Four Corners Cooperative Board of Directors’ Meeting
May 5, 2020
Directors: Brian Drayton (president), Lincoln Geiger, Anthony Graham, Donna Riley (secretary), Alice Groh, Jamie Jones
Farmers: Elad Sadeh
Visiting: Barb Healy
Approval of Minutes: Minutes of the April 7th, 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.
New Greenhouse: Anthony remarked the new greenhouse nears completion. The final work includes the doors and the top layer of plastic.
Apprentices: Elad explained that a third apprentice arrived on Sunday and that Silvano agreed to seek dairy assistance within this shared apprentice team.
Spring Gardens: Elad noted that the weather has been cold and the recent rains have slowed the progress with preparing the fields. The greenhouse is full of plants that will eventually need to move to the fields.
Milk Pipeline: Lincoln said that there remain a few minor tasks to finish the pipeline. The installer will oversee the first milking with the new equipment. After completion, we will pay the second half of the cost (another $7K payment).
Flow Form: Lincoln noted that the pump he has built is almost complete and Jacob had been managing the delivery of the Flow Form and we need to get an update from him. Alice offered to loan her farm’s Flow Form, if required.
Anthony explained that some extra funds will be available this month due to equipment costs being lower than forecasted and alowered salary impact given Jacob and Dane’s departure.
Options for using these funds before year-end (May 31st) were discussed: Skid steer, firewood, pay down manure spreader loan, John Deere tractor replacement, new roof above shop and store. Elad will review his requirements and add additional options.
Anthony and Barbara will provide a final accounting and, if required, Brian may call a board meeting for the final allocationdecisions.
The board discussed the best way to manage strategic project plans. Some project examples included a commercial kitchen, a new cheesemaking facility/cave and a workshop move to thehay barn.
The farm’s history shows that when there is a real need by a person, that person takes the initiative to see a project through. This organic development approach may be the best solution to project-style planning.
Brian added that there is also the question “What do we want the farm to be in 5 years?”. We also need to consider the development of our farm’s values and principles as elements of strategic planning.
It was agreed to continue this discussion in our next meetings.
Developing a FOTFA Charter:
Preliminary Questions: Barb responded to each of the prepared questions about how the FOTFA organization currently operates.
Additional Questions: Brian requested for any additional board questions and Jamie asked “How are FOTFA decisions made (e.g. member vote, leadership team)?”
Improving Coordination with FCC Board: The discussioncited examples of events that could have been coordinated better between FOTFA and the FCC Board. The “pioneering phase” of the farm had very different dynamics, Alice recalled. She highlighted one key principal about coordinating activities that remains valuable today:
“Everyone is individually fully responsible for his or her doings and its consequences. To make it possible that the others help him or her in his/her initiatives and are ready to carry the consequences of his doings with him, the individual must in a timely way let the others know what he intends to do.” -TraugerGroh
Sharing Meeting Minutes: Jamie noted that he has been posting public FCC minutes since the agreement in January to share our meeting minutes between FCC and FOTFA. Barb said that she had problems with formatting her content using the farm’s web site and that she will post them to another site that she is developing.
Barb asked if the FCC Minutes could be released more quickly. After discussion, the board voted and agreed to try to review and approve FCC meeting minutes by email, rather than waiting for their next monthly meeting.
BoT Replacement Candidates:
Brian suggested that Ashley Renwick, who may be interested in serving on the FCC board, be invited to attend the next meeting.