Our business meeting began at approximately 4:00 PM. Dr. Margaret Smith, Cornell University, our administrative advisor, also spoke to us by speaker phone. She congratulated us on having another successful conference and shared some very good news. Dr. Smith announced that the Northeast Pasture Consortium’s request for an extension of the project for another 5 years, October 1 2016 to September 30 2021 was approved by the Northeast Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. She thanked everyone who had entered their contribution to the Consortium into Appendix E: Participation. It was very important in receiving approval to show that many people are involved in the project. Our new 5-year project narrative can be found under NEERA1603 at the newly revised website: http://www.nimss.org/projects. We are a Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group.
The next item taken up at the business meeting was the election of two new members-at-large to the Northeast Pasture Executive Committee for 2016-2017. Clifford Hawbaker, organic dairy farmer from Chambersburg, PA, was nominated and unaminously approved to be the Private Sector member-at-large. Dr. Jessica Williamson, Extension Forage Crop Specialist, Penn State University, was nominated and unaminously approved to be the Public Sector member-at-large.
Sid Bosworth thanked Dr. Janet McAllister, NESARE, for participating in our Conference this year. It is important to us that she took the time and effort to come to the Conference to learn about who we are and what we do to further pasture research, extension, technical assistance, and education.
Jim Cropper then gave a report from Dr. Sarah Goslee, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, who is our webmaster for the Northeast Pasture Consortium Grazing Guide website. The statistics, changes, and pleas for help are:
Website has 600 visits a month.
Northeastern pasture plant guide downloaded nearly 800 times.
Associated Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube presence, but not well-utilized.
Have moved to a different hosting company that should be more efficient and less expensive.
Always looking for content, and for people to help with managing the site.
Also would like calendar submissions of relevant pasture events.
Currently developing a Grazing Dashboard as a quick reference for information of interest to farmers in the Northeast.
Diane Schivera moved to have a committee formed to work on website with Sarah Goslee. It was seconded and approved.
Jim Cropper then recognized the outstanding work done by Dr. Andre Brito and Mr. Ken Miller who had completed their tour of duty on the Executive Committee. He thanked Dr. Brito for providing us with sessions over the past 3 years that kept us updated on his work of supplementing organic dairy cows with different concentrates to provide either additional energy or improve omega-3 content in organic milk while cows were on pasture or back at the barn during winter. This year was especially appreciated in that he was able to fund speakers to his session with OREI grant money. He thanked Mr. Miller for his thoughtful ideas on session topics and speakers for those sessions and at other times offering sage advice to steer the Executive Committee onto a better way of accomplishing an objective.
He then announced who the Private Sector Co-chair and Public Sector Co-chair are for 2016-2017. They are Mr. Angus Johnson, Just Good Kosher, and Ms. Susan Parry, USDA-NRCS, respectively.
Mr. Cropper then asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting if there were no other items to discuss. Mr. Fay Benson moved to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Jennifer Colby seconded the motion. The motion was accepted and the business meeting came to end. This capped the Conference. Jim Cropper thanked everyone for their attendance and their participation. He invited those who were staying the night at the Inn to attend the post-conference tour of Wolfe’s Neck Farm and a presentation on the Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program located there.