Meeting minutes for the Hancock Harvest Council regular meeting held May 7, 2012 at the Extension Office.
Attendance: Earl Smith, Barb Smith, Edna Yeager, Rex Zenor, R.C. McDanel, Josh Johnson, Roy Ballard, Debi Hill.
The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm by Earl Smith.
Josh Johnson, a new attendee, was introduced. He will be selling produce at the Greenfield Farmers' Market.
The April minutes were approved as presented.
The treasurer's report was approved as presented as follows:
We have collected more membership fees than expected.
We have collected $655 in Farmers' Market fees.
We received $247.50 when we sold tote bags to Tuttles Orchard.
Moneys paid out:
Food Routes (Buy Fresh Buy Local) has been paid.
Constant contact (emails) was 30% less than we paid last year.
Directories were $500 less than estimated.
$284.88 was paid for the website host.
Insurance will be due in June, not paid yet.
Chamber of Commerce fee will be the same as last year.
$500 was paid to the Ag Association.
$413.91 has been paid out for advertising.
End of April balance was $5322.86.
Balance after the checks are deducted is $3652.78.
There was discussion as to if we would put ads in surrounding counties extension offices to promote new members. We want to find ways to cover more east central counties for new members.
We discussed changing the name for Hancock Harvest Council to East Central Harvest Council to better include the area we cover and so the members of the other counties would feel more represented. We need a passionate member from each county to be the contact person with the officers. We could consider having the meetings on a webcast to eliminate travel for further members and/or meet fewer times a year, perhaps every three months.
Another advertising opportunity is to provide signage at the fairgrounds where we hold our winter market. We could put signs on the East Show Barn building, which at present does not have a sign. We could put a sign at the north end and the south end so our customers would know where the winter market is located. It would have the name of the barn and also the name of the Harvest Council or Farmers' Market. The sign would be approximately three feet by three feet. We will get estimates and also decide exactly what it should say. This will be discussed at the next meeting.
It was decided not to sponsor a Fair Day this year. The cost is $1000 and we didn't think it would be money well spent. But we do need to continue supporting the fairgrounds for letting us use their facilities for the farmers' market.
A meeting was held today in the extension office to present information about the Food Hub. Roy Ballard and Sarah Aubrey held the meeting for public officials of several counties. No public officials came to the meeting. The fact that this is the day before elections could have affected their attendance.
There are three farmers meetings scheduled for the Food Hub. They are:
Hamilton County on June 5.
Hancock County on June 6.
Henry County on June 7.
They are all scheduled at 6:00 pm in the extension office in each county. There have been direct mailings and press releases to publicize these meetings.
Roy told us about the Chicago meeting he attended on the subject of Food Hubs. It was a good opportunity to learn and to ask questions of existing Food Hubs. There was a presentation by Fresh Picks in the Chicago area that makes home deliveries for 60 - 100 farmers. Gourmet Gorilla that provides schools with breakfast, lunch, and snacks also gave a presentation. Different Food Hubs are working together to share product.
Having participation at the Madison County Fairgrounds was discussed. The possibility of working with the Growers Association was discussed or having our own booth. Edna will make phone calls or send emails to try to work something out. Jeremiah Priest may be able to help with this as he has contacts in this area.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:38pm.