2009 Meeting Minutes

March, 2009 (coming soon)
May, 2009 (coming soon)
July 24, 2009
September 15, 2009
November 6, 2009
____________________________________________________________
July 24, 2009

 Third Meeting Minutes, Richmond, VA

ATTENDEES: 

Mike Foreman, DCR
Eric Bendfeldt, VCE, Facilitator
Matt Benson, VCE, Co-Facilitator
Melvin Atkinson, City of VA Beach
Spencer Neale, VFBF
Katherine Smith, VABF
Christy Gabbard, Land Care
Molly Harris, Richmond Food System Council (Alternate)
Libby Oliver, Consumer
Glen Sink, Center for Rural VA
Michael Van Ness, Lynchburg Grows
Gordon Walker, Jefferson Area Bd. for Aging
Michael Waldmann, Society ofSt. Andrews,
Larry Zippin,  Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
Chris Carpenter, W&L Dining
Andrea Early, HarrisonburgSchools
Lynda Fanning, VA Dietetic Assn, Mtg Recorder

Pre-meeting and meeting handouts:

  • Second (April 24) Meeting Minutes
  • Draft Strategic Plan
  • Agenda for July 24 Meeting
  • Bylaws of Virginia Food System Council
  • Articles of  Incorporation
  • Updated Members List
  • Draft Virginia Food System Council Brochure
  • Sample Logos
  • Virginia Food System Council (Draft) Issue Brief
  • Virginia Food System Council Draft Budget
  • 2009 Virginia Rural Summit flyer
  • “Virginia’s Declining Agriculture in the Middle”, a bar chart
  • “Why Worry About the Agriculture of the Middle?” , a project white paper by F. Kirschenmann, et al.

Welcome and Brief Introductions

  • Review of Meeting Guidelines, consensus, and Robert’s rules.
  • Voted to adopt minutes of inaugural meeting as sent via e-mail.

Articles of Incorporation

  • For our organizational status and incorporation, Michael VanNess, serving as our “Registered Agent” and legal adviser,  prepared the Articles of Incorporation based on a draft of those inNew York andColorado.  Much of it is standard, boiler plate but requires two specifics:
    • an official address (we will for now use Michael’s mailing address/ physical address) and
    • a specific number of members (currently our Articles state “9-24”).
  • Discussion  for vote on “number of members”:
    • What if other groups want to come on board? There are many in Va.
    • “These considerations should be covered in the Bylaws”
    • “Need more distinction between the Council Members, also known as Board of Directors, and the Exec. Committee ( officers and a few members/possibly committee chairs; note that this group could expedite some decisions)
    • “From the original Working Group which evolved into the Council, members were invited based onrepresenting those groups which would have the most to say to our state government.  Beyond these groups are many “resource” individuals and groups.  We can call on them as needed.
    • “ Maximum number should be 24” which is what we have now.

MOTION:  Gordon Walker moved to hold to 9-24 members; Katherine Smith seconded, Motion carried.

MOTION;  Katherine Smith moved that Michael VanNess be our “Registered Agent”; Mike Foreman seconded.  Motion carried.

MOTION: Melvin Atkinson moved to accept the Articles of Incorporation, with the understanding of further legal review by Michael VanNess; Glen Sink seconded. Motion carried.

Draft Bylaws 

  • Discussion included:
    • “ These bylaws are compatible with the bylaws of the Farm Bureau and Agribusiness Council which represents the interests of producers, and they would like to be recognized as such per the last bullet of Section 2.03 “
    • Section 2.03, 3rd bullet, change to “To partner with and build the capacity of agencies……”
    • Section 2.03, last bullet, change to  “…communications channel  for and with existing…”
    •  Section 2.01,  change to “We envision a sustainable food system contributing to the health, economic vitality, and social well-being of “all Virginians”

CONSENSUS VOTE on name of organization:  Of all 18 members present, 16  “fully supported”( raised 3 fingers) and 2  “willing to support” .  The latter expressed desire for name of organization to be Food Policy Council instead of Food System Council.  Rationale was offered that we do more than policy; we also do much that is just “practical”.

