Extension Council Minutes
November 13, 2017 Council Minutes
The meeting was called to order by Chuck Fay at 6:36 p.m.
Those present: Dave Mills, Chuck Fay, Meggan Holt, Ray Spencer, Kathleen Bell, Kristi Pyatt, Janell Baum-Thomas, Stephanie Block, Maria Roberston, Zach Howell, Anne Preston, and Robin Stapf.
Also present: Doug Harlan, Amy Leman, Doug Gucker, Candice Hart, Staci Coussens and Caitlin Huth.
The September 2017 minutes were presented. Ray Spencer made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted. Kristi Pyatt seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Fiscal Update: Doug provided the Council with an update regarding the State County Board Match payment. He told the Council that no information was available regarding when we could expect payment on the County Board Match money. He also said that the extra $5 million that was appropriated in the budget for Extension had been cut by the Governor.
Doug told the Council that the Extension Business Office had informed County Directors to expect to receive no state money again this year. He said that this will be the third year in a row of receiving no state money. Kathleen Bell asked Doug how the Unit was able to still being doing so well financially. Doug told the Council that they were receiving $325,000 of federal Smith-Lever dollars which is supplementing the lost state money. He did say that the federal money would run out in 2020. He is very concerned that Extension does not have a funding plan past 2020 if state money continues to be cut.
Doug asked the Council members to call the Governor’s office and demand that Extension be given the money that was appropriated for it.
Personnel Update: Doug told the Council that Jamie Boas, the current Youth Development Educator in the Champaign Unit, would be transferring into our Unit effective January 2, 2018. Jamie will be filling Sherry Fulton’s position. She will be working out of the Piatt County office, but covering both Piatt and DeWitt Counties.
Programming Needs: Doug went over the Council’s role in assisting with the identification of programming needs in the Unit. He asked for ideas regarding issues or areas in which the staff might begin planning educational programs.
Amy brought up her work with the Decatur School District’s Juvenile (Teen) Justice program (formerly known as Teen Court). She is working with the District to turn this program into a 4H Leadership program. The program using the Rising Star Curriculum. Robin Stapf said that she was very interested in getting more information. She would like to use this in Champaign for her work with the schools there.
Underserved audiences: Doug led a discussion regarding identification of underserved audiences in the Unit. He said that the Unit staff and the Council had spent a great deal of time in the identification of underserved audiences for which programming was not being addressed or offered. Currently, the Council felt that all underserved audiences had been identified. Chuck Fay did have a question about socio-economic audiences. He wanted to know if Extension could provide programming to help this group of individuals improve the socio-economic status. Doug explained the programs offered by Consumer Economic Educators and Family Life Educators. Chuck also asked about contacting teachers from the high schools, Millikin or the U of I to provide additional programming/training. Doug said that he would have to look into this.
Candice Hart: Candice led the Council through a short activity which demonstrated how different bug eat. She uses this activity in working with youth. The activity used M & M’s and had the Council members trying to eat the candy in a way that bugs would have to eat their meal.
Candice also highlighted her Horticulture programming using a power point presentation.
Doug Gucker: Doug highlighted the Farm to Table Dinner he sponsored. The dinner featured foods from three local farms and had 27 people attend.
Amy Leman: Amy discussed how she is changing her SPIN (Special Interest) Club program. SPIN Clubs are short-term (up to 6 weeks) clubs. They meet 6 times and are designed to reach youth who do not want to participate in a tradition year- long 4H Club and have not participated in 4H. Currently, our SPIN Clubs are primarily attended by traditional 4H Club members, because they are interested in the specialized topics covered by the SPIN Club. She is now creating separate short-term clubs just for current 4H Club members. She will be focusing on outreach to new non-4H Club members to fill different other short-term clubs. This will allow her to assess the effectiveness of reaching new 4H audiences with SPIN Clubs.
Additionally, Amy discussed the 4H Honey Bee Challenge. She told the Council that Macon County has a goal of conducting 14 of these classes in the schools. Both DeWitt and Piatt County have goals of conducting 6 classes. The ultimate goal is to spark interest in 4H with new audiences and create new 4H Clubs.
Staci Coussens: Staci told the Council about her work with the Salvation Army and Water Street Mission in Decatur. Staci is working with these agency’s Homeless Shelters to review and improve their meal menus. She is the first Educator in the state to do this type of work.
Caitlin Huth: Went over her submitted report.
With no other business, Ray Spencer motioned to adjourn the meeting and Maria Robertson seconded the motion. The motion passed. The meeting adjourned at 7:55 pm. Next meeting is March 12th at 6:30 p.m.at the Dewitt County Office.