The 2015 Annual Meeting
American Milking Devon Cattle Association
Minutes of the Annual Membership Meeting
Tunbridge VT, May 8, 2015
The meeting was called to order by President John Hall at 10:13 AM with 17 people present.
President: John Hall gave a summery of the past years events including two Mother Earth News Fairs and the Fall Gathering. John further reported that 68 people had attended the Fall Gathering and that Drew Conroy led discussions on American Milking Devon oxen, bulls, cows, heifers and calves. Also Ray Ludwig and Eli Dube had given ox demonstrations.
Minutes: Bill Blaiklock provided the minutes of the May 10, 2014 meeting. Bonnie Hall requested an addition to the minutes pertaining to her being appointed as the Registrar. A MOTION (Ray Clark/Tom Slater) to accept the amended minutes passed unanimously.
Treasurer: John provided a written report showing a year end balance of $11,668.52 in checking plus $16,091.23 in CDs. John provided a line-by-line explanation of various expense items totaling $11,018.21. A MOTION (Bill Blaiklock/Tom Slater) to accept the Treasurer's report was passed unanimously.
Communications: Bill Blaiklock noted the two Mother Earth News Fairs. He called the development of the newsletter a “milestone” and thanked Shelly Oswald for her hard work as newsletter editor. Bill pointed out that communications is a group effort, that all members can be promoting the breed. Two brochures are posted on the website and he urged members to use them to promote the breed and association. Bill announced that this was his last event as Secretary and thanked everyone for their support during his time in office. Andrew Van Ord has been given the responsibilities of Secretary. John Hall thanked Bill and awarded him a plaque and lifetime membership in recognition of his nearly 15 years of service.
Registration: Bonnie Hall reported that over the past year, 130 females and 52 males have been registered. 110 cattle have also been transferred. As requested, she recorded her time spent, and her duties required 164 hours for the year.
Membership: Shelly Oswald submitted a report that was presented by Bonnie Hall in her absence. 112 memberships were recorded in 2014 and as of 5-7-2015 88 memberships have been recorded so far this year. John Hall reminded the membership that dues are now due at the beginning of the fiscal year and not by the annual meeting as in the past. Bonnie also noted that 12 new members have joined the association over the last year.
Newsletter: Shelly Oswald submitted a report that was presented by Bonnie Hall in her absence. The publication dates have settled to the approximate end of each quarter of the year (March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31) and any submissions for events, contributions or articles should be submitted one month before publication. There are 24 hard copies being mailed to members without email addresses and the postage for the newsletter has been 70 cents per copy. If anyone is getting a hardcopy that is interested in receiving the newsletter by email, it would save the postage and you would get the newsletter more quickly.
Website: Lawrence Gilley submitted a report that was presented by John Hall in his absence. During 2014 the website received 9,965visits, down from 12,783 the previous year. 62%, up from 54% last year, were new visitors. The for sale and breeders list are the most frequently viewed and updated areas. New material included 2014 annual meeting minutes, photos and video of the fall gathering, and The Herd Book, vol 3. Lawrence also reported that the website shows up near the top in search engine results and that individuals providing a link to milkingdevon.org from their site can improve this. The Milking Devon Cattle group on Yahoo has 53 members and the Facebook page has 440 likes.
Genetics: Ray Clark reported no new news.
Election of Directors
John Hall reported the results as tallied by Sue Randall, Clayton Randall, and Steve Burton.
The election results: M.J. Knight 2, Jeremy Michaud 33, Bruce Farr 33, Dexter Randall 30, Tom Slater 21, Joe Janowski 9 Jeremy Michaud, Bruce Farr and Dexter Randall stand elected to the Board for a three-year term. Bruce Balch has resigned and the board will appoint a director to fill his seat for the remaining year of his term.
General Discussion/New Business
Living Population: Tom Slater requested an estimate of the living population of the breed. Several members reported on the past attempts and difficulties of getting an accurate count. John Wheelock reported that the population was below 100 in the 1980s. John Hall and Ray Clark provided an estimate of 1000-1200 currently living AMD.
