NOFA-NJ members get updates at annual meeting
HILLSBOROUGH — Cali Alexander, policy committee chair for NOFA-NJ, called on the membership to propose names for the new organic agriculture board.
The state legislature established the board.
It will report to the state Department of Agriculture monthly and the department will be required to respond to any questions or suggestions, Alexander told the Zoom audience of NOFA-NJ’s annual meeting.
Of the seven members of the board, two will be Certified Organic farmers, two will be organic farmers from historically underserved communities, one will be a regenerative farmer and two will be organic trade representatives, Alexander explained.
The membership will be divided into three-, two- and one-year terms.
The board will hold quarterly meetings on different areas of agriculture, she said.
First, it will develop a mission statement, Alexander added.
Alexander also asked the membership to call on her for any discussion of policy issues.
Finance manager Sean Reilly reported to the membership on the state of the organization’s finances.
He said while NOFA-NJ received about $50,000 less in grants for the fiscal year that ran from July 2021 through June 2022, total revenue exceeded the previous fiscal year because of extra funds from donors, members and the annual winter conference.
Reilly explained that insurance, fees and office expenses total only $18,000.
The rest of the funding goes to salaries for the staff and member services or is invested back into the community, including the $12,000 used for scholarships to the winter conference.
Membership has increased from 270 members in 2022 to 347 now.
The current breakdown in membership consists of 166 individuals, 59 farms, 60 families, 16 interns or students, 16 businesses, 16 veterans and 15 non-profit organizations.