Report on IOGA Annual Business Meeting

January 12, 2012 4:00-5:00

Welcome and Review of 2011

Ellen Phillips opened the meeting and welcomed attendees. She introduced the moderator, Jack Erisman. Jack provided introductory comments and asked Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant to share the 2011 accomplishments. Deborah thanked Carol Elder to all of her expertise and support during 2011 and thanked her for the preparation of the documents being shared at the IOGA business meeting. The 2011 accomplishments included:

  • IDOA grant obtained to support development
  • March: Carol Elder hired as part-time Administrative Coordinator
  • March: Web site launched: http://illinoisorganicgrowers.org
  • July: Co-sponsored cover crops field day at Prairierth Farm with Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network
  • August: Co-sponsored organic row crops field day with Western Illinois University’s Allison Farm
  • September: Sponsored field day at the UI Student Farm on Involving Institutions in Local Food Systems
  • Electronic newsletter sent to growers approximately every other month
  • Developed fiscal sponsorship agreement with Illinois Stewardship Alliance
  • Planned organic tracks for 2012 IL Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference
  • In progress: comprehensive session on spray drift at 2012 conference will be videotaped for development of a webinar

Brainstorm Activities for 2012

Jack introduced Dave Bishop to lead the discussion about the benefits of IOGA membership. Dave asked attendees what they expect from the organization and what they would like to see the organization do? The following are audience comments:

  • IOGA will be unified. We are excited about the opportunity to have a stateside organization. Come together to get more done as a group.
  • Have organized field days to visit other operations and interact with other farmers. Help with organic application. IOGA could get the word out about events.
  • Connect capable competent researchers with farmers for on-farm research.
  • For policy work, it would be helpful for us to have a “go-to group” to learn about the issues at the state and local level.
  • Educate the public about organic agriculture.
  • Interested in networking
  • Mentoring certification documents
  • Certification education. What do you do when your certifier tells you to do something that you think may not be “correct” as well as how to solve the problem.
  • Seed sources
  • ISGC is important
  • Spend resources to recruit IOGA members
  • Resources for row crop production? How do you do organics?
  • Serve as a networking resource; help organic/sustainable producers find other organic/sustainable producers who have knowledge or advice that they need.
  • Have a spot on our website to list job openings for interns
  • Help filling out or provide mentoring for certification
  • Help guard growers again arbitrary and capricious actions by government and other farmers, organizations, and businesses
  • Sponsor field days
  • On-Farm Research
  • Policy
  • Education

Election of Governing Board

Following the discussion, Jack asked growers to share their commitment and willingness to join IOGA the IOGA Governing Board. Seeing that there were several interested people, Jack asked for nominations for the IOGA Governing Board. The following individuals were nominated:

  • Lisa Haynes
  • Jack Erisman
  • Marty Gray
  • Jane Heim
  • Michelle Wander
  • Dave Bishop
  • Anita Poeppel
  • Wes Jarrell
  • Joel Gruver
  • Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant (declined and asked to serve on the Administrative Committee)

Alan DeYoung moved that nominations be closed. Jack asked for acceptance of a voice vote for the above slate of candidates. Roger Hendricker moved that the above individuals be elected by acclamation to serve on the IOGA board for 2012. Jon Cherniss seconded. The motion passed. Michelle Wander asked for volunteers to serve on subcommittees.

Election of Governing Board Officers

The following persons were nominated as officers for the IOGA Governing Board took place. 

  • Dave Bishop – Chair
  • Jack Erisman – Vice Chair
  • Anita Poeppel – Secretary

Jack Erisman moved to elect the officers. Wes Jarrell seconded. Motion carried.

Michelle Wander requested that officers should read by-laws and discuss at the next Governing Board meeting in February. A date for the meeting was not set.

Thank you!

Thanks to Jack Erisman for leading the meeting.

Thanks to everyone who served on the planning committee for the organic track at the conference:

  • Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant
  • Carol Elder
  • Leslie Duram
  • Matt De Jong
  • Jane Heim
  • Randy Hoovey
  • Gary McDonald
  • Janet Morse
  • Ellen Phillips
  • Anita Poeppel
  • Brian Poeppel
  • Sarah Shike
  • Michelle Wander
  • Rick Weinzierl

Thanks to all of the presenters too! And a special thanks to the Illinois Specialty Growers Association staff, especially Diane Handley and Charlene Blary for all of their support and assistance.

And, thanks to the individuals who have helped with IOGA administrative issues:

  • Dee Carlson
  • Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant
  • Leslie Duram
  • Carol Elder
  • Ellen Phillips
  • Lindsay Record
  • Sarah Shike
  • Michelle Wander

Meeting adjourned at 4:40 pm.