FFN Meeting May 20, 2015 – Hosted By Cherry Capital Foods

Network Council Business Meeting Agenda

May 20, 2015   10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

Cherry Capital Foods – 1610 Barlow Street

  1. Introductions
    • In Attendance: Bill Palladino, Tricia Phelps, Heather Ratliff, Meghan McDermott, Brian Bourdages
    • Via Video Conference: Sharron May, Wendy Wieland, Scott Smith, Helen Leithauser.
    • Newcomers: Les Hagaman – Father Fred Foundation looking forward to having a presence here. Stuart Campbell – Perennial Farm & Garden Nursery, business entity interested in connecting.

View the full meeting as recorded through our Zoom online meeting system here:


Download the full PDF document here: FFNMinutes_05_20_ 2015 or to read it online…

  1. Grants Reporting
    1. New Grants Received
      1. Nothing to report
    2. Grant Opportunities
      1. Value-Added Producer Grant with a deadline of July 3rd or 7th (electronic or paper)
      2. Workshop at Grow Benzie hosted by Wendy & USDA Rural Development Rep
        1. Working Capital needs, no hard costs
  • Grant Opportunities that fund producers from co-ops. Steve Nance talked with Valerie Handie at USDA on Cass Street. New to the position.
  1. re-granting , more information to come
  2. MSU Product Center has technical assistance staff to help producer co-ops to develop
  3. Don’t even have to be involved in food & agriculture
  • Due diligence to see if this is the right structure for them
  1. New Website for Food & Farming Network – Please give us your feedback,foodandfarmingnetwork.org
    1. It’s easier to read & easy to find
    2. Bill, Heather, & Tricia have access to make changes
    3. We can manage a tiered level of admins, editors, etc.
    4. Sharon May mentioned that it falls in nicely with the need she mentioned last month for a mechanism to share information & events
    5. Now an Event Feedback Form
    6. easy to use, submit your events this way!
    7. We should make easy connections to Petoskey’s network, etc.
    8. We need to market the website, SHARE it!
    9. every blog post is automatically shared to facebook, etc.
    10. Write a press release to include the report, and direction to the new website
  1. Project Task Force Reports

Introduction and reminder of task force roles

We decided to focus attention on how the business meeting works. We really want to drive the meeting with the objectives & task forces. We have a need to attach a body to be accountable and responsible for the management of these goals and objectives. With a body attached to each goal, this can be an efficient operation

FFN Overall Goal

  1. Farmers supply 20% of purchases (Tricia Phelps)
    1. Dollars in sales will be the measurement, Bill & Heather will develop a page with measurement descriptions for each goal.
  2. Institutions source 20% (Heather Ratliff)
    • Need to identify the gap
  3. Agri-business generation (Wendy Wieland)
    1. Gap analysis is make or break for agri-businesses. Wendy will contact people working on this goal, to scan the work and make sure we’re not duplicating, but enhancing efforts. Have funders informing this work.
  4. 100% access to ample, high-quality, healthy, and culturally diverse diet (Meghan McDermott)
    1. Kris Thomas’ study is a great starting point, what do we need to address to get to that goal of 100%? Individuals from the FFN will be working with the Health Department to put Kalkaska Farmers Market on the fast track to getting Double Up Food Bucks this year. Meeting scheduled for June 4th. Friendship Center is increasing its purchasing of local food to feed it’s senior residents.
  5. Farmland resources are available and affordable (Brian Bourdages)
    1. Brian talks about how this task force has been successful in the past and how they can be an example. The group broke the goal out piece by piece, decided what the measurements would be, and determined where the gaps were. We have the framework in place and now we’re in the data collection phase. Numbers of MAEAP verified farms, number of acres of farmland protected, etc. The good news is we’ve come to consensus about how we’re going to move forward.

General Comments Regarding Network Task Forces

  1. The work needs to be done outside this room and report back. The job description of each task force leader is:
    • Communicate at least once a month with key network members, groups, and organizations working to accomplish the objective assigned.
    • Convene occasional group meetings/discussion on the objective.
    • Gather intelligence as to what’s going on toward reaching the objective.
    • Prepare to report out at the bi-monthly business meetings.  (Approximately five times a year.)
    • Come with suggestions for action that network members can take toward accomplishing objective.
    • Prepare a short report to present as part of the summit each year (spring)
  1. New Vista person won’t be around until July. Interviews and hiring slated for week of May 27.
  2. Recruitment/Outreach —Looking for someone to take on this role of outreach to new members.
    • How are we keeping folks engaged?
    • We don’t want to waste their time, but keep them involved
    • How are we keeping engaged in other meetings? —Farm Bureau
    • Encourage our area farmers to engage and attend them?
  3. Resetting Network Mission Goals & Objectives for 2016
  • A lot of discussion offline that there are items missing in our goals & objectives. Now we have this bank of knowledge, how might we retool the goals so that they better serve our region.
  • A worthy exercise to take on as a group. Certainly in favor of the spirit of these goals, they need to be inspirational, but the metrics need to make sense. We could do a better job at being realistic & achievable.
  • We as a Network may have a broader contribution to the state level with our work on these goals thus far.
  • A visioning piece would be a great tool, what do we look like if we’re successful?
  • Lets take the summer to think about it and then regroup for a thoughtful meeting.
  1. Scheduling
    • June- Potluck, Social Networking, End of the Year event?
    • Oryana & Sharron May will help
    • July & August will be off for official meetings
    • We will stay engaged via email and the blog
  1. Other Business
    • Submit your own blog posts of 300 words and a picture!
    • Consider rescheduling meetings? T
      • Think about this over summer.
      • Is this the best day? — start back up in September
  1. Adjourn
  • The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 AM. A small group participated in an informal tour of CCF’s new facility.

Compiled by Tricia Phelps

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