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Food Policy Council (FPC) Meeting on Mon, December 14, 2015 - 5:30 PM

Meeting Agenda: 
  1. Administrative items – 5:30 PM

    1. Determine quorum of members, agenda approval

    2. Approval of November meeting minutes

    3. Member reappointments: Vote to recommend to Commissions

      1. TK Peterson, Marlin Bates, Kim Criner, Ashley Jones-Wisner, Jennifer Kongs

    4. New member updates:

      1. Farm Bureau—Scott Thellman, Juniper Hill Farm

      2. At-Large Appointee by Commissioner Flory—Carolyn Wulfkhule, Lone Pine Ag Services

      3. At-Large Appointee by Commissioner Gaughan—TBD

      4. Ag Producer, City Appointment (for Teresa Flory)

        1. Reopen conversation about member ideas

    5. Vote for 2016 DCFPC Leadership

      1. Chair: Marlin Bates; Vice Chair: Jen Humphrey


  2. Top Accomplishments: 2015 In Review—5:40 PM

    1.  What did you like best/least about your experiences with the FPC in 2015?

    2.  What FPC accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?

    3. What suggestions do you have to make 2016 a successful year for the FPC?


  3. Food System Assessment Update (Helen Schnoes & Eileen Horn; 6:00 PM)

    1. LiveWell Lawrence matched $1500 for research

    2. Discussion of outline


  4. Fresh Farm HQ Food Hub Update – 6:10 PM (Jill Elmers)


  5. Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant Update—6:15 PM (Helen Schnoes)


  1. Subcommittee Reports – 6:20 PM

    • City (Crystal Hammerschmidt)

      1. Urban Ag update: Discuss letter that was sent to the Planning Commission for tonight’s meeting

    • County (Helen Schnoes)

      1. Incubator Kitchen Postcard

    • Community (Carol Gilmore)

      1. Communications Plan


  2. Public comments – 6:40 PM

    1. Trina McClure on Women in Food & Agriculture Conference


  3. FPC member updates – 6:50PM


  4. Adjourn full council meeting – 7:00PMBottom of Form HEAD TO PLANNING COMMISSION UPSTAIRS

Meeting Location: 
Public Works Meeting Room (Basement), Lawrence City Hall
Street Address: 
6 E 6th St, Lawrence, KS 66044
Meeting Minutes: 

Meeting Takeaways:

·         Food Hub leaning towards a focus on sub-hubs; launching operations at Great Plains Growers Conference Jan 7-9 in St. Joseph. 

·         New FPC leadership elected (Marlin as Chair and Jen Humphrey as Vice Chair) and new members welcomed (William Vesecky as County Ag producer; Carolyn Wulfkuhle joining in January as Commissioner Flory’s At-Large Appointee; Scotty Thellman joining in January as Farm Bureau representative)

·          Share with Helen ideas you have for on-boarding new members in January

·         Common Ground notices will go out in January

·         FPC helped raise about $350,000 in grants this year

·         Aligning food and art could create new opportunities for community development

·         Still need an ag producer for city appointment to replace Teresa Flory

·         Urban ag text amendment process likely to continue



I.                    Administrative items – 5:30 PM

a.       Determine quorum of members, agenda approval

b.      Approval of November meeting minutes (Pollington, Humphrey—all approved)

c.       Member reappointments: Vote to recommend to Commissions

                                                               i.      TK Peterson, Marlin Bates, Kim Criner, Ashley Jones-Wisner, Jennifer Kongs

                                                             ii.      (Motion to approve: Pollington, Humphrey—all approved)   

d.      New member updates:

                                                               i.      Farm Bureau—Scott Thellman, Juniper Hill Farm

                                                             ii.      At-Large Appointee by Commissioner Flory—Carolyn Wulfkhule, Lone Pine Ag Services

                                                            iii.      At-Large Appointee by Commissioner Gaughan—TBD

1.       Pursuing a representative from Haskell University

                                                           iv.      Ag Producer, City Appointment (for Teresa Flory)

1.       Reopen conversation about member ideas

2.       Jill Elmers spoke with Pam Staab who is building an aquaponics business; Elizabeth Burger will approach Kirsten Boznak

e.      Vote for 2016 DCFPC Leadership

                                                               i.      Chair: Marlin Bates; Vice Chair: Jen Humphrey  (Burger, Pollington—all approved)


II.                  Top Accomplishments: 2015 In Review—5:40 PM

a.        What did you like best/least about your experiences with the FPC in 2015?

b.       What FPC accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?

c.       What suggestions do you have to make 2016 a successful year for the FPC?

·         FM Grant: Huge. So Excited. The whole process has been good, from idea to funding to research to getting started with the actual work.

·         Funding in general: Approx. $350,000 in one year has been brought in through the Sustainability office with grants; in the future we should look to leverage grants with what City/County can contribute on these efforts, as this will help move the group’s objectives farther along.

o   Full time staff: We were able to dedicate full time staff to efforts by hiring Helen through Health Department’s CDC PICH grant.

