GFVGA Leads Training and Roundtable Discussion with Industry Leaders
Friday, January 3, 2020
Posted by: Mary Kendall Dixon
The Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, GFVGA, recently hosted the first Georgia Specialty Crop Association Leadership Training and Issues Summit on at the Georgia Farm Bureau office in Macon, GA. This day-long workshop equipped attendees with the tools necessary to be successful in their associations and educated them on important policy issues on a state and federal level.
Leaders from across the specialty crop spent the morning discussing the importance of a cohesive board of directors and their duties. Attendees gained a better understanding on the overall role and purpose of a board of directors, best practices for running a meeting, reviewed ways to hone in on the purpose and goal of committees and their overall organization.
“We are in the process of forming the Georgia Berry Exchange and this event was beneficial because it provided excellent guidance in forming a new entity and in planning long-term goals,” said Jerome Crosby. “It has made me think of details I hadn’t previously thought of.”
Aries Haygood, president of GFVGA, said that this event helps an associations leadership improve and gives them a better understanding of what their role is as a board.
Following the leadership training, the afternoon was spent taking a deep dive into current issues the specialty crop industry is facing.
Charles Hall, Executive Director of GFVGA, Will Bentley, Georgia Agribusiness Council, and Jeffrey Harvey, Georgia Farm Bureau, lead the discussions. Issues like Right-to-Farm, federal disaster relief, proposed USCIS rule changes and the 2020 AWER increase, are of major importance to the industry and it is important for an association to have a firm stance on each one.
“It’s important for these leaders to hear about and talk about these issues at the same time,” said Beth Oleson, Director of Education for GFVGA. “By hosting this summit we were able to create space for these leaders to gather, discuss these issues with each other, and then take the conversation back to their board.”
They also discussed the importance of having an Issues Statement for each association. An Issues Statement helps an organization create longevity and provides focus to the leadership as they navigate these issues on a state and national level.
“This event is important for us to host,” said Haygood. “It gives us the opportunity to lead the conversation on important legislative issues and set the tone for creating a unified voice for the specialty crop industry.