Southwest Oregon Hay Growers Association drafts bylaws

Sarah Dinsdale of Grants Pass is the first president of the Southwest Oregon Hay Growers Association (SWHGA).  Dinsdale was elected during an organizational meeting Monday, April 16.  The meeting was held via video conferencing.  Shelby Filley, OSU, facilitated the meeting from Roseburg.

Along with Dinsdale, Richard Lounsberry became the new vice President, Jerry May is the Secretary and Mel Ashland will serve as treasurer.

As with any new organization, bylaws are important, and the group adopted, with several revisions, those patterned after the Central Oregon Hay Growers Association, both will be part of the Oregon Hay and Forage Association.

While the association is explicitly for those involved in Hay and forage production, those supporting the goals of the association may become associate members.  Service members would be those involved in government, research and educational activities.  Service members may not hold office and have no vote in the affairs of the association.

There was a good deal of discussion concerning the handling of monies under the bylaws and the final language settled on was that “the board will determine policy for the distribution of funds”.  The final vote on the issue was 6 yes and 2 no, the no votes coming from president elect Dinsdale and vice-president elect Lounsberry.  At issue was the disbursement of monies greater than $1,000, which, under the Central Oregon bylaws requires a check with at least two signatures.  Treasurer elect Ashland  maintained that most transactions are electronic and with prior board approval, would be safe enough to prevent anyone from absconding with funds.

Members of the organization are from Jackson, Josephine and Douglas Counties.  There was discussion about including members from Coos and Curry Counties, but little hay is produced in those counties.

Jackson County Farm Bureau Vice President Glenn Archambault was present at the meeting and offered the services of the Farm Bureau in setting up the organization.  While the help is available, it appears that the organization is well on to becoming self-supporting.

The bylaws will be written in draft form for the individuals and groups to review, and another meeting will be called to finalize those and to get the organization moving forward.

The purpose is to promote the welfare of the hay industry in Southwest Oregon, while the parent organization promotes the state’s second leading agricultural product.

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