Waldo County Extension Association - annual report
2011 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: Anne Rothrock
MEMBERS: Jennifer Brown, Robert Nelson, John Pincince, Rose Rapp, Kali Rocheleau, David Schofield, Nicole Schofield
University of Maine Extension Waldo County
(207) 342-5971 or (800) 287-1426 (in Maine)
(207) 342-4229 fax
Jane Haskell: Business & Community Development, x1013
Rick Kersbergen: Agriculture & Natural Resources, x1014
EATWELL NUTRITION ASSOCIATES:
Beth Chamberlain x1020
Pat Fraser – retired December 2011
4-H PROGRAM AIDE:
Joyce Weaver x1012
Wesley Neff, Coordinator x1021
Diane Russell x1018
Ellie Weider x1017
EXTENSION SUPPORT STAFF:
Sónia Antunes x1010
Billiejo Pendleton x1011
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, Family Living 581-3874
Wanda Lincoln, nutrition education professional 581-3443
Newsletters & Collaborative Websites
4-H on the Move
Monthly electronic newsletter covering county, state & national 4-H activities, news and resources
Quarterly newsletter featuring food topics, nutrition, health, exercise & food safety, emphasizing our Eat Well program
Maine Climate News
The latest interesting update from our State Climatologist
Maine Home Garden News
A local resource designed to equip home gardeners with practical information with monthly updates.
Quarterly electronic newsletter available by email subscription with upcoming programming and events in Waldo County and informative articles from various program areas. Contact email@example.com to subscribe.
Listing of available University of Maine Cooperative Extension publications
Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Project
Participants help scientists document the local effects of global climate change by observing and recording the phenology (seasonal changes) of common plants and animals.
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 2011, 105 families received 665 home visits. The program also offers monthly parent education/play groups focusing on supporting positive parent/child interaction, engaging in cooperative play, preparing nutritious snacks and creating and honoring family traditions.
In 2011, all of the children in the program had an established medical provider and were up to date with their well child visits. Of the children enrolled, 92% 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 83% 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
Eat Well Nutrition Program is a major outreach effort of Maine Cooperative Extension. This program brings basic nutrition education to low income adults, families and youth who live in urban and rural areas of Maine.
Eat Well Nutrition Associates:
- teach food and nutrition lessons to adults in their homes, in small community groups or participate through a correspondence course – Eat Well by Mail.
- provide nutrition education to low income youth in community programs, libraries, schools and after-school programs.
In 2011, two Nutrition Associates provided nutrition education sessions to 97 adults in families that included 174 members. 57 of these adults were seniors over the age of 60. The Nutrition Associates graduated 83 adults from the program. They also provided nutrition lessons to 526 youth throughout Waldo County.
- · 82% of graduating adults showed improvement in food resource management which includes meal planning, comparing prices when shopping or using grocery lists.
- · 90% of graduating adults showed improvement in nutrition practices which includes making healthier food choices, preparing foods without adding salt or reading nutrition labels on foods.
- · 92% of the youth who received Eat Well programming through school classes or school enrichment programs increased their knowledge of basic nutrition and say they now eat a variety of foods.
Unity Food Pantry Program
Nutrition Associate Beth Chamberlain worked with several adults at the Unity Food Pantry. These adults started growing their own produce and were eager to learn how to preserve their freshly harvested produce. In response to this interest, Beth taught food preservation classes, water bath canning methods as well as freezing. As a result of Beth’s classes, these adults have started to take control of supplying their own food. This allows them to eat healthier and stretch their food dollars.
2011 Success Stories
“One client is an elderly lady who was eating a lot of prepackaged frozen foods. I showed her how to cook simple meals from scratch that were healthy, as well as economical. I also provided some healthy recipes that enabled her to cook just one or two days a week in order to have meals prepared for several days in advance. She was able to significantly reduce her sodium intake because of this change.”
“I’ve been working with a teen age girl for several months. Because of the nutrition information I have shared with her, she has significantly reduced her soft drink consumption. This has resulted in a weight loss of at least 5 pounds for her. She is continuing to increase her fruit and vegetable intake and hopes to improve her health as well as lose more weight.”