  • It was decided that Article 3, re: change of contact address, should be totally omitted, and the Executive Committee given the authority to change contact address as appropriate.
  • Article 4 should be changed to expand our purpose to include more than charity and education…and to include policy.  Michael VanNess to rephrase that wording.
  • Article 5, Sect. 5.01 Still more discussion of the number of members along with the expressed desire or the group to both maintain flexibility as the Council evolves but also to maintain the original intent as reflected in the choice of current members.  SO, discussed keeping the second paragraph which lists the specific core member organizations by name OR changing to the “original group is composed of these core members and will be maintained as long as commensurate with our mission”? OR  simply adding “ these members are subject to change at the will of the council”? OR that “membership is what’s necessary to fulfill the Mission and Vision.”  Per Mr. VanNess, since State agencies need to agree to this as well, the Infrastructure Committee will look at other bylaws and adjust this approximate wording:

The Virginia Food System Council consists of 9-24 members chosen by the Council  to  represent, as evident in the initial/current membership list, the appropriate sectors/stakeholders of an evolving food system.

  • Still on membership, all members will sign the Bylaws, and per Mike Foreman no MOU needed, and if a member doesn’t sign, that position will be listed as “vacant”.
  • Section 5.05, Terms of Office discussed.  Per Mr. VanNess, terms of office may be a detriment.  Discussed the need for members who really want to serve beyond term limit, and yet the Council may sometimes need fresh minds or more commitment. Thus we set terms in order to evaluate but not be restricted by specific term limits.

MOTION:  Moved by Glen Sink that there be terms but no term limits with Infrastructure Committee to determine how that works.     Katherine Smith seconded.

Motion carried with one opposed.

  • Section 6.01 Add that Directors/Members serve without compensation.
  • Section 6.04.  Decided to include  the possibility of electronic or conference call meetings.
  •  Section 6.05 Quorum …  Decided that a Quorum consists of a majority of the Council members in person or by proxy at a properly called/scheduled meeting.  This language to be improved on by the Infrastructure Committee.
  • Section 7.01 Officers:  Officers will be no more than 8, with either 3 or 4 officers (3 if Sec. and Treas. are combined, and 4 if separate positions; others are Chair and Vice Chair) and the rest at large members, such as the Chairs of the committees most aligned with the Council’s priorities.
  • Infrastructure Committee will work on these Executive Committee details:
    • adding a designee for Sec/Treas. for grunt work per future budget
    • Limiting to 8members
    • Assuring that it is not a “parallel organization”
    • Defining its “powers”
    • Determining when it meets other than when the Board/Council meets

Press Release

Members discussed whether to do a press release; also how quickly we could finish Articles of Incorporation and get Bylaws ready in order to have a good basis for a press release.  The Bylaws will be finished by the Infrastructure Committee, sent to Michael VanNess who has the go-ahead to move forward, and then we all sign, perhaps electronically ?,  and launch the press release.  Judy Chambers had volunteered, and if she is not able, someone at VCE or VDACS will do so. Projected date for Press Release is Sept. 1.

Strategic Plan

Thanks to Mike Foreman for fleshing out the priorities/goals resulting from the committees in the format of a Strategic Plan.   Discussion included:

  • Whether the Council Goal to “ increase local food consumption to 15% by 2015” is feasible and how would it be measured
  • The need to engage more areas/pockets ofVa.,  more focus groups in various locations as in other states (NC).
  • Suggestion to measure how much local food stays in (is sold in) the state as opposed to consumed. Noted thatMichiganwent from 2% to 10 % in a 5 year timeframe. Need to come up with data points.  Matt will look at the literature; Gordon will look at the right measurements: distributors, direct sales, processing, more food hubs.  Noted that each

$1 spent on local food in the Farm to School Program generates $1.76 to $2.12, depending on whether urban or rural, to the local economy.  And that the stimulus $ that went to increase food stamps (SNAP) generates $1.76  in economic activity for each $1 spent. Need to look, for example, at how much beef ( milk, grain, etc.) is raised inVa.and then gets sent west; should be accessible info.  It was noted that farmers just want to sell 100%, whether local or distant. As for Strategic Plan goals, it was noted that we may achieve quicker success with more “low-hanging fruit.”

  • Christy will do a GANT chart with timelines to work on Council goals.
  • Goal 1, Objective 4:  Direct local purchase by schools.  Andrea reported a good meeting on July 23 by VCE/Matt and more info to come from that.  As for Strategy 1,  letter to all school district…she suggested it needs to come from the DOE written with VDACS to school officials, who would listen better to DOE… by end of August.

