Leadership Opportunities Await
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” -Thomas Edison
Dairy farmers are no strangers to hard work. In fact, most people in the general population think of us hard workers, working long days in all sorts of weather, caring for our animals and spending time in a tractor and working with equipment to grow the feed for them. This is the vision that comes to mind but is only part of what defines us.
As we all know there is so much more than the physical aspects of farming. We spend quite a bit of time on the phone or meeting with all the other service providers like veterinarians, nutritionists, equipment dealers, feed sales people, risk management advisors, insurance agents… the list goes on.
Whatever depicts the day of a dairy farmer, it is true that farmers are not afraid of a little hard work. They embrace the task before them, eager to
accomplish the job and move onto the next.
However, sometimes very critical work can be in disguise. As farmers, we know the importance of caring for our cows and the land, our families and our team of employees. But what about our local communities? What about our fellow dairy farmers – across the industry?
Sometimes the most important work we do as farmers isn’t what is done on the farm but off the farm. From my experiences, one of the most important roles we have as farmers is advocating for agriculture, our livelihood.
Advocating can take many forms, and as a member of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, you have numerous opportunities to serve in various leadership positions, including as a Director on the board, on the Districting & Resolutions Committee, or as a Delegate to vote on resolutions at the annual meeting held each February.
Districts 1, 3 and 5 are open in this fall’s upcoming election, with District 5’s Director seat currently vacant. Directors who serve on the board fulfill a three-year term before the next election cycle. Look insight on Page 5 for more information on what counties fall within each district election.
Districting & Resolutions (D&R) Committee members are responsible for reviewing submitted resolutions before providing revisions to the cooperative’s public policy which is approved by our voting delegates at the annual meeting. Committee members also has the responsibility of periodically reviewing total membership throughout the cooperative to ensure districts are balanced in membership numbers. The committee meets once a year, in early January, and each committee member serves a two-year term before another election cycle.
Delegates represent their district, and vote on the policy revisions presented at the annual cooperative meeting. Delegates are annually elected every fall. Delegates attending annual meeting take part in the cooperative’s Producer Discovery Workshops, to learn more about some of the important issues our industry is addressing. Delegates are updated on accomplishments while looking to the year ahead during the cooperative’s business meeting. The annual meeting is a chance to learn more about member programs and services. In addition, it is a great time to catch up with fellow dairy farmers to exchange information to take back to your own farm.
As farmers, we don’t shy away from tasks that appear to be hard work. It can be hard work to serve as a leader – to find help on the farm, to get away from your regular responsibilities, or to try something new. But being a leader is some of the most rewarding work you can ever do. Think of it as an opportunity in disguise. The industry needs you, FarmFirst needs you.
Nominations for FarmFirst leadership positions close October 1st. Nominate yourself or nominate a fellow member today.