·         Engagement with local policy: We’ve seen more city engagement of the FPC relating to key issues, such as with urban ag. Perhaps this could extend to other cities or items. It’s been great to pull from the expertise of farmers and others on committee.

·         Market Match: Program’s continuation and growth this year is an accomplishment, and where it could go next year is great to see. At Lawrence Farmers Market Holiday Market, with the triple match, many families were saving coins for later use to budget.

·         Food Hub: Food hub work from the feasibility studies is coming to fruition. In January Marlin said that they’re having hard figuring out how to figure out if producers will want to own. Where we are right now is with an established ag producer cooperative demonstrates great strides.

·         Transition of Chefs Challenge: Successful transition of Chefs’ Challenge from FPC to Extension Master Gardeners and Food Volunteers.

·         Farm Fresh Challenge: Farm Fresh Challenge helped establish new connections and engagement of the grocery stores, and the directory has become a valuable resource. Several chefs say the directory was a game changer for them in sourcing locally.

·         Communications Plan: The Council has been talking about this for a while—great to see it taking shape and being implemented.

·         Brand for Incubator Kitchen: Full process nearing public release of marketing materials and new website in early 2016.

·         Engagement of Community members with Subcommittee work: It was beneficial to have community members at City Subcommittee for the urban agriculture draft review.

III.                Food System Assessment Update (Helen Schnoes & Eileen Horn; 6:00 PM)

a.       LiveWell Lawrence matched $1500 for research

b.      Discussion of outline


Eileen asked the group to help think about how to frame why we need this data? Ashley shared that in her work on food sales tax issue, the only KS-specific data they could find was the Douglas County study. Data analysis can be hard to find locally. Helen shared that the approximate timeline will be research through March, public outreach/engagement in April/May, final report in September/October. Eileen asked members to use their sector hat to review as sections are ready. Those representing organizations can count their work as in-kind and then their organization could become a sponsor for the document. The group discussed the importance of a brief and succinct executive summary and clear infographics. Agreed to find outside reviewers uninvolved with the work to help review drafts later in the process to ensure effective communication.


IV.                Fresh Farm HQ Food Hub Update – 6:10 PM (Jill Elmers)

Director, Wayne Parks, will present a business plan draft on Thursday December 17. FFHQ decided that the Great Plains Growers Conference will be their kickoff to start making connections with farmers. Then, they will have more focused farmer meetings of those interested in Jan/Feb, contracts. They will be looking to hire a fulltime sales position by end of January to work on buyer and farmer recruitment. 2016 will be a soft year to launch, likely with sales volumes lower than the feasibility study YR 1 numbers, but this direction will help ensure that all the pieces will be put in place to then grow from a strong foundation in YR 2.


The Food Hub will be more spread out geographically, perhaps with a digital central office. Currently exploring “sub-hub” locations, including Douglas Co and Fort Scott. Logistics team is working on strategic locations by taking a map and putting dots where there is on farm and off farm infrastructure. Focus will likely be on a 100-mile radius of KC for operations in the first year.


V.                  Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant Update—6:15 PM (Helen Schnoes)

Met on Friday with market leaders (and following up with two later this week) to collected input for consultant and agree on best way to communicate going forward. Received several “intent to submit” forms from: Community Roots, New Venture Advisors, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), Morrison & Company, Wichita State University, and Scale Inc. Others are still welcome to submit proposals. Final submissions due December 28 by 3pm. Committee of Jackie Waggoner (Douglas County Purchasing Director), Eileen Horn, Helen Schnoes, Marlin Bates, Amanda Cook (Lawrence Farmers Market Board Chair), and Commissioner Nancy Thellman will review. Interviews will take place in January and the consultant will be hired in February. Helen will be updating market leaders in advance of interviews. They will determine a meeting schedule after the consultant has been chosen.


VI.                Subcommittee Reports – 6:20 PM

·        City (Crystal Hammerschmidt)

                                                               i.      Urban Ag update: Discuss letter that was sent to the Planning Commission for tonight’s meeting

                                                             ii.      City Subcommittee met and gathered key points to make comments to the Commission. Jill shared that the Urban Farm seems to present a hindrance to her, other urban agriculturalists. Not clear why existing practices are coming under new regulations. Eileen shared that permissions by right when opened up sometimes invite planners to make standards that had been unwritten before. The consensus of the group agreed with the majority of items in the text amendment, but there are a few things that are still less desirable and outlined in the memo presented. There are some potential wins that would be OK if the Commission doesn’t approve, but Urban Farm also imposes new barriers.

                                                            iii.      Public concern about spread of disease through animal agriculture. Mary Miller contacted Marlin Bates, who introduced her to the State Veterinarian. Marlin shared that he brought up valid points as it relates to zoonotic diseases, including concern about rabies vaccinations, which currently exist for cats and dogs in city code. Helen shared that Mary Miller suspected that this issue and her continued conversations with the State Vet will likely delay a vote by Commission

                                                           iv.      Brady reminded the importance of highlighting barriers to enter new market, economic development, and get the attention of the Journal World.

