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Waldo County Extension Association - annual report

2012 Annual Report

Waldo County

Click here for a PDF of the 2012 Annual Report

The Waldo County office of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension serves the citizens of our county with hands-on educational information and programs. Our programs are designed with citizen input and tailored to meet specific local needs. Our county office is also part of a statewide organization and the national Extension system. This allows our county office to bring more resources, programs and learning opportunities to the people of our communities.

This annual report features some of the important accomplishments of our programs as well as financial information about Extension at the state and county level.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s successful educational programs result from a federal, state and county government partnership. Since 1919, when the Maine Legislature passed the County Extension Act*, the University of Maine has been in all Maine communities with a county office whose operations are funded by county government. Our educational programs anticipate and respond to local and state needs and issues. We also communicate those issues and opportunities to UMaine faculty to influence their research and development plans.

A sampling of our educational program areas:

•  Agriculture Business & Community

•  Food & Health

•  Gardening & Horticulture

•  Home, Family & Youth Natural Resources

•  Insect & Plant Disease

•  Management Safety & Preparedness

 

Our mission: to help Maine people improve their lives through an educational process that uses research-based knowledge focused on issues and needs.

 

Waldo County Extension Association

The Waldo County Extension Association is the legally constituted official organization for conducting Extension work in the county; its services are available to all residents according to the County Extension Act.

The membership of the Association includes all residents in the county participating in Extension work. This is an opportunity to join others with a broad range of interests and a common desire to help Maine people improve their lives through an ongoing educational process, using the latest in research-based knowledge.

An elected County Extension Executive Committee is selected from the Association membership. Meetings are usually scheduled on the 2nd Monday of each month.

PRESIDENT:
 Sara Trunzo

VICE PRESIDENT: Ian Collins

SECRETARY: Erica Buswell

TREASURER: Rose Rapp

MEMBERS: Jennifer Brown, Ben Bucklin, Bob Curry, John Pincince, Rose Rapp, Abby Sadauckas, David Schofield

University of Maine Extension Waldo County

992 Waterville Rd, Waldo, ME 04915

207.342.5971 or 1.800.287.1426 (in Maine)

207.342.4229 fax

cewal@umext.maine.edu

 

EXTENSION EDUCATORS:

Viña Lindley: Food Systems/Youth Development Professional, x1013

Rick Kersbergen: Agriculture & Natural Resources, x1014

 

4-H PROGRAM AIDE:

Joyce Weaver x1012

 

MAINE FAMILIES:

Wesley Neff, Coordinator x1021

Diane Russell x1018

Ellie Weider x1017

Alicia Greenlaw x1016

 

EXTENSION SUPPORT STAFF:

Sónia Antunes x1010

Billiejo Pendleton x1011

 

AFFILIATED STAFF

Liz Stanley, Horticulture Aide                                  1.800.244.2104

Knox-Lincoln and Waldo

 

Caragh Fitzgerald, Extension educator                1.800.287.1481

Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kennebec and Waldo

 

Deborah Killam, Extension educator, Extension Homemakers       207.581.3874

 

Newsletters & Collaborative Websites

 

4-H on the Move www.umaine.edu/waldo/programs/4h/newsletter

Monthly electronic newsletter covering county, state and national 4-H activities, news and resources

 

Maine Climate News  http://umaine.edu/maineclimatenews/

The latest interesting update from our State Climatologist

 

Maine Home Garden News

www.umaine.edu/gardening/maine-home-garden-news

A local resource designed to equip home gardeners with practical information with monthly updates.

 

Perspectives

Quarterly newsletter available by email or hardcopy subscription with upcoming programming and events in Waldo County and informative articles from various program areas. Contact billiejo.pendleton@maine.edu to subscribe.

 

Publications Catalog www.extensionpubs.umext.maine.edu


Listing of available University of Maine Cooperative Extension publications

 

Signs of the Seasons: a Maine Phenology Project www.umaine.edu/signs-of-the-seasons

Participants help scientists document the local effects of global climate change by observing and recording the phenology (seasonal changes) of common plants and animals.

 

Staffing Transitions

After more than 20 years working as an Extension Educator in Waldo County, Jane Haskell accepted a new job assignment. While still working with Cooperative Extension, Jane will be working from an office on the University of Maine campus and expand her responsibilities for teaching facilitation to a more statewide audience.

We will certainly miss Jane’s presence in our County office, but know that she is still working with clients in Waldo County, but just from another office. We wish Jane the best of luck with her new responsibilities.

