Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes August 7, 2023

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
Date: August 7, 2023
Time: 10 AM – 2 PM
Location: 102 Libby Hall/Zoom

Facilitator: Jason Bolton
Note taker: Tori Jackson

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).



  • Extension Connections this afternoon
  • Deans Retreat on Thursday and Friday
  • Last week: Farm Bill listening session, Wild Blueberry legislative tour
  • Check in with JV today – will discuss Fran’s position, organization restructure, etc.


  • Maine State Prison – (NEEDs Assessment) visit last week w/ Viña, Pamela, and Becca was excellent
  • No MGV training in Hancock/Washington/Piscataquis this year- very unpopular
  • Interviews in York County tomorrow for Ag faculty
  • Ready to make an offer for Midcoast Ag faculty
  • Highmoor Veggie & Fruit Trials Tour w/ ME & UNH Aggies Wednesday 10-2
  • Thursday the Home Hort Team is doing Salesforce Training w/ Whitney & Monica
  • Bee Chim will be back from Malaysia this week
  • Presque Isle Farm Field Day August 16


  • Jason will be making an offer this week for the Molecular Biologist Faculty Position
  • UMPI has reached out to David Lowe to teach a course this fall. I’ll discuss with him on Tuesday
  • Listening session for farm bill in Freeport went well
  • ACEA meeting is Aug 28


  • Updates for all Extension staff
    • Needs Assessment – next steps Portal opening this week
    • Funding Requests – PL funds and requests over $5,000
    • Reporting – New system this fall
    • Organizational Structure – announcement coming in late Aug.


  • Oxford County 4-H Program meeting Thursday including staff, Jon, Lisa, Kristy, and Ryder. Focus on short term program coverage given 4-H staff vacancies and longer term planning for the program.
  • Completed our Annual Report to the Provost. Inviting ELT to take a final read through and offer any suggestions.  Especially page 11: “Challenges and Opportunities”
  • MPRS Transition – Staff have been notified to refrain from using MPRS as we transition to the new reporting system. Jason and I are meeting weekly with Monica and Whitney as they develop the 2023 reporting system.  They have an alpha version mostly completed and in the next several weeks will be testing it with the ELT and a few select staff/groups.  Very impressed with what they have created thus far and am optimistic for our 2023 reporting.


  • NE Program Leader Meeting in NH last week went well
  • Working on 4-H Staff Coverage for And/Sag and Oxford Counties
  • Doing lots of Check-ins


  • Summer camp update
  • OAC Coordinator Tanglewood search
  • Early College OL Intensive @ GPC
  • COVID @ Blueberry Cove
  • Hutchinson Center
  • Maine Outdoor School for All
  • New Balance Foundation
  • Oxford County

Michael – Not Present – annual leave.

  • Prep for August 16th: Requesting your input for a meeting with Huron Consulting to discuss problems with the Accounts Payable process

Discussion Items

President’s Request on County Office Usage

The president would like the data on phone calls, in-person requests, on-line requests, etc. from our county offices.  The ELT is developing a process for capturing this data.

Extension Statewide Needs Assessment

The ELT continues to move forward with refining and implementing our statewide needs assessment.

Extension Roadmap and Organizational Structure

The ELT continues 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.

Search Updates


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate in Tick Borne Disease Research, DRL (candidate identified) 3 of 6 approvals as of 8/7
  • Administrative Specialist CL3, Agriculture / Horticulture, Cumberland, 3 of 6 approvals as of 8/7
  • Admin Specialist CL3 4-H, Cumberland (*previously approved as CL2, changed to CL3 in July) 3 of 6 approvals as of 8/7
  • Labor Education Professional, Penobscot (CE/BLE) Approved, potential revisions


  • Research Assistant in Sustainable Agriculture, Penobscot (Rating applicants)
  • Parent Education Professional, Maine Families, Knox/Lincoln
  • Oh YEA! 4-H Professional, Cumberland (Rating applicants)
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Seafood Technology, Food Safety Specialist, Penobscot (Extended posting in July)
  • Open Air Classroom Program Coordinator, Tanglewood (Rating applicants)


  • Asst Professor Sustainable Agriculture and Ornamental Horticulture Educator, Faculty, York County / Southern ME (Interviewing 2nd week of July)
  • Asst Professor, Maine Sustainable Agriculture and Farm Business Management Educator Knox/Lincoln/Waldo (offering)


  • Assistant Extension Professor and Applied Molecular Specialist – Thomas Rounsville, immediate
  • Asst Extension Professor, Maine Sustainable Agriculture and Livestock Educator, Hancock/Washington – Rachel White, Sept 1
  • AgrAbility Coordinator, statewide – Izzy Ruffin, Sept 1
  • Parent Education Professional, Maine Families Visitor Cumberland – Cathy Bartlett Gray, Aug 23
  • Communications Professional, Penobscot – Daisy Ratzlaff, Aug 15
  • Oh YEA! 4-H Professional, And/Sag Margaruette Seguin, Aug 2
  • Assistant Diagnostician and Accreditation Program Manager, Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab Stephanie Shea, Aug 1
  • Oh YEA! 4-H Professional, Washington – Jason Palomo, July 21
  • Urban Agriculture Professional, Scarborough NRCS office – Carrick Gamble, July 17
  • Parent Education Professional, Maine Families, Waldo – Sarah Hogencamp Gaia, July 17
  • Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry Professional, NRCS office – Sean Horan, July 10

2023 ELT In-Person Meeting Dates

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