Section 4.2 Parameters for Designing County Plans of Work
All counties in Maine will provide education to address the following statewide issues in their Plans of Work:
- The Maine Food System (includes sustainable agriculture, nutrition, food safety, food security, food production, processing, distribution)
- 4-H Positive Youth Development
- Sustainable Community and Economic Development
This comprises the priority programming of University of Maine Cooperative Extension for each county. It involves a community development approach to programming that builds the capacities of individuals, groups, and communities to achieve their desired goals.
County program needs will be met by a combination of UMaine Extension employees and volunteers. This includes
- administrative specialists, community education assistants, professionals, and faculty housed in the local county office;
- volunteers; and
- specialists, professionals, technicians, research associates, and support staff housed in Orono or at field sites throughout the state.
Education provided by specialists or other employees with statewide responsibilities in any county is part of the Extension educational process in that county and becomes part of that county’s Plan of Work and should be reflected in the county annual report.
How programs are delivered will be determined by program administrators, faculty, and professionals, county executive committees, and program advisory committees as appropriate.
Programs conducted at the county, regional or state level start with a process of “environmental scanning” to determine issues of current or emerging wide public concern. For each issue selected from the scanning process, Extension educators/professionals and specialists
- identify audiences affected by the issue;
- design educational programs with the involvement of these audiences; and
- help address these and inter-related problems through a learning partnership.