Infrastructure Committee’s Lunch Meeting Report:

The committee returned from its lunch discussion to recommend we list in  Bylaws Article 5  the original (current) list of member organizations and members.  However, after still more discussion,  the full group decided  to go for better flexibility as the Council evolves, and to omit the specific list of names with the intention of following precedent.  The term (Katherine’s) used to describe all this is “self-perpetuating” meaning the group ongoingly makes the decision of member makeup. Further, it was suggested that member organizations should  themselves “approve” their representative.

CONSENSUS for Article 5’s general description of the Council (not naming specific members in the Bylaws):  All but one of the  members present indicated “fully support”.

MOTION by Glen Sink, seconded by Katherine, for wording for Article 5:  The Virginia Food System Council, as launched in 2009, is a self-perpetuating entity capped at 24 members and also open to eliciting help or info from any needed resource persons to reach its stated mission and vision. KATHERINE, HELP!  To rephrase this. Vote was unanimous. Note that the designated initial Council/Board will be listed on the Articles of Declaration (?).

Education Committee Report

Sample logo designs were reviewed, thanks to Matt and Chris, though not enough time to make a final decision.  For first brochure can just use the words “Virginia Food System Council,” without a designed logo. The group liked the draft brochure, one questioned the food system circles design, but overall a good start to use at events in August and September.  Matt and Chris and Education Committee will fine-tune, send out to all members and it was decided that “No Response Gives Consent.”

Pilot Projects Committee

Mr. Waldman deferred to the many projects already outlined on the Strategic Plan.

Policy Committee

Glen Sink and Mike Forman:   In an effort to understand the legacy of Virginia Agriculture, Glen invited the group to send representatives to attend a Dialog Meeting before or during the 2009 Virginia Rural Summit on Sept. 14-15.  The intention is to:

  • Better integrate a systems approach
  • Convene a group who represent key organizations on the assumption that there is in fact a disjoint, a gap, real or perceived, between the emerging “sustainable” industry and the older conventional agriculture.
  • To look for common ground to help build this integration.
  • May include student engagement, also small business management, local economies, nutrition, energy, conservation, sustainable energy systems
  • Include appropriate legislators (Del. Ed Scott, Sen. Russ ?) with a strategy to achieve our vision and instigate their writing any needed legislation.
  • Has invited Sens. Webb and Warner, Sec. Vilsack and looking at inviting Under-Sec Kathleen Merrigan as speaker.
  • Envision a set of principles: sustainable integrated principles, given a broad comprehensive look at agribusiness and “local”.  Chris: might a topic like each planning district having a slaughter facility be a topic? Yes.
  • Spencer: if this is a dialogue, need to educate first, then have a dialogue.  Christy: needs to be well-thought-out, prepared.  Brian: A chance to put forward our voice unless we will be just “guests at the party” ;we need to be a voice for the Food System.   Glen: the Rural Ctr is not an authority; yes, you have a voice.  Spencer: The Va. Food System Council is a part of the dialog; “Food System” is part of the topic; we need to be a part of the discussion.  Also suggested inviting the new Dean of VT.  All were concerned about enough time to accomplish this good opportunity.

Group discussed a pre-conference meeting and may include our own next meeting at that time.  The Council would in fact co-sponsor this dialog which would be an opportunity to speak as an organization.

CONSENSUS:  All members present gave full support to participating in theRuralCenter’sSummit.

Research Committee

Spencer:   Also deferred to Mr. Foreman’s Strategic Plan for now; lots of options for websites; may useConnecticut’s Food Assessment’s model.

Miscellaneous

  • Some members have expressed difficulty using the Collab  site.  This will be investigated.
  • Paying for Articles of Incorporation, cost: $100.
    • Since funds/a budget are in the future, the members present passed a basket toward this cost. The meeting Recorder  is holding the resulting stash of $73. with more promised, which may be mailed to Lynda Fanning, 1401 River Oaks Ridge, Charlottesville, VA 22901; she will write a check to Michael Van Ness and hold any excess  till needed.
    • Thanks again to Spencer whose coverage of lunch eased the way for these donations.

