Attending: Pam, Ellen, Tom, Rick, Gail
1) Officer Updates
a. USDA-NIFA Grant (Ellen): grant received. Need to get rolling on planning the meeting.
i. Meeting Subcommittee – Ellen, Debbie, Pam, Casey, Paul Pugliese, Rick, Lucy (maybe), Tom (maybe). To Do: Ellen will send out a Doodle poll to set the first meeting of the planning committee.
ii. We have one year from the time that we receive the money, to host the meeting. Money should be received by August. We should plan to host prior during or before August 2018.
iii. First decisions: place and date. June, July, August 2018 are being considered.
1. There are some free host options or options where we can dovetail with other meetings.
iv. There is an online reporting system. The more activities we’re able to report, the better. To Do for All: Send notes about NICH-related activities to Ellen, and she will include them in the report.
b. HRI Grant (Tom U.)
i. Deadline May 31st (tomorrow), so will not be submitting this year, but an idea to keep in mind for future grant proposals.
ii. Cultivating a culture of gardening in the US. Plant societies are an indicator of this culture. If we had information about how plant societies are doing ~ their culture, demographics, and trends ~ that would help us understand this segment of consumer horticulture. The idea was to look at the role / economic impact that plant society-related groups, and public gardens have on the industry (wholesale/resale), in the context of modern commerce (internet). Would involve survey work and library work.
iii. Our Extension folks have good tie-ins, or at least know of, the many, small plant societies that are around. There is also a coalition of American Plant Societies.
iv. [Q] If we get plant society folks involved with NICH, is there a particular council they should participate on? [A] Non-profit seems the best fit.
c. Organizational Structure Perspectives
i. Advocating what we believe without conflict of interest: if other organizations have done a good job of addressing conflict of interest, we should look at their bylaws.
1. We will have to decide on our organization structure at our national meeting. There may be a strong academic origin, but there is a strong business component that runs the organization (grapes, citrus).
2. We need a committee working on a business plan and our formal structure.
ii. Farm Bill – What is our “ask”? How do we align? Skip
d. Meetings with Congressional Reps Tabled
2) Marketing and Communications Committee Update (Suzi) Tabled since Suzi is gone.
a. AmeriHort / Cultivate ~ Pam will be attending
3) Committee Reports
a. Community and Health Benefits Committee (Pam): the group is knee-deep in the literature review and gap analysis. They are working to complete 1st iteration by June / July.
b. Environmental Committee (Rick): the committee is developing keywords to use in literature searches. Different people on the committee are taking responsibility for different keywords.
c. Academic Council (Rick): Margaret resigned as co-chair of the academic council. Now that we have an NIFA planning grant, it may make it more interesting for academics to participate in the group.
i. We should reach out to academic program leaders to recruit members.
ii. In our grant proposal review, we ranked highly from the industry relevance review, but our overall ranking went down when we went to the technical review committee (researchers).
4) From the Floor
a. Working with like-minded organizations ~ Association for Vertical Farming, Urban Agriculture Table conversation for future meeting
b. Things to keep in mind ~ are these organizations focused on consumers or more commercial side emphasis?
c. What is the timing on the next Farm Bill?: groups are organizing now. Next Farm Bill should be happening next year, but it is often delayed.