Monday, December 1, 2014

December 2014 Meeting Agenda

Board Meeting - December 15, 2014 at 4:30pm

Join us for a meeting with new board members and new initiatives for 2015!

1.      Call to Order

2.      Welcome new board members

a.       Swearing in Dicken Crane of Dalton

b.      Election Certificates and Paperwork

c.       Supervisor Training Info and Handbook

3.      Secretary’s Reports – minutes from October and annual meeting on 11/13/14

4.      Treasurer’s Report – monthly reports from October to December

a.       Bills to pay – UMASS Extension Doantion for Soil Health Workshop

b.      NRCS Report

5.      Old Business

a.       FY2014 financial report – approval needed

b.      Bulb Sale Review and Report

6.      New Business

a.      Officer Elections

b.      Board Meeting Date/Time – vote needed

c.      Staff performance reviews

d.      Gift for outgoing supervisors

7.      District Development and Community Partnerships

a.       Online fundraising store/website

b.      Educational workshops and member events

c.       Berkshire Community College environmental student engagement

8.      Partner Organization updates

a.       MACD Annual Mtg. and State Commission Mtg. Nov. 25th in Sudbury

b.      RC&D Council donation to the UMASS Adrian Meyer scholarship

9.     2015 Tree Sale Planning – brochure, date and location, committees
10.   Administrator's/Staff Activity Report

11.   Announcements

a.    Mid-Year Budget Review– January meeting

b.    Tree Sale/Finance Committee meeting: ___________________

 Next Meeting: Monday, January 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm or as amended at this meeting.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November was FULL of Fun Events

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 in Amherst, MA
Soil Health Conference Hosted by NRCS and UMASS
(Theme - farming with nature for fruits and vegetables)

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 in Pittsfield, MA
Berkshire Conservation District Annual Dinner Meeting:
(inducted new supervisor Vivian Mason and discussed Annual Report)
Friday, November 14th, 2014 at
Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts Annual Meeting:
(honored Senator Diaz for a sponsoring bill that enables District land ownership)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Berkshire Conservation District Annual Dinner Meeting

 You are cordially invited to Berkshire Conservation District’s
2014 Annual Meeting and Elections
(open to all members and supporters!) 

Thursday, November 13th - 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Zucchini’s Restaurant 1331 North Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Seating 5:30pm-6:00pm
Dinner and Elections 6:00pm-700pm
Presentations 7:00pm-8:30pm

Tickets are $30 per person
Featuring Guest Speakers Winton Pitcoff from NOFA/Mass
Raw Milk Network talking on "Raw milk: History, myths and reality"

and Christine Clarke, MA State Conservationist, NRCS with a
presentation about her work in Hawaii.

Ticket price includes a buffet meal (including meat and vegetarian entrées)
with salad, rolls, coffee or tea, and dessert.


Questions? call (413) 443-1776 ext. 102
or email

Monday, October 27, 2014

2015 Soil Health Conference - Hosted By NRCS

NEXT WEDNESDAY!!!! The NRCS teams up with UMASS Extension and Northeast SARE to host a Soil Health Conference. Open to General Public in Amherst, MA. Please try to RSVP if you're interested!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014 Annual Meeting - November 13th

Pittsfield, MA – Berkshire Conservation District will hold its annual meeting and elections at Zucchini’s Restaurant, 1331 North Street, Pittsfield on Thursday, November 13th at 5:30pm.

Tickets are $30 and cover the cost of a buffet dinner and dessert.

The event features guest speakers Winton Pitcoff from NOFA/Mass Raw Milk Network talking about “Raw Milk: History, Myths, and Reality”  and State Conservationist Christine Clarke from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service with a slideshow about her time in Hawaii.

Please click here to download the registration form. Please send us RSVP via mail, e-mail or call the office at (413) 443-1776 ext. 102. Registration is due by November 5th.

If you are interested in becoming a district supervisor, please contact the office as soon as possible or come to the event to be nominated from the floor.

