How the CMGA Board works
The CMGA Board of Directors is made up of seven individuals, elected by CMGA members via mail ballot, to represent the entire membership. Any current CMGA member who is a Canadian resident may stand for election to the Board.
There are no quotas by province or anything else for filling Directors’ positions, however the nominating committee generally tries to encourage a cross-section of different breeders from across the country in order to have a variety of opinions. The Call for Nominations is published in the Canadian Meat Goat Journal and all nominations must be received by the CMGA Office or the President at least 90 days prior to the Annual General Meeting.
The Board meets via teleconference at least four times a year, and has a face-to-face meeting immediately prior to the Annual General Meeting. The meetings follow standard rules of order, with reports presented by the General Manager, the Executive and the Committee Chairs. Minutes are usually kept by the GM and are published on the CMGA website after approval by the Board at the next meeting.
Any CMGA member may bring a proposal to the Board or ask a question, which will be dealt with at the next Board meeting. If the query is urgent, the issue will be immediately brought forward via email and/or phone. After an issue is introduced, a motion is made by one of the Board members which addresses it. This is then followed by discussion, with each Board member having the opportunity to express their opinions. The vote is not called until all have had the opportunity to put forth their views. When the vote is called, a simple majority is required to pass the motion. The President, as Chair of the meeting, does not have a vote, except in the case of a tie.
More complex issues may be referred to one of the standing committees (which are chaired by a Board member) for investigation of the facts and development of options that are available to address the issue. After exploring all the options, the committee will make a recommendation to the Board as to what they feel is the best option for resolution of the matter in question, bearing in mind what would be best for the Association and the industry. The Chair of the committee will make a report to the Board (usually at the next Board meeting), outlining the options that were considered and the reasons they feel that the recommended option is the best one. A motion is made that the Board accept the recommendation of the committee. After all discussion and questions regarding the matter are exhausted, a vote is called. If the motion is not passed, a new motion for a different solution may be made, or the issue may be referred back to the committee for further study and development of different options.
Not all of the activities of the Board require a motion or a vote. Routine matters concerning the every day operation of the Association are discussed by the Board and a consensus is reached as to how these matters will be handled. As is the case with any business, many of the routine matters simply require a decision by the General Manager and/or all or part of the Executive committee. On the other hand, matters covered by the Association by-laws cannot be changed by the Board at all; amendment of the by-laws can only be achieved via a vote of the membership at an Annual General Meeting.
It may appear that the Association is slow in its decision-making, but this democratic process depends upon the gathering of accurate information, exploration of the options, and the opportunity for all involved parties to have their input and ultimately their vote. The CMGA is a diverse organization, so not all of the membership will agree with every decision made by the Board. However, like all democracies, after discussion and consideration of the options, we are ruled by the will of the majority.