Iowa Network For Community Agriculture

  (Des Moines, Iowa)
News from the INCA Board
[ Member listing ]

Current INCA Board Members

With the completion of the INCA Gathering and a new election cycle, there has been some turn-over in the board. The current INCA board is as follows:

Elected Executive Committee

Ryan Marquardt, INCA Chair

Michael Haedicke, INCA Vice-Chair

Michelle Heater, INCA Treasurer

Tai  Johnson-Spratt, INCA Secretary

 Invited INCA Board Members (roles to be determined)

Matt Russell

Erin Bergquist 

Andy Larson 


 At the INCA gathering we also said thank you to several INCA board members who have stepped down over the past year. We want to thank Kelly Foss, Gina Loyd, Carol Richardson Smith, and Jerry Rosman for their past services and we wish you the best in the future.


March 22nd, 2010 INCA Board Meeting

INCA Board Meeting Minutes

March 22, 2010


1.     Meeting began at 4:37.

2.     The board discussed changing INCA’s mailing address to a PO Box in Des Moines.

a.     Matt moved to get a PO Box at the USPS on Forest Ave for 6 months. When the 6 months is up, then we would step back and decide if the address should be moved closer to the new treasurer. The motion was seconded and passed.

3.     The board discussed renewing our contract for bookkeeping services.

a.     Matt moved to pass a motion to amend the bookkeeping proposal and to return it to the consultant for approval. The motion was seconded and passed.

4.     The board discussed the proposal for board training. 

a.     Michael made a motion to approve the proposal with minor editing changes to spelling. The motion was seconded and approved.

5.     The board discussed the drafts for RFPs for board liaison and conference coordinator to staff the 2011 conference. Ryan will edit the proposals based on the board’s suggestions and will circulate them to the board by email for a vote.

6.     The proposed time for April’s board meeting by conference call is April 13 at 4:30 p.m.

7.     The meeting adjourned at 6 p.m.


Announcing INCA Community Gathering in Perry, IA on March 13th 2010

Iowa Network for Community Agriculture (INCA) to host “Growing Our Roots” gathering, potluck and annual membership meeting, March 13, 2010, 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Town/Craft Center, 1122 Willis Avenue, Perry, IA 50220.

The Gathering is free and open to the public. Memberships are not required but will be available for $35.

INCA has traditionally used its annual local food conference as a planning tool to encourage the development of an area’s local food system. This year’s smaller gathering will kick off a full year of planning for the 2011 Local Food Conference to be held in Perry. Members from across Iowa and participants in the Growing Food and Profit groups are encouraged to take this opportunity to reconnect with the INCA community and share ideas in a community mapping session.

Workshops and presenters include:

Making Poultry Pay” by Tai Johnson-Spratt, Foxhollow Poultry Farms, Elkhart, IA;

Grow Your Farmers’ Market” by Kelly Foss, director of special events, Downtown Farmers’ Market, Des Moines, IA;

Profitability for Farm to Market” by Matt Russell, Coyote Run Farm, Lacona, IA and State Food Policy Project Coordinator at Drake Agricultural Law Center, Des Moines, IA;

Planning the 2011 Local Food Conference” by Ryan Marquardt, Wild Rose Pastures, Reasnor, IA.

The Gathering will feature a traditional potluck meal at noon. Participants are encouraged to bring a dish featuring local and sustainably produced foods to share and their own table service. Apple cider from Deal’s Orchard, Jefferson and homemade ice-cream from Picket Fence Dairy at Woodward will be provided. The Membership’s annual meeting and election of officers will immediately follow lunch.

For more information, please contact Ryan Marquardt, INCA Board chairman at 641.793.2444 or Reservations are encouraged.



Chris Henning

INCA Gathering Coordinator



February 18th, INCA Board Meeting

February 18, 2010

 In attendance: Ryan Marquardt, Matt Russell, Michael Haedicke, Gina Lloyd, Chris Henning (Gathering Coordinator)


1. The meeting began at 11:10 a.m.

2.     The board discussed the advertisement for a paid Assistant to the Executive Board

a.     Ryan has prepared an advertisement and will send it to the board for approval before making it public.

b.     Matt has been in contact with one individual who may be interested in applying for the position.

