Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, August 27, 2020

cogwheel writers needed 

Looking for an easy way to serve the Club? We're looking for volunteers to take notes for the College City Cogwheel this fall. If you've never taken notes for the Cogwheel before, we can provide an outline of what to record and send to Rick Esse after the meeting. Sign-up here! Have questions? Email Meredith Galdeen or Rick Esse.


Kopano Tsambalagwa, Inbound Youth Exchange Student from Zimbabwe. Hosted by Penny Hillemann


Rotarians around the globe.
Anika Richter (8.30.2007) and Jake Conway (8.30.2011).

ZOOM in Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 11:45 a.m., and Bring the Kids!
Zoom in here at 11:45 for casual conversation in a break out room before joining the regular meeting at 12:10.


Our Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) is dedicated to making climate change a strategic priority and to raising awareness, providing education and encouraging individuals and businesses to act in the interest of our planet.

For additional information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or



Melissa Hanson, City of Northfield housing coordinator


Brett Reese gave an update on the “non-ride” bike tour. “I was robbed in 2020” is the theme for this year, as there is no actual ride. $25 registration gets you a T-shirt that covers administrative costs and fundraising objectives.

More Rotary masks are available at the Dilleys’ home for $10. 

Exchange student Kopano gave an update. He is planning for the hybrid model on returning to school in September.

September 10 at 5:30 there will be a Rotary gathering at Rick Estenson's place with plenty of room to observe social distancing. A sack dinner will be provided. New polo shirts will be available that night for $20.

We are still contributing to Maria’s catering business with part of our dues each week. You can go to Maria’s restaurant Kahlo, in the Armory space, whenever they are open and get $10 credit to your meal with the password Dilley.

Kristi Pursell announced that the CRWP's annual watershed-wide cleanup will take place September 19. They will have special CRWP masks. Bring people you're in a COVID bubble with and work in small groups. There will be no picnic this year. Visit for more details.

Meredith Galdeen will be sending out a SignUp Genius request for volunteers to take notes at Rotary meetings between September and December. Please consider this service to the club.


Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Regenerative Farming. Hosted by Lee Dilley

Reggie Haslett-Marroquin

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Regenerative Farming

Lee Dilley gave an invocation from Wendell Berry’s “The Peace of Wild Things.”

Regi works for the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance and has, as Lee told us, a wide following for his brilliant ideas. 

Regenerative agriculture is a way of thinking and working with nature that is not being practiced by the industrial system. They are building system-wide infrastructure to result in a socially just, economically balanced and ecologically resilient agricultural system.

Regi explained some terms used in regenerative agriculture. Decolonization is a transformation away from extractive, destructive practices carried out in in name of development. Indigenization is working with earth's natural systems and with each other in a way that, among other things, ensures preservation of diversity of life on the planet. The carbon cycle is the most important and indispensable resource in regenerative agriculture.

Their poultry-centered model recognizes chickens as originating in the jungle, so trees and shrubs are provided to shield them from aerial predators. Productive options include hazelnut trees and elderberry bushes, which receive nutrients from the poultry manure. This simple combination allows harvest of eggs, meat, fruit and nuts, which account for only about 30% of the circulating carbon in the form of food. The rest is reinvested into the system, adding fertility and biomass to the soil as well as more more stable forms like mineralized carbon. Nothing is wasted or discarded. Other crops and forages can be incorporated, such as black beans, garlic, honey and sunflowers. Comfrey is an important perennial forage that is quick to replace, very palatable and digestible, and reduces external feed requirements.

Many nutrients sink deep into the soil and don’t stay accessible long enough to be taken up by plant roots. These nutrients can end up in the water system. Even organic inputs can become pollutants in this way. But alley croppings whose roots extend down deeply and broadly can bring these nutrients back to the surface. When their leaves fall and decay, the nutrients become available to plants with shallower roots. You end up with more energy than you started with, unlike industrial systems.

The result is a looping system of energy recirculation that can be scaled up and down. Regi describes this system as beautiful, incredibly productive and spiritually connected. It is low-cost for the farmer, as it requires minimal outside inputs such as feed. When chickens are harvested on-site, the farmer is well compensated and the consumer gets a $30 retail value for $10. The farmer gets a significantly higher return per acre compared to corn or soybeans.

One acre of regenerative poultry sequesters 3 tons of carbon per year. As this model is adopted on farms throughout the greater MN-IA-WI region, the amount of carbon sequestered annually will cancel 324.5 million miles of motor vehicle emissions. 

They are expanding with partnerships in Wisconsin and Iowa and expect to grow 400% in the next two years. They are working on adding a poultry processing enterprise and other associated services such as training and distribution. On this enterprise scale, the wholesale value of the short-term SEMN regional goals is $22.75 million.

You can see Reggie's presentation and the entire August 20th meeting here.


September 3 — Terry Friedrichs and Bill Keilty, Creative and Critical Thinking Skills of Our Students (Larry Fowler)

September 10 — No regular meeting. Sack Picnic with Social Distancing at the Estenson Event Center.

Vicki's Vision

Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Friends of Rotary,

Are you warm enough?  I feel like if I even do a little extra movement I start sweating like I am in a small rain shower ... whew!
Whether this is within the normal range of late August weather or not, climate is not the temperature of one day but the pattern of average daily weather for an extended period of time. The Climate is Changing.   
A few years ago, under the leadership of Jean Wakely's presidency, the club did a day long visitation exercise. By the end of the day, one of the top priorities of the club was to become a club of climate change activists. Shortly after this, other clubs were setting their focus on the importance of addressing climate change and then Rotary International started addressing it too, writing about it a number of times in the RI magazine. Then, just a few months ago, RI added a new area of focus: supporting the environment.  
Every week in our Cogwheel we have an RCAT Corner ... RCAT: Rotary Climate Action Team. RCAT is committed to ongoing education of our club members, this is a good spot each week to learn and be informed. They are encouragers to all of us (and themselves) to walk the talk ... we can point fingers to places or people who need to change, but if we are not willing to do the hard work too, we become a noisy gong. Right? I appreciate that they lead us to some of the low lying fruit we can all pretty easily do ... from changing your Xcel energy source to renewables (wind), to composting and doing an Xcel energy audit. Then consider what kind of lawn mower you have and how much lawn you are mowing. Maybe replacing a car with an electric vehicle. There are all sorts of transitions we can make. Learn more about RCAT here
I really appreciate this committee (I appreciate all of the committees, but this is the one I am focusing on today) and the work they are doing, and I know that if you have an interest in this area, they would welcome your coming on board with them. 
Have a great day and I hope to see you on the zoom call tomorrow to listen to Kopano share about his home in Zimbabwe and his experience here AND don't forget to invite your children to join our zoom meeting tomorrow too!


Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.