Berkshire Conservation District is a tax-exempt state agency in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Join us at the Berkshire Orchid Show this Weekend (Sat. Oct 24th)

Berkshire Orchid and Tropical Show

Saturday & Sunday (Oct. 24-25) 10am - 4pm

at Berkshire Community College (1350 West Street, Pittsfied, MA 01201)

Call for more info: 413-399-4660

A benefit for the

BCC Foundation

The Berkshire Conservation District will set up an informational table on Saturday to educate the large crowds that come to see all the wild wonders this weekend has to offer. We'll be giving away a free prize! Come visit our table to learn more!
This show features orchids, succulents, bromeliads, bonsai and other tropical plants. There will also be seminars and informational classes. 
  • STROLL through exciting exhibits and VOTE for the People's Choice Award.
  • SHOP with top growers and vendors for plants, accessories, supplies and artwork.
  • LEARN from local experts in a number of educational talks and workshops
Admission: $5   -    Toddlers attend for free
(free parking available) 
OrchidOrchid Vendors

2014 Vendors & Exhibitors

Empty Nest
Larry Goldberg, Photographer
Ralph Hoffmann Environmental Center and Greenhouse
Brian Kelley, Bonsai
Jeanine Loya, Cacti and Succulents
Alice Niles
Phyllis Pryzby

Workshops, talks and demonstrations
Learn how to create a dish garden or terrarium, begin a bonsai, grow bromeliads, or propagate begonias. Hear from local experts on native orchid species. Click here for the full weekend schedule.
All FREE with paid admission unless noted. Seating is first come- first served.
Orchid ArtTropicalRob_Gennari_workshopfrogyellow orchid

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 2014 Meeting Agenda

AGENDADistrict Supervisors’ Meeting
Friday, October 10th  at 4:00pm
Suite 206 Conference Room

1.    Call to Order
a)    Introductions
2.    Secretary’s Report
3.    Treasurer’s Report
4.    Bills to Approve
5.    Guest: BCC Student Robert Wehry – research survey
6.    Guest: Lisa J. Pergola, Viridian Associate
a)    Changes in Viridian products and RFP opportunities
7.    Old Business
a)    Bulb Sale Coordinator Report - Preparations for sale day, Oct. 18th
b)    FY2014 Financial Report – Approval needed
c)    Supervisor Recruitment and Annual Meeting Planning
                                          i.        Elect the Nominating Committee Chairperson
d)    Soil Health Event Update – Teleconference planned for conservation districts
e)    Administrator Pay Increase
f)     Report of Actions of Previous Meeting
8.    New Business
9.    Reports of Partner Agencies
10.  Administrator’s Report
11.  Announcements
a)    Bulb Sale Day – Sat. October 18th, 9am to 12pm, Lakeview Orchard and Monument Mountain Regional High School
b)    Farming With Nature: Improving Soil Health on Vegetable Farms - Wed., Nov. 5th at Immanuel Lutheran Church, N. Amherst, 9am-3pm, registration due by Nov. 1st, free admission, lunch provided.
c)    State Commission Meeting Rescheduled - Thurs. Nov. 6th from 9:30am – 2pm, location TBA.
d)    MACD Annual Meeting - Friday, Nov. 14th  at the Assabet River Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury, MA from 10AM-3PM, lunch provided, carpooling provided at the Hadley NRCS Field Office.
12.  Adjournment

Friday, September 26, 2014

Upcoming Agriculture Courses Offered by MADR
Agricultural Business Planning Courses 2014-15

MDAR offers three course levels for participants who are 1) thinking about farming, 2) gearing up to start, with secure access to land, or 3) already operating Massachusetts agricultural enterprise. Our courses are not offered online because participants confirm greater benefit when they have a peer group to share ideas with over several consecutive weeks. Enrollment is limited to facilitate discussion. Attendance by the registrant (or an informed substitute) is required at all scheduled sessions. Fees are kept low through MDAR support, and a partner may attend at no additional cost.

