Since this is an election year, and I live in Iowa where there’s a presidential candidate around every corner, I thought elections would be a good topic to talk about.  I know I’ve written about this in my last column, but I wanted to add to my thoughts, since I’m a member of the Nominations Committee.

Every year always has a few positions that need to be filled, and that process starts at the fall Board meeting the year before.  The Committee meets to come up with a list of names for each position.  For 2008, we need a Secretary, a Treasurer, a South-Central Regional Director and a Midwest Regional Director.  I will not be able to run again because I won’t be living in the Midwest Region anymore.  I’ve accepted the position of farm manager at Bob Wollam’s.  Plus, after four years it’s time to let someone else take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Anyway, the Committee comes up with a list of names, and the Vice-president, who is the chairperson, will call those members and ask them to consider running.  Now, there are over 500 of you members out there and we cannot possibly know all of you.

We’d like to have a real election every year so you’d have a choice of 3 or 4 candidates to pick from for each position, but the truth is that if we can get even 2 names we’re doing well.

The spring Board Meeting is where we hopefully have our final list of candidates to put on the ballot.  If not, more names are chose and the Vice-president makes more phone calls to try to come up with the final ballot for the summer election.

So…now’s the time!  Throw your hat in the ring!  You don’t even have to solicit money to fund your campaign.  Don’t think like I used to—that I wasn’t a big enough grower to be a Board member, or that I didn’t know enough to have anything to contribute.  The majority of growers in the ASCFG farm on less than three acres, and have annual sales of less than $45,000.  This makes the voices of small growers just as important as the rest.

And unlike the presidential elections where you’re not sure you voice is being heard, as a Board member your voice can really change things.  To name a few: National Conference sites and programs; Grower Grant recipients; budget issues; Seed Trials; Cut Flowers of the Year nominations; the next ASCFG international trip—Ireland? Italy? Thailand?; ideas for membership benefits and growth; research topics.

Get involved!  Especially those of you who the Committee may not know well enough to put on the list.  Put your own name in the running.

ASCFG Board members are positive, creative, innovative, logical, level-headed, broad-minded, thought-provoking people, and best of all, just plain fun to be around.  Twice a year you’ll get to travel to a new and exciting city you’ve probably never been to, for Board meetings that are anything but boring.  You’ll be wined and dined and get to hang out with really great people who know how to talk flowers and really care about keeping the ASCFG alive and growing.

Being on the Board is a good way to get to know more members and that means learning even more about growing flowers.  Isn’t that why we’re all members anyway?