Northeast Dairy Compact Commission

November 1, 2000

Centennial Inn, Concord, NH

Vice Chair Mae Schmidle called the meeting to order at 10:05 am.

Commissioners in attendance:

CT: Mae Schmidle; Shirley Ferris; Bob Jacquier
MA: Jay Healy, Mary Kelligrew Kassler; Charley Arbing; Sam Shields
ME: Stan Millay; Colon Durrell; Fred Hardy
NH: Deb Erb
RI Peter Petrone, Aaron Briggs; Ron Newman, Al Bettencourt
VT: Harold Howrigan; Bobby Starr, Jacques Couture; Millicent Rooney, Andy Dykstra

Commission Staff in Attendance:

Dan Smith, Executive Director; Tom Lehner, Staff Counsel; Carmen Ross, Regulations Administrator; Nancy Audette, Office Manager

I.          Public Participation

There was no public participation during this period.

II.         Introduction of Guests
Kay Zeoski, Office of New York State Senator Nancy Lorraine Hoffman, Bob Wellington, Agrimark, Inc Ray Christensen, New York Department of Agriculture and Markets; Gail Christensen, Leon Graves, Vermont Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets; Louise Calderwood, Vermont Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets; Gabe Moquin, Connecticut Department of Agriculture; Thomas G Conway, Esq.; Herb Kling, Millie Kling; Pat Green, Country Folks; Erik Rasmussen, Market Administrator

III.       Consideration and Approval of Minutes of the July 12 and August 2, 2000

Motion 11/1-1 by Harold Howrigan/Second by Fred Hardy

            Moved to approve the minutes of July 12, 2000 and August 2, 2000 as presented

            MOTION PASSED 6 TO 0

IV        Consideration of Communications

There were no communications to consider.

V.        Financial and Budget Report: Month Ending September 30, 2000

In Commissioner Cabot's absence, Mr- Smith presented the budget report. Mr Smith reviewed the financial statements for the Administrative and Producer Settlement Funds. He highlighted that the Commission had approximately $250,000.00 in cash as of the September Administrative Fund Statement, and that with expenses running under budget, the cash on hand was continuing to build. He stated that, along with providing proposed budget for FY 2001, the Finance Committee would assess the cash on hand against the budget for FY 2000 in its report for the December meeting.

VI.       Reports

                        A. Chair's Report

Commissioner Schmidle reported that the Commission operations were proceeding smoothly and that the Committee on Administration had worked primarily on issues relating to Commission re-staffing.

B. Executive Director's Report Mr. Smith reported on a number of matters relating to office staffing, administration and operation. He introduced Tom Lehner, newly returned Staff Counsel, and Nancy Audette, the new Office Manager, and also indicated that Sara Spenser, who was not present, had joined the staff part-time- He reported that he was actively seeking an economist and public information director to round out the staff.

Mr. Smith reported that the 1999-2000 School Lunch Program payments were practically complete, and expressed his appreciation to Tom and Sara for their work on this task. He reported that the New York State Dairy Foods, Inc. litigation escrow pool payment was made as part of the August pool, and that the individual Cumberland escrow producer payments had been completed. He also reported that the pool continued to be administered efficiently, thanking Carmen Ross (who was also present) for assuming additional responsibility during the transition period. Finally, with regard to office operation, he reported that the In re Organic Cow appeal brief was in process.

Mr. Smith described his meetings with each of the state delegations. He indicated that Commission members were uniformly enthusiastic about assisting with the development of the Compact Impact Report for their states, and provided many imaginative ideas for how the Compact's impact on their diverse constituencies could be accounted for and represented in the report.

Mr. Smith also noted that all of the delegation meetings included a detailed discussion of the personnel /bylaws concern. He reported that that there appeared to be a consensus understanding that the ultimate power of the Commission rested with the Commission itself rather than with committees, officers or the executive director. He indicated that this understanding was consistent with the Compact's original one state/one vote design of the Commission- He also indicated that, with this operating premise in mind, the delegations had all expressed the opinion that that the bylaws/personnel concern could be addressed in a deliberate manner over the next few months.

Mr. Smith concluded by outlining upcoming Commission business for the December meeting. He indicated that the Nominations Committee would be presenting for election a slate of proposed officers and at-large members of the Committee on Administration, and repeated that the Finance Committee would be presenting a budget adjustment plan for FY 2000 and a new budget for FY 2001.

C Committee on Finance Report No report at this time.

D. Committee on Administration Commissioner Schmidle repeated the substance of her Chair's report.

E. Bylaws Committee No report at this time.

F. Committee on Regulations and Rulemaking Commissioner Starr reported that the Committee had met three times by conference call since the last meeting. The substance of these calls was consideration of a Committee proposal to provide for reimbursement to producers who had ceased farm operation during the course of the New York State Daisy Foods, Inc. litigation and had thereby not received payment when the escrowed funds were released into the August pool. Mr. Starr indicated that the Committee had voted to present its proposal to the full Commission for action, and that he would do so under new business.

VII.      Old Business

There was no old business presented.

VIII. New Business

A. Committee on Regulations and Rulemaking Recommendations: Recommendation for reimbursement procedure for out-of-business producer escrow payments:

Motion 11/1-2 Bobby Starr on behalf of Committee on Regulations and Rulemaking

Moved to establish a procedure effective for the period December 1, 2000 -February 28, 2001 to allow for reimbursement to producers who went out of business during the course of the New York State Daily Foods, Inc. litigation for amounts not less than $50.00.

Commissioner Starr referred to the attached Committee report to explain the Committee's recommendation.

Commissioner Ferris suggested that an effort be made to notify potential recipients directly of the availability of reimbursement. Follow-up discussion indicated that the region's departments of agriculture should be encouraged to make these contacts.


B. Outstanding Invoice - Wiley, Rein & Fielding; Attorneys-at-Law

Motion 11/1-3 by Bobby Starr/Seconded by Ron Newman Moved to pay the two outstanding, invoices from Wiley, Rein & Fielding in total amount of $22,069.55.


C. Outstanding Invoice - Market Administrator

Motion 11/1-4 by Jacques Couture/Seconded by Bob Jacquier Moved to pay September 20, 2000 Market Administrator Invoice in the amount of $12,189.00 and the October 13, 2000 invoice in the amount of $5,100.00


D. Motion 11/1-5 by Harold Howrigan/Seconded by Fred Hardy Moved to direct the Chair to send a letter of appreciation to former employee David Ferch.


E. Motion 11/1-6 by Mary Kelligrew Kassler/Seconded by Ron Newman Moved to add new item to the agenda.


F. Motion 11/1-7 by Mary Kelligrew Kassler/Seconded by Ron Newman

Moved to approve Westlaw computerized legal research contract in the amount of $5,191.50


IX.       Opportunity for Individual State Comments.

Members from a number of the state delegations commented on the productiveness of the individual state delegation meetings. These commissioners indicated their confidence that the developing Compact Impact Report would prove most useful during the Congressional approval process.

X.        Public Comment

Vermont Agriculture Commissioner Graves briefed the Commission on the latest developments in the political effort to obtain reapproval of the Compact. Herb Kling, original co-author of the Dairy Compact, expressed his appreciation for the Commission's ongoing work.

The meeting was adjourned at 11 :59 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Kelligrew Kassler, Secretary

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