Loudon Agriculture Commission
Minutes of January 5, 2017
Doug Towle: President
Chris Koufos: Vice-President
Bruce Dawson: Secretary
Cindy Shea: Treasurer
Attendees: Doug Towle, Bruce Dawson, Cindy Shea, Carole Soule, Kay Doyon, Steve Doyon, Stanley Prescott
Called to order at 7:03pm.
Minutes from the December 1, 2016 meeting were accepted with corrections.
Confirmation of action items:
- Cindy Shea has not yet been paid; neither has Carole. Cindy and Carole agreed to wait on their payments so we can go for another grant with our full funds.
- The Mini Grant Final Report was submitted to the NH Dept. of Agriculture.
- SBFNH, and others were contacted for workshops. There was a discussion about "bunnies" vs. "rabbits" - rabbit raising versus rabbit processing. The TriCounty/SBFNH will let us demonstrate the freeze drier (Contact: Christine).
- The Extension Service doesn't have farm equipment that's available, but the SBFNH does, as does the Merrimack County Conservation District, which was on the LoudonAg.org web site.
- A 2016 Recap for the Town Report was not made, but Cindy will do it.
- Workshops for 2017. There was significant discussion about workshops, and a request for a petition to the Town Meeting. The following workshops ideas were considered:
- Cooking - no one on the board seemed to be interested in this.
- Food Canning - Bruce will check with the UNH Extension Service about workshops
- Solar - this was already done - maybe another one next year.
- Food Waste - this was already done by the town's recycling committee.
- Backyard Gardening - on one on the board seemd to be interested in this.
- Fruit Trees - Doug will investigate to see what workshops are available.
- Soap Making - Cindy will follow-up on this.
- Kay and Steve are willing to do another Chicken workshop in early June. Attendees will have to pay a fee, bring their own knives, and use Kay and Steve's chickens. There may be more emphasis on raising chickens than processing them this time.
- The Ag Commission and NHSBF are looking into holding a collaborative rabbit raising workshop.
- Grants and Fund Raising: Carole indicated the grants she was considering required matching funds. The NH Mini Grant deadline is at the end of Feburary 2017. Fundraising was tabled for now.
- Websites and Social Media: Bruce indicated that the Ag Board's mailing list (not the web site) is getting hit with a lot of spam. Ways of countering this are:
- Changing the mailing list name.
- Unpublishing the mailing list and require people to use the contact form on the web site.
- Using another service that provides screening (Carole pointed out that these usually cost money).
Bruce will consider using a combination of the first two suggestions.
- Newsletter: Has only gone out to announce workshops.
- Master Plan / Planning Board: Stanley Prescott said it meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month. They've been doing a lot of work.
- Loudon Ledger: The latest issue had the article from Cindy in it, but not the list of farms. Cindy will talk to Debbie K to find out what happened.
- Other Old Business: none.
- Carole has not yet made any progress looking at NEFF grant opportunity and a chicken raffle.
- Contact farms for the Loudon Ledger Farm List: Red Gate Farm on Bee Hole Road, Upper City Road
- We need to get "The Box" from Chris Koufos that we keep all the Agriculture Commission's documents in.
The meeting was adjoured at 8:18pm.