With Jane leaving, our Executive Committee went through a planning process during the summer of 2012 to craft a job description for a new employee to be hired. After several meetings and discussions, the committee put together a position that focuses on food systems and youth development. The position was advertised in the fall of 2012 and we were able to hire Viña Lindley in early 2013.

Welcome Viña, and we hope that you will enjoy working and living in Waldo County. Viña can be reached at 207.342.5971 ext. 1013 or vina.lindley@maine.edu.

Maine Families

Maine Families is a home visiting program for new parents with a focus on family strengths. The Maine Families Home Visiting Program is part Maine’s strategy to ensure healthy futures for our children.

Home Visiting professionals provide individualized parent education and support throughout Waldo County to expectant parents and parents of babies and toddlers to support safe home environments, promote healthy growth and development, and provide key connections for families to available services in their communities.  The program is tailored to meet the needs of each family.

Maine Families believes that parents are their children’s first and most important teachers.  Parent-child interaction and experiences in the early years determine how the baby’s brain develops and sets the stage for the child’s future.

In 2012, 91 families received 689 home visits

 The program offers monthly group connections and play groups for enrolled families focusing on supporting positive parent/child interaction, engaging in cooperative play, preparing nutritious snacks and creating and honoring family traditions.

In 2012, all children in the program had an established medical provider and were up to date with their well child visits. Of the children enrolled, 89% were up to date in their immunizations (Maine rate 72.3%).

Home safety improved for all families with significant improvements in home heating and fire safety, as well as awareness of outdoor safety for children in all age groups. Any delays in development are caught early through regular screenings and those children referred on for early intervention services. Nearly 82% of the children enrolled in Maine Families are read to daily.

Every family receives access to the latest research based information about:

  • Good prenatal practices
  • Feeding and nutrition
  • Safety and health
  • Managing behavior
  • Connections to community resources
  • Child development and ways to encourage healthy development

Eat Well Nutrition Program

 

Participants in Eat Well Program Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP)

Age group

Adults 2

Youth 45

 

Gender

Male 19

Female 28

 

Race/ethnicity

White – non Hispanic 47

Black – non Hispanic 0

Native Hawaiian / Pac Islander – non Hispanic 0

White Asian – non Hispanic 0

 

The Eat Well Nutrition Program was a major outreach effort of Maine Cooperative Extension.  This program brought basic nutrition education to low income adults, families and youth who live in urban and rural areas of Maine. In 2012:

  • 2 Maine adults participated in and graduated from Eat Well
  • 45 Maine youth participated in and completed Eat Well programs
  • Youth consisted of:
    • 2 groups: a school enrichment program and an afterschool program
    • 1st thru 3rd grades
    • 3 thru 6 lessons

As of October 1, 2012, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension lost one of the two federal funding sources for the Eat Well Nutrition Education Program. The loss of the Supplemental Nutrition Education Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) funding resulted in staff layoffs statewide within the Eat Well Program.

In Waldo County, Elizabeth Chamberlain continued as the only Eat Well staff providing direct education, supported by federal Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), which is unique to Cooperative Extension programs.  Ms. Chamberlain resigned from the University in January 2013.

Home Horticulture

Home and School Gardening

In 2012, we received over 500 questions from home and school gardeners. Samples and photos helped us identify pests and plant diseases to make accurate recommendations. School gardening continues to be a growing trend.

 

Maine Harvest for Hunger

Home gardeners, farmers, schools and Master Gardener Volunteers donated more than 293,000 pounds of produce to food pantries and soup kitchens statewide. To find out how you can help, visit http://umaine.edu/harvest-for-hunger/.

 

Master Gardener Volunteer Program

In 2012, 20 participants from Waldo, Knox & Lincoln Counties received more than 40 hours of in-depth training in the art and science of horticulture. In return, they are donating 40 hours of volunteer work to their communities. 221 active Master Gardeners continue to volunteer on a yearly basis – doing gardening and environmental education with youth, presentations for the public, assisting people who have differing abilities, beautifying public places and growing food for those in need.  They reported over 6000 volunteer hours.

