Friday, June 26, 2020

Agenda BCD Supervisor Meeting July 7, 2020


Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 5:30 PM


Agenda for Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Upcoming Events/Meetings:
Berkshire Conservation District Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Meetings are usually held at 78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Pursuant to Governor Baker’s March 12, 2020 Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. Chapter 30A, Section 18, and the Governor’s March 15, 2020 order imposing strict limitation on the number of people that may gather in one pace, this meeting of the Berkshire Conservation District will be conducted via remote participation to the greatest extent possible.

Members of the public who wish to join the meeting may do so in the following manner: via teleconference at https://Antioch.zoom.us/j/132436088 or by dialing (646) 876-9923 Meeting ID 132436088 #. Members of the public will be provided a comment period at the beginning of the meeting. No in-person attendance of members of the public will be permitted, but every effort will be made to ensure that the public can adequately access the proceedings in real time, via technological means. In the event that we are unable to do so, despite best efforts, we will post on the Berkshire Conservation District website an audio recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of proceedings as soon as possible after the meeting.

Until restrictions are lifted, the next meeting will be held remotely on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. This meeting may be recorded for internal record keeping purposes.


  1. Call to order and Determination of Quorum
      2. Public Comment Period
      3. NRCS Reporting/Comments from Gary Blazejewski

  1. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Donna Kittredge
Review and approval of June 2, 2020 minutes

  1. Treasurer’s Report – Submitted by David Ellis
June 2020 Treasurer’s Report

  1. District Supervisors
          Continued discussion regarding BCD supervisor access to building
          BCD work plan, program focus

  1. Program Status
a.       No-Till updates (FY 2020)
b.       Nutrient Management update
c.       Pollinator Grant update

  1. Program Administrator Update 
         Update on Housatonic Valley Association and possible collaboration with BCD

  1. New Business
     10. Comments and Announcements

  1. Adjournment

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Minutes BCD Supervisor meeting May 5,2020


Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Remote Meeting
The call-in number is 1(646) 876-9923. Meeting ID 132436088 #


Minutes from May 5, 2020 Meeting

  1. Call to order at 5:02pm, and Determination of Quorum.
Present:
Board members: Adam Galambos, Ron Kujawski, David Ellis, Donna Kittredge, Ned Kirchner
Program Administrator: Cynthia Grippaldi
NRCS representative: Gary Blazejewski
Public call-in: Jane Obbagy

  1. NRCS District Conservationist comments from Gary Blazejewski
Gary said the NRCS is gearing up for their funding round already. They have pre-approved 20 to 22 applications ranging from forestry to soil health to livestock. Rachel Phillips from NRCS in NH is a soil scientist and is Gary’s new boss. Gary also defined the Unfunded Cooperative Agreement which is that NRCS can set the requirements for resources sharing with BCD. Ned asked Gary if another supervisor could have access to the office in the event Cynthia is not available. That person would need a background check. Discussion to be continued.

  1. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Donna Kittredge
Review and approval of April 9th minutes. Ned motioned with to accept with 2 corrections, second by David. All in favor.

  1. Treasurer’s Report – Submitted by David Ellis
·         There was an $820 deposit for No-till rental; $320 for credit union membership; $1.50 for Viridian; $850 for the audit. Expenses were $4,634.30, Income was $1,141.50, Net Income was -3492.80, Checking Balance as of last day of April was $5,832.70. See Treasurer’s Report for more info.
·         Liability insurance is to insure the equipment.
·         Ned asked for clarification on the checking balance as of which date.
·         The BCC Scholarship will be mailed in time for the graduation ceremony scheduled for May 28.
Move by Ned to accept Treasurer’s Report with one change to the checking balance. Second by Ron. All in favor.

      5. Call-in: Jane Obbagy, ED of MACD — congratulated all on the new website and content.

  1. District Supervisors
·         Cynthia and Ned have been trying to reach Holly to clarify her intentions to continue as a board supervisor.
·         Adam knows Greg Caprone (teacher by day, farmer by night) whose interests lie in farming, maple sugaring, and cattle. Alaina Tracer runs MCLA Green Living Seminars and she may have some names of people interested in serving on the board. Adam will take a look at the website in regard to attracting supervisors and associates.
·         Ron thought of a possible person who is trying to start a small vegetable business in Richmond who might have interest in serving. 
·         Ron spoke with Tom who said it would be great if BCD could send a representative to the State Commission meeting. The meetings are in January, April, July and October. The next meeting will be remote. Jane suggested we try to tap in via conference call as it’s a long distance for us to travel to Westboro.