3.     The board discussed new board members.

4.     Much of the meeting was spent discussing the Gathering that will take place in Perry on March 13.

a.     Matt asked what fee we will charge for people who come to the meeting but do not wish to become members of INCA. The board discussed charging a $35 fee to all attendees and offering the option to join the organization.

b.     Gina asked for information about student attendance fees.

c.     Matt explained that the board needs to assemble a 5-10 minute presentation about INCA’s recent activities for the Gathering (an annual report). Gina volunteered to design a powerpoint show for this presentation. The board agreed that a good theme for this presentation would be INCA’s activities around building communities strategies to support local food systems.

d.     Gina explained that the board should develop a small flyer with information about INCA’s activities and about the benefits of membership to give to people as they arrive at the Gathering.

e.     The board discussed activities and an agenda for the Gathering. The following agenda was developed:

9:00-9:30:   Registration and coffee

9:30-10:40:   First round of workshops

10:40-11:00:   Break

11:00-12:00:            Plenary presentation/Connections to Community activity/time to walk around

12:00-1:00:            Lunch

1:00-1:30:            Annual meeting/board elections

1:30-1:50:            Break

1:50-3:00:            Second round of workshops/planning session for INCA’s 2011 conference

f.      The Connections to Community activity was proposed by Gina. It will involve attendees reflecting on this topic and putting ideas and examples on poster paper attached to the wall – a collective brainstorming activity. The information will be consolidated and posted on the website.

g.     The following tasks need to be accomplished for the Gathering by the board:

                                               i.     planning workshops: there will be three workshops – Poultry (Ryan and Tai), Farmers Markets (Kelly) and Profitability (Matt) – in addition to the conference planning session.

                                             ii.     assembling presentation

                                            iii.     producing flyers

                                            iv.     getting coffee, refreshments and other supplies

h.     Chris delivered a report on potential Gathering locations in Perry. These included the Towncraft building, the Hotel Patis, the Methodist Church, and the McCrady Community Center. The consensus of the board was that the Towncraft building, which INCA may use for free, was the most suitable spot.

i.      The board determined that the title of the Gathering will be “Growing our Roots.”

j.      The meeting ended at about 12:30 p.m.


Note: There was some additional conversations about our yet to be committed support to the North, Iowa group. 


December 15th, 2009 INCA Board Meeting Minutes

The INCA board met at the Greater Des Moines Partnership on December 15, 2009 from 9:30 to noon. 

Present were Kelly Foss, Tai Johnson-Sprat, Ryan Marquardt, and Matt Russell.

Ryan reported that he attended two fundraising workshops one sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and one through the non-profit development center but the participation fee was paid for by the LC.

Kelly presented and the board reviewed the balance sheet.  We have $750 outstanding to our board financial assistant for his regular services (October, November, December) and $1500 in services still due to the North Iowa Group from the 2009 annual conference.  We have $2000 in accounts receivable from the State of Iowa.  Our board financial assistant is tracking this.  We also have a $500 outstanding sponsorship from the 2009 conference from either Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture or from NC SARE.   

The board discussed a gathering on a smaller scale than previous annual conferences.  Matt moved, Kelly seconded and the board approved the following structure for this gathering.

A Workshop Potluck to be held February 6 in Perry from 9 AM to 3 PM.  INCA will provide a light continental breakfast with a potluck lunch.  There will be no charge for paid members, a $35 charge for households that are not members, with the board recruiting and waiving the fee for targeted Perry locals.  Participants can choose between one of two workshops in the morning and one of two workshops in the afternoon.  Board members will lead workshops with a suggestion of Kelly leading a workshop on farmers markets, Matt leading a workshop on profitability, and Ryan and Tai leading a workshop on poultry.  These workshops would be facilitated sharing more than formal presentations.  We would incorporate the annual meeting with this gathering.  The theme could be related to “INCA Going Back to Our Roots.”

 Matt moved, Ryan seconded and the board approved a budget of $2000 for the board to spend on this gathering.

 The board will develop an RFP to hire a coordinator to organize this gathering.  The coordinator would be paid $1000 plus mileage.  The language needs to be worked out but here are the things mentioned in the meeting.

  • Find and recommend sites in Perry to the board
  • Communicate logistics and details for board action with the board
  • Provide fine detail management of workshops, potluck, and morning coffee
  • Provide communication and outreach for promotion via letter to members, postings on list serves, and a press release
  • Organize on site logistics—board and members can provide labor, but the coordinator will organize the logistics

The RFP would be sent to a targeted group of talented individuals.   