Liz Stanley, Horticulture Program Coordinator, Knox-Lincoln & Waldo Counties: 1.800.244.2104  elizabeth.stanley@maine.edu

 

Resources for Home & School Gardeners:

Waldo Extension: www.extension.umaine.edu/waldo

UMaine Extension Publications: www.extensionpubs.umext.maine.edu

Gardening and Horticulture: www.extension.umaine.edu/gardening

Pest Management for Home Gardeners: www.extension.umaine.edu/homeowner-ipm

Soil Testing: http://anlab.umesci.maine.edu

YardScaping: www.yardscaping.org

Pro New England: www.pronewengland.org

eXtension: www.extension.org

Maine School Garden Network: www.msgn.org

MOFGA: www.mofga.org

Maine Harvest for Hunger: www.extension.umaine.edu/harvest-for-hunger

Liz Stanley, Horticulture Program Coordinator, Knox-Lincoln & Waldo Counties: 1.800.244.2104  elizabeth.stanley@maine.edu

 

Agriculture and Natural Resources

 

RESEARCH & EDUCATION

In 2012, Rick Kersbergen finished a SARE research project on shifting corn silage production to a no-till system that reduces fuel costs to Dairy farmers. This project uses novel no-till techniques, cover crop strategies and alternative harvest management.

 

This three year project with a one-year no-cost extension (2009-2012) was conducted as a joint project with the University of Maine, University of Massachusetts and University of Vermont with a performance target of producers adopting cover crop strategies and reduced tillage strategies on 3000 acres with an associated reduction in fuel and fertilizer cost as well as conserving soil and nutrient applications. In addition, our performance target predicted a decrease in purchased grain inputs by dairy farmers through improved forage quality.

 

Survey results (109 producers representing 33,000 acres of corn ground) indicated that 33 of these farms had adopted no-till corn as part of their cropping system. Those 33 responders documented an increase in no-till acres from 953 acres in 2010 to 3947 acres in 2012. Associated NRCS data from Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts indicates that 9,473 acres of no-till corn was grown in 2012. Cover crop adoption for the 3-state region also increased from 9701 acres in 2008 to 15,882 acres in 2012 with an average cost of $30/acre.

 

Producers indicated that they saved an average of 5.7 gallons per acre (~$23/acre) with no-till with an associated 2.75hr/acre savings in labor (@$10/hr. means $27.50/acre). For the 3947 acres represented in our survey of no-till corn grown with cover crops in 2012, that represents a net direct benefit of $194,196 to those growers. If we extrapolate those results to the 9473 acres of no-till corn reported by NRCS in 2012, we see a net benefit of $478,000 to farmers in Maine Vermont and Massachusetts.  Growers also noted additional benefits, including improved soil moisture control, reduced fertility needs and improved soil and feed quality, although these were not as easily quantifiable.  The full report can be found at http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/ProjectReport.aspx?do=viewRept&pn=LNE09-287&y=2012&t=1

 

Organic Dairy Research

Cooperative Extension received funding in 2009 from the USDA Integrated Organic Program to investigate the potential for increasing the production of organic bread wheat in Maine. Rick Kersbergen serves as one of the researchers on this project. Specifically, Rick is researching how organic dairy farmers might be able to incorporate bread wheat production into their cropping system to enhance profitability.  In 2012, research at the University of Maine Rogers Farm indicated significant yield increases when winter grains were planted after legume contributing sods. Data from this project benefits a burgeoning demand for local wheat production and processing as demonstrated by the start up of the Somerset Grist Mill and increases demand for information or growing spring and winter grains.

 

Dairy Cost of Production

Rick is continually updating data on dairy costs of production. This information is used by producers and legislators throughout the state to help set target prices for Maine’s dairy support system or “Tier program”.

 

Corn Silage Variety Trials

The Waldo County office coordinates the annual corn silage variety trials. In 2012, trials were conducted in Clinton, Maine at Misty Meadow Farms with 42 varieties planted in replicated trials. This program is now funded with support from Maine Corn Seed dealers.  Results can be found at http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/assocfiles/961060Silage%20Trial%20Report%202012-12-07%20All-1.pdf

 

Agricultural Education Programs and Partnerships

Extension in Waldo County partners with agencies such as the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and producer groups such as the Maine Grass Farmers Network (MGFN) to coordinate educational programs such as pasture walks, Small Farm Field Day and the Farmer to Farmer conference. Farmer to Farmer was held in Waldo County in November of 2012 with over 300 people coming from throughout the Northeast.

Rick works closely with the Maine Organic Milk Producers (MOMP) and helps provide educational programs and a unique equipment-sharing program.  Small farmers continue to call the office for assistance. Some of these are to explore new opportunities in agriculture and others are to try and solve problems.

New livestock as well as vegetable operations are starting up in Waldo County as a result of a renewed interest in local foods and healthy lifestyles. Many individual farm meetings and sessions were held in 2012.  Extension also partnered with Maine Farmland Trust on new farmer programs.