  1. Program Status
·         Mike has yet to send a proposal for storage of the No-till seeder. We’ve had two rentals for 2020 season. We need to spend the dollars from the No-till grant by the end of June 2020. That money could be spent on delivery, maintenance and storage but Mike needs to get a proposal to us which we would need to vote on. The thinking was that No-till would become self-generating program and that rentals would pay for the program. It was determined that rentals are lower than expected on account of the saturation of fields. Talk of advertising the No-till will be continued. Adam suggested we should hold out and see what good weather brings. Ron suggested it would be great to get a farmer on the board for networking.
·         Adam worked on a small solar grant proposal and a couple of things worked really for promotion — a radio spot on WANW that played on partner stations, and newspaper print ads which go on their websites as well. Adam suggested we work on a plan for advertising the No-till.
·         Pioneer Valley inquired about renting the No-till and Cynthia directed them to our website. Ron suggested we might share the No-till with 4 counties as one county may be drier than another. Adam suggested we get feedback from the farmers and possibly a testimonial we can use on our website. It was suggested we give farmers a survey after the rental.
·         Out of the 80+ No-till promo cards that were mailed, we only received two bad addresses.
·         Nutrient Management update — Cynthia is doing basic research. There are a tremendous number of part-time operators who don’t know the requirements for managing nutrient load which is required and can be enforced. Gary will dig into how NRCS can help educate small operators to learn what the state is looking for regarding compliance.

  1. Program Administrator Update —Submitted by Cynthia Grippaldi
·         Cynthia brought up the need to meet remotely about our Work Plan and mission. She sent out a draft which is on google drive. We need to find a date and time that works for all to brainstorm remotely.
·         Payment on all of our insurance policies has come up — Cynthia paid the no-till equipment insurance. The liability policy which was going to be canceled but because of COVID, they decided to keep covering us. She paid $792 Workman’s Comp. Reimbursement was sent to Tom.
·         Small pollinator grant — they had a few questions regarding equity of community. They will make the decision by mid May for the grant totaling $3,500. When they do fund it, they write a check and recipients write a report about how they used it.

           9.       New Business —
·         Ned asked since we had a public call-in for the May 5 meeting, should we add an Open Public Comment under our Call to Order and it was decided to do that going forward. Add it under #2 Call to Order, and include that the meeting is being recorded for note taking. Then add Open Public Comment Period, have whoever is chairing say this is the time to state your comments but there won’t be time for deliberation. This will precede Gary’s report so he can hear what the public is saying.
·         Adam suggested that we move the Upcoming Meetings blurb from the bottom of the Agenda page to the top and include the call-in number for the remote meetings.

     10.   Comments and Announcements —
·         Adam talked about the $250 BCD scholarship provided to a BCC student who plans to attend a 4-year college to study environmental science or a related field. The scholarship can also be used to pay for the student’s final year at BCC. It had been voted on in the past. Since it has been awarded every year, Ned asked if we should vote that it goes through every year unless a board member has an issue. In the past, a BCD representative has gone to BCC to deliver it. Adam will reach out to the Director of Development at BCC to discuss. This year, the check can be mailed or paid online to BCC.
·         NACD in D.C. asked us to become members. Membership fees range from $1 to $3,000. Ned said we became members for $500, then in subsequent years we paid in the $25 range. David will look into the history. They encourage us to pay $700. Ned mentioned we’ve sent members to the annual national convention in the past.
·         May 29 is the deadline to send in the 2-page application to Tom for the next round of funding. This is for the basic grant and Part 2 of the Nutrient Management plan will be submitted, as well. The grant is awarded in December for fiscal year ’21.
·         Mass Envirothon teams of high school students compete on environmental topics throughout the state. BCD has helped get participation from Berkshire schools. It was canceled this year. David wanted to know if it was relevant for the work plan as it has fallen by the wayside. To be discussed when we talk about BCD’s role in the community.
·         Ned would like to see more ag in the classroom.

