Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes October 16, 2023

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
Date: October 16, 2023
Location: Virtual

Facilitator: Jon Prichard
Note taker: Lisa Phelps

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).



  • Lots of great feedback about ELT minutes/new format- Great job Jon!
  • Wedgworth Leadership Institute visiting this week. Hannah will be spending some time this week with this group towards the end of the week.
  • Extension Association Annual Meetings – If we can get advance notice if possible, it would be appreciated.
  • Virtual Thanksgiving 5K idea
  • 4-H Foundation Meeting on Thursday
  • Israel and Palestine – working with members of these communities. If there are things we need to be aware of please share those with Hannah and Jason.
  • Mitch and Kristy on the agenda for the UMS DEI Committee meeting 10/27- A great opportunity for Mitch and Kristy to help make positive changes within the system.


  • Updates from NEDA meeting
    • ​​ECOP – New funding models proposed for Full Capacity-Based Assessment ($600k). Maine’s share:
    • $4579 (2023) → $4284 (2027) (2024 – 25% 2023 plus paid on capacity $4505) $4131 (2025 – 2023 paid on 50% capacity) $4357 (2026 – 2023 plus paid on 75% capacity)


  • $4579 (2023) → $4283 (100% paid on capacity) → $3831 (30% paid competitive and 70% capacity)
  • Reviewed award recognition
  • Learned about a new way to engage volunteers post-COVID
  • Learned about a broader
    • More than just “one health” initiative which has been viewed more as animal and environmental health, which is still important.
    • “Our freedom to thrive depends on having a consistent set of vital conditions, such as clean air, fair pay, humane housing, early education, routine health care, and other basic necessities.”
    • The Seven Vital Conditions
    • Discussed a shift in extension associations/regionalizing/etc.
    • Engaged in a dialogue about civil rights and free speech
    • Toured a 4-H Farm


  • DEI Training with ResourceFull Oct 26th
  • Upon request Adult Mental Health First Aid training arrangements in progress (January 16, 2024 for fruit and veg, additional session with interest)
  • New Employee HR trainings – As supervisors please encourage your new folks to attend! (Customer Experience rescheduled to Oct 18th due to low RSVP, previous HR Things to Know had 4 out of 17 invitees attend). Ideas for incentivizing in progress.
  • Conference planning in progress! Oct 20th Lunch & Learn – “How to Make the Most of Your Conference Experience”


  • ACEA mtg Friday
  • Penobscot County Budget mtg early Nov
  • Professional evals during Oct


  • Rolling out the new reporting system along this estimated timeframe: Oct 23 (Staff training becomes available and required via Brightspace); Oct 30 (Staff can begin reporting); Dec 8 (Deadline for reporting programs, effort/days, and narratives
  • Attending Maine Extension Homemakers meeting in Bangor next Saturday


  • Working with Piscataquis County regarding their county budget situation and providing information as needed.
  • Will be attending the Maine 4-H Foundation Meeting Thursday October 19th and presenting the funding proposal request for 2024.
  • Check-in meetings with staff and the 4-H Leadership Team
  • Helping out with a UMM Motor Pool issue
  • Continuing work with the Community First Responder Program


  • The C+M team has a good archive of photos tagged and uploaded to Photoshelter, and we’ll be starting to work more actively on recruiting newer photos from staff and building out our templates. An email reminder will go out soon to solicit photos and the C+M team’s workshop at the All Org Conference will focus on taking, naming, uploading, and sharing photos.


  • Grants Update (none-next month)
  • Behind-the-scenes preparations for FY25 Budget Build
  • It’s a busy time, and patience appreciated


  • LEAD 21 and NSLA
  • MOSFA – working with Melissa and Daisy on some PR pieces on our outdoor school programming through 4-H Learning Centers
  • Thanks to Michael for working with Camp and Learning Centers to address some budget challenges
  • Thanksgiving 5K
  • Hosting Alfond Ambassadors at BP this weekend


  • Mental Health First Aid for aggies January 16th 8:30-3 (Zoom) Cap of 25
  • Initial meeting for those interested in expanding training for incarcerated individuals tomorrow.
  • Met with incoming Program Coordinators last week. Positive feedback on the plan so far.
  • New Office of New Americans. MFRN has been approached to provide feedback & guidance around developing support for farmers.

Discussion Items

Virtual Thanksgiving 5K

Ryder is considering a Virtual Thanksgiving 5K this year. This would be a pilot for this year with Bryant Pond and Ryder would indicate that in an email he sends out to the organization. If others are interested in doing fundraisers in the future a process will be developed if they would like those promoted within Extension.

Federal Appropriations Request

From J. Charland: UMaine is looking for the next set of ideas to help shape future federal appropriations requests over the next three years. This will be a multi-stage, iterative process involving faculty, deans, center and institute directors, university administration, and lobbyists.

Hannah would like to discuss preliminary ideas and have this information shared with any faculty/staff who have ideas.

Search & Hire Updates 


  • Extension Professor & Aquatic Animal Health Specialist, DRL
  • 4-H Science Professional, Penobscot (replacement: Laura Wilson)


  • Staff Coordinator (3 of 6 approvals 10/4)
  • 4-H Youth Development Professional, Oxford (3 of 6 approvals 10/4)
  • Administrative Specialist CL3, Agriculture / Horticulture, Cumberland (3 of 6 approvals as of 10/4)
  • Extension Professional in Farm Business Transition, Penobscot (approved, staggering posting)


  • Research Assistant, Veterinary Histology Professional, Penobscot / DRL
  • Assistant Extension Professor of Horticulture and Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
  • Labor Education Professional, Penobscot (CE/BLE)


  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Seafood Technology, Food Safety Specialist, Penobscot (interviewing 10/2 and 10/4)
  • Parent Education Professional, Maine Families, Knox/Lincoln (interviewing)


  • Admin Specialist CL3 4-H, Cumberlandoffer accepted, in process – Suzan Nelson, Oct 17
  • Assistant Professor Sustainable Agriculture and Ornamental Horticulture Educator, Faculty, York County / Southern ME – offer accepted, in process – Ankit Singh, Jan 15

2023 ELT Meeting Dates

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
November 15 Prichard Phelps York
December 18 Scott Jackson Virtual