Making a Difference

UMaine Extension educator Kathy Hopkins talks with a maple syrup producer in his sugar shackThe University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Somerset County partnership leads to success! Information shared with residents is relevant to their needs, from a credible source, and is unbiased, enabling them to change their lives.

Investments in Somerset County

  • County: $55,523
  • Grant income: $5,400
  • UMaine: $850,431
  • Volunteer Input: $282,486

Total Investments in Somerset County Citizens: $1,193,840

Benefits to County Taxpayers

  • Seven Master Gardener Volunteers contributed 874 volunteer hours valued at $15,295. Master Gardener Volunteers donated 375 lbs. of fruits and vegetables worth $938 to their local area food cupboards.
  • Five Volunteers and 202 youth are involved in 11 Somerset County 4-H clubs, two afterschool programs and four independent units learning life skills and leadership.
  •  32 Senior Companions made 7,225 visits to isolated and homebound Somerset County clients volunteering 21,074 hours and received $78,434 in stipends and mileage, helping the social and economic well-being of senior volunteers and clients.

”Isolation from friends and family due to limited transportation, lack of access to family members, and limited ability to travel in winter contribute to feelings of loneliness and depression and poorer health outcomes.”

— Rural Nursing Third Edition: Concepts, Theory, and Practice. Edited by Helen J. Lee, Ph.D. and Charlene Winters, Ph.D. Springer Publishing Company. 2010, P. 116.

  • 94 Extension Homemakers volunteered in 48 community education and service projects for 10,034 hours valued at $179,411 and gave $8,408 in donations to their Somerset County communities.
  • The Senior Gatherings, provide a social opportunity for seniors to gather and have conversations and reduce rural isolation. About 10-12 adults attend bi-monthly gatherings.
  • 4-H Livestock GPS Project – This program teaches 4-Hers how to use GPS with livestock. Youth are constructing their own GPS tracking collars and developing hypotheses to test on their pastured cattle. Youth will use the information downloaded from the collars to share their research findings with the public.

Return on Investment? About 21 Times the Investment by the County!
Funding Extension? Priceless!