UMaine Extension in Waldo County hosts the Maine Hay Directory, which serves as a resource for farmers marketing hay as well as those animal owners in need of feed http://umaine.edu/livestock/hay

Extension also hosts the website for the Maine Grass Farmers Network www.umaine.edu/livestock/mgfn.

 

Senior College

Rick Kersbergen organized and taught a seven-week class at Senior College at the Hutchinson Center. This class, focused on kitchen gardens, was designed for beginning home gardeners wanting to produce more of their own food in limited space. Over 25 “seniors” participated in the class.

 

Rural Living Day

In its 19th year, Rural Living Day was held at Mount View High School with amazing success! Participants were treated to 23 different workshops. This fundraiser facilitated the scholarship award of $500 to Lyndon Whitcomb of Waldo County.

 

Tractor Safety Courses

This is the 23rd year Rick Kersbergen has offered and taught this course, working with Ingraham’s Equipment in Knox. After successful completion of the 5 week class, teenagers ages 14-16 earn a federal certificate allowing them to operate tractors as part of their farm employment.

Annually, this program draws both young and old. In 2012, 11 youth and adults completed the certification program, learning and demonstrating how to operate all types of farm equipment safely. Additionally, Rick works with MOFGA and Johnny’s Selected Seeds to host a tractor and equipment safety class for their farm apprentice program and employees.

 

State and National Representation

Rick Kersbergen serves on several state organizations and holds leadership roles. He has served on the State Nutrient Management Review Board since 2000. He served as vice president of the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society with Ex-Agricultural Commissioner Robert Spear as President. Rick also served as a cooperating research scientist with the Agricultural Research Service New England Plant Soil and Water Lab in Orono. Rick is a cooperating member in the Department of Animal & Veterinary Science at UMaine.

Jane Haskell holds a leadership role in developing Internet based learning environments for the new national Enhancing Rural Capacity Team.

Jane was one of several Extension colleagues invited to conduct an Assessment of Business-Assist Activities across the University of Maine System for the Board of Trustees (in response to the Maine Development Foundation Report:  Making Maine Work: The Role of Maine’s Public Universities).

Community Development

 

Online Small Business Library

Find the Library online at www.umaine.edu/ext-business/online-small-business-library

Don’t miss the Virtual Resource Library that includes resources for growing your own business in the following areas:

  • NEW Business Workshop Calendar
  • 24 small business management topics, such as
    • Advertising & Customer service
    • Insurance and Marketing
    • Pricing and more
  • Business assist organizations
  • Lending agencies
  • Trade associations
  • Surviving tough times

 

2012 Business Workshops Address Value Added Opportunities

The Recipe to Market Series for developing and taking a specialty food to market was a six-part program spanning three months ending with a tour of UMaine’s Pilot Plant. The group included 25 participants, each who had a specific food product or recipe in mind, including salsa, dilled beans, crackers, cupcakes, vegan foods, and sauces. An inspector from the Dept. of Ag, an insurance agent, a banker, an attorney, a Montville entrepreneur and a SCORE representative joined the training at various points. The fine points of being an entrepreneur, developing a food products business, safety, business and more were covered.  Bangor Savings provided scholarships for under-employed participants. Eight people toured the UMaine Pilot Plant to see equipment and resources to assist with food product development research; 12 people had individual business management appointments with Extension Food Science and Business Specialists, Jim McConnon and Beth Calder.  At least 2 participants are using the facilities at Coastal Farms and Foods, in Belfast. ME.

 

Small Business Program

Educational resources are provided to county residents who operate or are considering starting a home-based or small business. Major components of the current county program are:

  • Publications – 24 different business management 
fact sheets are available in print and online
  • Cashing in on Business Opportunities – a free 
online educational curriculum.

 

Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills: Train the Trainer

Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1, is a curriculum that was designed based on the needs of Waldo County citizens. Jane Haskell continues to share its success at conferences with Extension colleagues across the nation. In 2012, nearly 49 Maine residents were trained with Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills.

Over 350 people have attended
the 20-hour training, Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, which is designed to
build the working capacity of groups.  The curriculum has been identified as a national learning priority by National 4-H Council to build organizational strength.

 

What’s in It for Our Communities?

What is the benefit for having citizens who are aware of how simple techniques can increase the effectiveness of local meetings?