                                                             v.      Common Ground applications getting out the first week in January. 815 Oak with Habitat for Humanity will be the first new property. Unless you know of vacant city properties that would be perfect, but no interest in previous years.

·        County (Helen Schnoes)

                                                               i.      Incubator Kitchen Postcard – In production. Photos by Aundrea Shafer have turned out very nice.

·        Community (Carol Gilmore)

                                                               i.      Communications Plan

                                                             ii.      In January the group will come back for approval in general for the goals, for staff and subcommittee to develop actions from. They are working on tips for explaining who we are as the FPC. What’s the benefit? Why do we exist? Secondary for that, when the food system assessment is complete, they will develop messaging and talking points to take to the community based on key findings/analysis.

                                                            iii.      Many members represent other groups, but it is not clear all the time what they’re supposed to be communicating back from the FPC. Tyra shared that the Merc has a process for summarizing meeting at the end so everyone’s on the same page when going to convey the happenings of the meeting to others. We will start implementing this strategy.

                                                           iv.      The group also discussed how to get new members up to speed quicker? It often takes about a year to get an understanding of what we’re about and how each member plays into the conversation. They will develop a plan for an on-boarding process, and asked the group what are the core elements to include? Send ideas of what could be included to Helen. The materials and process developed will be used with new members in January. They are also considering inviting out-going members to orientation if they’d like to be invited to share experiences, help with on-boarding.

                                                             v.      Meeting locations: The subcommittee suggested the FPC reach out to potential stakeholders to learn about the work they’re doing and host the monthly meetings. This would mean building in time at beginning of each meeting to learn. The subcommittee is developing a list of potential sites that Helen will reach out to.

1.       Ideas: KU Dining. Eileen shared that Farm Credit nationally is working on Farm to School. Reach out to the office in Eudora? Need to include Agribusiness/Farm Business. Farm Credit in Baldwin City has donated funding to Just Food, Chefs Challenge year one. Eileen will present on the Climate Adaptation Report in January and the subcommittee will determine which researchers to contact for presenting to the Council based upon a list developed by Kim Criner.


VII.              Public comments – 6:40 PM

Jena Bebe: In a new position as Waste Reduction Specialist with the City of Lawrence working on composting, just graduated from KU. Helen invited her to the City Subcommittee.


Quentin Cole: Bought some houses in North Lawrence (formerly Jefferson) and working with Neighborhood Association. Started 5000 sq ft “urban farm.” He is interested in food access in North Lawrence, working with other business owners and producers with the space as a form of community engagement. Working on a Kresge grant about food and art as avenues to foster community revitalization. He is looking to gather letters of support from members’ groups. He is in the process to figuring out a fiscal sponsor. The award is a 12 months planning grant for project development. He would like to develop a community space with kitchen/café and an outlet for fresh produce from neighborhood subsistence growers (folks with excess from their bumper crop) as a farm stand on the street. Looking to have one to two days with Purple Carrot food truck to vend ready to eat foods.


Eileen asked him to create a one page summary of his actual grant proposal and the financial scope that staff will share with members for letters.


VIII.            FPC member updates – 6:50PM

Eileen Horn announced that Rick Martin applying for James Beard Award nomination. Social media and press release will go out on Tuesday.


Eileen announced that the Sunflower Foundation will support $75,000 over three years to match for FINI to expand Market Match in rural grocery stores.


Kim Criner announced that the KU Certificate in Sustainability is official and the website went live today. Kim needs a list of community sites to send students to for 60 hours of work related to sustainability for free. Kim will send out the information that they need. Specific projects or developing a project with a student will be listed for interested student to select from.


Ashley Jones-Wisner shared that the Local Food and Farm Task Force will be recommending to the legislature a lowering the state Food Sales Tax rate to 5.3%; down from the existing 6.5%.  Legislative research noted removing all sales tax on food would have a fiscal note of $450 million.  Every 10% decrease would cost $6.5 million.  Legislative research presented an outline that would extend the Taskforce for a year and buy them a bit more time. Ashley shared that the food tax reduction is an encouraging development and was listed several times in the Local Food & Farm Taskforce proposal. Extending the Taskforce would give some footing to show they worked on items of a platform.


Marlin shared three items:

1.       Great Plains Growers Conference in St. Joseph 7-9 of January.

2.       22-25 June is Urban Food System Symposium hosted by K-State Olathe. Drawing international attendees. Helen and Marlin will be submitting abstracts/proposals.

3.       Three positions at Extension are open (announced yesterday; open until January 11). Marlin will send to the FPC listserv. Positions will start whenever the qualified candidate is hired.

a.       SNAP Ed (full time)

b.      4-H (full time)

c.       Horticulture support (part time)


IX.                Adjourn full council meeting – 7:00PMBottom of Form (Pollington, Humphrey, all approved)