CHICHESTER AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION
Commission Meeting, Town Library, 6pm, 10/30/2013
Present: Steve MacCleery, Teresa Paradis, Richard Millette, Jeff Jordan, Ann Davis
1. Richard Millette made MOTION to approve 07/17/2013 Meeting Minutes; Ann Davis seconded; all in favor; MOTION CARRIED.
2. Discussion regarding potential voting members and alternates. Since no interested parties have come forward in response to the Chichester Agricultural Commission’s (CAC) article in The SUN and the Commission’s and Selectmen’s attempts to recruit new members have failed, it was decided to change the membership from 7 to 5, with alternates. This action will better enable the Commission to obtain a quorum at meetings. At the next Selectmen’s meeting, Jeff will make a motion to change the Agricultural Commission’s voting member size from 7 to 5, with up to 5 alternates.
3. Jeff inquired if other Commissions were members of the Farm Bureau; Steve thought they would be categorized as a supporter. Since Steve is newly-elected Merrimack County Farm Bureau president, he will inquire if Agricultural Commissions may become members; and if so, he will find out the cost. Teresa offered to donate the $35-60 for the CAC to become a member.
Teresa Paradis made a MOTION for the CAC to join the Farm Bureau; Richard Millette seconded; all in favor; MOTION CARRIED.
4. Ann explained the meaning and process of a PLAN NH Design Charrette; discussion included why the Ag Comm would be involved; traffic, pedestrian and lighting issues; that all residents should make an effort to participate in Chichester’s planned future; and all concerns and possible solutions should be brought forward for the betterment of the community.
Teresa Paradis made a MOTION for the CAC to provide a Letter of Support to PLAN NH regarding a Chichester Deisgn Charrette; Jeff Jordan seconded; Richard Millette opposed; MOTION CARRIED. Signatures on the previously prepared Letter of Support were completed.
5. A discussion was held regarding whether or not to submit a Warrant Article for money for speakers, publications, etc., expenses. The general consensus at this time is to obtain free speakers, i.e., from UNH Cooperative Extension Service; and this matter can be discussed in the future when we have more participating members.
5. A discussion ensued about the previously distributed DRAFT Agricultural Section of the Master Plan to be completed and submitted to the Planning Board. It was suggested to bring drafts to next month’s meeting; but since this is not an urgent matter, it will be worked on throughout the winter.
6. A short dialogue followed regarding the possibility of CAC hosting a Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH) event to allow farmers to network and to promote collaboration in facing our biggest issues and challenges. Hosting this type of event should come under the “information, promotion and education” element of CAC’s purpose. Ann is to inquire if other Agricultural Commissions are hosting these types of events; and if so, Ann will contact NOFA-NH (603-224-5022; firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
7. Other Business:
1. The Nov 20 meeting and its proximity to Thanksgiving was discussed.
Jeff Jordan made a MOTION to skip the Nov 20, 2013 meeting; Richard Millette seconded; all in favor; MOTION CARRIED.
2. Steve brought up the fact that the Chichester Agricultural Commission is an appointed commission, and as such, its scheduled monthly meetings [3rd Wednesday of each month] should be automatically put onto the Town calendar instead of requesting a meeting space for each meeting; Ann is to send request to Town Administrator Jodi Pinard.
Jeff Jordan made a MOTION to adjourn; seconded by Richard Millette; all in favor; MOTION CARRIED AND Meeting adjourned at 6:52pm.
Ann Davis, Secretary
MINUTES APPROVED by Motion and majority vote 01/23/2014
The purpose of an agricultural commission is to protect farmland, support the local agricultural economy, preserve rural character and promote local agriculture to community members and visitors. As ambassadors of the farming community, agricultural commissions act as educators, advisers and promoters to help keep agriculture viable in New Hampshire.