Letter to Members August 2016
August 18, 2016
August 12, 2016 Dear NAFMNP Colleagues, I hope and trust you are all doing well. For most of us it is a busy time of year with markets in full swing, peak produce production, and high volumes of FMNP check usage. Please let me take a moment of your time though to touch on some positive events within the Association including the upcoming conference.
Recently the NAFMNP Board had input from both the Executive Committee and the Membership Committee on advancing the interests of the Association. The Membership Committee has been meeting frequently this year and one outcome was the suggestion that the Association create a vision statement. Judy Allen, Chair of the Membership Committee, provided me with a nice definition of a vision statement: it is “a company’s road map, indicating both what the company wants to become and guiding transformational initiatives by setting a defined direction for the company’s growth.” This idea dovetailed nicely with the Executive Committee’s belief that it is time for the Association to hold a strategic planning retreat. The Association has not had such a meeting for over ten years. The Executive Committee felt that some of the desired outcomes would be to design and implement a strategy to better involve the board and members in making and sustaining contacts with key stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels; strengthening our messaging on the strong advocacy our organization provides for farmers’ markets and nutrition programs; and to incorporate ideas produced from the Membership Committee’s brainstorming sessions. Both committees agreed that a strategic planning retreat would also be a great place to create a vision statement. These ideas were presented to the full board on August 10th, and the board unanimously voted to hold a strategic planning retreat in 2017 with details to be determined by the Executive Committee. Our Association has great potential to grow: once a “road map” is defined, we can move forward and build upon ideas produced from the Membership Committee’s discussions and those that will come out of the strategic planning retreat.
The board also discussed how to get membership input prior to the retreat. To that end, a group of volunteers headed by board member Cydney Mayo will put together a few questions that will be presented to attendees of the upcoming conference during the regional caucus sessions. If you are attending the conference, I urge you to provide your rep with ideas and suggestions for this upcoming retreat. If you’d like to provide any input on the content of questions presented during the regional caucuses, please feel free to contact Cydney via e-mail at Cydney.Mayo@cdph.ca.gov . For those not attending the conference, your regional rep will share their conference report with you, and you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts. Regional reps will in turn provide non-attendees’ feedback to Cydney and the others in the group of volunteers that generated the questions for the regional caucuses. The collected ideas will then be presented to the board and shared during the strategic planning retreat. The board is excited about the input members will provide, and they’re looking forward to a productive strategic planning retreat.
And, of course, I want to share news on the 24th Annual NAFMNP Conference. It is fast approaching! I hope you can attend – it should be a great conference with stunning views of Mt. Roberts and the Gastineau Channel. Please see the attached fliers prepared by the Conference Committee. Below I’ve included a message from the Conference Chair, Erin Khmelev:
“We’re only a month away from the 24th annual conference in Juneau and we’ve got a few important reminders. Although Juneau weather can be nice, it’s best to come prepared for rain and 50 degree Fahrenheit weather. If you’d like to contribute a door prize we recommend items that fit in a carry-on suitcase or items that you would be willing to mail to the winner after the conference. Items can be mailed in advance to the State of Alaska, Attn: Erin Khmelev, 130 Seward Street, Suite 510, Juneau, AK 99801 no later than August 24th. It is also recommended, but not required, to bring several business cards for the NAFMNP Exchange session on Wednesday, September 7th. If you have questions about fun, tourist related activities for you and your guests we recommend Keli’s Concierge Service at (727) 418-6975 or via email at email@example.com. See you in the North!”
In other news, the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act is still on hold – as well as the appropriation process. Any major congressional movement on these fronts will likely not take place until the dust has settled from the November elections. The Policy Committee and our Executive Director continue to inform legislators, staff, and executive-branch officials of the need to get $22 million in WIC FMNP funding in the appropriations bill; get funding in place to develop EBT processing for all assistance programs; and to have CNA language in place that allows FMNP to be used as an incentive for WIC CVV usage at farmers markets. By and large these recommendations have been well received.
Again, I hope to see you in Juneau! Please check out the evolving conference information on the NAFMNP website. If you need an advocate to attend the meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact me or your regional representative!