Cass Clay Food Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Cass Clay Food Commission - September 12, 2018 Minutes

Members Present:
Arland Rasmussen, Cass County Commission, Chair
Mike Thorstad, West Fargo City Commission
Jenny Mongeau, Clay County Commission
Jim Aasness, Dilworth City Council
Sara Watson Curry, Moorhead City Council
Chelsey Johnson, Horace City Council Mindy Grant, At-Large Member
Bukola Bakare, At-Large Member Nancy Carriveau, At-Large Member

Members Absent:
John Strand, Fargo City Commission
Chris Olson, 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
Barb Witteman, Cass Clay Food Partners
Margie Bailly, Cass Clay Food Partners
Adam Altenburg, Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments

Chair Rasmussen called the meeting to order at 10:30 AM.
Chair Rasmussen welcomed new Commission members Sara Watson Curry from the City of Moorhead and Chelsey Johnson from the City of Horace. He also welcomed Margie Bailly, new member to the steering committee.

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

l(b). Review and Action on Minutes from May 9, 2018
A motion to approve the minutes was made by Ms. Carriveau and seconded by Ms. Grant. The motion was voted on and unanimously approved.

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

Ms. Watson Curry informed the Commission that Clay County will be offering a six-week master recycler and composter class starting on September 25 at the Moorhead Public Library. She indicated that the program aims to motivate people to reduce waste in their homes and workplaces.

Ms. Myrdal highlighted an initiative of the NDSU Master Gardner Program called Veggies for the Pantry. She stated that the program has five drop-off locations throughout the Fargo-Moorhead area where people are able to bring extra produce. She indicated that, as of the end of August, the program had collected nearly 3,000 lbs. of food and that food would continue to be collected every Monday evening through the end of October. She also provided the Commission an update of Extension's Field to Fork Festival series, with Cucumber Fest and Tomato Fest having been held in August and September and a third, Squash Fest, to be held on October 2 from 4:00 to 7:00 at the Growing Together Gathering Garden.

Ms. Johnson stated that the City of Horace is currently looking into developing a yard waste and compost site for city residents. She also informed the Commission of a new residential development that may include community garden space for area residents.

Ms. Ussatis indicated that NDSU Extension has seen an uptick in the number of food preservation calls it has received.

Ms. Grant provided the Commission a brief update on FARRMS and stated that the program will be starting again in December after the end of the growing season.

Ms. Bakare informed the Commission of her portable garden project, a project intended to help low-income families and New Americans in the Fargo-Moorhead area live a healthier lifestyle by growing their own vegetables, fruits, and herbs. She encouraged Commission members to visit the portable vegetable garden Facebook page to see additional photos of the project.

Mr. Altenburg provided an update on two recently completed comprehensive plans for Cass County and the City of Dilworth and indicated that both plans addressed multiple food systems issues at city and county levels for the first time.

Ms. Carriveau stated that GleaND has currently had three successful gleans this year and has already collected 6,000 lbs. of food. She also stated that Great Plains Food Bank would be hosting another pop-up perishable food pantry on September 27 in the parking lot of Axis Clinical in Dilworth.

Ms. Witteman informed the Commission that on August 27, 50 Concordia College students and 60 fourth graders with Hands for Change helped bag over 1,240 lbs. of dry beans that went to the Emergency Food Pantry. She also spoke about Concordia College students currently researching different hunger topics and would be sharing that information with elementary students in October.

Ms. Lipetzky stated she is working with FARRMS on the hiring of a new farmer task force project manager.

Ms. Durand stated that the North Dakota Planning Association conference is being held on September 13 in Grand Forks at that one food topic is being shared.

Ms. Mongeau stated that Clay County has partnered with Pheasants Forever to help return seven acres of county-owned property purchased through flood buyouts into pollinator habitats. She said that the site could provide excellent educational opportunities for area students and residents interested in protecting pollinator habitats.

Ms. Harden informed the Commission of a new opportunity through U of M Extension called the Action Learning Seed Fund, a mini-grant program to support communities impacted by inequities in the food system. She stated that applications will be accepted through November 1 and that more information can be found on the Extension website.

3. Federal Nutrition Programs at Farmers Markets Blueprint and Vote for Approval
Chair Rasmussen asked if there were any updates or revisions made to the federal nutrition programs and farmers markets blueprint. Ms. Myrdal indicated that there were no changes or revisions to the blueprint since the draft was released in May.

A motion to approve the federal nutrition programs at farmers markets blueprint was made by Ms. Mongeau and seconded by Mr. Aasness. The motion was voted on and unanimously

4a. Food Waste Presentation
Briana Erickson, Concordia College Dietetic Intern, provided the Commission information developed as part of a community snapshot on food waste. She discussed hurdles including lack of a municipal site that accepts food waste and lack of food waste collection programs, as well as current local initiatives through community education programs, local retailers, government and non-profits, and businesses and schools.

4b. Clay County Solid Waste: Anaerobic Digesters
Brett Rice and Chase Monson of Clay County Solid Waste provided the Commission information on the county's efforts to maximize food waste recycling efforts through anaerobic digesters. They stated that they have met with local food waste producers to gauge interest in participating in food waste recycling.

4c. Concordia College: Taste Not Waste
Meredith Wagner and Joan Kopperud of Concordia College discussed the Taste Not Waste educational campaign which aims to reduce plate waste at Anderson Commons at the Concordia campus.

5. Metro Food Plan Update
Mr. Altenburg provided a brief update on the Metro Food Plan. He stated that five separate public input events had been held throughout the summer and that the steering committee received 151 responses to comment cards asking what changes residents would like to see to community food systems in the next five years. He said that the steering committee would have more information to share at the Commission's November meeting.

6. Cass Clay Hunger Coalition: Hunger Action Month
Stacie Loegering, Emergency Food Pantry, provided the Commission information on the Cass Clay Hunger Coalition and its work activities during Hunger Action Month in the Fargo-Moorhead area. She shared information about new collaboration activities between area food banks to better track hunger needs in Fargo-Moorhead. She also provided information on the Health and Hunger Summit on October 16 at the Dakota Medical Foundation in Fargo.

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

Allison Brenne, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, spoke about her experience raising meat rabbits in Moorhead and her desire of seeing Moorhead allowing backyard chickens at some point in the future.

Barbara Villella, AmeriCorps Vista volunteer at Prairie Roots Community Fund, spoke about her efforts in seeking partners who are willing to match SNAP benefits at Prairie Roots Co-op and area farmers markets. She also talked other volunteers' work with the Prairie Roots Community Fund in developing community gardens in several low-income areas in Fargo. She also spoke of her work in advocating for reforms to WIC, the nutrition program for women, infants, and children, which would allow users of the program to choose organic food.

Mara Solberg, Solberg Farms, informed the Commission that she and other local area farmers are becoming more cognizant of food waste issues and are seeing more opportunities to accept food scraps and other food waste for direct feeding to animals.

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

No additional comments were made.

9. Commission Action Steps
Chair Rasmussen stated that the next Commission meeting would be held on November 7, 2018. He indicated that this is a week earlier than the Commission's normal time due to a scheduling conflict with the City of Fargo.

Chair Rasmussen adjourned the meeting at 11:56 AM.