"Explorers" - For those who are just thinking about getting into farming or are expanding a hobby to an income-generating scale:  “Exploring the Small Farm Dream” offers guidance and feedback to help make informed decisions about whether or not to take the plunge -  and how to proceed in the first stages of feasibility. Five sessions over 6 weeks on weekday evenings.  Cost per enterprise - $100.   Amherst 2014 November 5, 12, 19, December 3, 10 -  and Marlborough 2015 March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

"Planners" – For those a step beyond Explorer who have a strong sense of what they intend to do and where:  “Planning for Start-up” is a gut check before making significant investments of time and money. It requires completion of Explorer, or equivalent programs and experience. Planners have already made the decision to farm on a revenue generating scale, and have secured the land and initial finances to do so. Six sessions over 8 weeks on Saturday mornings. Cost per enterprise - $150. Amherst Only 2014 November 1, 8, 15, 22, December 6, 13

"Established Farmers" – For those already operating a commercial agricultural enterprise and in need of a comprehensive business plan.  “Tilling the Soil of Opportunity” offers a chance to assess, regroup, plan 5 years ahead and finance expansion, or clarify transfer/succession. The course draws on peer experience, Instructor knowledge and guest speakers. This course is USDA/FSA certified for “Borrower Training”. Graduates may qualify for individual post-course technical assistance. Ten sessions over 11 weeks on weekday evenings. Cost per enterprise -  $200.  Dates and location to be determined between November and March 2014-15

We offer each course once per year, sometimes both in eastern and a western locations if local demand exists. Registration is rolling, so those who have completed an application (no payment until enrollment is complete) receive priority when locations and dates are finalized.

Email information/application requests to

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 2014 Meeting Agenda

District Supervisors’ Meeting
Located at 78 Center St., Ste. 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Thursday, September 11th at 4:30pm
Suite 206 Conference Room


1. Call to Order – Determination of a Quorum
2. Secretary’s Report
3. Treasurer’s Report
4. Bills to Approve
5. NRCS Report – Vince Snyder, District Conservationist
a) Berkshire Cty 2014 EQIP Contracts –Conservation Plan Summaries, Draft
6. Old Business
a) FY2014 Financial Report – Approval needed
b) NRCS Soil Health Event Planning
c) Bulb Sale Update
d) Report of Actions of Previous Meeting
e) District Revitalization Plan –Checklist Status, Supervisor Attendance Review
7. New Business
a) Supervisor Recruitment
b) Annual Meeting Planning
c) Greylock Federal Credit Union -Members Program
8. Reports of Partner Agencies
9. Administrator’s Report
10. Next Meeting and Agenda
11. Announcements
12. Adjournment

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 2014 Meeting Agenda


AGENDADistrict Supervisors’Meeting
Thursday, August 14th at 4:30pm
Suite 206 Conference Room
1. Call to Order
2. New Hire: T.J. Kennedy, Bulb Sale Coordinator
3. Secretary’s Report – From last meeting on June 12th
4. Treasurer’s Report – June 12th to August 14th
5. Bills to Pay
6. Guest: Vince Snyder, NRCS District Conservationist
          a) NRCS Report
          b) Soil Health Event
          c) Conservation Plan Review Training
7. New Business
          a) Supervisor Removal From Office – Action needed
          b) MACD Action Plan for District Revitalization
8. Old Business
          a) Bulb Sale
          b) FY2014 Financial Review – Approval needed
          c) FY2015 Budget – Approval needed
          d) Sustainable Gardens Program
9. Partner Organizations
          a) State Commission Meeting
          b) RC&D Council Dissolution and Adrian Meyer Fund Donation\
10. Administrator’s Report
          a) Viridian RFP
11. Schedule the next meeting
12. Adjourn
Announcements: Fall Bulb Sale – Saturday, October 18thfrom 9am to 12pm at Monument Mountain Regional High School and Lakeview Orchards
Next District Meeting: TBD