10 people present, 6 female and 4 male, including 2 children under 18 (statistics collected for required reporting to Heifer Project International)
The main work of this meeting was to create committees to carry out the work of the various projects outlined in the grant funded by Heifer International and the NCFN by-laws.
* Committees may consist of generally three people
* Committees will meet in addition to regular organizational meetings to carry out their work
* Committees will create their own proposed guidelines to be presented to the larger group at organizational meetings, following NCFN by-laws and grant guidelines
* Committees will report to the larger group at regular organizational meetings
The following committees were chosen:
o Contacts/Member list
o Member benefits
* Chore Swap/Work Bee
A Steering Committee consisting of the two Chapter Board Representatives (Jim Ryan and Giovanna Cracchiolo), the Chapter Treasurer (Helen Banevicius) and the Chapter Coordinator (Dawn Hancy) will help to interpret the NCFN by-laws and budget to guide the other committees.
Please see the attached chart of proposed responsibilities of each committee. And please feel free to join one of them – these projects are currently funded and ready to roll – we need your help to truly make the Network work!
Organizational issues discussed…
* NCFN Board: The Board is scheduled to meet next in January 2009 and will review and vote on by-laws at that time. In the meantime, Giovanna will send the most recent by-laws to Dawn, who will make them available on the website along with minutes from meetings.
* Meetings: Chapter organizational meetings will be held on the 3rd Thursday each month at locations to be determined. Programs will be held seasonally as appropriate.
* Procedures: While we clearly need to continue to create policy and procedures that will work for us, we discussed the following as a start. Proposals will be presented by committees or individuals to the group present at any meeting. Proposals will be accepted unless there is an objection, which will then be considered. This follows the principles of decision-making by consensus rather than majority vote, and is intended to foster a sense of cooperation, trust and responsibility as opposed to competing factions or unbalanced individual power. Brainstorming is a different step in this process, when all opinions and ideas are welcomed for consideration before creating a specific proposal. A workshop on consensus and decision-making could be helpful and interesting!
* Accounts: Helen will set up accounts for NCFN purchases so that committee members will be empowered to order equipment and invoices will be sent to Helen as Treasurer.
* Bank statements that were being sent to Lorraine are now being sent to Helen Banevicius, Treasurer for Washington/Orange.
Updates on projects & programs…
* Chore swap network: Chuck Mitchell, Representative from Caledonia/Orleans Chapter and President of the NCFN Board and Jim Ryan, Washington/Orange Representative and Vice President of the NCFN Board met with Amy Shollenberger from Rural Vermont to discuss hiring a Rural Vt. intern to set up software for a chore swap/barter program for NCFN.
* Grain bin: It was recently determined that there is an electrical auger with the grain bin that NCFN purchased for the Washington/Orange Chapter so the parties that were interested in hosting the bin will be contacted again to determine whether they can accommodate the electrical hook-up.
* Canning: LACE (Local Agricultural Community Exchange, Barre) will be hosting a community canning event. NCFN members in Vershire are interested in a group canning workshop as well. Perhaps the two events will be combined, or will at least support and complement the other.
Other items of interest…
* Poultry: Networking with the Vermont Bird Fanciers was suggested since many NCFN members are interested or engaged in raising poultry.
* Garden pest tips:
o Copper repels slugs, though it is an expensive commodity right now.
o Muscovy ducks take care of snails and slugs.