       11.   Adjournment — Adam read the Upcoming Events/Meetings blurb for the recording. At   7:01pm, Ned motioned to adjourn. Second by Dave. All in favor.


Upcoming Events/Meetings:
Berkshire Conservation District Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Meetings are usually held at 78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Until restrictions are lifted for social isolation due to COVID-19, the next meeting will be held remotely on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 by dialing in at 1(646) 876-9923 Meeting ID 132436088 #.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Agenda BCD Supervisor meeting June 2, 2020

Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM
https://antioch.zoom.us/j/132436088
(646) 876-9923 Meeting ID: 132436088#

Agenda for Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Upcoming Events/Meetings:
Berkshire Conservation District Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Meetings are usually held at 78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Pursuant to Governor Baker’s March 12, 2020 Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. chapter 30A, Section 18, and the Governor’s March 15, 2020 order imposing strict limitation on the number of people that may gather in one place, this meeting of the Berkshire Conservation District will be conducted via remote participation to the greatest extent possible.

Members of the public who wish to join the meeting may do so in the following manner: via teleconference at https://antioch.zoom.us/j/132436088 or by dialing (646) 876-9923, meeting ID 132436088#. Members of the public will be provided a comment period at the beginning of the meeting. No in-person attendance of members of the public will be permitted, but every effort will be made to ensure that the public can adequately access the proceedings in real time, via technological means. In the event that we are unable to do so, despite best efforts, we will post on the Berkshire Conservation District website an audio recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of proceedings as soon as possible after the meeting.

Until restrictions are lifted, the next meeting will be held remotely on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. This meeting may be recorded for internal record keeping purposes.

1. Call to order and Determination of Quorum

2. Public Comment Period

3. NRCS Reporting/Comments from Gary Blazejewski

4. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Donna Kittredge
     Review and approval of May 5th minutes

5. Treasurer’s Report – Submitted by David Ellis
    May 2020 Treasurer’s Report

6. District Supervisors
    Updates

7. Program Status
    a. No-Till (FY 2020) — scheduling rentals, insurance for towing, management, Mike’s
        needs, advertising, Feedback Survey?
    b. Nutrient Management update

8. Program Administrator Update

9. New Business

10. Comments and Announcements

11. Adjournment

Monday, May 11, 2020

Minutes BCD Supervisor meeting April 9, 2020


Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, April 9, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Remote Meeting
The call-in number is 1(646) 876-9923. Meeting ID 132436088 #


Minutes

  1. Call to order at 5:09pm, and Determination of Quorum
Present:
Board members: Adam Galambos, Ron Kujawski, David Ellis, Donna Kittredge, Ned Kirchner
Program Administrator: Cynthia Grippaldi
NRCS representative: Gary Blazejewski

  1. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Donna Kittredge
Review and approval of March 3rd minutes. Move to accept by Ron, second by David, all in favor

  1. Treasurer’s Report – Submitted by David Ellis
a.       David took pages 13 and 14 out of the Nutrient Management Grant to use as a template for the budget. He will add another column to use for month ahead projections. David will show No-Till income in a separate category using Quicken.
b.       The audit has been completed. The auditor recommended that whenever we make a deposit we make a note describing what it was for.
c.       Cynthia will ask Tom if we can roll money over from the Nutrient Management Grant for 2021.
Move by Adam to accept Treasurer’s Report, second by Ron. All in favor.

  1. NRCS District Conservationist comments from Gary Blazejewski
Gary continues to look into suggestions for new BCD supervisors/associates. He attended the Franklin Conservation District meeting to learn that many farmers are selling to schools. People in the community intend to start or are starting Victory Gardens which he hopes will garner more local interest. NRCS is still doing field business and practicing social distancing. Gary is spending more time with new hires in Hadley and Greenfield.

5.       District Supervisors
Ron will email Tom for more information on the quarterly meetings regarding the location and need for BCD representation.

