AUGUST 2, 2000


Vice Chair Mae Schmidle called the meeting to order at 10:45 a.m.

Commissioners in attendance:
CT: Mae Schmidle, Shirley Ferris, Bob Jacquier
MA: Jay Healy, Mary Kassler, Gordon Cook
ME: Stan Millay, Colon Durrell, Fred Hardy
NH: Deb Erb, Powell Cabot, Doug Morris
RI: Peter Petrone, Aaron Briggs, Ron Newman, Al Bettencourt
VT: Harold Howrigan, Jacques Couture, Millicent Rooney, Andy Dykstra

Commission Staff in Attendance:
Dan Smith, executive director; Carmen Ross, regulations administrator; David Ferch, public information director.

I. Public Participation:

Mayo Cookson of National Farmers Organization said he wants the press to provide more information about money farmers provide for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program and school milk program and public service in general.

Commissioner Howrigan said that, in the transition to new executive director, he wanted to point out that Ken Becker lived up to the letter of his contract. And he thanked publicly the people who fought for the Compact in Massachusetts, in particular Commissioner Jay Healy.
Commissioner Healy said IDFA (International Dairy Foods Association) filed a Freedom Of Information Act request.

II. Introduction of guests:
Steve Taylor of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture; Bob Wellington of Agri-Mark; Ray Christensen of the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets; Gail Christensen; Louise Calderwood of the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets; Carl Petersen of Agri-Mark; Mayo Cookson of National Farmers Organization; Steve Watrous of Allied Federated Coops; Gabe Moquin of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture; Bonnie Burr of the Connecticut Farm Bureau; Brenda Mihaliak dairy farmer from Connecticut; Eric Rasmussen of United States Department of Agriculture; Maggie Murphy from the office of New York State Sen. Hoffman; Pat Green from Country Folks; Allen Hall of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau.

III. Introduction of the new Executive Director:
Commissioner Schmidle said the Commission achieved a milestone with the appointment of a new executive director, who was also the first. Commissioner Schmidle made comments to the strength of the leadership. She also commented on the communication from eight members of the New England delegation. Commissioner Schmidle described Mr. Smith’s background.

Commissioner Schmidle said, “The Northeast Dairy Compact is the result of and built on our combined strengths – the strengths of individual people and the strengths of individual states – our strengths combine in ways that give us opportunities that we would not have otherwise – or individually. And with Dan Smith, we can build on these strengths.

            “As the US Senators who recommended Dan to use for his stability and reliability wrote us ‘We must operate at our greatest potential – Dan brings critical knowledge and experience to the Commission at a time when the Commission must be dependable and responsive’. They concluded by saying ‘ensuring that the Compact Commission is operating at its full potential is vital to its fate.’ They urged us to look to Dan to provide this leadership for us.

“Dan’s involvement with the Northeast Dairy Compact dates back to 1988 when he was legislative counsel for the Vermont Legislature, counsel to Vermont House and Senate Agriculture Committees; he also served as law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court and the Court’s chief law clerk. Dan has a BA from Dartmouth, a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. He also served as the first executive director of the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission.”

Commissioner Howrigan said he agreed with Commissioner Schmidle and looks forward to working with Mr. Smith and the effort to seek reauthorization next year.

Commissioner Briggs welcomed Mr. Smith.

Commissioner Kassler said the search for a new executive director was thorough; the candidate selected was the most outstanding and the result excellent.

Commissioner Hardy said that as part of the search committee the Commission reviewed some outstanding applications and Mr. Smith’s selection reflects that.


IV. Consideration and approval of the minutes of July 12, 2000


Motion 8/2-1 by Ron Newman/Second by Powell Cabot
Moved to approve the minutes of July 12, 2000 as presented.



V. Consideration of Communications:

Commissioner Schmidle said a letter was received from Richard Cassidy regarding the Organic Cow case and a letter was received from Tim McCarthy, an applicant for the position of executive director.


VI. Financial and Budget Report: Month ending June 2000.

Commissioner Cabot said the committee has not met. There will be a report at the next meeting.

VII. Reports
A. Chair’s Report:

Commissioner Schmidle introduced Carmen Ross who is the regulations administrator and he described to the Commissioners the new pooling and billing methodology and how it was derived and what the new improvements mean to farmers and their cooperatives.
At the specific request of Commissioner Newman, consistent with the bylaws, Bob Wellington asked about the auditing procedure as it regards the change in the boundaries of the Federal Milk Market Order.

Mr. Ross said the Commission’s reports reflect the origin of the milk. Furthermore, the producers and plants are field audited.

B. Executive Director’s Report:

Mr. Smith described his perception of the status of the Northeast Dairy Compact and the Commission and his philosophy for executing the job of executive director. He also described his activities in the past two years.


Mr. Smith said the lawyers for The Organic Cow have appealed and the situation is being reviewed.


Mr. Smith said the escrowed funds from the New York State Dairy Foods case have been received and will be put it into the next pool if possible.

