Four Corners Cooperative Board of Directors’ Meeting
April 7, 2020
Directors: Brian Drayton (president), Lincoln Geiger, Anthony Graham, Barbara Johnson
(treasurer), Donna Riley (secretary), Alice Groh, Jamie Jones
Farmers: Elad Sadeh
7:04pm Opening: Lincoln read from Goethe’s Italian journals.
Approval of Minutes: Minutes of the March 10th, 2020 were approved without amendment.
Study: It was agreed that the chapter 4 discussion of School of the Elemental Beings (Massei, Karsten) will be rescheduled for the next board meeting. The final chapter will also be included.
Milk Pipeline: Lincoln provided an update on the status of the new milk pipeline. He has been working on the plumbing and electrical work and the installer estimated 3 days of work until it is operational.
Member Pledges: Anthony provided the status: 104 pledges (of the expected 105) were received with a total pledge amount of $280K (of the expected $292K). He will invite a new member from the waiting list.
Apprentice Support: Elad asked if the FCC Board helps with apprentice support and personnel issues in the event that something cannot be resolved by the lead farmers. Donna explained that she acts as an FCC liaison to the apprentices and will offer to be a point of contact for them. Brian requested that the board be informed if any issues that arise and also would like for the board to discuss last year’s exit interviews.
Apprentice Housing: Elad described the potential for a shortage of apprentice housing this summer if a 5th apprentice is brought on. Also, he wondered when the 3-person-family is expected to arrive this fall (for the Creamery assistant) because an early arrival could also cause a housing shortage.
A number of solutions were discussed:
Alice may be able to offer housing, provided the occupant were able to also help with her animals.
We could revert the farm office back to a bedroom and move the office equipment to Silvano’s “back room” which is above the café.
Elad suggested that some vegetable apprentices could help with the animals to reduce the number of apprentices needed.
Brian offered to contact Benjamin to find out his assistant’s arrival date and Lincoln offered to speak with Silvano about the prospect of sharing apprentices across the dairy and gardens.
Covid-19 Payroll Protection Plan: Barbara outlined the small business loans being offered by the Federal Stimulus Program. It was agreed that since our farm was not in need and so many others would have serious requirements, our farm will not apply for this assistance.
Apprentice Agreement: It was agreed that we need to ensure that apprentices should formally be instructed about our apprenticeship policies as part of the on-boarding process. Anthony will get last year’s agreement from Jacob and distribute for feedback.
Health Savings Accounts: There is an administrative cost to carry this program for farmers, so Barbara will check with farmers to see if this is desired.
Covid-19 Issues: Some preventive measures were discussed to help protect our members and farmers during this outbreak. This included the sanitizing of milk bottles and the periodic cleaning of common farm store “touch points”. Alice will supply sanitizing wipes to the farm store. Lincoln will discuss the cleaning logistics with Silvano and contact Brian with their plan. Brian will then draft an announcement and notify the membership of the steps that we are taking.
New Board Member: Brian reminded everyone to remain active in providing nominations for our replacement board member.
Farm Emails: Elad raised his concern with people sending farm-related emails to large distribution lists and the use of extended contacts on our board emails. Brian offered to undertake research about “best practices” that we might adopt.
ECF Updates: Brian will be meeting with Walt Zuber this week and will inform the FCC Board about the Café lease and the ECF application for 501(c)3 status.
Next Meeting: Tuesday, May 5th at 7pm. Location is TBD.
8:35pm Closing: Lincoln closed with an additional reading of Goethe.