April 19th Monthly Membership Meeting minutes

from North Dakota Local Food Development Alliance

NDLFDA Membership Meeting     April 19, 2022

  1. Welcome: Meeting called to order at 2:00 pm
  2. Introductions.
    1. Stephanie Blumhagen, NDLFDA chair, FARRMS executive director, Bottineau
    2. Ellen Knudsen Duffy, NDLFDA board member, River Road Gardens and Lightspring Solar, Bismarck
    3. Felicity Merritt, FARRMS Program Manager, Fargo
    4. Craig Burns, NDLFDA Vice chair board member, UND Social Work professor, Wana Wota Food Pantry, Devils Lake
    5. Lucas Brendel, Apple Creek Acres, Lincoln ND
    6. Jill Haakenson, USDA Rural Development, BFRDP, Devils Lake
    7. Claire Lowstuter, NDLFDA board secretary, Bismarck Local Foods Coordinator, Folly Hill Farm, Bismarck
    8. Shelby Hazel, FARRMS Communications Coordinator, Minot
    9. Kristine Kostuck, ND Dept of Ag Local Foods Marketing Specialist, Bismarck
    10. Karen Ehrens, NDLFDA Board member, Bismarck
  3. A Short History of NDLFDA & Review of Strategic Planning Meeting in Carrington on April 11th, 2022
    1. Appreciating where we have been. History: (https://bit.ly/NDLFDA_History)
    2. Slides from 4/11/22
  4. Strategic Planning Update 
    1. Thank you to Jodi Bruns for facilitating! 
    2. Continued Discussion 
      1.  Summary of 4/11 Meeting
      2. Take the Mini-survey and view survey responses 
    3. Accomplishments
      1. Monthly meetings. Ensure these continue and we keep building this community. 
      2. Website
      3. Making connections and sharing resources.
      4. Bringing together different voices
      5. 501c3 status
    4. Opportunities to help
      1. Ad hoc groups rather than task forces
      2. Tangible projects/tasks that can be shared among NDLFDA membership (currently being done by Felicity and Stephanie). 
        1. Tasks don’t always have to be done by the same person. 
        2. Thank you for volunteering! There is something for everyone. 
    5. Goals
      1. 2 paid staff
      2. 5 years of stable funding 
        1. Create plan for seeking grants. 
          1. Who will help?
        2. Decide what specifically we want funded. 
          1. Create messaging and talking points. 
          2. Develop clear mission and vision.
            1. NDLFDA board will gather to work on this. 
          3. What is the problem that NDLFDA solves? 
      3. Ability to respond to local foods needs. 
      4. Mapping our organization and creating a road map to navigate local foods involvement 
    6. Revise AmeriCorps position description. Consider switching to AmeriCorps ND position at 300 hours to be completed by September 15th 2022. Souris Basin Planning Council said we can do this; they will need to review the revised position description. 
      1. This person can also help coordinate volunteers to help with various tasks to benefit organization: Opportunities to help
      2. FARRMS’ Communications Coordinator Shelby (an AmeriCorps member) may be able to help with NDLFDA social media. 
  5. Update on Farm to School
    1. We are seeing continued interest across the state and forward momentum.
    2. New resource guide for school food service staff. Developed by ND Dept of Ag and ND Dept of Public Instruction. 
      1. ND School Nutrition Conference in Fargo this June.  
      2. More Farm to School videos will be coming from NDDA. One focused on local meat in schools and another focusing on education. 
      3. NDDA applied for the USDA Farm to School grant to fund a part-time Farm to School coordinator. This position will be promotional for Farm to School with the state. They will find out in June if they were awarded the grant.
    3. How can we support the movement?
      1. This year’s Regional Food Systems Partnership Grant due in May has a Farm to Institution track. This could be an opportunity for NDLFDA if we wanted to work on a specific Farm to Institution project. But this is not the only funding opportunity.
      2. What are the gaps in Farm to School in ND? What are we not able to do because of funding?
      3. Claire will help set up a meeting to reconvene the ND Farm to School training group and anyone else interested in being involved. 
  6. AmeriCorps Position Update
    1. NDLFDA Coordinator 
  7. Local Food and Sustainable Ag Grant Opportunities
    1. Reminder: Deadlines are approaching.
  8. Member Updates
    1. View Updates: ndlocalfood.org/home/recent
      1. USDA Rural Development: Value Added Producer grant is still open. Paper copies must be postmarked by May 2nd. Other specialty grants are happening for local foods too. 
      2. FARRMS: seeing a need for resources for “advanced beginner farmers”. Would like to collaborate with other organizations (ex: NDSU, Northern Plains Resource Conservation And Development Council) and hold meetings to develop curriculum. Mostly targeted to the small producers that FARRMS currently serves, but maybe include larger scale regenerative farmers. Contact Stephanie if you are interested: sblumhagen@farrms.org.

Meeting adjourned at 3:05 pm by Chair Stephanie Blumhagen.