  1. Program Status
·         Cynthia reported that the No-Till presentation on March 11 partnered with Berkshire Grown was well-received. Mike Balawender gave a great explanation of how the machine works. Dan Tighe (NRCS) was there to talk about how his agency can help with no-till practices, as well. We need to figure out how to compensate Mike for storing the no-till seeder as he is integral to this program and needs our support. It was suggested that Mike give us an idea of what he needs for compensation.
·         The first rental of the No-Till seeder by a farmer with 72-acres was a success.
·         We received a letter of non-renewal from Hartford Insurance stating coverage of rental equipment for farmland use is not acceptable. May 15, 2020 is the date of expiration. Cynthia will call Farm Family Agency in Williamstown and other insurance companies to inquire as to their coverage of farm equipment rentals.
·         EEA Grant — the initial proposal is due May 29. If chosen for funding, the full proposal is due July 24. This is for Phase II of Nutrient Management Proposal.
·         After making many calls, Cynthia was able to reach someone with the Viridian program. The program has ended, however we will still receive compensation from individuals who had signed on.

7.       Program Administrator Update —Submitted by Cynthia Grippaldi
·         Cynthia sent the quarterly report to Tom
·         BCD will give the annual $250 scholarship to BCC
·         Cynthia will ask Gary about his perspective on MOUs

New Business

  1. District Annual Work Plan — Cynthia will look for a plan from the past to be used as a template that can be used hand-in-hand with the new budget. Adam recommended that as a new board, we need to have a vision for moving forward. We need to continue discussion about our mission.
  2. DEP Pollution Grant — MCAD and HVA are applying for it. Adam recommended that we focus on making our our existing programs successful and not spread ourselves too thin this season by applying for it.
  3. Comments/Announcements — Cynthia expressed her appreciation for the new board.
  4. Adjournment — At 6:48pm Adam motioned to adjourn, second by Ron. All in favor.

Upcoming Events/Meetings:
Berkshire Conservation District Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Meetings are usually held at 78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Until restrictions are lifted for social isolation due to COVID-19, the next meeting will be held remotely on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 by dialing in at 1(646) 876-9923 Meeting ID 132436088 #.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Agenda BCD Supervisor meeting May 5, 2020

Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Remote Meeting

The call in number is 1(646) 876-9923. Meeting ID 132436088 #

Agenda for Tuesday, May 5, 2020

1. Call to order and Determination of Quorum

2. NRCS Reporting/Comments from Gary Blazejewski

3. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Donna Kittredge
      Review and approval of April 9th minutes

4. Treasurer’s Report – Submitted by David Ellis
       April 2020 Treasurer’s Report

5. District Supervisors
      Update on recruitment of supervisors and associates

6. Program Status
       a. No-Till (FY 2020) — scheduling rentals, insurance for towing, management,
           Mike’s needs for storage
       b. Nutrient Management update

7. Program Administrator Update

8. New Business

9. Comments and Announcements

10. Adjournment

Upcoming Events/Meetings:
Berkshire Conservation District Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Meetings are usually held at 78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201.
Until restrictions are lifted for social isolation due to COVID-19, the next meeting will be held remotely on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 by dialing in at 1(646) 876-9923 Meeting ID 132436088 #.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Minutes BCD Supervisors Meeting March 3, 2020

Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Conference Room
78 Center Street, Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Minutes

1. Call to order at 5:02pm, and Determination of Quorum
     Present:
     Board members – Adam Galambos, Ron Kujawski, David Ellis, Donna Kittredge
    Associates: Mike Balawender
    Program Administrator: Cynthia Grippaldi
    NRCS representative: Gary Blazejewski

Reports
2. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Cynthia Grippaldi
    a. Review and approval of February 4 th minutes. Move to accept by Dave, second by Ron, all in
        favor
3. Treasurer’s Report – Submitted by Cynthia
    a. Cynthia developed and presented a new Treasurer’s Report form. She will investigate
        Viridian to see if it’s worth our while to link it to BCD website
b. Cynthia attended the MDAR workshop
c. Audit is still in the process
d. Dave will review the last two years of BCD budgets and begin to form a budget for 2020.
     Motion by Adam for Dave to begin budget process, second by Donna, all in favor.
4. NRCS District Conservationist Gary Blazejewski introduced himself and talked about the NRCS
    mission which provides technical assistance for private landowners regarding farmland or forest
     issues. Gary (or other NRCS rep) will attend monthly BCD meetings to keep abreast of local
     issues and to collaborate with us when appropriate.

