Wednesday, December 21, 2016

From a Delegate's Point of View

GENEX recently wrapped up its fall delegate meetings. Nine different meetings took place giving delegates from across the country the chance to learn of changes taking place within GENEX and an opportunity to provide feedback for the future of the cooperative. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ron Koetsier, a delegate from California on the delegate experience. Ron is a second generation dairy farmer who now farms in partnership with his son, Ron Jr. They milk 1,150 cows and farm 400 acres near Visalia.

What is the time commitment of being a GENEX delegate? 3 to 5 days a year, depending on where you live and where the meetings are located

Ron participating in the GENEX Fall Delegate Meeting.
What is your experience and/or history with cooperatives? We were members of Eastern A.I. (a GENEX predecessor). We are also members of Land O'Lakes Cooperative, and I have served as a Unit Delegate.

Why did you decide to become involved with GENEX governance? Because I then can provide input into what goes on in the cooperative. Delegate input really does matter. A recent example is the change in requirements to become a member. We were asked to provide our feedback, and the cooperative acted based on it. I also gain a lot of information from other delegates. It is certainly a learning experience. I learn way more than what I put in.

What advice do you have for others who may be considering becoming a delegate? Do it. You will pick up new ideas from the like-minded individuals you are around. It is very enlightening as you will find out how cooperatives operate. Becoming involved is an excellent growing opportunity and everyone can contribute, whether you have 50 or 5,000 cows.

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