Topic of Discussion: Mission/Vision of Cornercopia
2:00 p.m. – 4 p.m.
The following is a review of what was discussed at the last Cornercopia meeting:
We began the meeting with a discussion about what we value in regards to the farm…
· high quality agriculture products from the farm
· feed local community on campus
· community building: for anyone interested in where food comes from
· community outreach
· organic practices
· giving opportunities to students to try organic farming: focus on students
Next we discussed goals:
· develop students who have genuine interest in production (for profit)
· organic certification
· students being involved in every aspect of organic farm:
Ø planning crops
Ø market decisions/strategies—day to day business
· fall class
Ø establishing continuity (in terms of student involvement)
· serve as space for community building
We then moved the discussion to talk about the vision and this raised several pragmatic and theoretical questions about the farm:
· Can current farm provide adequate profit?
· Is the university concerned about the farm covering its costs? (discussion about purpose as a learning opportunity rather than means to profit financially)
· Do we need student fees? (continuation of earlier discussion about benefits of student organization v group status)
· As a practicing philosophy, we do the best we can with what we have
Ø Need to manage land we have (weed management was discussed as an issue that needs to be addressed in terms of current land and in considering future expansion and labor needs as well as cosmetic appeal to appease university image needs )
· Try to be sustainable
Ø Cover costs with the farm
Ø Intentionally use low-tech/decrease costs
· Is there a need for increased financial support?
· New organic farming major potentially could increase income for the farm
Ø This will potentially increase the role of the farm on the campus
o Increase to ~20 acres to feed St. Paul campus (led into discussion about competing with local farmers)
o Increase staff—full time
o Increase technology
· Hire interns for spring through fall as strategy to develop more consistency?
Ø Potential and desire were discussed
Ø Costs were a main concern
Reviewing all that we discussed, the group decided to work on the mission statement. The original mission statement reads as:
“To steward a student managed, organic, sustainable farm that provides food, a place for community building, multidisciplinary education, research and outreach.”
The tentatively revised mission statement reads as:
Cornercopia is an organic sustainable farm that provides students hands-on whole farm learning opportunities, food, and a place for community building, multi-disciplinary education, research and outreach.
The last item we worked on was reviewing and the beginning revision stages of the guiding principles. I have notes of this that I will bring to the next meeting for us to continue the revision process.
With that, we wrapped up the meeting with agreement to meet in two weeks (after spring break) and address the following topics:
· Finish the guiding principles
· Next steps
Ø goals; prioritizing; defining roles
Our next meeting will be on Wednesday March 28th from 2:30-4:00pm in 408 Hayes Hall. Please feel free to join us.