Upcoming Events:

  • EnvironmentalSummitinLynchburgAugust 27-28.  “Roll out” our existence with brochure (include statement from Sec. Bloxom?), Articles of Declaration, Bylaws, get member signatures?
  • 2009 Virginia Rural Summit, Sept. 14-15;  Dialog Session  proposed  on second day afternoon,  Sept 15, 1-5.
  • Washington and Lee Conference Sept. 30-Oct. 1
  • Potentially and if needed,  a fall Council meeting at Airlie Nov. 6

Eric, Matt, I didn’t know many details for these.

Respectfully submitted: L Fanning
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
September 15, 2009

Virginia Food System Council
4th Meeting Minutes, Lynchburg

Meeting held in Lynchburg Va after Rural summit.
The following persons were in Attendance: Andrea Early, Molly Harris, Katherine Smith, Eric Bendfeldt, Matt Benson, Mike Waldman, Michael Van Ness, Pablo Elliott, Spencer Neale, Don Loock, Scott Wood, Christopher Carpenter and Lynda Fanning.

1st Item – Reviewed , and passed minutes of previous meeting     Andrea/Mike VN.

VanNess – cleaned up articles of incorporation and made consistent the language in the articles so as to keep the legal issues at a minimum – once reviewed by all present – Motion to accept articles raised by MVN seconded by Katherine – passed by group – By Laws and Articles to be submitted – Christopher Carpenter will be the incorporator for the VFSC

A discussion of the directors qualifications and powers were discussed – no questions –Contact info of all directors needs to be given to Eric

In discussion: 5.04 meetings – can be held outside of Va. –take out Va. because not significant—we can have meetings out of state.

Sec. 5.03 –leave flexibility in original document –mike

Organizational Standards become standing rules as we work

Don Loock – leave document more open

5.09 shall instead will for legal reasons

6.01 –seems wordy but works – how to simplify –must have 3 officers

Michael submitted recommendation to form executive committee group—let’s finalize by laws then discuss EC.

Article 7 – ok

Article 8 ok

Article 9 ok

Lynda –motion to accept by laws accepted by group vote

Michael Van Ness  made a motion for the following slate of officers ( Eric Bendfeldt, Chair, Christopher Carpenter, Vice-chair, Lynda Fanning, Secretary, Katherine Smith, Treasurer, Spencer Neale, Mike Foreman, and Molly Harris as at-large members. After discussion, a motion to accept slate of officers for the Executive Committee as submitted with addition of Matt was accepted by group. By laws and articles passed and accepted by group vote.

Pablo invited group to meet Nov 6 at Airlie –with reception social after meet

Thoughts for decision makers –

  • Give data to them
  • obstacles and solutions
  • Vet  w/ stakeholder
  • Collaborate w/ delegates
  • Spencer – folks need to know what’s happening in state
  • Resources – what are they moving forward?
  • Need more education – counsel each region – audience/ stakeholders
  • Legislator doors are open
  • ¾ models for Va. School systems to look at in getting local foods

Next meet –update strategic plan – change timeframe

Joint resolution to establish VFSC presence
____________________________________________________________________________________________
November 6, 2009
VIRGINIA FOOD SYSTEM COUNCIL
5th Meeting Minutes, November 6, 2009, 10 AM – 2 PM
Airlie Center, Airlie, VA.

ATTENDEES:
Eric Bendfeldt, VCE, Facilitator
Chris Carpenter, W&L Dining, Co-Facilitator
Matt Benson, VCE
Melvin Atkinson, City of VA Beach
Spencer Neale, VFB
Katherine Smith, VABF
Rick Felker, Mattawoman Creek Farms
Don Loock, PEC
Christy Gabbard, Land Care (by phone)
Judy Chambers, International Food Policy Research Institute, Council Fundraising
Judy Berger for Gordon Walker, Jefferson Area Bd. for Aging
Pablo Elliot, Airlie Food Project
Molly Harris, Richmond Food System Council
Andrea Early, Harrisonburg Schools
Lynda Fanning, VA Dietetic Assn, Mtg. Recorder

Pre-meeting and meeting handouts:
• Council Meeting Minutes, Sept. 15, Lynchburg
• Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, Oct. 27, C’ville
• Agenda for Nov. 6 Meeting
• Certificates of Articles of Incorporation
• News Release of Virginia Food System Council
• Letter seeking Donations

Welcome, Brief Introductions, and Approval of Minutes
• Welcome to Airlie Conference Center by Host Pablo Elliott.
• Minutes clarified. Motion by Melvin, seconded by Spencer, and unanimous vote to adopt corrected minutes of Sept. 15 meeting.

