The Business Meeting Session was called to order by the Co-Chairs of the Public and Private Sector, Stephen Herbert and Clyde Bailey, respectively at 3:30 PM.
Dr. Margaret Smith, Administrative Advisor for the Northeast Pasture Consortium, NEERA 1000 Project of the Northeast Agricultural Experiment Station Directors Association, addressed the members attending the meeting over speaker phone. She said the Consortium Executive Director, James Cropper, had submitted a proposal in September 2010 to renew the Consortium project for another 5 years, from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2016. This had been accepted, and time was of the essence for members to submit their Appendix E information to show the amount of research and extension support the Consortium project has. The project was to be formally approved as a renewed project at the next meeting of the Agricultural Experiment Station Directors on March 22-23, 2011. Therefore, there was some urgency in getting Appendix E’s submitted before March 22.
The election of a Private Sector member and a Public Sector member to the Northeast Pasture Consortium as members-at-large was the next order of business. Tom Akin, Agronomist and GLCI Coordinator, USDA-NRCS, at Amherst, MA was nominated and seconded to be the Public Sector member-at-large for 2011. Nominations were closed and he was unanimously elected to serve. The Private Sector had not been able to come up with a person to accept the nomination at the meeting as the ice and snow storm had kept their attendance low. A motion and a second to refer the nomination and election of the Private Sector member-at-large to the Executive Committee was received. Every-one voted in favor of the motion to refer the nomination and election of the Private Sector member-at-large to the Executive Committee. (Joe Hatton, beef and sheep producer, from Morgantown, WV, was nominated and elected by the Executive Committee, prior to their February 24 teleconference to be the Private Sector member-at-large.)
Other business was the next order of business. There being no old business, new business was brought to the floor. A proposal to work on producing a new website for the Northeast Pasture Consortium was brought to the floor by Angus Johnson. The old website was not getting very many visitors. He thought the web address was not intuitive enough so people were not finding it. Ed Rayburn had checked into finding a domain that was not currently being used. The grazing guide domain was available. Sarah Goslee, ecologist, USDA-NRCS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit at University Park, PA, has webmaster experience and volunteered to work on the new website as a part of ARS outreach efforts. Clyde Bailey made a motion that the Executive Committee come up with a new name for the Consortium’s website and purchase the domain by their February 24th teleconference. Bill Ireland, Private Sector member, seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The next new business was a letter of support from the Northeast Pasture Consortium to the New Department of Agriculture and the NY Governor’s Office to support Pro-Dairy and integrated pest management (IPM) programs that are in jeopardy of being defunded or cut drastically. Karen Hoffman made the motion for the letter of support to be written by the Consortium and delivered by NY farmer members. Angus Johnson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
As the last order of business, James Cropper, Executive Director, thanked the outgoing Executive Committee members, Gabriel Clark, Private Sector Past Co-Chair, and Karen Hoffman, Public Sector Past Co-Chair, for their great efforts in assisting the Executive Committee over the past 4 years. He welcomed Tom Akin to the Executive Committee. Rachel Gilker was announced as the 2011-2012 Private Sector Co-Chair and Jill Ott was announced as the 2011-2012 Public Sector Co-Chair.
There being no other business to come before the Northeast Pasture Consortium, the meeting was adjourned.