Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes February 21, 2024

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
Date: February 21, 2024
Time: 10 AM to 2:30 PM
Knox/Lincoln Extension Office

Facilitator: Hannah Carter
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.

Meeting Focus

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

  • Make Extension a sustainable, equitable, purposeful 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).     

Guests: Bob Norman joined us to discuss a broad emergency preparedness agenda item.  Alisha Targonski joined us for a regular DEI update.



  • FY25 budget process
  • Angela is working on the ELT meeting locations for the rest of the year
  • Jason
    • PFAS lab design at initial design and layout phase – Location of lab will be second floor of Jenness Hall, UMaine.
    • Food Innovation Center location on campus under engineering and architect reviews to determine if the identified building can accommodate the facility’s needs.
    • Reviewing all Extension county office, centers and camp MOUs, leases and agreements to ensure we have the most up-to-date copies.
    • Thank you Tori for chairing the Seafood Technology and Assistant Prof. position and the position is posted and advertised.


  • Searches: handful of positions sought just in the last 10 days or so
    • Discussing more formalized approval process with Admin Hiring Committee
  • Staff Coordinator: Emily Bofia and I are finding a groove with the Staff Coordinator-related tasks, hoping to dive even more deeply into AD-related tasks soon. Alisha reviewed Search & Hire Process Guide through the DEIJ lens.
  • Professional Development:
    • February’s Exchange rescheduled due to weather / schedules
    • New Employee session HR Things to Know, March 6th 1:00pm (open to all)
    • Youth Mental Health First Aid arrangements in progress; Justin Bondesen, 4-H team (April)
  • Other:
    • UMS Mental Health and Well-Being Task Force; meeting e/o week likely, proposal due late April
    • National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals PD Committee co-chair; heading into 2024 planning which includes Virtual Summer School (open to all)


  • Collaboration with ELHS (George Criner) on combined federal reporting
  • NIFA POW preparation and coordination with Extension Needs Assessment
  • Staff check-ins


  • Advertising for the Waldo County 4-H Professional position
  • Attending the National 4-H Program Leader’s Meeting next week in Santa Fe
  • Check-ins with staff
  • Excellent recent feedback about the use of UMS EAP resources


  • New format for online annual report; streamlining county reports and providing new tools for graphics, data, centralized online reporting
  • Hall of Flags – climate adaptation
    • Soil / cover crop
    • Climate resilient communities
    • Blueberry irrigation?
    • New England weather station project? Lily
    • LENE project that help funds/ tick project – Carla, Lisa, Griffin
    • Tick migration – Griffin
    • Compost school? Nick
    • Plant diseases, new diseases, NE – Alicyn
    • How does climate adaptation show up in all of our programs?
  • Microcredentials – promoting a new volunteer management microcredential; can use as a model for promoting other courses; need fundamental language or graphics to explain microcredentials
  • Finalizing contract for a website consultant which will include:
    • Strategy objectives
    • C+M team to interview with internal stakeholders
    • Interview external stakeholders
    • Review / optimize GA4, tag manager, looker studio
    • Audit website
    • Develop revised site map and navigation
    • Provide final report


  • Complete: Annual County Reporting ~ Off to Publications for Disbursement
  • Complete: FY25, $15.2Million in Budgeting
  • Financial Literacy/Operations Retreat: Mari Glatter, Ella Glatter, Mary Michaud, Gloria Menchaca, Amanda Miles, Michael Bailey, Sarah Harris

Key Takeaway: Given the changes across campus’s centralized services, our Finance/Operations Team has little to no bandwidth

What to Expect in the Near Future:

  • Onboarding & Orientation Materials
  • Quick Reference Guides & Handouts
  • Video Instructional Videos
  • Procedures & Contact List by Subject

Note: this includes all contract types (Miles + Bailey)


  • At Lead 21 training in DC


  • York County Changes
  • Ornamental Hort Specialist Search Status

Discussion Items

Emergency Management with Bob Norman
Given the heightened concerns regarding office safety and security the ELT invited Bob to join us so he could share updates and we can review and discuss some of the resources he has put together for us.

 UMaine Extension Needs Assessment Report
We reviewed a draft Extension needs assessment report.

Maine Agricultural Mediation Program (MAMP)
We reviewed a proposal for a Volunteer Co-Mediator Pilot Program

Search & Hire Updates


  • Summer Camp Director, Bryant Pond (with UMS HR for final review)


  • Executive Director of Extension Operations (2 of 6 approvals, justification in revision)
  • 4-H Youth Development Professional, Waldo (3 of 6 approvals)
  • Community Education Specialist CL2, Aroostook (part-time, 3 of 6 approvals)
  • Administrative Specialist CL3, Kennebec (replacement Diana Hartley)
  • 4-H Community Education Assistant CL2, Kennebec (part-time, partial backfill Alisha Targonski’s work, 3 of 6 approvals)
  • Staff Coordinator (3 of 6 approvals)
  • Extension Professional in Farm Business Transition, Penobscot (approved, staggering posting)


  • Lead Facilities Maintenance Worker CL2, Blueberry Cove
  • Community Education Assistant CL2, Washington (part-time)
  • 4-H Science Professional, Penobscot (ongoing)


  • 4-H Youth Development Professional, Oxford (2nd round interviews)
  • Administrative Specialist CL3, Agriculture / Horticulture, Cumberland (interviewing)
  • Assistant Extension Professor of Horticulture and Ornamental Horticulture Specialist (interviewing)


  • Extension Professor & Aquatic Animal Health Specialist, DRL – Dr. Sarah Barker, July 1st
  • Labor Education Professional, Penobscot (CE/BLE) – Dr. An Thuy Nguyen, Jan 22nd

2024 ELT Meeting Dates

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
March 20 Bolton Carter Zoom
April 17 Carter Dill Orono Campus
May 16 Dill Hawkyard UMF
June 20 Hawkyard Jackson Waldo
July 17 Jackson Phelps Cumberland
August 21 Phelps Prichard TBD
September 18 Prichard Scott Zoom
October 16 Scott Arndt TBD
November 20 Arndt Bailey TBD
December 18 Bailey Bolton TBD