Articles of Incorporation

  • Copies distributed of certificate of Articles of Incorporation as a 501©3 organization.

Bylaws

  • Have been finalized.  After drum roll by Pablo, the signature sheet was passed around to compile all Board of Directors’ signatures. Those not present are sending an online signature.

Joint Resolution

  • As at both the Rural Summit and the Executive Committee meeting, discussions continued re: a Joint Resolution with its list of “whereas’s” recognizing the existence and mission/priorities of the Council.   Points expressed:  include the value of Agriculture in the state, the value of more local commodities in the system, and in general moving our Council efforts in the same direction as those of Illinois, Michigan, also Montana, which reveal the value such a Council has brought to those states.
  •  For sponsors, Dels. Scott (Madison, Culpeper, andOrange(part) Counties) and Lohr (Harrisonburg, Rockingham Co.) remain in office, are on the Ag Committee, and are highly supportive.   Barry Knight fromVa.Beach, and Del Orrock (part of Caroline andSpotsylvaniaCounties) were suggested.
  • Point expressed: to involve whoever is our Patron (Del. Scott?) in choosing which of our priorities per our Mission Statement he would like to include in the Resolution, and how he would like the wording. Christopher has spent much time with Del. Scott and has sent him materials re: other states, so he is aware of the potential for greater revenue toVirginiavia a Food Plan, and he sees a Council as “integral”.

Call for Consensus:  The Council will seek to be recognized in the General Assembly via a Joint Resolution.

    • A unanimous “full support” carried.
  • ACTIONS:
    • Chris, Eric and other(s) as needed will meet with Del. Scott to discuss the content of the possible Joint Resolution.
    •  Spencer, Christopher, Charles Green, and Mike Foreman will draft the document within the next 3 weeks, keeping in mind that all bills are in by early December, and there is a limited number.
    • Eric, Chris, and Matt will draft a cover letter/talking points and build a packet for delegates.
    • Ultimately all the Board of Directors of the Council will take or send the packet to their own and/or other Delegates they have good relationships with.

Assessment and Food Plan

  • Also at the Rural Summit and at the Executive Committee Meeting, much discussion of  the need for an Assessment that would lead to a Food Plan, who to conduct it, and how to fund it, likely by Ken Meter at approximately $3000 for a bioregion of 8-9 counties, or $30-60,000 for the State.
    • In seeking funds we must apply to the IRS with a letter of determination to be able to go beyond $25,000, should we receive a grant.  Even with a 6-8 month time frame, we may bypass the wait if we indicate by letter that we have funds pending.
    • Blue Moon Fund in C’ville favors Sustainable Environmental projects and community planning that has big impact.  Has funded the Jefferson Area Board on Aging.  Request Gordon Walker to approach BMF.
    • Agua Fund, headed by Cecily Kihn, who called in to the meeting, is a family fund out of Washington, DC, focused on environment, conservation, land, water, food.  Last year helped the BFBL effort through RC&D with Kathy Holm. Her interest is in the Shenandoah Watershed and in the Ken Meter study.
    • The Harvest Fund, with a health focus, headed by Jeff Mansour, who called in to the meeting, located in the Danville area, (see description of this and other partner funders across the state in the Executive Committee minutes for Oct. 27.) Very interested in Food System on State level and as well in promoting food systems in areas or foodsheds. Also interested in economic “health”.
    • Kathy Holm of RC&D was quoted as saying the big questions for an assessment are: how much food is produced? How much is consumed in Va? and how much is exported?  Also who is doing the distributing, who is doing the processing?   Ken Meter has done about 45 studies, as “Local Foods as Economic Recovery”, and has worked with the LeopoldCenterin Iowa.  In ’07 he came and did a preliminary look at Virginia, noting that Virginians spent $15 billion on food, $8 billion at home and $7 billion eating “out”, with $9 billion now sourced outside the state that could be more local. Question: could this council develop a series of metrics as part of a Food System in Va.such as # of processing plants per county, # of community gardens per city, # of acres being lost, # of population increases, all providing a clearer picture of marketing opportunities.
    • Much of the assessment data for the different areas may be gathered by us, as in working with data from VDACS and other sources and alsogoing to the different areas and asking the questions.
    • Jeff’s advice: to first of all establish clearly the purpose, objectives, long-term goals of the Council: then a plan that identifies barriers but also presents potential solutions, what legislative or regulatory issues, both state and federal.  And what are the holes in the opportunities?  Be able to recognize opportunities that are out of our frame of view.  Ken Meter’s work goes more in the direction of opportunity vs what you have now and what is your cash flow.  So be sure to include opportunities.  May be different obstacles from region to region.  He’s interested in his local/regional (Danville) area for use of his fund and as well can also reach out to his peer funders on our behalf.  (Listed in Exec Comm. Minutes)
    • Point expressed: Since the Council already has a handle on barriers and obstacles, we will make recommendations to overcome them by doing policy audits per locality/city on development, on farming, on zoning.

