ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 10/29/2017

ECO-Vrindaban New Vrindaban ISKCON cows gardens Prabhupada

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 10/29/2017

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: Bhima, Jamuna Jivani (secretary), Jaya Krsna, Kalakantha, Makara, and Olivia.

1. Ranaka’s Monthly Report

  • Ananda Vidya is milking six cows. Milk production is approximately 19 gallons per day.
  • The veterinarian checked Malati and now estimates her due date between November and December. Sriya and Anjali are both due in February.
  • There are three heifers residing at the Temple Barn: two-month-old Lalita, 10-month-old Vamsika, and 19-month-old Jaya Radhe. Subhadra has been moved to Nandagram for breeding with Madhu.
  • Ananda Vidya continues to produce 10-12 lbs. of butter, 15 gallons of yogurt, and 1/2 gallon of ghee on a weekly basis, and delivers them to the temple. He purchased a small cheese press and has been experimenting with making colby cheese. This may be one way to process excess milk during the winter months.
  • The children from Gopal’s Garden came to the Temple Barn on Govardhan Puja to decorate the cows and feed them molasses balls, and drank warm milk.
  • During the farm conference, six or seven participants came over to the barn to assist with morning milking and become familiar with the cows.
  • The 2017 North American Farm conference was held at New Vrindaban on the weekend of October 13-15. We had a good turnout with approximately 40 people over the three days. Everyone seemed quite satisfied, as old relationships were rekindled and new acquaintances were made.
  • The potato harvest, washing, and storage is complete for the year, although with a disappointing approximate yield of only 1,000 lbs. due to an exceptionally wet spring.
  • Ray completed replacing of the underground electric line to the Nandagram pasture cabin and now the electricity has been restored. Also, he has made progress on Dharma the Bull’s outside pen expansion project at the Valley Barn, as well as on pressure washing and painting the valley board fences, when the weather has allowed. Spreading manure, chisel plowing, and disking areas in the Temple Garden still need to be done and will be pursued if the ground is dry enough. Otherwise, they will have to wait until spring.
  • Nila Gopala and his family departed for Hungary last Friday, leaving on good terms. He had completed about 80% of the work on Madhu the Bull’s shed and pen project at Nandagram. Caitanya Bhagavat (and Ray, if needed) will finish the project.
  • Caitanya Bhagavat and Balabhadra prabhu gave a ox training demonstration at Nandagram during the recent farm conference. Hari Chand showed he had been well-trained and well-cared for.
  • Caitanya Bhagavat continues to work with the ox, Hari Chand, for 1.5 hours every morning, along with Nandagram herd care, fence maintenance, and completing Madhu’s pen and shed.
  • Robert and Ranaka, along with input from Suchandra and Lila, have been working on compiling the end of the year flower and vegetable harvest totals, as well as pricing for the 2017 INV billing. The figures should be ready by the next monthly board meeting.
  • Robert has expressed an interest to learn how to operate farm equipment along with general building and fence maintenance, etc. Currently, he is assisting Ray with Dharma’s outside fence expansion project at the Valley Barn. Also, he is receiving training on operating farm equipment, and on milking.
  • Suchandra and Vidya will be giving a presentation at the upcoming joint board meeting

2. New Board Candidates

Currently, the Board has two open seats. In January, the Board will vote on the seats of the directors whose terms are expiring and review candidates for available seats. Individuals interested in getting involved with ECO-V can contact Ranaka.

3. Employee Manual

Vraja proposed an employee manual which will provide job descriptions for the various positions and outline company policies. She will work on a draft, to which others are invited to contribute and offer feedback.

4. Improving Community Culture

The Board discussed concerns over devotees, including those involved in ECO-V, leaving the New Vrindaban community due in part to considerable negativity within its culture. Several ideas were offered on how we can help to create a more positive atmosphere, both as an organization and as individuals.

5. ECO-V Website

Previously, Jamuna Jivani collected and wrote content for the website. Also, Sukhayanti contributed photos and text. Jaya Krsna and Makara are contributing photos to use.

6. Communication Person for IMCPA

Kalakantha requested Jamuna Jivani act as a liaison between ECO-V and the ISKCON Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture. The Board agreed to this arrangement.

7. 2017 Farm Conference Recap

Jamuna Jivani reported on the North American ISKCON Farm Conference that took place in New Vrindaban earlier in the month. New Vrindaban created a very pleasant setting for the conference with incredible support and service, and a beautiful facility. The whole conference ran smoothly, and the interactions among the participants were inspired. There were approximately 40 participants from USA, Canada, and Guyana. From ECO-V, Ranaka gave a tour of the Valley Barn facilities and spoke about New Vrindaban’s history of cow protection. Makara gave an informative seminar on water bath canning. Both Lalita Gopi and Ranaka were panelists in the Ahimsa Dairy Equation panel discussion.

The plan for future years is to have a similar, but larger, biennial conference, with small organizing conferences in between. IMCPA is currently scouting locations for future events. ECO-V offered to host again in 2019, which will mark the 50th anniversary of cow protection in New Vrindaban.

8. Autumn 2017 Joint Board Meetings

The upcoming joint board meetings in New Vrindaban will be held the weekend of November 10-12.

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

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