C. Committee on Finance Report:
No report at this time.

D. Audit Committee:
Commissioner Howrigan said the auditors from Sullivan, Powers and Co. found no fault with the Commission’s financial activities. The only error discovered was the omission of the full list of New England states.

E. Bylaws Committee:
No report at this time.

F: Committee on Regulations and Rulemaking:
No report at this time.

VIII. Old Business:
A. Bylaws Committee:
Commissioner Durrell said that in reviewing the minutes of July 12, 2000, Commissioner Bettencourt made a motion to bring finality to this issue.

Commissioner Howrigan said that given the transition to a new executive director, the issue ought to be put on hold at this time.

Commissioner Kassler asked if a vote was necessary.

Commissioner Schmidle said from the parliamentary standpoint it is sufficient to leave it as it is.

Commissioner Healy agreed but added that a vote might be useful.
Commissioner Erb said one of the issues before the committee is there is different interpretation of some job descriptions.


Motion 8/2-2 by Harold Howrigan on behalf of the Committee on Administration

Moved that the bylaws and personnel manual be put on hold at this time until Dan Smith has an opportunity to get established.


IX. New Business:
A. Committee on Finance Recommendations:

1. Approval of the Federal Milk Market Administrator’s bill:


 Motion 8/2-3 by Harold Howrigan/Second by Powell Cabot

Moved to pay the Federal Milk Market Administrator’s Invoice for the May 2000 pool, audits completed during June and supply costs.



2. Banking Resolution:


Motion 8/2-4 by Ron Newman/Second by Jacques Couture

Moved that the bank is hereby designated as a depository of this association and that an account (s) be opened and maintained, in the name of this association with the bank, subject to the rules and regulations established from time to time by the Bank. That the following, Daniel Smith and Powell Cabot, are authorized, on behalf of this association, and in its name, to sign checks, receipts, wire transfers or orders for the payment or withdrawal of funds deposited in said account or deposited to the credit of the association in the bank, and the bank is hereby authorized and directed to honor and pay any of said checks, receipts, wire transfers or orders for payment or withdrawal of funds deposited to the credit of the association who so signed. Further resolved, that the foregoing resolution shall remain in full force and effect until written notice of it’s amendment or rescission shall have been received by the bank and that receipt of such shall not affect any action taken by the bank prior thereto.


 B. Committee on Administration Recommendations:

Motion 8/2-5 by Harold Howrigan on behalf of the Committee on Administration

Moved that the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission send its thanks and congratulations to Trish Lammott for her service to the Compact and cheerful attitude.


Commissioner Kassler asked that the resolution be sent to Commissioner Lammott.


Motion 8/2-6 by Harold Howrigan/Second by Bob Jacquier

Moved to appoint Dan Smith to be legal counsel for the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission.


Amendment to Motion 8/2-6 by Deb Erb/Second by Gordon Cook

Moved to amend the motion to read “interim” legal counsel for the Northeast Dairy Compact Commission.




Commissioner Schmidle said this would enable Mr. Smith to provide oversight and assist with the Commission’s legal matters.


Commissioner Erb said that a past concern was too heavy a workload for the executive director and that it would be wise to have separate counsel in the future.


Motion 8/2-7 by Harold Howrigan on behalf of the Committee on Administration

Moved that the Commission suspend the meetings in September and October.


Commissioner Ferris said she was concerned with postponing the next meeting until November.

Commissioner Schmidle said this would give Mr. Smith time to restaff the office and review the condition of the office.

Commissioner Cook suggested that the September meeting be cancelled and provisionally schedule the October meeting with the understanding that it can be cancelled if there is no need.


Commissioner Schmidle said this is part of the employment agreement made with Mr. Smith.
Commissioner Bettencourt asked if the Commission must meet to pay important bills.

Mr. Smith said he had previously committed holiday travel plans and the office is understaffed. These constraints mean there is not enough time to properly prepare. He said he was happy to have the Commission meet as soon as possible.


Motion 8/2-8 by Harold Howrigan on behalf of the Audit Committee

Moved to adopt the 1999 audit report from Sullivan, Powers and Co. with a correction (to include, in addition to those entities already named in the last paragraph of the report, the full list of New England states as the sole entities authorized to make use of the report.)


X. Opportunity for individual state comments.
Commissioner Healy said Doug Gillespie and Henry Gillette did a tremendous job advocating for the Northeast Dairy Compact in the Massachusetts legislature.

Commissioner Cook commended the Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture (Commissioner Healy) who worked above and beyond the call of duty.

Commissioner Dykstra asked about Linda Smith Dyer, chair of the Commission.


Commissioner Schmidle said she has been in regular communication with Commissioner Dyer, who said she is pleased with the hiring of Mr. Smith. Commissioner Schmidle also said Commissioner Dyer feels positive about her recuperation.

Commissioner Durrell referred to the producer cost study and the need to address it.


Mr. Smith said he intends to visit each state delegation and asked them to prepare a list of issues and concerns.


The meeting was adjourned at 12:32 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,





Mary Kelligrew Kassler, Secretary

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