Kitchen Cabinet Meeting Minutes February 2016

Posted on March 16th, 2016 by

Brady Kelley, Jessica Braun, Gwen Saliares,Cameron Reischauer, George Elliott, Chuck Niederriter, Steve Kjellgren, Audi Dickey, Molly Yunkers, Abby Nistler, Hayley Nemmers, Jeri Miller, Jim Dontje, Paul Matzke, Lisa Heldke, Jesse Womack

Greens Compost
Gusties after dark and Earth week are upcoming events.
Compost Committee – This committee wrapped up the project and there are about 200 people on the list that want compost buckets. Chapel View and Arbor View will have bins added. The owness of emptying bins is on the person taking the bin. Warren will put bins out – this has been tried in the past but has not been successful as it has not been well thought out or well-planned out.

Big Hill Farm
Students are needed to run the farm. Jim was gone last semester so he is not quite sure where we are at with this. The biggest challenge is continuity among students as soon as someone is trained and invested in the project they graduate. Big Hill Farm jobs require a lot of initiative on the student’s part. And compensation can be in the form of payment or an internship. It was also noted that Adam Ellefson has joined the grounds crew as a landscaper and he runs a local CSA so his experience is an added bonus to the campus.

Fair Trade
Fair Trade discussed their participation in the Involvement fair. There will be T-shirt voting with 3 styles of t-shirts to vote on. There will also be a Clothing swap with the Greens in with the support and help of the Bookmark.

The question was posed as to what should be on our agenda to get us to the next step? It will also be important to find the right student to take over Fair Trade when the seniors graduate. And are there other groups on campus who will work collaboratively with the group.
Fair Trade procurement was reviewed again and the group collectively brainstormed on how we might work with other offices on procurement. Molly shared how she has been researching the procurement end of things for the Bookmark and it has been a challenge as there is not a lot out there. There is, a fair trade living wage factory in Haiti that works with adult orphans that have aged out of foster care. Molly has reached out to the national organization, which has mostly random jewelry and scarves, so right now there is not a lot of custom items. Molly has also reached out to Office Max and has not had much luck on a larger scale. The Office Max contract is up so there is an opportunity to find another supplier. Molly has also contacted the Sunfish Company (products from Nepal) and tried to learn more of their story and has not gotten much response.
In regards to our Food suppliers, we do support more local resources but we have not done the field trips to the local factories to see what conditions are like. This ties in to a great question that Steve brought up regarding Purdue a chicken manufacturing processing company based on East Coast. They are coming out with a new line that is organic and free range and not in food service yet. They are pushing the organic line which is twice as expensive as our local chickens that are not organic. With our local chickens we are supporting local suppliers. Do we pay twice as much for an organic free range hormone free chicken or do we support our local economy? We don’t know where the organic chickens come from and how are the people and chickens treated. We still don’t have the cage free eggs back – production is still not to a point where they are available. The Hub has dried up as well as they are out in door laying chickens due to the winter season.

Health Service
People have been fairly healthy across campus. Health Service just completed another successful Employee Health Screening.

Question of a President’s Council on Sustainability
Chuck discussed the possibility of the concept of a President’s Council on Sustainability. There is some interest and documents were prepared and sent out. The goal would be to raise this up to the cabinet level.
Jim, Jeff and Chuck visited a new startup company in Chaska – a wind delivery system. It is a smaller scale turbine that generates energy. It is the best Jim has seen for a roof top wind turbine. It is called Sheer Wind and is located by the Landscape Arboretum. We are pursuing with them how we can contribute and how we can be involved.
The Sustainability Fair was discussed as well and when that should be on the calendar for spring semester. Earth Day is on a Friday and Bill McKinnon plans to join us by Skype on Wednesday of the same week so perhaps doing it on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of that week.

Coke Grant Process
Heather Dale is heading a group exploring the coke grant process and how it might be more effective. Steve noted that the committee would like to have a higher quality of submissions received. For example, if there was a theme attached to the year would that attract more individuals in applying for the $20,000 that is available? Or if a professor sees some work can it be nominated and would that would improve the quality of submissions.
The charge includes what the scope is – Sustainability, Well Being, Water Stewardship, Climate Protection. The Coke Grant just has not generated as much excitement as we as a campus had hoped. Or students just don’t have time for it. It was noted that our seniors are the most capable of this project yet they are leaving us and they can’t really take on a project that can’t be finished. It was suggested that perhaps a senior student could find an underclassmen at the beginning of the year and mentor them and help prepare them to take on such a project. Also being more intentional as the granting agency; does there need to be a session on how to write a grant. Or do we need to have a one hour session at the beginning of the year and walk students through the application process.

Kitchen Cabinet Conversations
These will continue through this semester and Lisa suggested we come up with questions and answers for this coming Wednesday’s conversations.


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