Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada
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In his grand vision for New Vrindaban, Srila Prabhupada regularly described cow protection and local agriculture as the “main business” for its residents.
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of cow protection in New Vrindaban – it was back in May 1969 that Prabhupada met and named the community’s first cow, Kaliya. So it’s the perfect time for ECO-Vrindaban to begin a worldwide search for a president to oversee its steadily expanding operations.
ECO-V is a non-profit entity, first launched in 1998, that works closely with ISKCON New Vrindaban, with a specific focus on the areas of cow protection and gardening.
The organization’s mission statement is to “promote cow protection, local agriculture, and above all, loving Krishna, as envisioned by Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON New Vrindaban’s Founder-Acharya.”
Currently it looks after 900 acres of land near Moundsville, West Virginia, including 300 acres of forest, 245 of pasture, 100 of hay fields, and six acres of gardens.
In 2018, the ECO-V team grew nearly ten thousand pounds of vegetables, including green beans, okra, cucumber, kale, lettuce, carrots, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus and several varieties of squash and peppers.
They also grew nearly 100,000 flowers, such as peonies, gladiolus, marigolds, lilies, zinnia, snap dragons, carnations, dahlia, and sunflowers.
ECO-V protects a herd of sixty-three cows, oxen and calves. These include eight milking cows, who produce approximately twenty-two gallons of milk daily, and approximately thirty to forty pounds of Ayurvedic butter weekly as well as ghee, yogurt and cheese.
All of the dairy and produce grown by ECO-Vrindaban is supplied to Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra’s Temple kitchens.
Meanwhile, in 2017, ECO-V made a partnership with the ISKCON Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture. An important element of this agreement is to host the next North American ISKCON Farm Conference from October 4thto 6ththis year.
ECO-Vrindaban is now searching for a president to manage its day-to-day activities; act as a spokesperson and be the “face” of ECO-V; run staff meetings; and interact with lawyers and accountants.
Candidates must have good people skills; either be an administrator with knowledge of farming, or a farmer with leadership qualities (the former is preferable); and be able to handle themselves maturely and professionally.
They should also have a history of management or leadership experience, especially with a non-profit; regularly chant japa and participate in temple programs; and be willing to live in, or nearby, New Vrindaban.
The position will be a full-time, salaried one. Preference will be given to a US Citizen, or someone already legal to work in the USA; although ECO-V will consider sponsoring a work visa for the right person.
The ideal candidate will also be a self-starter with an ability to work with a dedicated team. These include General Manager Ranaka Das, who has worked in agriculture and cow protection at New Vrindaban for forty years; Community Garden Manager Suchandra Newberry, and Anandavidya Das and Lalita Gopi Dasi, who care for the milking cows.
Chaitanya Mangala, who has been on the board of directors at ECO-V for the past decade, feels that it’s a great opportunity to be a big part of realizing Srila Prabhupada’s vision.
“ECO-Vrindaban has been steadily increasing the services it provides over the last ten years,” he says. “And it’s reached a level of sophistication where it needs more people involved, and better organization in a daily, hands-on way.
“We have a great general manager, we have a great staff who take care of the cows and grow the gardens. But we need someone who can both oversee and help improve the current efforts, and expand things gradually over time. For instance, we’d like to have seasonal interns in the gardening and cow care programs. And we’d like to grow more vegetables, give better care to the cows, and take even better care of the facilities and staff.”