Point expressed: Need to link up Ken Meter’s study with our goals, and get local communities to develop local agriculture with a snapshot: now vs. potential, then look at local template communities.  Per Melvin, we need to look at where Ag is in economic development. Is Ag part of the picture in signs that say “a Certified business opportunity.”  It was noted that in some areas there is a perception that farms/ag are not seen as strong in generating jobs and thus not an engine of economic development.

  • Jeff: His Foundations’s priorities for awarding funds is what helps the community, educates kids, improves nutrition, how sustainable is the effort, and who are you partnering with getting funds from? (In other words, don’t waste the $.)
  • Eric: Need to flesh out a skeletal proposal/concept paper for the Assessment, describing clear goals and opportunities and why they are important.
  • Per Jeff: The Mary Reynolds Babcock fund, a potential partner, would ask, “What will help bring families out of poverty. Our priority could be helping people to have access.  Also the issue: how use food as an economic engine to get out of poverty.  Again, need to agree on what we want to accomplish.
  • Cecily: suggested we talk to Anthony Flaccavento, and to Carl Stauber, CEO Danville Fund. who knows Ken Meter’s work.  After we settle on an outline of priorities, what we hope to achieve, how it will be done, its potential impact: obesity, diabetes, economic development opportunities, access to food, etc., then Jeff will pull together the funders.

Point expressed: need to be neutral, with no political agenda.  “We’re all about asking questions.” And then make sure the results of a state level assessment are made available and applicable to the local level, including “formulas” to help these local entities, whether food councils or Boards of Supervisors or cities or other organizations; to help them build their own  community’s resilience through economic development, improved health, and environmental stewardship

Funding Sources in Government

  • Judy Chambers, now with the International Food Policy Research Institute, encouraged our Council to be more of an ally, or show utility for, federal level interests, especially since our Council is now viable and “on the doorstep” of Wash. DC.   Deputy Sec. of Ag. Kathleen Merrigan’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” is coordinated by Luke? Knowles who has interest in our needs and with whom Judy has contact. Also through her meetings with Elizabeth Tuckermanty, of the Community Food Security Coalition we are encouraged to submit for grant funds. Judy listed several other contacts including  Gus Schumaker (on Board of the Paul Newman Fdn.); she encouraged the Council to plan organized visits with any or all above contacts to:
    •  establish personal connections,
    •  to offer our Council to be a state level template for national level interests,
    •  to target grant opportunities,
    •  to get direction re: the best fit under their portfolios for our priorities(soon to be clarified).

It would be helpful even though the grant applications are chosen by peer reviewers. .  July C noted too that through the Paul Newman Fdn there is a grant writer with a success rate of 80% and who specializes in local food…Suzanne Griegs?

Finally Lukas Knowles will be invited to attend our next Council meeting Feb. 5, 2010.

  • Judy B. announced a training inAlexandriafor grant recipients Nov. 18-19 if anyone is able to attend.  Let her know if there is anyone you wish her to share our info with.   She noted that through Wholesome Wave Foundation (Paul Newman) the grant for EBT card use in the C’ville Farmers’ Markets for $15,000 has been funded as well as $15,000 for A. Flaccavento’s organization and another $15,000 inSpotsylvania. This fund’s focus is connecting the low income with local food and specifically via EBT use at F’s Markets. It was noted that even though the Council per se has not received funding, several of its individual members have, and for purposes that align with the Council’s priorities.

