Section 4.1 Components of Extension Programming

University of Maine Cooperative Extension will have a program presence in each county whenever possible. UMaine Extension programs will reach a variety of audiences, including those who are underserved and underrepresented.

The commitment to addressing issues of the Maine Food Systems and 4-H Youth Development with an emphasis on social, environmental, and economic impacts for Maine citizens through program areas demonstrates the complexity and inter-relatedness of issues facing Maine residents and the multiple areas of expertise needed to work in concert to address these issues.

Extension will use several approaches to address learning needs, including

1. Sharing resources/skills

  • across county lines when it makes programmatic and geographic sense;
  • state to county;
  • state direct to specified clientele; and
  • across state lines as appropriate, specifically focusing on the New England Consortium model;

2. Increasing funding from grants and contracts

  • in support of Extension’s mission and goals;
  • supported by faculty, staff, county executive committees, advisory groups, and program administrator(s); and
  • driven by program need;

3. Volunteers

  • appropriately trained and supported.

Other options may include

  • reassignment or retraining of faculty and staff; and
  • split appointments.

Multi-County Programming

As fluctuations in federal, state and county funding continue, multi-county programming will be a way to provide effective Extension programs. In order to maintain a level of faculty/professional expertise sufficient to meet priority program needs at the local level, county offices will adapt to changing public issues to remain responsive, relevant and of high quality.

The concept of assigning faculty/professionals to meet a multi-county issue or program need is more evolutionary than revolutionary. Currently, many Extension county-based educators/professionals work collaboratively with other educators/professionals to meet program needs in a multi-county setting. Executive committees from all the relevant counties work with faculty/professionals to provide input into county programming needs.

The Extension Leadership Team will support employee training and travel to facilitate appropriate multi-county programming. The parameters for conducting multi-county or multi-unit programming on an ongoing basis include

  • program need;
  • programmatic sense;
  • geographic sense;
  • specialists, program administrators and advisory groups, as appropriate, involved in a joint discussion regarding the proposed program;
  • educators/professionals and county executive committees having input and involvement as appropriate;
  • programming supportive of the Plan of Work units involved, consistent with statewide priorities; and mutual benefit to all units and clientele involved.