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2003 ABGA National Meeting Motions
Opinion by
Keith Smith

May 30, 2003

The American Boer Goat Association national meeting will be held Saturday evening, June 7th, in the Ike Hamilton Arena in West Monroe, LA. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 PM or following the day's goat judging.

The only way to have your voice heard is to become involved. Attendance and voting at the national meeting is one very good way to become involved. It matters not if you agree or disagree with me, my neighbor, or my dog. If at all possible attend the meeting. Visit with your fellow members and association officials. And VOTE!

The membership will be called upon to approve or disapprove several motions (after the list of motions below you can read my "take" if you want to... it's one way I become involved):

  1. Vote counts concerning the two issues involving the South African judges should be by standing roll call instead of group "yes" or "no".
  2. South African judges will be invited to preside over the 2004 National Show.
  3. South African judges will teach the judging schools in the year that they judge the National Show.
  4. The membership recommends to the Board that the ABGA accept 1 day passes for approved International Boer Goat Association Judges effective now through December 31, 2003.
  5. The membership recommends to the Board and the Bylaws Committee that during any meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Boer Goat Association, the Board shall only go into executive or closed session for the following reasons:
    A) Legal matters
    B) Employee matters
    C) To discuss real estate purchases
  6. The membership recommends to the Board and the Bylaws Committee that all meetings of the American Boer Goat Association Board of Directors must be posted on the official ABGA web site, not less than seven (7), nor more than thirty (30) days before the date of the meeting.
  7. The membership recommends to the Board and the Bylaws Committee that to be elected to the executive committee the four (4) additional members elected from the board must have served on the Board for a period of not less than one (1) year.
  8. "The members of the Association present and voting at the annual meeting of the Members in 2003 hereby REPEAL the amendment of the bylaws of the Association adopted by the Board of directors on May 13, 2003 requiring that all future amendments of the bylaws by the Board of Directors must be approved by a majority of the Members of the Association voting by written ballot distributed by the Association.
    Passed by Board of Directors, May 13, 2003"

Begin Keith Smith's "take" on each of the motions...

Standing roll call - I recommend approval. The volatile "SA judge" issue was decided last year by whoever could shout the loudest. Let's not do the same this year.

South African judging of the national show - I recommend disapproval of this motion. The ABGA national show must be judged based on the ABGA Breed standard and, after that, the style of Boer goat that is desired in the United States. The ABGA national show must be judged by those most familiar with the ABGA breed standard and the US style of goat - US judges, not SA judges.

South African judges teaching the ABGA judging schools - I recommend disapproval of this motion. It would appear, on the surface, that the ABGA should use whatever instructors are most experienced in judging Boer goats. Below the surface, however, are the issues of differences in breed standards and in style between the US Boer goat and the Boer goat as raised in other parts of the world. Note, also, that the wording of the motion prohibits the use of any other instructors for *any* ABGA judging school in the years that the South Africans are invited. This wording limits the number of schools that can be offered. The limits so set are time and travel constraints imposed by finances and by the whims of the judges.
Speaking of "whims of the judges"... The schools must be taught according to ABGA breed standards and the South Africans have not been doing this - they use their own standards. Judging of a Boer goat show must, first and foremost, be based on the breed standard... everything after that is just the opinion of the judge.

1 day passes - Now... here is a sticky one - both associations have some highly qualified and extensively experienced judges. I recommend approval but only if the ABGA, as an association, is confident that it can resolve the breed standard and other documentation differences between the ABGA and the Int'l BGA.
One of the major reasons that there are so few dual-approved judges is that no one wants to judge a show where, for instance, the amount of scrotum split on a buck is acceptable under one breed standard and not the other. This puts the judge in an untenable position.
This could be easily resolved by a joint ABGA/Int'l action stating, "where breed standards differ in dual sanctioned shows the more restrictive standard shall apply".
Another issue is the award of honor points. The ABGA Ennoblement Criteria require that only those points earned under ABGA approved judges can be counted. It can be argued that a 1 day pass constitutes "approval" but it can also be argued that it does not.
ABGA Judge approval is currently based on successful completion of the ABGA judges school. If Judge A has passed the school he/she can be an approved judge regardless of association affiliation. If Judge B fails or does not attend the class then he/she is not an approved judge regardless of association affiliation. Why should Judge B be given a 1 day pass to judge a show when you or I, who have not attended or have failed the school, should not?

Executive/Closed session - I recommend approval. This one is common sense.

Notification of meetings - I recommend approval with amendment. The membership has the right to advance notice of the meetings of their elected officials. The maximum limitation should be removed because it prohibits notification of longer than 30 days prior to the meeting.

Executive Committee tenure requirement - I recommend approval. This recommendation to the Board will have the long-term effect of limiting the Executive Committee membership to two years, thus assuring a more rapid turnover and less stagnation of the committee. Such restriction will prohibit the immediate installation of novice Board members who have limited knowledge of the internal workings of the association - it gives them time to learn a little before they are placed in a relatively controlling position.

Bylaws amendment - Must learn more! This is a very poorly worded motion. Read this one *very * carefully - it would be easy to misinterpret. Learn what the Board thinks you are voting on before you vote. Ask each director what they personally think the motion asks for.
If only they had broken the motion down to two or more sentences and/or made it a positive statement... The Board was specifically cautioned against this type of wording of the motion.
Consider the fragment "...requiring that all future amendments of the bylaws by the Board of Directors must be approved by a majority of the Members...". Is the object of the sentence "repeal" (your yes/no vote) or is it the "amendment"?

  • If the object is the Board's Bylaws amendment of May 13, 2003, than a "yes" vote will mean that you are voting away your own voting privilege.
  • If the object is your vote then a "yes" vote will mean that you will have the privilege of voting on future Bylaw changes.
If the Board's Bylaws amendment of May 13, 2003, is as poorly worded as this motion and can be interpreted more than one way then your vote probably doesn't matter, anyway.

The only way to have your voice heard is to become involved. Attendance and voting at the national meeting is one very good way to become involved. It matters not if you agree or disagree with me, my neighbor, or my dog. If at all possible attend the meeting. Visit with your fellow members and association officials. And VOTE!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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