ACTIONS:  Again write our concept paper/ white paper/”Talking Points” clarifying our priorities and goals and along with a cover letter, make a packet as is planned for legislators that a  few representatives from the Council will take to appointments arranged by Judy C. with such funding contacts/entities as above. Eric and Chris to drive the process with Don Loock, Judy Berger, and Lynda Fanning volunteering to assist.

Events

  • School Food Week, Nov. 9-13, celebrating and promoting local foods in Schools. Matt is driving.  Andrea reported plans for her school district. (LINK here)
  • Question: have a state-wide Sustainable Food Conf in March, OR multiple smaller sessions, held statewide to identify local efforts, brought together as Forums/listening sessions within the context of our priorities. Answer: the latter.

Regions/Bioregions/Foodsheds/other

    • Eric and Spencer posted various maps of Virginia “regions” in an effort to define them, taking into account the individual areas with their own organizations and issues, how well an area feeds itself or may become able to, the infrastructure or lack of, the similar growing conditions, the geography, the newspaper/tv-defined areas, the BFBL-defined areas, urban-centered expanding outward?, University-centered and expanding outward? and others (See same discussion in the Executive Committee Minutes of Oct. 27). May end up labeling  more foodsheds than regions, with both being somewhat layered.

Call for Consensus: The Council will apply for funding to launch a state-wide assessment leading to a Food Plan. A unanimous “full support” was expressed.

ACTION: Will start the assessment plans with commonly recognized Regions, not splitting a county, and thinking of local as about 100 miles, knowing that there will be layering of different aspects of a region, and there will be ongoing change within and around a foodshed as the Food Plan is put into place.  We will assist with pulling together data from the various regions. A helpful link is Ken Meter’s work at Crossroad Resource Center:   www.crc.org or www.kenmeter@crcworks.org

Operational Address   The post office box of Katherine Smith, Treasurer:P.O. Box 503,Buena Vista,Va.24416

Committee Reports

  • Education
    • Website  Matt Benson:  Website will be designed by Micah Duda www.micahduda.com, an intern volunteer with Lynchburg Grows; Christopher C. magnanimously refused help with the $40 for the site: (will be www. Virginiafoodsystemcouncil.org) and will also buy the same site as .com and .net, for protection.  The site will be similar to that of Montana Food System Council:
      • Main page: mission statement, objectives, food/farm pictures, logo, Contact us
      • Phase 1 will have hot links to 6 subpages
        • Education, such as obesity issue, economic development potential, etc.
        • Library, with links, articles, resources, books, etc.
        • Meet the Council, with bios for Board of Directors and how to reach
        • Pilot Projects, such as Farm to School
        • Policy Initiatives, such as the Joint Resolution, or other state’ policies just passed or worth checking out
        • An invitation to contribute to the efforts of this non-profit organization’s work, with lists of Corporate sponsors.
        • Phase 2 will have a secure Members’ log-in for meeting minutes, announcements, agendas, etc.
        • Events Calendar, what’s happening inVirginiawith VABF or BFBL , etc.
        • The Trifold Brochure is almost ready.
        • Idea: A sort of secondary logo with humor as a play on “Virginia is for Lovers”….by using a sketch of a carrot as a carat to insert the word “Food” above and in front of the work “ Lovers”… (get it?) A brainchild of Andrea E and Judy B.
        • Farm to School   Andrea Early showed a VDACS  2-3 page document for Food Service Directors  on the how to’s of starting a Farm to School Program (thus accomplishing one item on the Strategic Plan).  Also passed around a  useful guide from the Hudson Valley, N.Y. which she will share via email.
        • Research  Christie G along with Elena Serrano, RD, PhD at Va Tech are looking at a research project on nutrition and local foods.

        News Release

        • Matt will write a draft for Flavor. And a different version for edible Blue Ridge.  Judy C. will send to contacts. We are also ready to solicit funds and any member of the Board of Directors who is able can get onto local tv or target other media opportunities/publications/newspapers and include that we are accepting funds.

        Next Meetings

        • Planned the 2010 meetings as the first Friday every quarter: Feb.5 (Charlottesville) with a backup of Feb 12 in case of inclement winter weather, then May 7, August 6, and Nov. 5, all with a backup of the following week.

        Adjourned at 2:30 for a wine reception in Pablo Elliot’s Food Project greenhouse, and took  photos of Council folks beside the grape tomato plants. Thanks again to Pablo and the other staff and Gen. Mgr of theAirlieCenter who came out to greet us.