Ryan moved, Tai seconded, and the board approved approaching our current board financial assistant with new duties under a contract for Assistant to the Executive Board.  These duties include

  • Organizing and scheduling board meetings
  • Developing board meeting agendas
  • Communicating with members and the general public via electronic avenues—e-mail, list serve, blog.  This includes coordinating with the web master.
  • Managing official board documents
  • Following up with board members on activities and tasks
  • Coordinating limited board activities such as an annual board retreat
  • Identifying and maintaining grant/resource opportunities for the board (not to write grants)
  • Attending board meetings.

If our current board financial assistant is interested, then we need to negotiate compensation for these additional tasks.  If not, we’ll ask our board financial assistant for input on a compensation range that the board will need to develop.  

The board identified five people to try to recruit to the board.  The expectation is that Kelly and Gina will be leaving the board in February and we need to recruit at least two but up to four people to join the board for 2010.  Hiring an Assistant to the Executive Board should provide increased capacity and better functionality for the board.  The following people were identified as potential board members with the current board member responsible for recruitment.



October 2nd, Thoughts From Discussion Post Board Training

After the board training, a discussion amongst the board members yeilded the following revelations. One, that we were crazy to hold our annual conference in the format that we have had in the past on the timeline we were considering (2nd week of February 2010). Two, that our conference was different then other organization conferences, because of the process we go through and the follow-up work we do to cultivate local connections. Three, that our focus as an organization is not on our memberships, but on our work in communities, and that our conferences planning system should reflect that.  Michael, thank you for saying we were crazy and forcing us to revaluate how we go about this process. 

 The plan hatched from this will look like the following vision. INCA will slow our conference planning system and protocol and invest more time in the community that will host the conference.  Now, INCA will focus on having a large full conference every other year. To begin that process, INCA will hold a smaller gathering on non-conference years. This smaller gathering will serve to hold an annual member meeting, serve as a community event with a potluck, begin the process of recruiting people for a larger conference next year (begin the local planning committee), and be an expression of confidence in the host community and in the investment INCA has put in in the past and in the future.



September 15th, 2009 Board Meeting Minutes

INCA Board Meeting Minutes

September 15, 2009

In attendance: Ryan, Matt, Michael, Gina

The board discussed the possibility of hiring a program manager to coordinate the conference, do follow-up, do membership development, grantwriting, etc. We considered whether to issue an RFP or to ask people who are known to the board and who have worked with INCA in the past. A speedy decision is important because conference planning needs to begin soon. The board plans to review the INCA conference manual to identify a set of tasks involved in conference planning. The board will then write and present an RFP for this job.

The board considered sites for the annual conference. A decision on this matter involves making contact with stakeholders in potential sites and evaluating the level of interest in the conference. The potential sites are Boone, Dallas County and Albia.

The board discussed the board and consultant training workshop scheduled for October 2. Gina identified several planning issues related to the workshop. The board determined that the workshop will be held in the Downtown Partnership offices from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ryan will send Gina a list of attendees next week.

August 18th, 2009 Board Meeting Minutes

The board met on August 18th hosted by Kelly Foss at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.


 Kelly Foss, Ryan Marquardt, Gina Lloyd, Matt Russell, and Michael Haedicke were on hand.


The board has three big tasks that are being planned: the INCA conference, the CFSC workshop and the board training.  INCA continues to be in great shape with strong finances and great programming.  The challenge is getting everything done.


Several board members will present our Growing Food and Profit program at the Community Food Security Coalition conference in Des Moines in October.  We’ll also take participants through one of our asset based facilitated processes.  For the workshop we’ll focus on a shared experience with people coming from across the country: federal programs that feed people.  


For the conference the board is looking at communities where our GF and P has been the strongest.  We’ll be announcing a location for the 2010 Local Food Conference soon.


The next board meeting will be face-to-face on September 15.


Thanks to Carol for completing the work on the IDPH contract.  Carol and Gina are also preparing a retreat on October 2 for the board so that we have a better understanding of the GF&P program which is the foundation of much of our programming.


Kelly delivered the Treasurer’s Report. Two thousand dollars of the IDPH grant is being held up although INCA’s work is done. Sean is working to resolve this. Carol has completed her contract and is being paid. There are some conference questions coming up. INCA has not received a sponsorship of $500 from the Leopold Center (SARE money). INCA has a $20K CD that will mature at the end of October. We need to decide what to do with it.


The board talked about hiring a staff position to manage conference planning, training and other tasks.  We have so many good ideas and so little time as a volunteer board.  One suggested was made to contract for some grant writing work as well as the programming work.


It’s always energizing coming out of the INCA board meeting.


