From the Executive Director’s Desk

December 14th 2018

It’s a good thing I’m such a procrastinator!  Because I waited until the last minute to write this column, I can include some congratulations to all our members who will be positively effected by the new Farm Bill.  If you haven’t had a chance to read about the increase in organic research funding, the increased oversight of the integrity of imported organics, or the removal of hemp and hemp products from the Controlled Substances Act, among many other positive changes in the bill, you can find out more here, here and here.

Now back to what I originally wrote:

This year’s conference was awesome!  If you didn’t attend, you missed out on two inspiring keynotes, tons of educational workshops and a whole lot of networking and fun. I hope you are already making plans to attend next year’s conference, which will, of course, be equally amazing.  I wanted to report back on two things that were new this year.  First off, we gave attendees the option of offsetting the carbon emissions of their travel to the conference.  We ended up offsetting 17,637 pounds of carbon.  You can read more about our partnership with BEF here.  We also sold a bunch of really cool socks with the Provender and Grow Ahead logo on them.  The socks were made by Maggie’s Organics especially for us.  We donated $525 from the sale of the socks to Grow Ahead.  We still have socks available and will be setting up an on-line store so you can get a pair before next year’s conference.  Keep a look out for an announcement about the store in the e-News soon.

As you may have heard by reading the e-News or perusing job boards or Facebook, I have decided to step down as ED of Provender.  There were a number of reasons for my decision.  It was a tough one because I truly love this organization.  In the end I felt it was the best decision for me and I hope it is a good decision for the association.

Both membership and conference attendance has been diminishing for the past few years. I feel like I’ve done everything I know how to do to try and reverse this trend to no avail. I believe I don’t have the skills the organization needs right now. I think we need someone who is good at outreach and marketing and who can bring some new eyes to the issues we face.  In addition to these concerns, I also realized that I need to spend more time working on the business my husband and I own and there is not enough time in the day to do a good job on both businesses.

I have given the board as much time as they need to find and train my replacement. I am happy and willing to work through next year’s conference to make sure all the institutional knowledge I have gets transferred to the new ED. And I will probably hang around the periphery of Provender for some time to see if I can help in smaller ways.

I hope you will help Provender find a great new ED by spreading the word about the job opening to your networks.  The job announcement and job description are available here.

Happy Holidays,

Vicki