ISPA Account

20170928 Minutes

International Society of Precision Agriculture (ISPA) Board Meeting Minutes


September 28, 2017


Conference Call


Participants: Nicolas Tremblay, President; Ken Sudduth, Past-President; Terry Griffin, Treasurer; Viacheslav Adamchuk, Secretary; John Stafford, 2012‑14 President; Raj Khosla, Founding President (joined late); Quentin Rund, Executive Secretary


Could not participate: Ian Yule, President Elect


The meeting started at 10:00 EDT. Nicolas reviewed the agenda. The next meeting will focus on ICPA and should take place at the beginning of November. Solicitation of abstracts is our priority. Each Board member should volunteer to solicit contributions focusing on different topic areas. The agenda was approved.


Nicolas reviewed the minutes from the July 17 Board meeting in Edinburgh. An important point was discussed about a virtual hub of past proceedings, or at least, links to previously published ICPA/ECPA/ACPA proceedings. John and Ken commented on the issue. John mentioned that the next ECPA would take place in Montpellier, France and two years later in Hungary. Quentin clarified the membership policy, which is subscription-based (1 or 2-year term), as it is currently implemented. John asked what would be easier to administer and Quentin replied that either potion will work. Slava provided an update on the idea of an East European community. The minutes were approved.


Quentin updated the Board on ECPA-linked memberships. Organizers provided a discount for ISPA members as well as collected membership renewal fees. Quentin was not aware of this in advance, but he has been in contact with Bridget and he is working on synchronization. John commented that this practice was similar to the Spain and Israel meeting. Quentin recalls that a membership list was verified at these conferences as well as ACPA. Earlier communication would help and this will be pursued at the next ECPA.


Nicolas reviewed a country representative update. Slava mentioned that Raj provided the following comment via e-mail: “During the formative years of the ISPA (2006-2010), I was reaching out and talking to multiple interested equities from across multiple countries. The challenging aspect was. if creation of ISPA comes to a fruition, how would we engage folks from various regions across the globe to truly reflect the “global” nature of ISPA. Hence, the idea of creating a non-board member position from each country of interest was conceived. This led to the creation of “Country Reps” (CR) and further discussion led to expansion of this position to two members from each country of interest for continuity. The intent is to have champions of ISPA spread all over the world, and in return they provide us with updates from the region, news-worthy items for newsletters, website, position announcements, awards, etc. [Of course they would be expected to maintain membership or we could choose to offer them membership as our contribution] In many countries such positions are coveted and have helped many individuals professionally.”


Ken conducted a review of the current list of country representatives. Fifty country reps are on the list and 13 are active members. Many reps were active in the past, but a large number of them have not responded. We need to update the list and have “reliable” reps included. Slava suggested that country reps should be the ones who were the most active in recent conferences. We need to develop criteria to update country reps. Nicolas commented that case by case decisions may be important. Ken mentioned that some past country reps may have renewed their membership through ECPA. Country reps should be paid members. Slava raised the issue of a more general nomination through contact with current members from a given country. Quentin suggested reaching out to current reps first and then going to an indepth discussion pertaining to these countries. It is important to have country reps solicit abstracts. Ken will continue working on this. Slava asked about the number of country reps. Current policy says two and Terry suggested that it should continue to be limited to two. A question was raised about Board members being country reps, and it appears that this should be OK.


A reduced membership fee proposal has been circulated. Ken and Terry suggested combining low and middle-income countries to receive half-price memberships. Qualifications are linked to place of work and residence in that country, which is challenging to verify. Slava commented that represented organizations should be the key criterion. Nicolas mentioned that honesty should be respected in this. Quentin said that implementation should be easy. This proposal was adopted; it will be implemented and mentioned in the ISPA news.


Slava suggested numbering accepted board actions (new policies) through the process of linking them to the society’s policies.


Raj joined the conference call. Nicolas and Raj have discussed the proposal to create a Foundation and CSU-based funds could serve as a good start. Quentin asked if the Foundation would be under the auspices of the Board. Raj commented that this could be possible. Terry suggested that because of logistics, a Foundation, under the current Board, would make sense. Ken clarified that past presidents have been good candidates to steer such a Foundation. Raj commented that a Foundation might stimulate society growth. Nicolas concluded that we should pursue this direction. Ken asked about time constraints in terms of CSU-based funds, and Raj replied that there were none.


John asked about an update of the newsletter. Nicolas discussed this concern with Ian, whose responsibility it is to put the newsletter together. Frequent and relatively short letters is the current trend and we should target at least a frequency of 1-2 months. Quentin is going to compile a short communication shortly. Nicolas and Ian will discuss this at ACPA.


Terry asked John about ECPA papers that should be enhanced for PRAG manuscripts. The intention is to receive about 30. This will result in one or two special issues.


Quentin and Ken will be at the triple society meeting in Tampa.


The next Board call will take place at the beginning of November. The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 EDT.


Distributed Agenda

  1. Call to order / Welcome
  2. Agenda approval
  3. Review and approval of minutes 17-07-17 / Edinburgh meeting
  4. ICPA memberships collected by ECPA in Edinburgh (Q. Rund)
  5. ISPA Country Reps Review (K. Sudduth)
  6. Reduced fees according to the World Bank country classification (K. Sudduth)
  7. Remainder of ICPA funds held at CSU / ISPA Foundation proposal (R. Khosla)
  8. Miscellaneous
  9. Adjourn