Four Corners Cooperative Board of Directors’ Meeting
January 7, 2020
The Hilltop Café
Directors: Brian Drayton (president), Lincoln Geiger, Anthony Graham, Barbara Johnson (treasurer), Donna Riley (secretary), Alice Groh, Jamie Jones.
Farmers: Benjamin Meier, Silvano Biffis, Elad Sadeh;
Visitors: Barb Healey, Tobin Renwick, Toby Tarnow; Trey Cochran (a prospective assistant vegetable farmer).
6:05pm Opening: Donna read a selection from Thomas à Kempis.
Approval of Minutes: Minutes of the December 17, 2019 were approved with an amendment.
Study: The Board discussed a selection from School of Elemental Beings by Karsten Massei. We agreed to read the third chapter for the next meeting. Lincoln shared his idea about conserving a section of the farm’s forest. Alice noted that Karsten Massei will teach a course at High Mowing in July.
Organizational Development: An Introspection: Alice led a discussion about how we might look at the farm’s development through known development patterns described by Bernard Lievegoed in Developing Communities. She noted the aspects of our farm having passed through the “pioneering” phase to a later one, now, of “integration”. Alice remembered the exciting, adventuring aspects of the pioneering phase that may need to be rekindled.
Annual Meeting Planning:
Budget: Next step is for farmers to meet with Anthony and Barbara to review salaries/benefits.
Annual Meeting: It was agreed that we will hold 2 meetings this year:
- The first meeting will be a “Farm Business” meeting for members to review and approve the budget and ask the FCC Board and Farmers questions. This will also be the meeting at which members of the board will be appointed. Brian will lead the organization of this meeting.
- The second will be the “Annual Pledge Meeting” for pledge declarations and community events. Benjamin will lead the organization of this meeting.
Locations: Brian will request rooms for these meetings from High Mowing.
Café Lease: Brian will collect feedback from FCC Board regarding the lease and provide feedback to ECF on our behalf.
High Mowing: Brian plans to meet with the Head of School, Geraldine Kline, on Jan 10th at 8am. He aims to re-start the conversation between the farm & the school and we can establish a joint task force to work on some of our common interests. Lincoln volunteered to be part of that group, given his knowledge of past agreements.
Farmer Ads: Elad will publish vegetable farmer ads separate from the dairy/creamery going forward. Alice offered to act as advisor to farmers regarding which publications to post ads in.
Friends of the Farm (FoTFA): Brian described the value to the farm for the type of work that FoTFA has taken on, while noting that we all agree communication needs to be improved. He highlighted the need for the FCC Board to do more integrational work so that other task-focused groups can form and operate to address other needs of the farm, and that all these need to be integrated with all the other parts of the farm organism.
Following some concerns raised about the private nature of exit interviews, it was agreed that the FCC Board will draft a policy about how we conduct exit interviews for farmers (how they are conducted, how the documents are stored and how they may be shared), as well as for apprentices.
It was agreed that the FCC Board will take more time at a meeting in the near future to learn about “the bottlenecks” that FoTFA observes in their interactions with the Board.
The FoTFA members will be posting their meeting minutes to a web host and agreed to share these meeting minutes with the FCC Board. Barb will coordinate these distributions with Jamie.
Next FCC Board Meeting: January 28th at 6pm in the Hilltop Café.
8:25 Closing: Donna read from Wendell Berry.