Matt Russell

Bringing the World Up to Date

Hello Folks,

I will be working to update the blog to the best of my ability over the next couple of days.  I am Ryan Marquardt, the current board chair of INCA. I was elected to my first two year term in 2008 and will be up for election this year. INCA has been going through a lot of changes over the past two years. Many of these changes are not visible to folk outside of the board. INCA has shifted to hiring several support and program consultants, as opposed to hiring fixed staffing. We have seen many long-time members shift off of the board and are replacing them. The goal is to build our board capacity and then work outward. We are an all volunteer board and at times it makes it hard to move forward on items. We are looking at hiring a assistant to the executive committee to elevate the log jam and allow us to move more quickly on things. 

I suspect that INCA will spend much of the next 6 months focused internally on solidifying the board and making sure every one is trained. After that time, I want to nudge INCA toward more programing activities. It is these activities that have made INCA the organization that is and it is important that we get our focus back on that element as soon as possible. 

 So I apologize for the long silence from the board and look forward to the future. We want to invite folks to com out to an INCA gathering in Perry, IA on March 13th. We will be holding several workshops, share in a community potluck, conduct our annual meeting, and most important of all, network.




INCA meeting 5-26-09

 Ryan, Kelly, Michael, Tai, Matt, were in attendance at our meeting.


We approved the last meetings minutes from April 20th. Ryan explained that all of our W-2 issues are resolved and that no filing extension was needed. 


 A request for $2000 was received by the board to go towards the publicity for the Mason City Farmers Market.  The board discussed possibly investing in capacity building for the MC Farmers Market or in something like Buy Fresh Buy Local. The board agreed that a plan should be developed for spending the money in order to build resources for the MC Farmer’s Market. Matt volunteered to follow up with Gina and ask her to check in with Jan and report back to the board.

The board had been working on a proposed letter of support policy for future requests. We voted that the submitted letter of support policy would be accepted.


We also discussed INCA’s contracting policy. Ryan volunteered to look into copyright and/or service mark options for the GFP Manual. This would help us protect our GFP material and program.


I described the progress I am making on a brochure for distribution at expos and the INCA board blog to be set up on Local Harvest. We will rotate postings by board members. Hopefully this will allow you to know each of us a little better. 


In our efforts to increase communication and create a public presence,  Ryan created a Facebook group page for INCA. Please join our group there! Perhaps we will even be on Twitter one of these days. Ahh, electronic transmission of information. How did we ever live without it?


Kelly has all of our financials up to date (as usual) and referred board members to INCA’s Profit and Loss Statement. 


We also talked about submitting a CFSC workshop. Matt suggested using INCA’s mapping process to discuss and brainstorm about federal food programs. The mapping process fits CSFC’s desire for interactive workshops because it involves the group in listing and understanding connections. Matt suggested including all of the board members as presenters. We approved a motion to have Michael and Matt draft a proposal for a CFSC workshop.


 Ryan asked board members to check schedules so he could plan a training session during the week of July 13th. Summer is such a busy season for us all. Hopefully everyone will be able to have a block of time available at the same time! Good luck Ryan.


Matt briefed the board on the USDA grant application. The application arrived by the deadline and received the appropriate number. Board members may need to sign a statement indicating the amount of volunteer hours  that they put in. The application will be decided on later in the summer.


 Ryan discussed the need to put out a call for proposals (CFP) to locate the 2010 conference. Matt pointed out that if the proposal does not get a great deal of response INCA can recruit in certain communities. Matt volunteered to put together a draft of a CFP.


 We decided to decline the request to speak to international students about GAP practices because this topic is geared more towards industrial-style agriculture and is not supported by or relevant to the majority of INCA’s members.


 Carol has done an incredible job throughout her service term to INCA and the board has decided to acknowledge that at the 2010 conference. Great work Carol. 


Hopefully this has given you a good idea of what we have been working on lately. We welcome and appreciate your comments and suggestions! Please follow us in the months to come.


Tai Johnson-Spratt





INCA'S New Blog

Welcome to our online listing and blog at Local Harvest!

In an effort to increase communication from the board to all it's members, we have decided to use this electronic format which will allow us to update more frequently, use less paper, and allow us to receive comments from our membership. You can even add us to your news feed reader so you will know automatically when updates are available.

Our blog will include meeting notes and minutes, upcoming INCA events, news, and features of our current projects so please check back often! Don't forget to add your comments. Your input is important to us!

Tai Johnson-Spratt




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