KCFA Board Meeting – Minutes
April 15, 2009
Call to Order 4PM
Members present: B. Corker, T. Belcastro, R. Barnes, C. Bondera, M. Moss, K. Wood, R. Anders, J. Rowe, D. Sims, N. Griffith, M. Lake
March Board minutes accepted as written.
Treasurer’s report accepted by Board.
Marcy Montgomery of One Island Sustainable Living Center gave a presentation on Sustainable energy Grants that are available. Her main presentation followed our meeting and was available to the community. Contact her at www.one-island.org/hawaii.
Chamber of Commerce/Price Info report- N.Griffith spoke of the free booklet called ‘the Source’, free Solar Net-metering, 35% subsidy from State with Fed Tax credits, Bank of Hawaii is lender. Call HELCO for info on qualifying.
May 6th Kuleana Exhibit free at the Sheraton re: ‘going green in business’.
T. Belcastro reported on researching coffee bean direct and green pricing on the internet.
A motion to move coffee price info from the member area to the public area availability.
Motion 2nd & passed.
Social report-Co-Chairs Kathy Wood and Lisa Corker are still working on the Vanilla Farm tour. Probably around $30 for lunch. She is working on final dates & cost.
Events report-Selling coffee at the Kona Society Mothers Day Orchid Sale, May 8&9, need ideas for the Nov 8th KCFA Banquet.
Grants report-by R. Anders – There are value added grants available contact Tim O’Connell at USDA.
Membership report- We have 239 members, 188 farmers, 8 supporting, & 39 associates. Suggestion to give ideas on what membership provides esp. to business members, and list on website.
Estate committee report- Joanie Rowe reported 2 re-certifications are done and 2 to look at for certification.
Newsletter report-from C. Sheppard-The April Newsletter has been delivered. It included guest columns from Shawn Steiman and Ken Sheppard, and a regular column from our web mistress. Cea issued the Newsletter on April 6th to our members, politicians, press, and posted it on the website, than you Cea. I encourage guest columns on any subject of practical use to our farmers, or any relevant newsworthy issue. For example, if any of you have been to a Coffee Fest meeting or mainland trade show, a brief report would be welcome.
The Website Committee-consisting of Cea & Bruce, met on March 30 along with 4 interested Board members, Marylou Moss, Colehour Bonders, Joanie Rowe and Mary Lake. The Committee is reviewing suggestions and is in the process of making changes and updates.
The Website Committee continues to welcome and encourages input and suggestions from Members of the Kona Coffee Farmer Association.
Education committee report- 1) Shawn Steiman to present a workshop on coffee cupping at CTAHR, Tue. Apr. 28th, 2pm. 2) Dr. Johnathon Deenik-Soil Scientist to do a seminar on May 28th @9am. 3) May 2 having a ‘Strategy to Nurture trees’ for best yield, talk story on Sat. [email protected] Trent Bateman
Re OrIGin, Bruce reported that Harold Hoogasian is serving as KCFA liaison to this prestigious international organization seeking to protect the regional identities of agricultural products on a world-wide basis.
Bruce reported on the invitations to the Agile Agriculture Summit and to the US Geographical Indications working group meetings at the University of Arkansas being held June 30, July 1-2. The Board authorized expenditures for expenses of a representative to attend.
Dept of Education has Entrepreneur grants available.
Per Paige Trygstead the South Kona website will be starting soon. Farmers are welcome see princessrahdafarm.com.
Legislative Committee Report- 1---HB 1226 “GMO Pre-Emption Bill” This bill, advanced by Mainland chemical and bio-engineering companies, would significantly increase risks of GMO contamination of Kona Coffee. The bill would prevent Counties and State administrative agencies from taking any action that would “discriminate” against GMOs. KCFA has adopted a formal resolution in opposition to the bill. Although it passed the House of Representatives, HB 1226 appears to have died in the Senate. However, the bill remains on the Legislative agenda for the next year’s session and remains a threat for Kona coffee.
2---Hawaii County Council Resolution NO. 81-09. Introduced by Council Member Pete Hoffmann, this resolution urges defeat of HB 1226, the “GMO Pre-Emption Bill”. Hoffman is concerned about unregulated plantings of GMOs in Hawaii County and about defending principles of “home rule” and “local control.” The Maui County Council has already passed a similar resolution. Many thanks to all KCFA members who answered the call and testified (in writing or in person) in favor of Hoffmann’s resolution. Surprisingly none of the representative of the Farm Bureau, Kona Coffee Council, or the chemical and bio-engineering companies who had testified in support of GMOs in past Council hearing showed up for the April 8 Council meeting on the Resolution. Unfortunately, Council President J. Yoshimoto of Hilo, on a technicality, postponed a vote until the April 22 Council meeting at the Sheraton Resort in Kona. We will again need KCFA members’ written testimony—and especially in-person testimony—in support of this important Resolution. Please come and testify.