Extension Council Minutes
September 11, 2017 Extension Council Minutes
The meeting was called to order by Doug Harlan at 6:31 p.m.
Those present: Dave Mills, Chuck Fay, Meggan Holt, Ray Spencer, Betsy Barnick, Jo Bauer, Janell Baum Thomas, Stephanie Block, Maria Robertson, Zach Howell, Kristi Pyatt and Robin Stapf. Also present: Doug Harlan, Doug Gucker, Amy Leman, Candice Hart and Staci Coussens.
Introductions by the group.
The minutes from the May 2017 were read. Stephanie Block made a motion to accept the minutes. Ray Spence made a second. Motion passed.
Doug talked about the role of the Extension Council. He explained about the Council’s advisory role in regard to needs identification and program planning.
The Council voted to continue to meet on the second Monday of the month in September, November, March and May. The November meeting will be in Macon, March in Dewitt, May in Piatt. Those meeting will start at 6:30.
Doug passed out a description of and a link to the state’s Open Meetings Act training. He explained that each council member was required to take this training within 90 days on their first meeting. Doug asked the council members to send him an email once they had completed the training.
Doug gave a description regarding the various accounts that combine to make up the Unit’s fiscal report. He explained how each account functions to support the Unit’s programming. He provided the council with the July 2017 fiscal reports for Macon, Dewitt, and Piatt. He also provide the council with a budget update regarding state funding of the County Board Match (CBM). The budget passed in July gave Extension full funding. However, the budget included wording which stated “No GRF monies could be moved into the IL Department of Ag Line.” Extension is funded out of the IDOA line. The result is that Extension if funded, but the funding mechanism has been removed. Doug did state that there is $5 million ear marked for Extension in the budget, but Extension does not know anything about it.
The Council nominated the following slate of officers:
Chuck Fay – Chairman
Dave Mills – Vice Chairman
Jo Bauer – Secretary
Stephanie Block made a motion to accept the slate of officers. Ray Spencer seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Update to signature authority: Because of Sherry Fulton’s retirement, the council needed to approve new signature authority for the DeWitt County In and Out account. Doug recommended the following individuals have signature authority:
Dewitt: Doug Harlan, Candice Hart, Kim Gibbons and Meggan Holt
This was approved.
Doug discussed with the Extension council the pros and cons of hiring a replace educator for Sherry Fulton’s position. He stated that Amy Leman had assumed some of Sherry’s duties including coordinating the DeWitt and Piatt County 4-H Community Workers, ensure both DeWitt and Piatt County’s 4-H programs run efficiently and all program requirements are met, answering question and conducting program planning for DeWitt and Piatt Counties. Doug explained the fiscal issues with replacing Sherry’s position. He stated that while the Unit currently has the funding available, he was not confident that the Unit would start receiving state funding again. He also told the council that although the Unit was receiving additional federal dollars to supplement the loss of state funding, those dollars would run out in 2020. After further discussion with Amy and the council, Doug asked the council if they would support hiring another 4-H/Youth Development Educator. The council’s yes was unanimous.
Doug explained the four program areas represented in the Unit – AG – Local Food Systems and Small Farms, Horticulture, 4-H and Youth Development and Nutrition and Wellness.
Personnel Update: Doug told the council that Vasthi Schwarz the Unit’s new Master Gardener EPC started on August 16th. He told them that Melissa Hilligoss, the new SNAP-Ed Community Worker, started on September 5th. He said that all program support positions have been filled.
Program Highlight-4-H/Youth Development-Amy Leman: Amy led a 4-H activity for the council. She had council members use cooper tape to create a 4-H STEAM experiment. The council members use the tape, a small light and a battery to make the eye of a paper monster light up.
Doug Gucker: Went over his report in the council binder. Doug discussed his increase in questions and technical assistance calls.
Amy: Had a busy summer. Farm Progress Show was a success. Her complete report was included in the council binders.
Caitlin: Sent in her report in the form of a video and power point presentation. Here is the link to the video report https://uofi.box.com/s/fwkcgb41amw9qmptlmnru6fwcmd32gge.
Candice provided the council with her report. She highlighted the Master Gardener classes which will be returning to the Decatur Women’s Prison. This year they are going to focus on Hydroponics. Her report was included in the binders.
Staci Coussens: Staci explained what the SNAP-Ed program was to the council. She explained that this was grant funded position that was new to the Unit. She explained her role as a SNAP-Ed educator. She also went over her written report which was in the council binders.
With no other business, Ray Spencer motioned to adjourn the meeting and Betsy Barnick seconded the motion. The motion passed. The meeting adjourned at 8:02 pm. Next meeting is November 13th at 6:30 p.m.at the Macon County Office.