“One group I worked with turned out to be six men. Four of these males have diabetes so in addition to the basic nutrition lessons, I was able to include useful information that supports what their doctors and dietitians have told them.”
In 2011, we received over 600 questions from home and school gardeners. Samples and photos helped us identify pests and plant diseases so that we could make accurate recommendations. Home vegetable gardening continues to be a topic that people want to learn about, along with invasive plants, insects, and sustainable landscaping practices.
Maine Harvest for Hunger
Home gardeners, farmers, schools and Master Gardener Volunteers donated more than 45,000 pounds of produce to food pantries and soup kitchens in Waldo County. To find out how you can help, visit www.extension.umaine.edu/harvest-for-hunger
Master Gardener Volunteer ProgramIn the fall of 2011, 25 participants from Waldo, Knox and Lincoln Counties received more than 40 hours of in-depth training in the art and science of horticulture. In return, they are each donating 40 hours of volunteer work to their communities. 196 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. In 2011, they reported over 9,000 volunteer hours.
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/home-and-garden-ipm
Soil Testing: http://anlab.umesci.maine.edu/
Pro New England: www.pronewengland.org
Maine School Garden Network: www.msgn.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
4-H Youth Development
Fur, Feathers and 4H, a new 4-H club in Frankfort, planned and organized a free 4-H Fun Day at the Frankfort Elementary School in May. Community families had an opportunity to participate in hands-on 4-H activities. Local 4-H members provided short talks, poster exhibits of their community service and animal projects. Over 60 people attended this event.
The Little Beavers 4-H Club had members from Knox and Troy who participated in the 2011 State Dairy Quiz Bowl.
National Youth Science Day – Power of Wind
National 4-H Trip: National 4-H Conference Program
Approximately 300 high school student leaders, all members of 4-H, from across the United States, U.S. territories, and Canada gathered in the greater Washington, DC area to engage young people in the efforts of the USDA to produce “real results for real people.” The National 4-H Conference aims to empower and mobilize the 4-H students to create positive, meaningful change in their communities.
4-H delegates presented their research on reducing childhood obesity with Health and Human Services staff.
Maine’s 4-H delegates, one of whom was Colleen from Waldo County’s town of Troy, presented to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) their research on reducing childhood obesity as well as presenting to the Pentagon and Dr. Jill Biden information regarding the needs of veterans and military families.
The Game Loft
Stephen and Dakota are the two founding members of Belfast’s Game Loft speakers’ bureau. They have given almost a dozen speeches to local groups about Positive Youth Development and The Game Loft, a 4-H program.
As part of Stephen’s speech he talks about how he had been bullied as a middle school student until a Game Loft member invited him to come to the program. As a result of his Game Loft experiences he gained self-confidence and became able to resist bullying attempts.
Now he is particularly helpful to younger children at The Game Loft by making sure they are safe and integrated into both school and Loft programs. Stephen and Dakota attended a Game Loft trip to Kings Landing Historical Settlement in Canada last year where they learned how to make barrels and participated in the Pauper Auction.
On the trip they learned customer service skills and became more out-going. The Kings Landing staff was particularly impressed by the politeness and willingness of The Game Loft youth. Stephen and Dakota will be going to Citizenship Washington Focus this July and are anxious to share their experiences in 4-H after school programs with their peers from across the country.
There are more than 150 members of 4-H afterschool at The Game Loft.
Searsport Middle & High School 4-H Afterschool Program visits Maine Maritime Academy
Students at Searsport Middle and High School 4-H Afterschool Program recently attended a field trip to Maine Maritime Academy (MMA). Students got to eat lunch in the cafeteria, tour campus classrooms, laboratories and waterfront.
Afterschool kids talked with MMA students and toured the State of Maine ship. The field trip opened the eyes of students to a future of possibilities! Some students were very interested in the possibilities of a ‘maritime career’, while others discovered additional options, such as being a cook on one of the ships or working on a tugboat.
One student, Michael, thought it would be “awesome” to work on a ship like the State of Maine cooking for the crew, and thought it was “cool” to hear about a student loading ice cream onto the ship for 6 hours before it left on cruise for months!
Searsport Middle and High School 4-H Afterschool visit Maine Maritime Academy
Overall, this field trip was a great one enjoyed by all on a beautiful day, one that gave all students more ideas for the future paths ahead of them!
