November 28th Conference Call

National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH)

Bi-Weekly Tuesday Conference Call Minutes

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Attending: Gail, Debbie, Casey, Ellen, Clint, Suzi

1) NIFA Listening Sessions Update — all listening sessions are up and posted. If we wanted to link to them on our website, we could do so. To view presentations, go to https://nifa.usda.gov/nifalistens

a. To Do (Ellen): will get videos posted on the website. Direct reader within the link to: watch Ellen in Atlanta at (give time), Casey in Greenbelt (give time), Missy and Gail in Sacramento (give time).

b. Written Comments: accepted through December 1st. To Do (Casey): will get reminder email blast sent out to the listserv?

2) NICH Meeting Update (Ellen): there is a meeting, tomorrow, to discuss meeting invites, save the date, etc.

3) Recruitment, Placement, and Structure (Casey, All)

a. To Do (All Committee Chairs): Please update your committee rosters by Friday, December 8th. Send them to Gail and/or post to Box site in the NICH Organizational Documents folder. To Do (Casey): will send out a reminder to committee chairs to update the roster.

b. Organizational Structure: Is SCC-85 the Academic Council?: tabled until next meeting

c. Succession Planning: tabled until next meeting.

4) NICH (Email Blasts): Upcoming list – Suzi, Debbie, and Others

a. Written Comment reminder e-blast?: To Do: Casey will re-purpose the previous e-blast and send out to the listserv.

b. Economic survey:  the survey is complete and ready to go. They are planning to send it out. Debbie has a commitment from a trade mag (Grower Talks?) to write a February editorial publicizing the survey link and getting the link out to e-newsletter folks in January. In Jan/early February, there will be a major push to get the survey out.

i. Suzi will assist with edits. We can not re-use the editorial that will be published in Grower Talks mag. Our listserv e-mail blast should be specific to NICH.

ii. MANTS is Jan 10-12th. NICH e-mail blast on the economic survey should go out the week after MANTS (week of January 15th). To Do (Suzi/Debbi) get content to Casey during the 1st week of January. To Do (Casey) will send out economic survey e-mail blast on January 17th. To Do (Debbie) is working on an editorial for Grower Talks. She will follow up with AmericanHort folks to send the survey out to their constituents.

c. These items are being tabled until the next conference call. To Do (Ellen and Suzi) will revisit spreadsheet to repopulate with dates, to get these emails out. The goal will be to get at least one email out per month.

i. community/social committee objectives ranking

ii. economic committee objectives ranking

iii. environmental committee objectives ranking

5) What is our “Big Ask” from the Farm Bill? (Casey and Debbie H.)

a. Our group is large and diverse, in the process of making our needs known. One reason NICH exists is to influence the Farm Bill and to make sure that resources are allocated to consumer horticulture through the Farm Bill.

b. Ornamental horticulture, urban agriculture are included in consumer horticulture. Historically, not seen as the biggest stakeholder in the ag industry.

c. Stakeholders

i. Conventional stakeholders: Big Ag (row crops), including United Fresh. These conventional stakeholders are farm-centric.

ii. New stakeholders: Michael Pollan, American Public Health Association

iii. Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance now organized within United Fresh. AmericanHort is part of the SCFBA.

d. It has been made clear that there will be no new asks in the Farm Bill

e. What makes sense for our group is to reach out to the SCFBA, tell them about NICH and what our efforts are, and then we agree to support what they are asking for, such as (1) Specialty Crop Block Grants, (2) increasing funds for SCRI, (3) money for researching pests and diseases and maintaining funds for APHIS, increasing funding for emerging problems (gypsy moth, Asian longhorn beetle, etc.).

i. What does support look like?: writing letters to Congress, have a small delegation go to Congress and talking to our reps. Folks who organize Specialty Crop Block grants would be a target meeting — raising awareness within the SCBG folks so that they could tweak the RFP within the states.

ii. Work with key committee members, associations, to help the SCFBA understand that how we can support their efforts. We need to show the fruit and vegetable world that consumer horticulture is there for them — that we support and are grateful for what they do.

iii. Tom Bewick also advised that we should work with SCFBA.

f. What are the key deliverables we need before we can meet with the Spec Crop Farm Bill Alliance?

i. White paper of priorities for consumer horticulture (to be developed from the annual meeting?)

ii. What are our key priorities, across NICH committees? Make this a one-pager. These were developed from lit reviews, surveys. Go back to SCFBA and say, we have reached out to our industry. This is what our industry is telling us what they want. How do work together to support each other?

6) New Items – Floor

7) Review Action Items

To Do (Ellen): will get videos posted to website. Direct reader within the link to: see Ellen in Atlanta at (give time), Casey in Greenbelt (give time), Missy and Gail in Sacramento (give time).

To Do (Casey): will get reminder email blast sent out to the listserv?

To Do (All Committee Chairs): Please update your committee rosters by Friday, December 8th. Send them to Gail and/or post to Box site in the NICH Organizational Documents folder. To Do (Casey): will send out a reminder to committee chairs to update the roster.

Economic Survey:

  • To Do (Suzi/Debbi) get content to Casey during the 1st week of January.
  • To Do (Casey) will send out economic survey e-mail blast on January 17th.
  • To Do (Debbie) is working on an editorial for Grower Talks. She will follow up with AmericanHort folks to send the survey out to their constituents.

Email Blasts:

  • To Do (Ellen and Suzi) will revisit spreadsheet to repopulate with dates, to get these emails out. The goal will be to get at least one email out per month.

Next Meeting: (12.12.17? 12.29.17?)

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