This is a sample of what a recent training group said – that through improved facilitation techniques in their groups:

¨     I believe there is an improved respect for individual diversity that people bring to the group by other group members

¨     I have strengthened my confidence and feel more at ease

¨     I utilize meeting times better and achieve outcomes

¨     I am more aware of my level of impartiality

 

¨     When I am facilitating, I will encourage the involvement of everyone in the meeting

¨     I am more conscious of my personal feelings and opinions; I now keep them out of the process.

¨     I am spending more time developing meeting agendas (rather than just winging it)

¨     I will be more aware of my meeting weaknesses and be more prepared

¨     I am going to help co-workers develop structures to meet goals of the meeting

 

Collaborative Leadership Programs

Waldo County Extension partners with agencies to enhance their leadership capacities in their organizations and communities.  Various agencies and organizations call for assistance with meeting situations and training opportunities.

 

The Maine Commission for Community Service provides a blog, From the Field, to continue conversations about volunteer management. Haskell is in her third year of writing six facilitation blogs annually.

 

Mid-Coast Leadership Academy, hosted by UMaine Hutchinson Center, partnered with Extension for the third year to have the current leadership cohort examine how they balance work and planning time.

 

The Island Institute had Extension work, for a second year, with its eleven Island Fellows so they can more effectively work on basic meeting protocol, management strategies and decorum over the next two years with their island community projects.

Trained citizen facilitators are partnering, mentoring and working in our communities

  • Local fisheries and farm groups
  • A town library
  • Our Town Belfast and Belfast Creative Coalition
  • Healthy Waldo County
  • Leadership development with Mid-coast Magnet
  • Transition Times
  • Town officials
  • VISTA staff development

 

4-H Youth Development

Cooking Matters Program

Waldo County youth had the opportunity to experience hands-on cooking and nutrition classes led by volunteer professional chefs and nutritionists. This program was made possible through a partnership between the Good Shepherd Food Bank, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Hannaford Brothers (who provided funding for food and graduation incentives).  At each class, participants learned about food and kitchen safety, prepared foods for meals and made healthy snacks. As part of their program lesson, youth visited Hannaford’s to learn how to read nutrition labels and unit pricing. Cooking Matters classes are free to participants and host agencies.

Classes were held at the Searsport Elementary 4-H Afterschool Program over the course of six-weeks. Twelve students from the towns of Searsport and Stockton Springs participated in the Kids Cooking Matters program.

 

Student Quotes:

“I want to try this at home for my mom.”

“I never knew vegetables could taste so good!”

 

The Cooking Matters program was also offered to 4-H afterschool teens at the Game Loft in Belfast.  Participants were from the towns of Belfast, Belmont, Searsmont, Morrill, Thorndike, Unity, Montville, Searsport, Stockton Springs, Liberty and Jackson

 

Participant Quotes:

“I became more confident in the kitchen.”

“I went home every week and cooked for my family.”

“I learned how to make my dollars stretch.”

“I learned how to eat well and I lost weight.”

“I want to do it again.”

 

4-H Club

The Frankfort 4-H Club, Fur, Feathers and 4-H, planned and organized the second free 4-H Fun Day at the Searsport Elementary School. Community families had an opportunity to participate in hands-on 4-H activities. Local 4-H members provided short talks and poster exhibits of their 4-H projects. Over 95 people attended this event.

 

Little Beavers 4-H Club

The Little Beavers 4-H Club attended Legislature Days at the State Capitol in Augusta. This annual event provides youth a first hand experience with state government in action. Youth serve as pages delivering messages to the legislative members during their visit. Two 4-H youth from Waldo County had the opportunity to attend this event alongside youth from other Maine counties.

 

National 4-H Trip: Citizenship Washington Focus

Two Gameloft 4-H Afterschool Youth go to Capital

On July 4, 2012 the streets of our nation’s capital were sizzling and two Game Loft youth were holding the ropes of giant strawberry balloons as the Maine 4-H delegation marched in the annual parade. Two Waldo County represented The Game Loft in a week-long 4-H trip to Washington DC called Citizenship Washington Focus. The boys came back awed by the experience of the capital and with a greater understanding of what it means to be an American.

“Through the 4-H experience of being with kids from across the country I learned about the wide diversity of perspectives,” said one participant.  Another added, “I never realized that people were so different from other regions of our country. I never knew there were so many different points of view and that all of them were valid.” Both boys recognized the contributions of all the regions of the country go to making this a great nation.

“There is no one answer to what is an American,” said a participant. “This trip took all my stereotypes and threw them out.”

The teens also came back with a deep appreciation of  4-H. “It’s (4-H) not all about agriculture anymore. It’s about citizenship and leadership in the 21st century.”

