Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes June 12, 2023

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
June 12, 2023
Via Zoom 8:30-10:30 AM

Facilitator: Jason Bolton
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.

Meeting Focus

Agenda items relate to one of these three goals with corresponding action items and/or priorities.

  • Make Extension a sustainable, equitable and enjoyable place to work
  • Work on structural, (county offices, staffing patterns), cultural and leadership issues that will lead to this
  • Focus on employee experience
  • Restructure Extension
  • Right size based on budget
  • Mission delivery that is current, and responsive to changing demographics/community needs
  • Overall efficiency and effectiveness
  • Define focus areas
  • Make PFAS a priority for Extension (define what this means; not necessarily a piece of everyone’s job, but an organizational priority nevertheless).


  • FY24 budget update – no final budget yet
  • June, July, August ELT meetings
    • June 21st – rescheduled
    • June 30th – Augusta
    • July 17th – in person TBD
    • Aug 16th – Oxford County (changed to August 7th via Zoom)
  • NIST proposal for the PFAS lab has been submitted.
  • EPA proposal is next.
  • On Friday, there is a discussion on the location for the Food Innovation Center.
  • Blueberry Legislative Tour is taking place in August.
  • Community First Responder Program – There will be a training offered via zoom on July 11th from 1-2pm. This training will be similar to the in person training offered on April 7th. The training called “Learn How to Save a Life Overdose response and naloxone training” will be presented by Anita Jacobson from the University of Rhode Island, the PI for this grant funded project. The seminar will provide information about the Community First Responder Program which is a two year grant funded program collaboration with the University of Rhode Island.
  • The Maine 4-H Foundation’s annual meeting is on Friday, June 16th at the Magic Lantern.

Discussion Items

Extension Statewide Needs Assessment

The ELT continues to move forward with the development and implementation of a statewide needs assessment to help the organization understand and prioritize our research and educational activities.  We have selected a consultant that will be conducting the assessment and are working on scheduling initial activities including initial consultant meetings with staff, volunteers and interested parties beginning in mid-July.

Extension Roadmap and Organizational Structure

The ELT continued to move forward on plans on organizational structure and changes that will be forthcoming.  Portions of these have already become public and we expect a more complete rollout in the late summer/early fall.


One-time Funding Proposal Requests Process

The ELT is updating our process for inviting and reviewing one-time funding proposal requests and will communicate that to the organization when it is complete.

Announcements & Congratulations                                                     

  • Dean Bolton highlighted in Consumer Reports article
  • Congratulations to Elizabeth Clarke for the award of $282,863 from the US Dept of Transportation for the Maine DOT Maine West 21 Century Workforce Development Initiative. The project will address workforce needs in the Maine West region by building relationships with stakeholders, establishing workforce development and training for teens and employers, creating extended learning opportunities for teens, organizing site visits to in-state businesses, offering college visits, and organizing job/career fairs.
  • Congratulations to Lily Calderwood for the award of $43,353 from Cornell University for the Weed Management Decision Making for Wild Blueberry Growers in Maine project. The knowledge developed through this project will incorporate IPM into the current wild blueberry weed management recommendations, ultimately reducing the economic and environmental impact on farm families and the unique wild blueberry ecosystem. Outreach and education will occur throughout the research process, farmer-Extension exchanges, and an agricultural service provider herbicide education webinar series.
  • Congratulations to Carla Scocchi for the award of $3,600 from the Maine Technology Institute for the Increasing Accessibility to Aquaculture: Creation of virtual tours for Maine Aquaculture Facilities Funds will be used to purchase photography and videography equipment needed to create 360° images and videos in order to create high-quality VFTs that will be incorporated into existing 4-H aquaculture programming as well as be shared widely for aquaculture exploration education.
  • Congratulations to Gary Proulx for the award of $8,310 from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services for the DHHS Youth Opportunities This partnership with DHHS and the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) to provide virtual and in-person programming, for youth from DHHS programs throughout Maine, consistent with YLAT groups, and recruited by the OCFS Youth Transition Program.
  • Congratulations to Caragh Fitzgerald for the award of $50,000 from the University of Delaware for the Boots-2-Bushels Program. The program will build on lessons learned from the 2021-2022 project, which includes expanding the geographic reach of online participants and homework that culminates in a farm business plan. This grant will provide support for two years of hands-on field days at demonstration farms, farm coaching on communication and resolving conflict, incentives to participate in programs, adaptive equipment for demonstration, and one and a half years of remote, online instruction.

Search Updates


  • Labor Education Professional, BLE


  • Research Assistant in Sustainable Agriculture – Orono (3/6 approvals as of 6/5)
  • Assistant Diagnostician and Accreditation Program Manager – Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab (3/6 approvals as of 6/5)
  • Open Air Classroom Program Coordinator – Tanglewood (3/6 approvals as of 6/5)


  • Scientific Research Specialist, CL2 – DRL
  • Parent Education Professional, Maine Families Visitor – Knox/Lincoln
  • Communications Professional – Penobscot
  • Asst Professor, Maine Sustainable Agriculture and Farm Business Management Educator – Knox/Lincoln/Waldo
  • Asst Extension Professor, Maine Sustainable Agriculture and Livestock Educator – Hancock/Washington
  • Asst Professor Sustainable Agriculture and Ornamental Horticulture Educator, Faculty – York County / Southern ME
  • Oh YEA! 4-H Professional – And/Sag
  • Oh YEA! 4-H Professional – Cumberland
  • AgrAbility Coordinator – statewide
  • Urban Agriculture Professional – TBD, NRCS office
  • Admin Specialist CL2 4-H – Cumberland
  • Parent Education Professional, Maine Families Visitor – Knox/Lincoln


  • Oh YEA! 4-H Professional – Washington
  • Parent Education Professional, Maine Families – Waldo
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Seafood Technology, Food Safety Specialist – Penobscot


  • Climate Smart Agriculture Professional – TBD, NRCS office – Sean Horan, July 10
  • 4-H Community Education Assistant – Waldo – Anita Frederick, June 5
  • Admin Specialist CL3, Online Learning Assist. – Orono / statewide – Sarah Harris, May 22
  • Sustainable Agriculture & Horticulture Professional – Aroostook – David Lowe, June 1

2023 ELT In-Person Meeting Dates

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
August 7 Dill Harrington Virtual
September 20 Harrington Jackson Hancock
October 18 Jackson Prichard Knox/Lincoln
November 15 Prichard Phelps York
December 20 Phelps Scott Virtual