ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 03/24/2018

ECO-Vrindaban New Vrindaban ISKCON cows gardens Prabhupada

ECO-Vrindaban Board Meeting Minutes 03/24/2018

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), Makara (minutes recorder), Olivia, Ranaka, and Vraja.

Participating Advisors: Kalakantha.

1. Ranaka’s Monthly Report

• At the Temple Barn, Ananda Vidya & Lalita Gopi are currently milking 7 cows: Jamuna, Surabhi, Laxmi, Sita, Anjali, Sriya & Maliti. Milk production is up to 32 gal per day.

• Anjali freshened on Feb 19th with a bull calf named Nimai. Nimai was delivered in normal fashion with no problems during delivery but had internal issues along with apparent brain damage. The Vet gave him a 50% chance of survival and he died 11 days after his birth.

• On Feb 27th Sriya gave birth to a healthy heifer calf named Gaurangi.

• Subhadra is due the end of May.

• There are 4 heifers residing at the Temple Barn: 15 month old Vamsika, 7 month old Lalita, 3 month old Gopi Katyayani and 3 week old Gaurangi.

• Parvati continues to reside with Dharma for breeding at the Valley Barn. Jaya Radhe is still residing in Nandagram with Madhu for breeding. Usha has been confirmed pregnant and moved out from Madhu’s area.

• Ananda Vidya continues to produce approximately 15 pounds of butter, 15 gal of yogurt, and 1/2 gallon of Ghee on a weekly basis, & delivers them to the temple. He made and waxed two (8″ diameter x 3.5 inch high) wheels of Colby cheese this month and plan to produce 5 lbs. of Mozzarella cheese for Palace Pizza to be served after their Maha Cleanup this weekend.

• Ananda Vidya & Lalita Gopi finished clearing out the upstairs of the Temple Barn.

• Ray has been working on cleanup of the former Brose trailer site and is approximately 85% complete. The scrap wood has all been burnt, trailer frame cut into 3 pieces with cutting torch and all scrap metal piled for loading. Ray is repairing a brake cylinder on the F-800 flatbed truck, this will be used to haul the metal to the recycling center in Wheeling. When cleanup is complete, the lot will be available for rent to Suchandra, our garden manager, who plans to move a trailer on to it.

• Ray has also been cleaning up the area next to the old Brick Yard building. Scrap metal from there is also piled and ready to be hauled to the recycle center. The brush & scrap wood pile was burnt along with a general cleanup & reorganizing of the area.

• Repair work on the Nandagram field house: 2 new sink faucets installed, repairing water lines to the tub & repairing drywall on the basement ceiling below the tub.

• Ray continues moving hay from the Valley Barn to Nandagram.

• Chaitanya Bhagavat works with Hari Chand in the Ox Program for 1 hour each morning along with daily Nandagram herd care. Hari Chand has been measured for a new Yoke & Britchen so he can be trained for pulling.

•  Chaitanya Bhagavat has also been working on the Bahulaban fence line getting it ready for Spring along with Nandagram fence maintenance.  Repair work was also done on the Feed Isle.

• The garden crew, presently composed of Suchandra, Vidya, Lila, Mukunda dasi & Radhanath das, gathered together for a general communication & coordination on 3/16/18; it was a productive meeting that gave much hope for the upcoming season.

• Suchandra & Ryan, along with Ray on the tractor with the front loader, have cleared the old mulch & plastic off the Community Garden beds. This year we are planning a new system of weed control using reusable ground cover and some hay mulch when needed; this system will be much less labor intensive.

• Ray moved a dump load of well composted material from Nandagram to Vidya’s garden & 5 buckets to the Nandagram garden.

• The Valley Barn potato field has been spread with manure. We are also planning on growing potatoes in the Community Garden this year.

• Vidya has started over 1000 plants for the gardens consisting of peppers, tomatoes, basil, snapdragon, marigolds, statice and rosemary.

• Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary: Ranaka spoke to Dr. Sastri and informed him that the ECO-V board agreed to his request of taking responsibility for 5 of his cows. Ranaka informed him that he would need to have a veterinarian issue a valid CVI (Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, i.e. health certificate) before moving the animals to New Vrindaban and that we would be ready to accept them from the middle of May onward. Dr. Sastri will get back to Ranaka when he has things ready on his side.

• Passing of Nandini: Nandini, a 10 1/2 year old Jersey brought to New Vrindaban from Canada by Nila Gopal & Sukhayanti, died of cancer on March 6, 2018 at Nandagram. Her profile: Nandini was a bit of a loner who stayed mostly to herself but still enjoyed attention in the form of petting from devotees. She was also very protective of the calves in the herd & would always stay by their side.

2. Spring Joint Board Gathering Review

The weekend had a different format from what we’ve organized the past few years. The facilitators, Gopinath Bloch and Rebecca Mintz, did an excellent job directing the energy and setting a positive mood. Through various exercises, open dialogue and a planning session, a progressive division of responsibilities for ISKCON New Vrindaban was discussed, both for the immediate future and over a 5-year time frame.

3. Inviting ECO-V Staff to Board Meetings

Some of the feedback from the spring meeting brought to light a need for increased interactions between the members of ECO-V. The bi-annual weekend gatherings allow opportunities for exchanges between the staff and board. Additionally, the board would like to periodically invite staff members to attend monthly board meetings throughout year. The first opportunity will be in April 2018.

4. ECO-V Website Feedback

Overall, the look of the website is appreciated. Ideas for improvement: Change the photo on front page – possibly make a slideshow there; get new photos of cows and gardens from Erin and Hari Bhakti; add a link to Prabhupada’s Palace website; make a page about Srila Prabhupada, his cow protection local agriculture vision for New Vrindaban and include photos of him with Kaliya, ISKCON’s first cow.

5. IMCPA North American Team Building Conference

Kalakantha prabhu shared information about the upcoming ISKCON Ministry of Cow Protection & Agriculture conference. This event will be held in DeLand, Florida the end of June 2018 and will include strategizing about next year’s North American farm conference, tentatively planned to be held in New Vrindaban. He invited a couple of representatives from ECO-V to attend. Jamuna Jivani has already volunteered to participate.

6. ISKCON Communications Grant

WHEREAS: ECO-V wishes to support Anuttama prabhu, and his ISKCON Communications efforts, especially in appreciation of their ongoing promotion of simple living, cow protection and local agriculture projects throughout ISKCON.

RESOLVED: The ECO-V board approves a grant of $2,500 to ISKCON Communications for 2018.

Here’s a link to the ECO-Vrindaban website.

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

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