While the boys were in Washington they enjoyed attending a dinner theater and visiting many monuments to American life. “I stood at the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King, Jr. stood and imagined him speaking to that endless crowd,” said one teen. “I looked out at the graves at Arlington National Cemetery and tried to grasp the meaning of all those people who sacrificed their lives in the service of their county,” said another teen.

Thank you to all the community members who helped these 4-H teens attend this life-changing week in Washington.

 

National Youth Science Day

On October 10, 2012, millions of young people across the nation became scientists for the day during the fifth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD). NYSD is the premier national rallying event for year-round 4-H Science programming, bringing together youth, volunteers and educators from the nation’s 111 land-grant colleges and universities to simultaneously complete the National Science Experiment.

www.4-h.org/4-h-national-youth-science-day

 

RSU # 20 4-H Afterschool Program

Family Science Night

Families of Waldo County rolled up their sleeves and were up to their elbows in all things science on Thursday Night. This first ever “Family Science Night” was hosted by the RSU #20 Afterschool Program (a 21st Century Community Learning Center program) and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Waldo County 4-H Program.

The event was held on October 18th in recognition of National Lights On Afterschool and the 4-H National Youth Science Day. With over 220 visitors from Waldo County and beyond, the event was well attended. The favorite program of the evening was a presentation of live insects, reptiles, and amphibians by a Natural History Educator. Special thanks to all the student scientists, volunteer presenters who made this event a success.

 

Tractor Safety

Space and Equipment supplied by Ingraham Equipment, Knox, ME

 

Maine 4-H Science School Partnerships

 

University of Maine College of Engineering Students Visit At Mt. View Elementary

Several RSU#3 teachers attended an engineering conference and planned a “Family Engineering Night.” Partnering with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Science Program, two University of Maine College of Engineering students presented a short talk with hands on presentations for 104 students in grades K, 1 and 2 at Mount View Elementary School in Thorndike.

The students developed an original presentation that covered what engineers do and the different kinds of engineers. They went on to discuss water filtration and how engineers are involved with the process.

They also included an activity and demonstration in which the elementary students built their own water filters using cups, cotton, sand, and gravel. The UMaine students repeated their presentation three times to cover the 104 students in grades K, 1 and 2 at Mount View Elementary School in Thorndike.

The feedback from teachers was all positive: “ . . . the talks were fantastic! It was a great opportunity for the kids to meet and hear from actual engineers!” The teachers went on to say that,  “ . . . the girls were very organized and informative.” Some of the K-2 teachers “were concerned that the activity planned would be too challenging, but it was not. It was really perfect.”

Another teacher said, “It was a great success! Thank you for this opportunity to share with our students how engineering relates to real-world problem solving.”

 

Waldo County Extension Homemakers

Extension Homemakers is a volunteer group that has the goal of developing leadership, supporting worthy community causes, and promoting University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s educational programs in Waldo County. The purpose of this group remains tied to strengthening and extending adult education into the home and community.

Local Extension Homemakers in Waldo County either belong to a local community group or are members-at-large within their communities.  Local groups are involved with assisting with many different community projects such as local food pantries, elderly or veterans groups, scholarships for high school students, and much more.  Local group members generally meet several times throughout the year, (often monthly), participate in educational programs, and identify community projects they want to support.  Waldo currently has three local Extension homemaker groups.  They meet in and serve the communities of Monroe, Burnham, and Palermo.

­­They also included an activity and demonstration in which the elementary students built their own water filters using cups, cotton, sand, and gravel. The UMaine students repeated their presentation three times to cover the 104 students in grades K, 1 and 2 at Mount View Elementary School in Thorndike.

The feedback from teachers was all positive: “ . . . the talks were fantastic! It was a great opportunity for the kids to meet and hear from actual engineers!” The teachers went on to say that,  “ . . . the girls were very organized and informative.” Some of the K-2 teachers “were concerned that the activity planned would be too challenging, but it was not. It was really perfect.”

Another teacher said, “It was a great success! Thank you for this opportunity to share with our students how engineering relates to real-world problem solving.”

Local members come together to form a county group led by the Waldo County Extension Homemakers Council.  The Homemakers Council operates according to a set of bylaws, has officers, and meets on a quarterly basis.  They coordinate a spring and fall meeting for the membership.  The Spring 2012 Meeting was held in Brooks.  Caragh Fitzgerald, Extension Educator, presented a program on Maine’s Harvest for Hunger Program.  The Fall 2012 Meeting was held in Waldo.  Deborah Killam, Extension Educator presented a program on Maine Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen.  In addition to the spring and fall meetings, the Extension homemakers work in cooperation with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to offer other public educational programs or events throughout the year.

