Annual Meeting Delegates
Are you interested in serving as a delegate to the Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting? These Frequently Asked Questions will tell you a little more about what's involved in being a delegate, and what to expect.
1. What is the purpose of the Michigan Farm Bureau Annual Meeting?
The primary purpose of the MFB annual meeting is for members to set direction for the organization by adopting policies, electing directors to the MFB Board and to recognize outstanding member and county activities.
2. How does the State Policy Development Committee sort resolutions into a report that is presented to the delegates?
The Committee reviews all state and national recommendations from each county and compares them to existing policy. The committee then concurs on a final report to present to delegates during delegate session at the MFB Annual Meeting.
3. Who can vote?
The County Farm Bureau determines Regular member status in each county. Regular members who are selected as official delegates to represent their county Farm Bureau are eligible to vote. Each county is assigned a certain number of delegates who may be seated on the delegate floor at one time, according to regular membership size.
Robert's Rules of Order are used and a simple majority prevails. Robert's Rules of Order are rules for parliamentary procedure based on the consideration of the rights of the majority, the rights of the minority and the rights of individual members, in conducting official business.
4. What is the Open Policy Development session?
The purpose of the Open Session of the MFB Policy Development Committee is to hear from members who wish to address topics not considered at their county Farm Bureau annual meeting.
5. What are the responsibilities of a delegate?
Delegates are responsible to attend delegate sessions to represent their county in voting on policy positions for the next year. They should review proposed resolutions prior to attending the annual meeting, and should be familiar with their county positions on key agricultural issues. They should be willing to stand and defend issues on the delegate floor.
6. How are the annual meeting delegates selected?
Delegates are selected by their county Farm Bureau. Each county handles this process differently according to their bylaws. Delegates must be regular members in good standing, and must be certified by their County Board of Directors as being actively engaged in production agriculture and be able to represent the interests of the county Farm Bureau and agriculture. No employee of Michigan Farm Bureau or any of its affiliate companies may be a voting delegate.
7. How do delegates prepare for the annual meeting, and what resources will be provided to help prepare me?
Every delegate will receive a proposed resolutions booklet in the mail. Delegates should review the proposed resolutions with other delegates from their county or district prior to the meeting. County or district meetings may be held. Delegates should confer positions with other county/district delegates and are encouraged to seek input from the county delegate chairperson.
8. What if I don't have any experience or knowledge about issues on which I'll be expected to vote?
Delegates have the right to abstain from voting on any resolution. However, it is appropriate to gain knowledge on the issue from local farmers who may be affected or by gathering background information from other delegates or staff.
9. What ways can a resolution be submitted for delegate consideration?
Resolutions can be submitted the following ways: Through your county Policy Development Committee for your local annual meeting, from the floor at your local annual meeting, during the Open PD session at the MFB Annual Meeting, and from the delegate floor during the MFB Annual Meeting.
10. What is the responsibility of the delegate chair, and what can you expect from them?
The Delegate Chairperson should represent the views of their county and is responsible for verifying their delegates, and ensuring the proper number of delegates are seated during delegate session. The Chairperson has sole authority to make substitutions in its delegate body. The chairperson is the lead resource person for the county delegates on the delegate floor in assisting with and coordinating votes according to county positions and county-adopted policy recommendations. The delegate chairperson may assist in organizing a county meeting to review proposed resolutions prior to the meeting, and may also coordinate other activities of the delegation.
For more information about being a delegate, contact your County Farm Bureau.