WCEA Meeting Minutes- September 2023

WCEA meeting 19 Sept 2023


Present: Kyle Winslow, Nicholas MacDonald, Lisa Phelps, Eric Jones (scribe), Gabby Brodek, Robin Pinto, Heidi Hinkley,


Introduction – Rachel White in sustainable agriculture role, recently hired.


Secretary’s Report – Ed Latham not present.  Motion to approve by Eric, seconded by Robin – Approved unanimously


Treasurer’s Report – Eric Presented the report compiled by Tara, with many thanks to her for that work.

Move for approval by Kyle, seconded by Robin – Approved unanimously


Staff Reports – Glad to have new folks joining us.  Great delight in the shared note from the Greenland Point camper provided in Gabby’s report.  Great work done by all!


Meeting schedule – no conflicts with the current schedule among those present.  The overarching sentiment was to check with Ed Latham and Lisa Hanscom about their scheduling needs.


Pending discussion with absent members, we will try to meet in person at the Machias office for several meetings, weather permitting.



Deb Gardner’s position – Will be working to maintain the current pool of master gardeners (no budget to support new master gardeners).

Tara has had 10 hours added to her schedule each week and received a pay raise as a function of that.

Nick went to the initial County budget hearing: Discussions re. no questions were asked of him re. extension.  Nick will attend the next meeting.

Committee members needed.  Start thinking about who might make a good addition to the committee.  More discussions will follow. 

The question was raised concerning what aspects we are missing on the current board.  Someone from one of the tribes would be good.  We have no representation from the northern part of the county (Princeton, Calais), perhaps someone with a connection to Greenland Point.  We’d spoken about having someone from fisheries would be a good addition.  It would be worth revisiting the list we’ve made in the past of potential members.

Ideas for program highlights to include in future meetings?  Hearing more about the Master Gardener program would be good.  Are there more conversations we could have with folks from Mano en Mano?  It was suggested to reach out to the Milbridge Garden Club.  It would be good to speak with folks from the community garden in Machias. 



Annual Meeting Debrief

The first on the UMM campus, first in person for several years. 

One observation was whether the people who attend feel truly invested as stakeholders in the operation of extension.  Beyond the annual meeting, how do we engage those stakeholders. 

A suggestion was made to ask the youth served by extension to present what they’ve done. 

There was some discussion about reaching out to businesses in the county (i.e. Machias Savings Bank) to see what they might be interested in doing to support the work we do. 

An example was shared from the Piscataquis county association’s One Tomato Project as a way to reach out to the community to help them to learn more about extension. 

It would be good to have some generic flyers about cooperative extension to share at events. 

Getting meeting items out to the public ahead of time would help them to understand their role in the meeting is important.  Perhaps, beyond press releases, ask MVNO about publishing interviews with committee members or staff to inform people about what cooperative extension does.  Using resources at UMM (i.e. the radio station) to help should be a focus of these efforts.

4-H Science Fridays has been going well and enrollment is increasing.