In March 2012, a successful Cabin Fever Reliever Craft Day was held in Belfast.  In October 2012, a wonderful Handcrafters’ Day event, drawing in people from across the state, was held in Waldo.  A local planning committee coordinates both events and local residents serve as workshop instructors.  Waldo County Extension Homemakers Council also awards a scholarship to a worthy Waldo County high school student each year.

Waldo County Extension Homemaker membership is open to anyone who is interested in learning new information to improve their personal, family, and community life or who is interested in educating and serving members of the Extension Homemakers groups and the communities.  For more information, contact the Waldo County Extension Office.

Statewide Extension Funding

As a unique partnership among federal, state and county governments, UMaine Extension uses funding from Maine counties and the University to match and leverage support from the United States Department of Agriculture, other federal grantors, state agencies and private foundations. Each county UMaine Extension office is also part of a statewide organization and the national Extension system.

 

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Support for Waldo County

   2012

Local Salaries and Benefits

$613,598

Prorated Support from UMaine*

$404,428

Computer Equipment & Networking

$8,233

Statewide Animal Diagnostic Lab

$4,377

Publications

$1613

Postage

$2,804

Telephone

$1670

Travel

$26,414

Total

$1,063,195

Prorated Support from UMaine* reflects travel, postage, telephone, computer equipment & networking, salaries & benefits for administrative and state-wide staff.

 

Without statewide support, UMaine Extension would not be present in this county. Funds for projects are provided through the University of Maine, Federal Formula Funds, grants, contracts, and fees. Dollars from other sources support salaries and benefits for Extension Specialists, County Educators, Extension administration, computer equipment and networking, publications, postage, telephone, and travel.

 

 

Each year, Waldo County tax dollars support the UMaine Extension with physical office space, support staff salaries, office supplies, equipment and some programming expenses.

 

 

Local Partnership

Our County Extension Association is the vital link between the county, our communities and UMaine. The Association’s Executive Committee is comprised of local volunteers who represent community interests by advising UMaine Extension staff on educational programs, advocate for and secure funding from county government to support the county office, oversee the office budget and facilities, and guide UMaine Extension staff in identifying their programming goals.

*The County Extension Act

The County Extension Act explains the role of county government in funding local Extension offices:

Cooperative extension work shall consist of the giving of practical demonstrations in agriculture and natural resources, youth development, and home economics and community life and imparting information on those subjects through field demonstrations, publications and otherwise. For the purpose of carrying out this chapter, there may be created in each county or combination of two counties within the State an organization known as a “county extension association,” and its services available to all residents of a county. The county extension is viewed as a unique and important educational program of county government. The executive committee of each county extension association shall prepare an annual budget as requested, showing in detail its estimate of the amount of money to be expended under this chapter within the county of counties for the fiscal year. The executive committee shall submit to the board of county commissioners on a date requested by the county commissioners, and the county commissioners may, if they deem it justifiable, adopt an appropriate budget for the county extension program and levy a tax therefore. The amount thus raised by direct taxation within any county or combination of counties for the purposes of this chapter shall be used for the salaries of clerks, provision of office space, supplies, equipment, postage, telephone, a contribution toward the salaries of county educators and such other expenses as necessary to maintain an effective county extension program.1 1Excerpted from Title 7, Chapter 7 of the Maine Revised Statutes, §191–§195.

Statewide Highlights

A sampling of programs that have statewide and local importance:

 

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD): Maine’s 60K acres of wild blueberries are inextricably tied to the state’s identity and economic success. This $69 million crop, along with all soft fruits, is under immediate threat by SWD, an invasive fruit fly that’s spread quickly through the state since first being detected in 2011. The fly lays its eggs in fruit prior to ripening and the larvae hatch and ruin the ripe fruit. UMaine Extension & Experiment Station researchers have engaged in emergency efforts to track and map infiltration of the SWD in Maine using different baits in different crops in an effort to understand its biology, habits, and movement. Research results and mitigation recommendations are rapidly being communicated to growers.

eLearning for an Army of 4-H Volunteers: 4-H programs are of greater significance to children and the community than ever before. In Maine, as in other states, our most important role is to recruit, train, and coordinate the work of high quality youth and adult volunteers – there cannot be effective 4-H programs without well-trained volunteers. In 2010, we implemented a new web-based training program that makes it easier for volunteers to complete their initial training without compromising the quality of their experience. Once complete, volunteers engage in specific face-to-face trainings by our staff. In the past year, 700 volunteers have completed the eLearning series. During 2012 over 29,000 youth were generously supported by more than 1,500 adult and 6,000 youth volunteers in Maine’s 4-H Youth Development Program through clubs, camps, schools, nutrition programs, and after school programs.