Searsport Elementary 4-H Afterschool Program Learns About Nature
A beautiful early release day brought tons of fun and interest in nature at Searsport Elementary School’s Afterschool Program. Leah and Rose, two of our 4-H volunteers from the 4-H Tanglewood Camp and Learning Center visited us and gave students the opportunity to go on an educational hike to learn about the environment around them. Students found homes that animals once inhabited, learned about different types of trees, and even became the teachers themselves! In the end the students learned about nature, and how important it is that we take care of it. 4-H Afterschool students were so motivated that they are planning to come back and help clean up the trail in the near future!
- “Nature is awesome!”- KL
- “It’s fun to find all sorts of things in the woods, I’ve found where a squirrel once lived!”- FK
StarRiders 4-H Afterschool Program
In partnership with Forest Glen Farms of Searsport and a Maine Community Foundation Grant, three 4-H Afterschool Programs of RSU 20 participated in a 10-week session of horsemanship for beginners.
Twenty-five students from Frankfort Elementary, Stockton Springs Elementary and Kermit Nickerson Elementary arrived at the farm eager to learn how to handle, care for, groom, and ride their favorite horses. The students would rotate through three groups: homework and snack, barn chores, and a riding lesson.
They challenged their confidence and focused on their communication and relationship skills with the horse.
- Tyler: “I rode Amigo. He is a beautiful, black horse. I learned to not be too excited. The horses would feel my energy and may be scared.”
- Jeremy: “I learned English Riding. It was hard at first to learn how to sit correctly.”
Ames Elementary School 4-H Afterschool Program: a disabled veteran teaches skills
Missing his right arm below the elbow and walking with help of a crutch, Rusty Emmerton is a disabled US Navy veteran who regularly volunteers his time to work with first-through-fifth grade after-school-program kids at Ames Elementary School in Searsmont.
In weekly classes, Rusty has shown more than 40 kids how to shoot a bow and arrow or how to tie a fly-fishing lure.
Along with learning unique skills for which they would otherwise not have had the opportunity, these students learn the importance of following instructions, to understand and apply safety rules, and how difficult goals can be reached by patient step-by-step self-application.
These lessons take on a broader and deeper meaning when they see Rusty, with a metal pincer replacing his right hand, creating intricate fishing lures with thread and feathers or notching an arrow to bowstring and hitting his target dead-on bulls eye.
The sense of accomplishment these students have achieved in these courses will stay with them for a long time, as will their experience with this one-of-a-kind mentor.
Some of the student comments about Rusty’s courses and what he has done for them:
- Lexi: He is really nice because he is teaching us how to do archery.
- Shera: Rusty is really talented and he is a nice person to teach how to do archery and fly tying.
- Hailey: He’s really nice, because some grown ups yell at people but Rusty helps people out.
- Tyler: I love the things he does for us.
- Wyatt: I don’t know him well but I would like to know him more.
- Zach: It’s amazing how he can shoot a bow & arrow with one arm.
4-H Partners with Maine Farmland Trust with Agriculture Exhibit
Waldo County 4-H Program provided a 4-H Exhibit in Belfast at the Maine Farmland Trust for over a month.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
RESEARCH & EDUCATION
In 2011, Rick Kersbergen continued his research 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. Research plots were again planted on fields throughout Waldo County. This project is also focused on reducing erosion and pollution caused by excessive nutrient applications. In 2011, one field day and two central Maine workshops were held with farmers from throughout the state expressing interest in shifting production techniques to no-till corn silage production. For 2011, it is estimated that over 2000 acres of corn were planted using tools and ideas generated from this project. Windgate Farm (Jeff and Penny Stevens) in Thorndike were recognized as the Waldo County Outstanding Conservationists for their adoption of no-till and cover crop practices on their farm.
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 2011, 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.
Rick Kersbergen and fellow researchers from the University of Maine completed the Maine dairy cost of production by collecting economic performance data from 40 farms throughout the state, including quite a few in Waldo County. This data was used by the Maine Legislature and the Maine Milk Commission to establish tier pricing as part of the Maine Dairy Stabilization Program. This program of data collection is now being adopted by other New England States.
