Jack Tank introduced the speaker for the Sept. 6 meeting, John McGillicuddy, who talked about the agricultural and socio-political environment in the Ukraine.
President Deb reminded the group that September is New Generations Month.  The four areas covered by New Generations are Interact, Rotaract, RYLA and Rotary Youth Exchange.
The Can Do sorting kicks off at the East Side Recycle Center on Scott Blvd on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 am to noon.  The volunteers for this month's Can Do sorting project are Hazel Seaba, Margy Winkler, Frank Juvan and Mike O'Leary.  Thanks volunteers!
One ticket remains for the French Dinner on Sept. 13 at Val Martin's home, 6 pm. 
Nut sales have begun and there are two orders in already.  The sale goes through October.  Kris Ockenfels is taking the orders and checks.
Start bringing sale items, pre-priced, for the October 8 Flea Market.  No adult clothing.  Deb Dunkhase will take items to the Mall to be stored.  A sign-up will be sent around for volunteers to staff the event in 2 hour shifts from 8 to noon the day of the sale.
The Polio Plus event on October 8 at Terry Trueblood Center will also require some volunteers and a sign-up is going around.  There will be a speaker from the Mt. Pleasant area who contracted polio.  The Downtown Club is sharing the event and will be in charge of grilling.  Our joint fundraising goal is $10,000.  Cost will be $25 per person.
Ron Logsden announced the next Fireside Chat for newer members (but everyone is welcome to attend) will be September 28 at the Logsden's home.  They will be serving pizza and beverages.  This is an opportunity for newer Rotarians to learn more about Rotary and Club activities.
October 6 will be the next Joint Service Club lunch at the University Club.  Deb Dunkhase has tickets available for $15 each.
Among the many Happy Buck moments shared: The Langenfelds visited with their daughter and son-in-law in Ann Arbor where the kids are in graduate school; Ann Romanowski enjoyed volunteering with a Habitat build; Greg Probst gave a run-down of recent District 6000 Youth Exchange Inbound student events; Pat Schnack shared a story about her granddaughter's "roughing it" as a student in South Africa; Mike Messier sampled wines last week in Sonoma, CA; Karin Franklin shared the needs of IA MOST for bedsheets and child-size hospital gowns; Sue Cronin got back from tracing her husband's Irish roots in the 1840s to Canada; Deb Pullin-Van Aucken finished up her state fair sheep showing activities.  There were several other moments shared.
This was John McGillicuddy's second talk about the state of affairs in the Ukraine.  Last time he talked primarily about the political coup that occurred around the time he visited the country. This time John talked primarily about the agricultural conditions and how the state of mind about agriculture is a reflection of the socio-economic history of the Ukraine people.  
Ukraine is 233,000 square miles in size, or about 80% the size of Texas.  It is located in the same latitude as Winnipeg, Ontario, Canada, but is considerably warmer and dryer, more like our central states.  Ukraine has 44.5 million people, which is around 60% larger than the population of Texas.  It contains about 103,000 acres of agricultural land of which 80,000 are used for field crops.  Ukraine grows a great variety of crops with wheat and barley leading the list.  Farming households also intensively tend gardens around their homes.  The interest in self-sufficient gardening stems from the Stalin era in the 1930s when millions of Ukraine residents starved to death in what was considered a deliberate act of genocide by the Stalin government.  Abuse of the Ukraine people has not been limited to the Stalin era; the Ukraine has been consistently abused by conquerors since the days of Alexander the Great.
McGillicuddy's mission has been to help improve farming efficiency and output and to that end he has been showing Ukraine farmers that traditional methods of farming are actually more harmful to the soil and production than newer methods.
When the USSR broke apart the Ukraine allowed the people who were farming the land to become owners.  Since the USSR had organized these farmers into collectives, the result of independence was for any field of 750 acres or so to suddenly have at least 100 landlords or owners of small individual plots within the field.  This leads to many different types of crops being produced on any given field, some of which, may not be compatible with adjacent crops.  This is one of the problems that Ukraine farmers are gradually working out.  The result of independence from the Soviet Union has led to much greater efficiency and much higher crop yields.  Under the Soviet collective system farms barely supported themselves, while now Ukraine is one of the world's major exporters of wheat, barley and other field crops.  This is a part of the world that runs the gamut from highly primitive in farming methods, machinery, etc. to very modern.