January 15, 2019
Call to Order: Anna M. called the meeting to order at 6:08p
Members Attending: Anna, Theresa, Anne D., Anne R., Sadee, Katy, Dave, Jodie, Darcy, Aktan, Jackie
Members Absent: Ken, Matthew, Eric, Samara, Sadee, Katy G.
Staff Attending: Rick, Viña, Dick B., Holly I., Joyce W.
Minutes of December Meeting
On a motion by Anne R., seconded by Dave, the minutes were approved.
No significant discussion.
Educator: See update.
Food Systems & Youth Development
See update. Note that Vina has developed a survey that will go out in January to help determine the need and next steps related to expanding gleaning in Waldo County.
See update. Of note, Holly I. explained that during the month of February, there will be a 1 day/wk after school enrichment program on veterinary services. There is still a need for a volunteer to help with Poultry & Sheep veterinary care. If anyone is interested or knows someone who may be able to help, please contact Joyce Weaver at 342-5971 x1012.
On a motion by Dave, seconded by Anne R., the Treasurer’s report, and all staff reports were approved.
Dick B. confirmed that the SNAP-ED program was not given back to UMaine Extension in the most recent Farm Bill. Unfortunately, the 4H position will therefore not be approved. There are not enough funds. Additionally, Extension services will receive a $40K cut, out of a larger $600k cut experienced by the University. Extension is funded out of the Academics portion of the University’s budget. Decreased student enrollment was discussed as the most significant factor to the budget cuts, which are being experienced across the gamut of University-funded programs.
Waldo County was one of the few counties in the state to receive an increased budget from the county. Washington County apparently took a 50% cut to their county budget. Thank a Waldo County Commissioner and Rick K. for his tireless efforts to highlight the great work of Waldo County Extension.
In light of the budget cuts and inability to hire a 4-H Professional, the Executive committee discussed strategies to improve 4H programming in Waldo County. Vina, Dick and Rick have been re-working the current Job Description for Food Systems & Youth Development Professional in Waldo County. The challenge remains how to strengthen the youth development aspects of the job description, yet still balance the integrity of the original job description which is Food systems weighted.
Joyce delivered a passionate justification for the need of additional resources to fund additional 4H Youth Development programs. The committee discussed the possibility of requesting 4H Professional assistance from neighboring counties in exchange for the many Food Systems programs and classes that Waldo County supports. Another suggestion was for the Job Description to adjust the amount of time spent between 4H and Food Systems programming efforts, weighing more towards 4H. No decision was made.
Winter Farmer’s Potluck – 2/16/19
Snow date of 23 February at the United Farmer’s Market of Maine – 18 Spring Street, Belfast – 4p-7p. Glen Koehler, UMaine Cooperative Extension has agreed to speak about “Farm Response to Changing Weather.” The following actions need to occur as soon as possible:
- Darcy contact surrounding counties to invite them to the Farmer’s Potluck, include the event on community calendars
- Rick develop press release for farmer’s potluck, and invite Waldo County Commissioners to attend
- Extension Staff develop social media page for committee members to share Potluck info as soon as possible
- Jackie submit the potluck event on the MOFGA events/calendar page
- Members not present at meeting: pick up flyers to post in your locations to promote event
- Vina & Anne D. bring plates, cups, utensils, napkins, nametags, and extension cords
- Still looking for musicians or cool music to play
Please arrive between 3-3:30p to help with set up and plan to stay afterwards to help with clean-up. Promote, promote, promote.
Great progress being made, from additional intellectual and experiential capital to potential grants. Dave explained a potential method for recycling greenhouse plastic that involves pallets and staging/pick up sites around the state.
Rural Living Day – 4/6/19
Vina has sent the spreadsheet with the classes and desired presenters. If you know of a presenter and can ask them for assistance, please put your name in the spreadsheet and get a hold of that presenter. We only need to get a “yes” or “no” from them, and the extension staff will get in touch with them to discuss the details of their involvement.
Snacks for next meeting
Darcy volunteered to provide snacks for the next WCEA meeting on 19 February at 5:30p.
On a motion by Theresa, seconded by Anne R., the meeting was adjourned at 7:35pm.