You are here

Minutes of January 5, 2017

Submitted by jbd on Wed, 01/04/2017 - 19:32

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.

Old Business

  1. Minutes from the December 1, 2016 meeting were accepted with corrections.

  2. Confirmation of action items:

    1. 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.
    2. The Mini Grant Final Report was submitted to the NH Dept. of Agriculture.
    3. 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).
    4. 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 web site.
    5. A 2016 Recap for the Town Report was not made, but Cindy will do it.
  3. 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:
    1. Cooking - no one on the board seemed to be interested in this.
    2. Food Canning - Bruce will check with the UNH Extension Service about workshops
    3. Solar - this was already done - maybe another one next year.
    4. Food Waste - this was already done by the town's recycling committee.
    5. Backyard Gardening - on one on the board seemd to be interested in this.
    6. Fruit Trees - Doug will investigate to see what workshops are available.
    7. Soap Making - Cindy will follow-up on this.
    8. 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.
    9. The Ag Commission and NHSBF are looking into holding a collaborative rabbit raising workshop.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:
    1. Changing the mailing list name.
    2. Unpublishing the mailing list and require people to use the contact form on the web site.
    3. 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.
  6. Newsletter: Has only gone out to announce workshops.
  7. Master Plan / Planning Board: Stanley Prescott said it meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month. They've been doing a lot of work.
  8. 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.
  9. Other Old Business: none.

New Business

  1. Carole has not yet made any progress looking at NEFF grant opportunity and a chicken raffle.
  2. Contact farms for the Loudon Ledger Farm List: Red Gate Farm on Bee Hole Road, Upper City Road
  3. 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.