Spring 2016 Business Meeting Minutes

New Business

Bylaws

Andrea Holladay to check where posted on web site and send link to all members (done).

Eunice Bench to schedule review of bylaws for potential updating to reflect larger group with different needs than when group was originally formed.  Issues discussed included term limits, documenting officer duties, and replacing officers if they do not complete a term.

Treasurer/Accounts

Motion was made and seconded to transfer account to a professional accountant beginning 2017, due to the large amount of money now in the account and the need for full profit and loss reports on a scheduled basis.

Some premiums are still outstanding.  Eunice Bench to contact Reni Melvin.

Festival

Judges will be confirmed in May (Don Kniffen).

Next meeting end of March (Eunice Bench).

Photo Contest will be eliminated due to lack of contributors.

Need volunteers as Festival will not continue after this year without new volunteers.

Some paid positions will be established due to the lack of volunteers to cover all needed activities.

General

Don Kniffen will step down as our ASI State Representative (moving to the Executive Board) so a volunteer to take on this position is needed.  Main responsibility is to attend the annual ASI meeting each year to represent our interests and report back to the group.  Contact Don for more information, Eunice to volunteer.  Andrea to send note to members asking for a volunteer.

ASI Meeting Highlights (Don Kniffen)

LA200 will no longer be available unless provided by a vet under the new regulations being passed.

Next General Meeting to be scheduled in June, Andrea Holladay to send note asking for a member volunteer in northern or southern NJ or PA.

Old Business

No Secretary report.

No Treasurer report.

Christina O’Brien’s offer to do a Junior Show Award at this year’s Festival was approved.

Highlights of the March General Meeting

The weather was spectacular, the hosts (Christian and Marci Bench, Meadowridge Farms) were great and there was a nice turnout!

We started with a tour of the facilities, starting with a peek at the ewes and lambs the Bench’s are raising. One of their successes is selling to a restaurant in Philadelphia.  They have a standing order of 8 lambs per week, but they must be of uniform size/ weight and the lambs must not have had any issues when growing up or the quality of their meat will be impacted.  Not an easy job!  They have also been experimenting to find the best cross breed that works for them.

March 2016 GSSB General Meeting at Meadowridge Farms
Suffolk x Romney ewes and lambs

There are also cows raised for meat here too.  They are beautiful!

March 2016 GSSB General Meeting at Meadowridge Farms
Beautiful cows!

Next there was more discussion about marketing lambs in front of the pens holding older lambs.

March 2016 GSSB General Meeting at Meadowridge Farms
Attendees
March 2016 GSSB General Meeting at Meadowridge Farms
Curly (one of the free range sheep) also attended

 

 

 

 

 

The final portion of the tour included a discussion of the programs available to farmers from the USDA.  These include many areas from micro loans, Ag Management Assistance Program (AMA), no till methods, Northern NJ River Friendly Farm Program and environmental quality (EQIP) cost sharing agreements to list a few.

March 2016 GSSB General Meeting at Meadowridge Farms
Free range sheep check out the USDA handouts

We also walked through the on-site Bed and Breakfast run by Tullamore Farms.  The Cooking School was running a children’s event so we did not disturb them to tour the kitchen.  A lovely picnic lunch was held in front of the B&B followed by a general business meeting.

Meeting Minutes

The next meeting is scheduled for the 1st half of June and a volunteer is sought to hold the meeting.  If you are a Northern or southern NJ or PA member who would be willing to host the meeting, please contact Eunice Bench as soon as possible.