Cass Clay Food Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Cass Clay Food Commission - March 14, 2018 Minutes

Members Present:
Mike Thorstad, West Fargo City Commission, Interim Chair
Jenny Mongeau, Clay County Commission
Jim Aasness, Dilworth City Council
John Strand, Fargo City Commission
Sharon May, Horace City Council
Chris Olson, At‐Large Member
Bukola Bakare, At‐Large Member
Nancy Carriveau, At‐Large Member

Members Absent:
Arland Rasmussen, Cass County Commission
Heidi Durand, Moorhead City Council
Mindy Grant, At‐Large Member
Kayla Pridmore, At‐Large Member

Others Present:
Kim Lipetzky, Fargo Cass Public Health
Hali Durand, Cass County Planning
Megan Myrdal, NDSU Extension
Rita Ussatis, NDSU Extension
Noelle Harden, U of M Extension
Nikki Johnson, U of M and NDSU Extension
Abby Gold, NDSU
Deb Haugen, Cass Clay Food Partners
Joleen Baker, Cass Clay Food Partners
Whitney Oxendahl, Cass Clay Food Partners
Adam Altenburg, Fargo‐Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments

Interim Chair Thorstad called the meeting to order at 10:30 AM.

1(a). Approve Order and Contents of the Overall Agenda
A motion to approve the order and contents of the overall agenda was made by Ms. Mongeau and seconded by Mr. Aasness. The motion was voted on and unanimously approved.

1(b). Review and Action on Minutes from January 10, 2018
A motion to approve the minutes was made by Mr. Aasness and seconded by Mr. Strand. The motion was voted on and unanimously approved.

2. Commission Check‐In
Interim Chair Thorstad stated that Commission members and the steering committee had an opportunity to provide updates on news or events happening in the community.

Ms. Myrdal informed the Commission that a “Nudging to Health” workshop would be held on March 21 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM at the Cass County Annex Building. She stated that the purpose of the workshop is to encourage healthier food choices for people who work and volunteer at area food pantries. She also informed the Commission of a Farmers Market Round Up meeting on March 27 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at Fargo Cass Public Health. She explained that this meeting would provide general information and sales strategies to people interested in selling at markets in the upcoming season.

Ms. Mongeau stated that eight acres of county land purchased during flood buyouts in the rural Crestwood neighborhood would be turned into a new pollinator habitat. She explained that the county is partnering with the Soil and Water Conservation District and River Keepers, and that University of Minnesota Extension would also be assisting with the project.

Ms. Lipetzky stated that a public hearing for proposed administrative changes to cottage food laws would be held on March 23 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Fargo Cass Public Health. She explained that the North Dakota Department of Health would be seeking public input on its proposed rules for the new law. She also informed the Commission of the upcoming Heart‐n‐ Soul Community Café on March 19 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Fargo Cass Public Health.

Mr. Aasness provided a brief update on the new 40‐acre Keystone development in Dilworth.

Ms. Baker informed the Commission that Prairie Roots Co‐op would be presenting the documentary “Food for Change” about the history of co‐ops on April 3 at 7:00 PM at the Fargo Theatre. She explained that a pre‐screening reception with the filmmaker Steve Alves would be held beforehand at 5:00 PM and a Q&A session would be held after the film.

Ms. Haugen provided information about Growing Together’s upcoming Garden Sign‐in Potluck on March 15 at 5:30 PM at Olivet Lutheran Church.

Ms. Gold stated that NDSU would be hosting a summit “Health Equity and Social Justice: Bridging the Gap” on ways to better address health equity in North Dakota. She explained that a welcoming reception would be on April 9 from 5:30 to 8:00 PM and that the summit would be held April 10 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM at the Alumni Center.

Mr. Strand shared a brief story from a beekeeper in Minnesota stating that Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is still a major concern for apiarists around the country.

Interim Chair Thorstad shared a news story about the Salvation Army’s efforts to combat food deserts by opening its first nonprofit grocery store in Baltimore. He stated that the full‐service grocery store, DMG Foods, is the first of several planned for disadvantaged neighborhoods in the city, with hopes of expanding the program nationwide. He added that the store also provides local residents with nutrition guidance, meal planning, and job training. He also shared a story from the International Consumer Electronics Show which unveiled the Robomart, the first self‐driving store that could be licensed to food retailers to provide affordable on‐demand delivery services.

