ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 12/17/2017


ECO-Vrindaban New Vrindaban ISKCON cows gardens Prabhupada

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 12/17/2017

Mission Statement: ECO-Vrindaban promotes simple living, cow protection, engaging oxen, local agriculture, and above all, loving Krishna, as envisioned by Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON New Vrindaban.

Participating Directors: Chaitanya Mangala (chair), Kripamaya, Ranaka, and Vraja.

Participating Advisors: Jamuna Jivani (secretary), Kalakantha (partial attendance), Makara, and Olivia.

1. Ranaka’s Monthly Report

  • At the Temple Barn, Ananda Vidya and Lalita Gopi are currently milking 6 cows: Jamuna, Surabhi, Parvati, Laxmi, Sita, and Malati. Milk production is approximately 20 gal. per day.
  • Ananda Vidya continues to produce approximately 15 lbs. of butter, 15 gal. of yogurt, and 1/2 gal. of ghee on a weekly basis, and delivers them to the temple kitchen.
  • Malati gave birth to a heifer named Gopi Katyayani last week. Shortly after giving birth she came down with what is commonly referred to as “milk fever,” which is caused by reduced blood calcium levels. She improved after the vet injected her intravenously with calcium and steroids, and has reentered the milk herd in a normal condition. The vet suggested that, in the future, we administer calcium gel as a precaution for all of the cows when they give birth. This will now become standard practice.
  • Sriya and Anjali are both due in February. Subhadra is due the end of May.
  • There are now three heifers residing at the Temple Barn: three-month-old Lalita, 11-month-old Vamsika, and newborn Gopi Katyayani.
  • Jaya Radhe and Usha are still residing in Nandagram with Madhu for breeding.
  • Last Sunday, we had a gathering at the Temple Goshala of 11 local New Vrindaban devotees and five members from the Catholic group, Wild Church WV. There was a nice interfaith service followed by dinner in the temple prasadam hall.
  • Ray is about halfway finished with replacing the siding around the front entrance to Gopal’s Garden school building. Work will resume when weather permits.
  • Ray picked up the materials needed for the greenhouse repairs at Vidya’s and Nandagram. He will work on them this month.
  • Ray has been working on projects at the ghee plant during the cold, wet winter months.
  • Caitanya Bhagavat has been working with Hari Chand in the ox program for an hour each morning, along with daily Nandagram herd care.
  • Caitanya Bhagavat, Ray and Ranaka have scheduled a walk around at Nandagram next week to decide on a proper fencing scheme to divide up the barns and pastures there and to discuss the best place to build a permanent loading chute.
  • Suchandra, along with her partner Ryan, have agreed to take on the responsibility of overseeing the food and flower gardens for the 2018 growing season.
  • Ranaka will meet with Mukunda dasi and Radhanath das to coordinate their activities for the coming season.

2. Fall 2017 Joint Board Meetings Recap

Chaitanya Mangala reported on the joint board meetings that were held November 10-12:

  • There were several changes to the regular schedule. Saturday morning ECO-V presented along with Gopal’s Garden, the Spirit Garden, and the Village Council. INV will be the main presenters in Spring 2018. This helped the presentations go more smoothly, as it allowed each group to have more time to share their information.
  • The new Yoga Shala created a warm, relaxed, and inviting setting.
  • The recent passing of Syama Kunda prabhu deeply affected the overall mood and created a very sober atmosphere throughout the weekend. His memorial ceremony was moving and greatly appreciated by both his immediate family members as well as his extended spiritual family in the New Vrindaban community.
  • There was a Parikram tour Sunday morning that went well. Participants visited Tattva & Amritanam’s property, Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha’s Mandir, Srila Prabhupada at his Palace, & Govinda’s Restaurant kitchen.
  • The service appreciation ceremony moved to Saturday, and Sunday afternoon was reserved for an open conversation and a presentation by Professor Burke Rochford. This time we honored Rasalila Dasi & Ranaka Dasa.
  • Ranaka’s wife, Elena, helped organize and distribute the gift t-shirts. The Palace Peacock design was quite popular with the recipients. The ECO-V Board wants to specifically thank Elena for volunteering to do this service.

3. ECO-V Website Update

Jamuna Jivani resumed work on the website from earlier in the summer, and Makara also volunteered to help with this project. They are gathering some more material and writing the last of the content. They aim to have everything to the web designer within the next week.

4. Online Cow & Cowherd Campaign

ECO-V’s new Facebook campaign consists of two weekly posts; one featuring a cow, and the other a cowherd/gardener/staff. These posts provide information about their personality and history (for the cows) and about their service, history, etc. (for staff). This was the idea of Sukhayanti and Nila Gopal, and they are putting together the content, with the help of the ECO-V team. This has been a very popular campaign, as thousands of Facebook users have been reading and appreciating these posts each week.

5. Cow Adoption Request

The Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary, located in PA, requested ECO-V adopt five of their cows, as the director, Dr. Sankar Sastri, is nearing retirement. In order to understand the situation more fully and to be able to make a clear decision, Ranaka will find out:

  • more about the age and health of the animals, as well as what the sanctuary’s expectations and financial contributions would be
  • what ECO-V’s capacity is to care for these cows, as well as how that might impact a timeline and trajectory for its own herd
  • INV’s interest in fundraising to help cover the costs for the long term care of these animals

6. Gita Nagari Grant Request

Devotees at Gita Nagari are building a new feed area and manure storage facility for their cows. The total cost is $268K. They were successfully awarded a grant of $134K from the USDA. It is a cost share grant so they have to raise the balance. Dhruva Maharaja dasa, the President of Gita Nagari, asked if ECO-V would help them complete the project.

WHEREAS: The ECO-V Board wishes to encourage and support cow protection throughout ISKCON, especially with our sister organization at Gita Nagari.

RESOLVED: The ECO-V Board authorizes a grant up to $10K to Gita Nagari for help with the completion of their new facility, contingent upon confirmation of their ability to raise the remaining funds.

7.  Five Year Acknowledgement

With the posting of the 12/03/17 board meeting minutes, ECO-V marked 5 years of steadily publishing them online each month. The Board noted this is likely a new record in New Vrindaban and thanked all who helped make this happen.

For regular updates please visit and like the ECO-V Facebook page.

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