award entries, and expenses against each balance are tracked within this chartfield “indefinitely”.

Recipients are notified of their annual award and current balance each year; typically at the time of the award.

Source: Vice President of Research, Return of Indirects

Messaging and SOPs for Food Preservation as it relates to donations to food banks

  • Policy that UM Ext needs to clearly define for volunteer policy that is mission aligned (education)

Cooperative Extension participation in Food Preservation Education and documentation of preserved foods.


Invite: Tomato Preserving Party!

Help us preserve tomatoes for local food security! The Preservation Party will take place on October 1, 2022, from 10am to 2pm, at the Belfast Soup Kitchen. All are welcome, and space is limited. Click here for more details and to RSVP.

We will utilize a number of different food preservation techniques, including canning, freezing, and dehydrating. Participants will learn the most up-to-date methods for preservation from University of Maine Cooperative Extension staff, and everyone will be able to take home some of what they help process.




Ornamental Horticulture Specialist

Updates on the current position and moving forward to address needs in this industry.

Salesforce Update from Monica Palmer

  • The Communications and Marketing team is live with project management in Salesforce! The team is currently collaborating on one large team project and will then expand their use to other projects as well as ticket management for their team email.
  • Extension has supported our first partner in their implementation of Salesforce! The UMaine Business School launched their own Salesforce org on August 31st. They will be administering their org under an MOU with Extension with the help of Extension’s CRM System Professional, Monica Palmer. Other UMaine departments are interested in adopting Salesforce and may become partners with Extension and help to support our costs.
  • Procurement of additional tools for Salesforce is coming to a successful close. A suite of tools has been identified that will provide Extension with tools for web-forms, document generation and event management. Stripe has been approved by the UMaine Bursar as the payment gateway. These tools are necessary for the work the Extension does to extend the power of Salesforce. The event management tool will eventually replace the CDMS.
  • Volunteer management groups are in conversation about the best way to move toward volunteers reporting their hours. They are also continuing to review the custom solution in Salesforce for volunteer management. As a reminder, this custom solution includes tools for tracking specific volunteer events (i.e., Farm to Table Camp 2022) as well as program-level information (i.e., Master Gardener). It also allows for tracking of an individual’s participation in one or many volunteer programs. The solution is intended to be an easy way to get volunteer information in one place that will allow for better tracking and reporting of volunteer efforts as well as consistent targeted communication.
  • A review of zSuite, the software currently being implemented by 4-H to manage enrollment, is underway to see if Salesforce can accomplish the same functionality as this tool.
  • Initial meetings with the Hutchinson Center, now part of Extension, have taken place and the group is very interested in implementing Salesforce. They have many use-cases that could greatly benefit from the CRM.
  • Monica Palmer, Mari Glatter, and others have begun to develop onboarding and training modules for Salesforce and related tools. This will be available to new staff as well as current staff that would like to use these tools as references to answer questions they may have.

Announcements & Congratulations

Congratulations to PI Peyton Ginakes and Co-PI Dr. Mark Hutton for the award of $68,058 from the ME Dept of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry and the US Dept of Agriculture for the project Diversifying Maine Vegetable Farms with Enhanced Celery Production.  This project will conduct field trials of celery cultivars to assess which varieties and cultural practices result in the hightest yield and quality.  Results from this project will directly boost farmer profits.

Congratulations to Caragh Fitzgerald for the award of $396,840 from the State of Vermont, Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets and the US Dept of Agriculture for a Maine-Based Dairy Forage Agronomist.  The faculty member in this position will collaborate with UVM to develop and conduct educational outreach and applied research with an emphasis on dairy forage production and quality, including regenerative pasture management.

Congratulations to Dr. Ellen Mallory for the award of $443,782 from Cornell University and the US Dept of Agriculture for the project Enhancing Organic Dry Bean Production in the Northeast and Upper Midwestern United States.  The long-term goal of this integrated research and extension project is to enhance the viability and sustainability of the organic dry bean industry in the Northeast and Midwest by identifying suitable varieties, developing robust weed and disease management strategies, and optimizing cover crop-based no-till production system for dry beans.

Congratulations to PI Caragh Fitzgerald for the award of $183,840 from the US Dept of Agriculture for the Maine AgrAbility Program.  This program will continue to reach and assist individuals in the agricultural realm who have disabilities or chronic illnesses that may limit their work performance or their quality of life.  The four-fold purpose of Maine AgrAbility includes education, networking, direct assistance, and marketing to support production agriculture workers in Maine consisting of farmers, fishermen, and forest workers.

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Brzozowski for the award of $396,840 from the State of Vermont, Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets and the US Dept of Agriculture for a Maine-Based Dairy Forage Agronomist.  The faculty member in this position will collaborate with a UVM professor to develop and conduct educational outreach and applied research with an emphasis on dairy forage production and quality, including regenerative pasture management.

Search Updates

Initiated / In Progress

  • Admin Specialist CL2, Cumberland (new 9/9)
  • AgrAbility full-time position 
  • 4-H Community Education Assistant CL2, Washington: Approved – paused
  • Community Education Assistant CL1 EFNEP, York: Approved – paused
  • Community Education Assistant CL1 EFNEP, And/Sag: Approved – paused

Waiting for Approvals in HireTouch

  • CRM System Support Professional, Orono: 3/6 approvals (as of 9:30 on 9/9)
  • Web Professional, Orono: 3/5 approvals (as of 9:30 on 9/9)

Posted, Advertising, Accepting Applicants

  • Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Manager, VDL
  • 4-H Community Education Assistant, Waldo
  • Sust Ag & Hort Professional,  Aroostook
  • Potato Plant Pathologist,  Aroostook / Presque Isle
  • 4-H Youth Development Professional,  Washington County
  • Postdoctoral Extension Associate in PFAS Research and Outreach, Orono / Statewide
  • 4-H Community Education Assistant CL2, Cumberland
  • Director Bryant Pond/Greenland Point 4-H Centers, Bryant Pond / Greenland Point
  • Manager of Operations & Finance, Tanglewood & Blueberry Cove
  • Parent Education Professional, Maine Families Visitor, Knox/Lincoln


  • Associate Dean of Extension, Orono
  • Acct & Operations Professional, Orono


  • Admin Specialist CL2, Tanglewood & Blueberry Cove: Amy Froehlich (tentative acceptance)
  • Admin Spec CL3 (80%),  Cumberland: Sarah Davenport
  • Administrative Specialist CL3 EFNEP: Emily Mott
  • Dairy Forage Educator: Jaime Garzon
  • Admin Specialist CL3, Highmoor Farm: Stephanie Wright
  • 4-H Youth Development Professional,  Aroostook: Megan Cook

2022 ELT Meeting Dates

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
October 11 Bolton Carter Virtual
October 20 Fall Retreat 10 AM – 2 PM Hutchinson Center – Belfast
November 14 Carter Dill Virtual
December 12 Dill Harrington Virtual