Board of Directors attendance: It was noted that Directors should be committed to their responsibilities and should be making an effort to attend the annual meeting and monthly teleconferences. It was discussed to enact a “soft policy” rather than establishing specific minimum requirements.
Semen Bank: John Hall reported on the inventory of the AMDCA semen bank and those purchases are limited to 25% of any bull’s stock.
COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG VALENTINO - # 10165 = 19 straws
MEADOW BROOK GLORY'S HERK - # 10337 = 133 straws
WILD ASPARAGUS FARM AXEL - # 10352 = 141 straws
MVLA HURRICANE FLOYD - # 10309 = 19 straws
MVLA HURRICANE FLOYD - # 10309 = 265 straws
AUGUSTINE OF POPE'S CREEK PLANTATION - # 10256 = 29 straws
Online herd book: Following discussion of the 2014 herd book, posted on the website, A MOTION (Bruce Farr/Bonnie Hall) to place a disclaimer on the website stating that the only official record of registrations is held by the Registrar passed unanimously. A MOTION (Tom Slater/Andrew Van Ord) to direct the board to develop a formal process for individuals to petition for a correction of the herd book passed unanimously.
Streamlining Membership duties: Bonnie identified an management issue caused by membership dues being required for registration but having them sent to Shelly Oswald. A MOTION (Ray Clark/Bill Gallagher) to have membership dues sent to Bonnie Hall who will then report them to Shelly Oswald passed unanimously. Shelly will also take responsibility for sending welcome packets to new members.
Insurance/Sponsoring members efforts at public events: John Hall indicated that the board had approved providing brochures and the banner for the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville NC but refrained from sponsoring it further due mainly to concerns about putting the association at risk due to possible liability issues. He asked the membership if an insurance policy is warranted. Tom Slater mentioned that the semen bank and herd book could be two other points of possible liability. A MOTION (Clayton Randall/Bonnie Hall) to have the board pursue an insurance policy passed unanimously. Sue Randall also suggested that a policy be developed pertaining to sponsoring future events.
Delinquent dues/timely registrations: Bonnie Hall brought up a few interrelated issues she has noticed as the Registrar. Members are selling cattle and deferring the responsibility of registering them to the buyer. Members are also only paying dues once every several years and then submitting registrations for cattle born several years before. This not only causes a lot of confusion and additional work for Bonnie but it increases the chances of inaccuracies and can lead to cattle/herds being lost from the registry. John Hall asked the membership for suggestions on policy changes to motivate members to keep their dues and registrations up to date. Several options were discussed including: mailing a bill for membership dues, requiring established members to pay all back dues before accepting registration, expanding the current registration fees to get increasingly higher with the age of the animal. Some are concerned that members may submit fraudulent applications or not register animals at all if a new policy is too expensive. A MOTION (Ray Clark/Tom Slater) empowering the board to develop a policy passed unanimously.
Fall Gathering: John Hall called for suggestions for a 2015 fall gathering. Interest was shown in having it at Rollie and Paula Johnson’s in Larkspur, Co or at Dave Heinlein’s in Lopez Island, WA. Interest was also shown for holding a 2016 gathering at Colonial Williamsburg if they hold another oxen seminar. Andrew Van Ord suggested that a call for volunteers or suggestions be added to the next newsletter.
Fire safe: John Hall reported that copies of documents are being stored in the fire safe, which was approved at the last meeting. The safe is kept in his office, off site from the association laptop. The safe is currently full and another will be needed to protect future documents. A MOTION (Tom Slater/Ray Clark) to approve the purchase of another fire safe passed unanimously.
Cyril Green & Diaurna Kibbe Memorial Scholarship Fund: A MOTION (Ray Clark/Bruce Farr) to donate $500 a year for five years to the Cyril Green & Diaurna Kibbe Memorial Scholarship Fund (Tolland County Farm Bureau) passed unanimously. The donations will help to make the fund self-sustaining.
There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 12:16 PM.
Andrew Van Ord, Acting Secretary
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