Old Business
5. District Supervisors
     a. Regarding recruitment to the Board of Supervisors, Ron suggested we might want to recruit
         2 additional members — someone in farming, ag and/or nursery businesses. All attendees
         will ask around. It would be good to get more people from North county involved. We would
         also like additional associates to join us.
     b. Designation of committees will take place when needed.
     c. State Commission Member — they would like a rep from BCD to attend their meetings.
        Adam will look into the details.
6. Program Status
    a. No-Till Update: Promotion, scheduling rentals, and management —
       200 No-Till cards were printed. On 2/24, Cynthia mailed 86 cards to addresses procured
       from the Berkshire Grown booklet. We have 3 to 5 farmers inquiring and one commitment
       with a 50-acre parcel. Cynthia will do the scheduling. Mike gave more details on how the no-
       till machine works. Mike will communicate to the farmers exactly what type of heavy
       machinery is required to haul the no-till seeder in order to keep it in the best shape. Mike
       has offered to haul the no-till machine to farmers who do not have the ability to do it, he
       will ask his insurance company if he is covered for this. BCD’s equipment and liability
       insurance is up to date.
    b. Nutrient Management — Ned signed the paperwork and as soon as the audit is done, funds
        will become available to us.
    c. Developing resources — Discussion took place on how we could collaborate with other
        organizations to support each other regarding programs, education, etc. Adam suggested
        that colleges might appreciate a relationship with us. Ron suggested that Umass Extension
        might be available to give us advice.
7. Program Administrator Update —
    a. Cynthia sent EEA the quarterly report on what we have done.
    b. On 2/12, Cynthia and Donna got a tutorial from Marita Carroll (who provided updated
        website design) on how to navigate Wordpress so we can make editorial changes in-
         house.
    c. Cynthia attended the MDAR workshop on 2/13 and the presenter described grant
        funding available to farms. She suggested two grants that would be appropriate for BCD
        to apply for. The Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) Program and the
       Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP).
    d. On 2/17, she spoke with Audrey Irvine-Broque from the Northeast Grassroots
        Environmental Fund regarding the pollinator grant and how to best apply for it again.
        Audrey suggested applying for the total grant of $3,500.
    e. On 2/24, Cynthia submitted $4,378.50 to the EEA for reimbursement.
    f. Cynthia contacted Jane Obaggy to ask how many years of meeting minutes need to be
        present on the website. Only one year is required as long as previous minutes are kept
        in binders which Cynthia has organized.
    g. Cynthia will be out of the office from March 16th to the 29th .

New Business
8. No-Till Practices Workshop with Berkshire Grown March 11, 2020, 3pm to 6pm, Stockbridge
    Town Hall — Mike will give the No-till presentation
9. WMMGA Symposium at LMMHS March 28, 2020 — Ron and Donna will attend and bring items
     to sell at the table. Will give away seeds in exchange for email addresses to build our email base.
    Will reach out to home gardeners with info promoting our new website, no-till program and
     conservation info
10. DEP — to be reviewed
11. District Annual Work Plan — David suggested we consider using Nutrient Management as a
template for setting our goals. To be discussed.
12. Adjournment At 6:39pm, Adam motioned to adjourn, second by Ron, all in favor
Upcoming Events/Meetings:

- Next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 7, at 78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA, Conference
Room

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Agenda BCD Supervisors meeting April 9, 2020

Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Remote Meeting

The call in number is 1(646) 876-9923 Meeting ID 132436088 #

Agenda

1. Call to Order and Determination of Quorum

Reports:
2. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Donna Kittredge
    a. Review and Approval of March 3rd Minutes

3. Treasurer’s Report – Submitted by David Ellis
    a. March 2020 Treasurer’s report
    b. Monthly/Yearly Budget update
    c. Audit status
    d. Review budget info from the Nutrient Management Grant proposal (separate attachment)

4. District Supervisors
    a. Update on recruitment of supervisors and associates
    b. State Commission Member update

5. Program Status
    a. No-Till (FY2020)
         Scheduling rentals, management, update on insurance for towing

    b. Nutrient Management Update (FY 2020)
    c. Developing Resources – update from Adam and Ron

6. Program Administrator Update
    a. Administrator’s report – Submitted by Cynthia Grippaldi

New Business
7. District Annual Work Plan - goals, objectives, activities

8. DEP Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant RFR

8. Comments and Announcements

9. Adjournment

Upcoming Events/Meetings:
Berkshire Conservation District Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday
of each month. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 5, at 5pm. Meeting may be remote or at 78
Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201, Conference Room. To be determined.