Board Minutes April 2013

NWGGA Board of Directors Meet

April 22nd  2013, 9:00am Holiday Inn Express, York Nebraska Nebraska

Members Present:  Seth McFarland,  Al Vybiral, Jim Ballard, Nick Ryan, Kay Miller, Connie Brittan, Jennifer Reeder, Stefan Kegley,  Executive Director Jennifer Montgomery,  guest Max McFarland representing the Nebraska Grape and Wine Board

Meeting was called to order by President   Al Vybiral at 9:02 am Seth McFarland motioned to approve the minutes from the 2013 Annual Meeting.  Nick Ryan 2nd and the motion passed.


Executive Director. Jennifer Montgomery reported that she has initiated her winery visit tour with stops at a number of wineries in the eastern part of the state.  She will be contacting wineries in western areas to schedule visits.  One of her long term goals is to facilitate communication within the Association by developing a organization/infrastructure communication vehicle.  She and Seth did an interview with “Lincoln Live”. Jennifer further reported that she was invited to give a presentation to the Lincoln Rotary and attended the FFA Foundation dinner where NWGGA sponsored one of the proficiency awards.  She also reported that USDA Risk Management is considering a pilot program that would expand crop insurance in Lancaster County.  The USDA would need information on number of plants, acres and varieties of the State’s grape crop.  Mick McDowell shared that obtaining this information from growers will require multiple requests for surveys with follow up and lag time.  Max noted that the NGWB grower survey is over 2 years old and that the time frame to do another is approaching.  He suggested that the 2 groups work together.  Mick added that the results should be reported by county and be communicated back to participants in a timely manner.  Jennifer concluded her ED report by noting that she wants to improve communication with the Liquor Control Commission and to this end is going to schedule a meeting with them.

Nebraska Grape and Wine Board.  Max McFarland reminded the board that May 1st is the deadline for RFPs.  He also noted that claims for reimbursement for current grants should be turned in prior to the end of the current fiscal year.

Treasurer   Wende Bergmeier reported via email a checking account balance of $ 65,630.65 Since the first of the year the organization has taken in $30,957.33 consisting of membership income, grant funding, silent auction, and amateur wine competition income. Distributions have consisted of administrative expenses, ED salary, Passport coupon reimbursements, conference expenses, and professional services expenses totaling $27,101.96.  A copy of the bank reconciliation is included as an attachment to these minutes.  Jim Ballard motioned to accept the treasurer’s report. Seth McFarland 2nd and the motion carried.

2-4-D Committee  Tom Zumpfe asked that the board approve the following notification: “Growers can call Craig at NDA Driftwatch to report when buds break so he can inform the spray applicators thru Driftwatch, and that the arbitrary April 15th date will not be used. Further, any growth development information for spray applicators after bud break is superfluous since there is no such there is no such thing as periods of more or less susceptibility to 2,4-D after bud break.” Jim Ballard motioned to approve the notification. Kay Miller 2nd and the motion carried. The ED will get the information out to growers.


Publication Update:  Seth is collecting suggestions for publications that could be contacted to bid for the production of the NWGGA magazine style marketing publication.  He will send out a 1 page summary with the specifics ( # of  pages, cost to wineries, etc.) when the information is collected. Seth also noted that he had made contact with Barbara Insel regarding an Economic Impact Study.  The last one was done in 2007 with an update in 2009. Jim Ballard made note of the importance of having a current study available should challenging legislative issues arise.

Passport Update: Jennifer Montgomery reported that she is working with Sandy Kucera on reworking the logo, map and winery list with plans for the updated passport to be on the website and to the printer as soon as possible.  Jennifer noted that a more expedient roll out of the passport ( January or February) would require  bidding out the project to a professional ( or full time ) graphic artist.  Jennifer will send out a press release to announce the passport release.

 Festivals: It was reported that 14 wineries will be pouring at the Kearney Wine and Jazz Festival.  Jennifer  Montgomery will send out a press release regarding the NWGGA winery participation.  She will be at the festival and encouraged wineries to contact her if they had suggestions for her to assist them there.

Jim Ballard reported that he, Jennifer Reeder, Jennifer Montgomery and Al Vybiral will meet with Mid America Expositions on Monday. They will meet next week with Blur Parties in Lincoln. Jim indicated that the may have a 3rd event planner to contact.

The ED asked about participation in the State Fair. Jim Ballard will pass along the contact information.

Website Update:  The ED will meet with Joel on Tuesday.  She noted that changes will be made to update NDA information on the website.  She is going to have Joel enable her to go in and make small changes to keep the website current.  In response to a inquiry from Stefan, the ED reported that  we contract with Joel for hosting the website and a specified number of hours for updates. She indicated that at this time she thought that he was being under utilized.   Jennifer Reeder suggested that she contact Andre about the options of implementing Linkedin.  The ED will ask Joel about setting up a member interactive forum for growers. Discussion indicated that Bart would be available to monitor the postings and that members would have the option to opt out.

