Previous AJCA Directors in attendance were (from front left): David Norman, Pa.; Ralph Frerichs, Texas; Chuck Luchsinger, N.Y.; Phil Gordon, Ind.; Jay Pfeiffer, Ohio; Sheldon Sawyer, N.H.; Roger Marcoot, Ill.; Helene Dreisbach, Pa.; Benny Rector, Texas; David Jones, Okla.; (back from left) Larry Benson, N.Y.; Bill Grammer, Ohio; Duane Wickstrom, Calif.; Joe Lineweaver, Va.; Jim Billman, Ohio; Dennis Egelston, N.Y.; Wilfred Owens, Wis.; and Calvin Graber, S.D.
“Our organizations have two tremendous assets. The first is the image of the Jersey cow as an efficient and profitable producer that also has the longest productive life in the business today. The second is the reputation our organizations have,” AJCA-NAJ Executive Secretary Neal Smith told the crowd at the AJCC Research Auction on Friday, June 29, 2018, in Canton, Ohio, as he honored former directors of the AJCA.
Each past director was presented a gold Seal of The American Jersey Cattle Association struck especially for the the 150th Celebration from the Original Dies, made in 1922. The seal is inscribed with the motto adopted April 19, 1881, in Latin, which translates to “The Herd is the Foundation of All Wealth.”
Smith talked of the responsibilities Directors have in establishing Association policies and programs, setting fees, authorizing expenditures, hiring the Executive Secretary and Treasurer, and being responsible for the overall well-being of the Association.
Smith commended current and past boards of directors for their service to the association through the years. He listed seven important qualities that they have demonstrated starting with leadership, financial responsibility, and commitment of time. He stressed responsiveness, that is, being willing to listen to the concerns of every member and all producers of Jersey milk and genetics, then passing those concerns on to the Board at large and management. He talked of having a national perspective, meaning that even though a Director is nominated from a particular area or District of the country, they need to be mindful that actions must be made in the best interests of the entire Jersey membership, not just the interests of their particular District;
Professionalism is vital said Smith. Not all suggestions the Presidents and Directors hear are in the best interest of the Jersey organizations. The Presidents and Directors must sort through the facts and fallacies in all arguments. They must reach a decision, then be able to defend it. If they disagree with the majority vote of the Board, they must be able to abide by and support the decisions of the majority. And finally, loyalty. The Presidents and Directors are ambassadors for the Jersey breed. They need to present a positive image of the Jersey breed, the owners of Jersey cattle, and the organizations.