Short- and Long-term Efforts to Alleviate Hunger: In Maine one in five children under the age of 16 live in homes where they’re not sure where their next meal is coming from. Forty three percent of people defined as food insecure do not qualify for food stamps or other government programs, and need help. Our Harvest for Hunger program provides high quality fruits and vegetables to hungry people in Maine. For the past 10 years, hundreds of volunteers in every County in Maine have grown food in community gardens, school gardens, home gardens, and commercial farms to donate to local food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and senior programs. Food recipients are encouraged to actively participate by learning from the program—they receive recipes, cooking, and gardening tips and learn about a healthy diet. This year school children, employees of businesses, community members, and Master Gardeners volunteered more than 830 hours to grow, glean and donate more than 209,000 pounds of quality food for those in need, and in an effort to stem the tide of need, helped the recipients learn about gardening, cooking and preserving.

The Maine Animal Health Lab: Maine has a growing farm population, a commercial poultry industry, and too few livestock veterinarians. UMaine Extension’s Maine Animal Health Lab (UMAHL) offers diagnostic services to large- and small-scale producers when there is no local veterinarian or when the local vet does not have relevant expertise. We help poultry producers meet regulatory demands through testing, and diagnose animal health issues that may have profound negative economic consequences for an individual producer or an entire industry. Savings to the poultry industry in Maine is estimated at over $7 million per year through prevention of outbreaks as a result of the Lab’s salmonella regulatory testing services. Testing for mastitis in cattle has saved the dairy industry an estimated $10 million per year thanks to early detection and mitigation. Sheep producers have avoided approximately $400,000 per year in costs associated with infectious preventable diseases such as parasites, footrot, and caseous lymphadenitis. Providing quick diagnostic intervention has helped producers maintain healthy livestock and stay in business.

Research Trials To Benefit the Aquaculture Industry: Working with a Maine-based biotech company, UMaine Extension conducted research trials for a new dietary supplement to determine its effectiveness to even out the timing of the smolting process and increase growth for aquaculture-raised salmon. Using the supplement will allow an increase of production between 5 and 10 percent ($3 to $5 million per year in Maine alone) giving aquaculturalists another tool to increase yield and profits. The trials were successful and the product has been introduced to the international market.

Experts on Demand: Our priorities have always focused on meeting the needs of Maine’s people on the community level by providing education to a diverse and geographically dispersed clientele. Today, consumers are connected to the world through social media sites and the Internet, and have mobile devices where they can access resources anywhere they happen to be. New technologies have changed the way our programs are delivered and revolutionized our educational outreach.  Over the last two years we have created over 150 short, educational videos in a series called Experts on Demand. Videos are shared across the University of Maine website, embedded in social media platforms, and showcased to important stakeholders. In 2012 we prioritized a new technology-based position to provide organizational leadership and work directly with social media and video production.

Internet-based videos have exponentially increased the capacity for UMaine Extension to reach Maine consumers anywhere, anytime. Analytics show that our videos have been viewed nearly 800,000 times since 2010, with 49 percent of the views from Maine. Data allow us to know the most viewed topics, and consequently becomes an important element in understanding trends and interests over a much greater population, increasing our capacity to meet those trends.

Healthy Moose and the Maine Economy: The iconic Maine moose is an important element to the Maine economy, helping drive the tourism and hunting industries – wildlife watching and hunting in Maine are estimated to generate $1.8 billion annually. Since 2010, UMaine Extension has worked with the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife (IFW) to help  diagnose the causes of premature death in Maine moose. Saving even 10 percent of the moose population by diagnosing and preventing internal parasites helps maintain the value of the tourism and hunting industry in Maine. Through necropsies our animal health lab discovered large numbers of lungworms, initiating a research project of lungworm morphology and associated DNA. We identified specific practices to help reduce the risk of lungworms and have worked with both the IFW and the Maine Center for Disease Control to help inform the public about health concerns when in close contact with wildlife.

 

Making a Difference

For more than 90 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has worked with Maine volunteers to offer community-driven, research-based educational programs in every county. Our annual report features highlights of recent accomplishments and the difference we make in the lives of Maine citizens and their communities.


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