Legislative  Jim Ballard reported that LB636 ( the herbicide bill ) was in committee and that a thesis statement was being developed .   Jim also commented that LB249 was made a priority bill by State Senator Karpisek and the 1st reading took place on Thursday ( April 4th). Jim Otto indicated that it would most likely pass and recommended that we not oppose it but rather support the Wine Institute’s efforts on this issue.  Jennifer indicated that at this point we do not have real numbers to know what passage of the bill will have on our industry.

Trade Show/Conference   Max and Seth were pleased that the number of vendors was up slightly from 2012.  An informal survey of these vendors indicated that they were pleased with the level of sales from the smaller number of attendees.

Old Business

New Member Packet/Promotion  Jennifer Montgomery noted that at this time new members do not receive anything in the way of information, welcome or acknowledgement  when they join the association. She stressed the importance of providing a new member packet that would include a welcome letter, member information and a 3rd, yet to be determined, piece. She requested help from the board in developing these materials. Connie Brittan volunteered to work with the ED on this.

NWGGA Promotional Booth  The ED suggested that the Association combine with the NGWB for trade show booths and develop shared materials to promote the industry

New Business

Committee Structure/Membership

Growers Council Restructuring   AL appointed Stefan, Eric and Kay to an ad hoc committee to address how this council needs to be reorganized to bring it to a more functional status.  The goal is to bring information to the Board so that needed changes be ready for the membership to vote on at the 2014 spring conference.  Mick suggested that the Growers Council look into the status of the Vinbalance program. Kay will explore to see if there is interest in revisiting the program for a conference topic. The Association has the possibility of being able to direct growers to 3 different programs; Vinbalance, Northern Grape Growers Project and the Winegrape Growers of America Membership

Wine Council It was noted that there is currently a open position for the chair.  A discussion ensued as to why there are vacant positions on the board (president elect, winery council chair).  A consensus was not reached on the topic. In the meantime the board will ask Max McFarland the status of the Sensory Training piece of the Wine Quality Assurance Program.

Marketing Committee  An Ad Hoc committee consisting of Jim, Stefan and Mick was formed to work with Jennifer on developing direction and priorities for this committee.  Within this framework they will also review and suggest updates for the Passport Program.

Budget Ad Hoc Committee  Seth, Wende and Jennifer will be bringing recommendations to the Board on a budget for the next fiscal year.

Ozination Workshop Proposal  Seth distributed copies of the proposal for Increasing Sustainability of the Grape/Wine Industry with Ozone Technology.  A copy of this is included in the written minutes of this meeting.  There was discussion as to the scientific validity of the use of ozone as an antimicrobial in the field.  The consensus was that the science would not be validated without research and a review of the research would be part of the workshop. The proposal does include a reduced rate for members ($10 to cover lunch) as compared with $35 for non NWGGA members. Kay  Miller motioned to approve the proposal as written with the workshop to be funded with NWGGA grower education funds.  Jennifer Reeder 2nd and the motion passed with Seth and Stefan abstaining. Kay added that we should make memberships available at the workshops.

Grant Opportunities   Mick suggested writing an RFP for the development of a program module on sensitive crop education to be offered to county extensions for inclusion in their pesticide application training.  The funds would be used to pay the university to develop the module.  He suggested that the 2,4-D Drift committee contact Clyde  to determine what the costs would be to develop such a module.  The Board made the following suggestions to the ED for RFPs to the NGWB; Grower Education, Winery Education, ED Salary& Operations, State Wine Festival, Marketing programs/Passport.  It was suggested that Jennifer contact Jason to review materials on the previously submitted RFPs.

America’s Wine Trail App  Jennifer Montgomery shared with the Board information on the iphone android app being developed by Patty Held and her partner. A copy of the flyer detailing this program is included in the written minutes of this meeting. It was suggested that the marketing RFP include a request to fund the Associations subscription to this service.  Jennifer will contact Patty about negotiating a reduced rate for the NWGGA as they are considerably smaller than the other state associations currently enrolled.

Winegrape Growers of America Membership   Stefan motioned that the NWGGA spend $200 for the annual membership to this organization.  The ED reported that this national organization acts as a conduit for current research information, advocacy, and public policy issues.  Membership would increase the NWGGA’s commitment to growers. Nick Ryan 2nd the motion passed.

Mick McDowell motioned to adjourn, Jim Ballard 2nd and the meeting was adjourned at 12:24

Respectfully submitted

Connie Brittan   Secretary

encl:  Treasurers Report, Proposal for workshop on Increasing Sustainability of the Grape/Wine Industry with Ozone Technology, Flyer for America’s Wine Trail App



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