More ways to connect with FFVA

— Members can help strengthen the grower community, shape policy —

Whether it’s labor, plant diseases or government regulations, Florida producers face myriad challenges day in and day out. To better meet the needs of the association and involve more members in its work, FFVA has launched a new, expanded lineup of committees that will begin work in the coming season.

Seven new committees will be sharply focused on concerns that affect the grower/shipper community. The groups are structured around key issues: advocacy, food safety and sustainability, production management, research, supply chain management, water and land use, and workforce. They will be charged with identifying emerging issues, educating members and the FFVA Board of Directors as needed, and developing policy to be implemented by the board.

“The committees are designed to enhance member participation in what we do,” said FFVA President Mike Stuart. “Ultimately, this will help our members strengthen FFVA’s voice and allow us to continue to shape agricultural policy.

“We especially want to involve members who may not have served on a committee before,” he added. The new committee structure also offers the opportunity for more than one person from a company to serve based on his or her expertise, whether it’s food safety, production, crop protection or elsewhere.

The restructuring began as an outgrowth of the association’s strategic planning. “A key goal in FFVA’s current strategic plan is ‘an organizational structure and governance process and culture that are dynamic, interactive and a catalyst for the success of the industry and the association,’ ” Stuart said. “We want to bring more value to members and enhance the effectiveness of FFVA’s committees.”

A Committee Structure Task Force made up of FFVA members was appointed in November 2014. Dan Botts, FFVA’s vice president for Industry Resources, was the staff lead on the project. The group met for four months to evaluate existing committees and discuss ways to increase grassroots participation of FFVA members.

The task force agreed that changes were needed to reflect FFVA’s strategic plan and to meet future needs of the organization. The group developed recommendations for committees focused on key policy areas and organizational functions of FFVA. It also outlined a scope and purpose for each committee. The proposal was presented to and approved by the Board of Directors on May 29. (The full report of the task force is available online here.)

In developing the committees, the task force sought to enhance FFVA’s ability to identify legislative, regulatory, legal and marketplace threats that affect our members, and to position FFVA more strongly for the future by involving the next generation of volunteer leaders. The task force also felt a committee was needed to enhance the effectiveness of agriculture research initiatives.

By participating in a committee, members can closely network and build relationships with fellow FFVA members, become more familiar with the issues that affect them, and be part of the solution in helping to develop sound policy.

“We’re excited about this change,” Stuart said. “There’s never been a better time to connect with FFVA and help us to serve our industry.”

FFVA is encouraging its producer and trade associate members to review the list of committees and their responsibilities and decide where they can best contribute. The meeting schedule for each committee will be determined by its chair.

Committee applications will be reviewed and presented to the FFVA Board of Directors during the annual convention Sept. 23-25. Decisions on committee composition will be based on several factors, including the need for broad commodity and geographic diversity, an appropriate mix of producer and trade associate members, and the desire to keep them a manageable size, Stuart said.

Find out more about each committee here.

Read Frequently Asked Questions here.

Download and fill out the Volunteer Form here. Please return it by email no later than Aug. 28.

Not yet a member of FFVA? Learn more here or call 321-214-5200.

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