Waldo County Extension Educator Helps Assess Maine’s Agricultural Future – 2025
Despite renewed public interest in local food production, many young people do not see a future in farming. Volatile energy pricing and climate change increase uncertainty. UMaine Extension’s John Jemison was granted a UMaine Trustee Professorship to study Assessing Maine’s Agricultural Future -2025. Waldo County’s Extension educator Jane Haskell was instrumental in designing the process to gather input and hear what young Maine farmers thought about the future of agriculture in Maine. Project objectives involved learning about farmers’ optimistic and pessimistic views about the future of agriculture, assessing farmers’ views of the effect of climate change and volatile energy pricing on farm decision making, identifying specific needs of young farmers and using information to chart direction for UMaine Extension and the University of Maine Research Station. From late fall 2010 through to spring 2011, fifteen focus groups from around the state, including two held in Waldo County, gathered data from commodity specific sessions (potato, blueberry, dairy, etc.), mixed farmer sessions (trade shows, farmers’ markets, etc), consultants and a Native American community. Ten questions revealed key positive and challenging points that were economic in nature, skill sets based needs or lifestyle oriented. Implications of this study can inform Extension programming and Research direction, volunteer development and public policy (increasing the amount of Maine’s food being produced in Maine).
Rick Kersbergen organized and taught a seven-week class at Senior College at the Hutchinson Center. This class, focused on food self reliance, was designed for beginning home gardeners wanting to produce more of their own food. Over 25 “seniors” participated in the class.
Rural Living Day
For the 18th year, Rural Living Day was moved to Mount View High School with amazing success! Participants were treated to 18 different workshops. This fundraiser facilitated the scholarship award of $500 to Ben Bucklin of Belmont.
Tractor Safety Courses
This is the 22nd 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 2011, 14 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.
Corn Silage Variety Trials
The Waldo County office coordinates the annual corn silage variety trials. In 2011, trials were conducted in Clinton, Maine with 40 varieties planted in replicated trials. This program is now funded with support from Maine Corn Seed dealers. Results can be found at www.umaine.edu/waldo/files/2010/01/Silage-Trial-Report-2011-12-13.pdf
Rick Kersbergen serves on several state organizations and holds leadership roles. He has served on the State Nutrient Management Review Board since 2000. He serves 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
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 2011 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. Maine Farmland Trust is also an active partner with Extension.
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 2011. 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 http://umaine.edu/livestock/mgfn/.
Maine Farmland Trust also partnered with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to facilitate the transfer of farms to “new generation” producers through the farm-link program.
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 serves 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, in 2011. Rick is a cooperating member in the Department of Animal and Veterinary Science at the University of Maine.
Jane Haskell holds a leadership role in developing internet based learning environments for the new national Enhancing Rural Capacity Team.
Small Business Program
Current or potential Waldo County business owners participate in the 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 program are:
- Workshops – two to four are offered on different topics throughout the year
- Publications – 20 different business management fact sheets are available in print and online
- Cashing in on Business Opportunities – a free online educational curriculum.
Extension Helps Waldo County Obtain Arts Grant to Support Economic Development
Our Town Belfast (A Main Street Community) executive director Dorothy Havey asked if Extension could help the local arts community assess if it had the necessary assets, interest and skills to apply for a Maine Arts Commission one year Creative Economy = Economic Development Grant. The assembled artists arrived at their Top Ten Talking Points to illustrate how the area “is an unpretentious, resilient working arts and culture mecca with a unique character … that serves a rural county with cultural resources that are vibrant, diverse, locally-driven, community supported …” As Alan Crichton, Board President of Waterfall Arts said, “Extension’s professional facilitation … made the process clear and accessible to all … with growing confidence toward our site visit (by the Maine Arts Commission).”
The result of work facilitated by Extension was that Belfast Creative Coalition, comprised of the City of Belfast, Waterfall Arts and Our Town Belfast receiving one of two very competitive $50,000 grants through the Maine Arts Commission’s Creative Communities = Economic Development (CCED) grant program.
Havey said that the coalition epitomizes the grant’s intent, which is designed to support dialogue and partnership between municipalities, businesses and the cultural sector regarding economic development. The Belfast Creative Coalition will use the grant funding to bring together arts, cultural partners and economic partners to brand and market the greater Belfast community as a place for vibrant arts, culture and local foods.