3. Update on Revised Joint Powers Agreement
Mr. Altenburg informed the Commission that Fargo Cass Public Health and Metro COG had made minor edits to the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) which first formed the Commission back in late 2014. He explained that Metro COG periodically updates JPAs, Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), and other agreements so that agreements are up‐to‐date and reflective of current needs. He stated that the revised agreement would be presented to the City of Fargo and Clay County for review and approval in the coming weeks and that the agreement would not affect or solicit funding from jurisdictions in the metropolitan area.

4. GleaND Update
Ms. Carriveau provided the Commission with an update on GleanND. She explained that Fargo Cass Public Health received at $20,000 state grant to launch a pilot gleaning program which would help collect unharvested produce for donation to area food banks and charities. She talked about the first steps that the GleaND task force has taken including developing a logo and website, branding, and hiring a part‐time gleaning coordinator, Janice Tweet, through the City of Fargo. She stated that the pilot program would connect with approximately seven farmers as well as other organizations and volunteers throughout the 2018 growing season in both Cass County and Clay County.

5. First Fridays @ B Update
Ms. Myrdal provided a brief update on First Fridays @ B, the Cass Clay Food Action Network formed in early 2018 and hosted by Ugly Food of the North. She provided information from the programs in January, February, and March which included speakers from Growing Together, Prairie Roots Co‐op, International Potluck, and Cultural Diversity Resources. She concluded with information on the upcoming program in April featuring Square One Kitchen, Off the Deck Hot Sauce, Flannel and Fizz, and Milk Made Catering in April.

Ms. Myrdal left at 11:00 AM.

6. Nutrition Assistance Programs and Reauthorization of the Farm Bill
Megan Ness Ditterick, Specialist and Program Coordinator for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) through NDSU Extension, provided the Commission information on Farm Bill along with nutrition and meal programs including SNAP, CACFP, and WIC. She provided details on the Farm Bill legislative and federal budget process, as well as statistics for SNAP beneficiaries in North Dakota and Minnesota. She also discussed potential impacts to urban and rural areas should funding be cut to certain nutrition assistance programs.

Ms. Oxendahl arrived at 11:10 AM. Ms. May arrived at 11:21 AM.
Ms. Mongeau left at 11:29 AM.

7. Public Comment Opportunity
Interim Chair Thorstad informed the Commission that time would be allotted for public comments.

Caroline McGuire, speaking on behalf of the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society, informed the Commission that the NPBGS would be developing an Edible Forest at its current site adjacent to Yunker Farm. She stated that the NPBGS would be submitting a grant application to the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund to assist in funding of the garden project in August 2018.

Ms. Ussatis left at 11:41 AM.

Bjorn Solberg, Ewetopian Farms, discussed the presentation by Ms. Ness Ditterick on the reauthorization of the Farm Bill and encouraged the Commission and the community to be proactive should there be major cuts in funding.

Brandon Delvo, North Dakota Farmers Union, formally introduced himself to the Commission. He added to the information presented earlier on the reauthorization of the Farm Bill that hunger in rural areas and food deserts in urban areas continue to be problems across the state and the country. He encouraged the Commission to look at ways to connect with and work with rural grocers and producers to better address hunger issues in the area.

8. Commission and Steering Committee Roundtable
Interim Chair Thorstad asked for the Commission and the steering committee to share any additional updates.

Ms. Durand stated that there would be a community garden workshop from 1:00 to 5:00 PM at Lutheran Social Services. She also informed the Commission that the North Dakota Planning Association was accepting abstracts for presentations at its next convention in September 2018.

Ms. Harden asked if anyone had any interest in discussing ideas on how to move forward with some of the blueprints developed and approved by the Commission, she would be happy to meet with individual members.

9. Commission Action Steps
Interim Chair Thorstad stated that the next Commission meeting would be held on May 9. He also mentioned the next First Friday meeting would be held on April 6 at Theatre B in Moorhead.

Interim Chair Thorstad adjourned the meeting at 11:55 AM.