2011 Business Workshops Address Record Keeping and Pricing
On the ground business management topics such as record keeping and pricing are critical when it comes to running your small or home-based business. During 2011, 22 people with businesses ranging from woodworking, flavored butters, accounting, cheese-making and clothing alterations took advantage of four workshops. Participants routinely report that they keep better records and learn more about other business aspects of their businesses after taking these workshops.
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
- Customer service
- Pricing and more
- Business assist organizations
- Lending agencies
- Trade associations
- Surviving tough times
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 2011, nearly 40 Maine residents were trained with Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills (SYFS).
Over 300 people have attended a 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 advocate for collaboration and recognize that it does not mean only sacrifice; it means a better foundation for the work
¨ I am able to elicit participation and conversation
¨ I am able to move the energy or challenges of groups to positive outcomes for my community
Collaborative Leadership Programs
Extension in Waldo County 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.
Mid-Coast Leadership Academy, hosted by UMaine Hutchinson Center, partnered with Extension to have the current leadership cohort examine how they balance work and planning time.
The Island Institute had Extension work with its nine 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.
Mid-coast Magnet, guided by Extension’s help, launched a six-month leadership-strengthening project for its board of directors in support of innovative projects that foster creativity, livability and economic vitality.
The Board of Directors of the American Folk Festival wanted to continue to offer a quality experience to the tens of thousands who attend the annual festival. Extension helped design and train focus group leaders to get solid, useful data from volunteers, vendors, artists, funders and city employees (police) to strengthen the 2011 festival.
Extension trained 12 citizens to facilitate panels for Juice 3.0, Maine’s creative economy conference that is offered every other year.
Trained citizen facilitators are partnering, mentoring and working in our communities
- Local fisheries group
- A town library
- Our Town Belfast and Unity College
- Leadership development with Mid-coast Magnet
- Transition Times
- Town officials
- VISTA staff development
One Citizen Facilitator Story
“The most immediate benefit of the facilitation training helped our nonprofit create meetings where we could discuss the often-controversial topic of allowing charter schools in Maine. During the nine months (that) we held meetings across the State of Maine with many different groups, we spoke with supporters and opponents alike. The skills I learned proved to be invaluable as we worked to create an atmosphere of trust and respect with all the stakeholders. We have done a great deal of work in furthering the knowledge of school choice for students and families with the help of this valuable educational component [facilitation] to the public.
A supervisor says of two people who took facilitation training:
“I am glad they got to take facilitation training. They both are gaining from it personally, and I am seeing its benefits in their new roles as VISTA leaders. They put on a training for 22 new VISTA members that included an overview of facilitation and the new VISTAs actually got to practice those new skills. The new VISTAs, in their monthly reports said it was one of the most useful topics and trainings they attended. We are now looking to build on what was developed by the two of them to create an annual training for our new members.”
Waldo County Extension Homemakers
Extension Homemakers are volunteers that have 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.
Extension Homemaker group members help to extend the resources of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension into their communities through educational opportunities and service projects. Members generally meet several times throughout the year [often monthly], participate in educational programs, and identify community projects they want to support.
As local members, 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. In addition, all members have the opportunity to learn with others, make friends, and contribute to their community and county. They gain leadership skills and are able to share interests and talents with others.
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, work in cooperation with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to offer public educational programs through the Cabin Fever Reliever Program, Quilt Days, or other educational events throughout the year, and award a scholarship to a worthy Waldo County 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.
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
Local Salaries and Benefits
Prorated Support from UMaine*
Computer Equipment & Networking
Statewide Animal Diagnostic Lab
Prorated Support from UMaine* reflects 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.
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.
A sampling of programs that have statewide and local importance
• No-till Corn Production Reduces Energy Costs for Farmers: UMaine Extension and Extension partners from Vermont and Massachusetts collaborated to establish and demonstrate fuel and nutrient efficient methods to grow silage corn. Research projects with 14 cooperating farmers on more than 840 acres of silage corn planted using no-till production techniques resulted in increased yields and quality over their conventionally tilled corn fields. Due to the minimized use of time and fuel, these 14 farms collectively saved $42,000 in fuel, labor, and equipment costs by reducing tillage operations. This equates to an average of $50/ acre, or an average of $3,000 per farm.
• Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition: UMaine Extension has collaborated with the National Institutes of Health and partners throughout Maine to implement We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition!). Innovative science-based programs have been offered to encourage parents, caregivers, and children to increase physical activity, improve eating habits, understand food marketing, and reduce time spent watching television and playing video games. As a result, Maine youth engaged in thousands of hours of physical activity during 2011. Analysis using established averages of $4,000/person/year in savings when obesity and overweight is postponed for only one year, and assuming a success rate of between 10 and 20 percent, establishes that between $1.2 million and $2.4 million was saved in health associated costs overall as a result of participation with We Can! The project received national recognition as a model for successful collaboration between the National Institutes of Health and UMaine Extension.
• Maine Maple Producers Trade Show: There are 332 licensed maple syrup producers in the state of Maine who produced over 360,000 gallons of syrup, a value in 2011 of over $13 million. Based on producer needs, UMaine Extension and the Maine Maple Producers Association developed and instituted the first annual Maine Maple trade show. The three-day event consisted of sugarhouse tours, industry and equipment displays, and a day of technical sessions featuring industry experts. Attendees found the event useful to them in improving their knowledge of production in ways that would improve their business, and many predicted they would make changes as a result of what they learned that would help them to be more efficient, save money and increase profits.
•Food Safety Education for Families and Commercial Food Producers: Each year 48 million people in the United States become ill from eating adulterated food. In Maine, food safety risks exist from home food preparation and preservation, people serving crowds, and in retail and commercial food sales. UMaine Extension provides food safety training programs that include food preservation, cooking for crowds, general food safety for the home, industry food sanitation, and certification for meat, poultry, and seafood producers. We estimate that more than 50,000 consumers of home prepared and preserved food, and those attending public and community events have a reduced potential to contract foodborne illness due trainings provided by our food safety program. Further, more than 500,000 statewide, national, and international consumers of food produced by New England-based retail and commercial food businesses have a reduced potential to contract foodborne illness as a result of trainings provided by our food safety program. These results are decreasing the occurrences of foodborne illness and increasing overall health in Maine and wherever Maine foods are sold and consumed.
•4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET): 4-H SET programs in Maine provide youth with hands-on learning experiences to develop passions that will help to prepare the next generation of scientist-leaders. In 2011 Maine 4-H youth completed more than 14,000 projects, many of which were integrated within communities to address local problems.
In one example, during the first year of our Tech Wizards program, teams of students are helping build underwater submersible robotic vessels based on a design by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The robots seek out invasive aquatic plant species that are threatening Maine’s lakes and waterways – especially Eurasian Milfoil which has caused millions of dollars in damage and mitigation expense in Maine. Youth then use the DASH (diver assisted suction harvester) boat and remove the invaders.
•The Fundamental Tradition of the Maine Homemakers: The Maine Extension Homemakers Program is a Maine tradition. For decades Maine Homemakers have been engaged in strengthening communities through support for worthy community causes.
During 2011 more than 700 Maine Extension Homemakers in 10 counties offered community education programs in areas such as food safety, personal safety, nutrition and health, gardening and the environment, financial planning, consumer issues, family relationships, and cultural and creative arts. At the same time they were actively donating their time, money, and materials to improve the lives of community members. Extension Homemakers have improved the quality of life in their communities by volunteering more than 18,900 hours, the estimated dollar value of which was over $320,000.
• Signs of the Seasons: Climate change is affecting the environment around us. In order to fully understand these changes scientists need as much data as possible. Signs of the Seasons is a program of UMaine Extension and Maine Sea Grant, and with other Maine-based partners is part of an international effort to train citizens to observe and record the seasonal timing of life cycle events to build a comprehensive database of information for scientists. We are coordinating a network of Master Gardeners, 4-H youth, coastal groups, and citizens who are adding to the body of scientific knowledge related to phenology, the scientific study of seasonal changes. This knowledge will allow Maine to be better prepared to adapt to environmental changes to keep our agricultural, economic, and cultural prosperous.
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.