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I'm starting this forum topic for anyone who is interested in talking about the new Aquaponics Association.  While nothing will be set in stone when we officially adopt the Charter at the Conference on Sept 16, we'd like to get it as close to representative of what the aquaponics community is hoping for by that time.

If you go to the page that we've set up on the Association site (click here) you can download the Charter and Organizational structure, and answer some questions about your constructive feedback and how can we give you value for your membership dues.  Please take the survey!

Feel free to ask any questions about what we are doing here - the Organizing Committee (myself, Gina Cavaliero, Murray Hallam and Wayne Hall) is an open book, and everyone is a member in this community site.  We are 100% committed to creating an organization that will serve aquaponics well...although we obviously won't be able to do everything right out of the gate, nor will we be able to make everyone happy.  

I'd like to start the discussion rolling by asking a question  that I asked on Murray's forum this morning - how can we bring value to both Individual Members and Commercial members for their dues?  We've listed several things we could do on the survey linked above.  What are we missing?  What sounds great?

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Same here! It seems like a good compromise. :D

Big revision guys & gals...

 

A couple of questions...

 

(1) 

Article 9.3.6., and Article 11.5… “The Directors”

 

     Who/What are the “Directors”?

 

 

(2) 

Should Page 21 & Page 27 be combined and edited to be a representation of the structural heirachy of the Association... (as a minimum)

 

Executive Structure of The Association

 

Association Officers

  • Chairman
  • Vice Chairman
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

Board of Governors

  • Chapter Nomination
  • Chapter Nomination
  • Chapter Nomination
  • Chapter Nomination
  • Chapter Nomination
  • Chapter Nomination
  • Etc

 

Executive Structure of The Chapter

 

Association Officers

  • Chairman
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

Board of Governors

  • Branch Nomination
  • Branch Nomination
  • Branch Nomination
  • Branch Nomination
  • Branch Nomination
  • Branch Nomination
  • Etc

 

Executive Structure of The Branch

 

Association Officers

  • Chairman
  • Secretary/Treasurer

Board of Governors

  • Membership Nomination
  • Membership Nomination
  • Membership Nomination
  • Membership Nomination
  • Membership Nomination
  • Membership Nomination
  • Etc

 

(3)

Article 8.3.2 seems  to suggest that the general session is open to all who may have registered or been invited to attend, but may not actually be “financial members” or “members of the executive”, and as such have no right to speak or vote.

 

Whereas 8.3.3 suggests that only financial members or members of the executive may participate, and presumably speak and vote in the closed session.

Is this the correct interpretation?

 

Neither clause however actually defines any voting rights. Does this infer that either/both sessions allow for, perhaps the proposal of motions and discussion, but that any deliberation and resulting actions will be decided at the “executive” level???

Further... why not have each state in Australia represented as a "branch"??
Rupert The U.S. is broken into branches based on size of the aquaponic community in each of those areas. If you have alot of branches and few members it is hard to create capital, intellectual capital or financial capital might be hard to come by if each state has a branch in the start up. I am positive each state in AU and the US will have there own branches in a decade or less. I am really cautious about starting an association that is spread to thin with too many chiefs and not enough indians so to speak. I keep harping on an association with no capital hence no power to promote will in the end die a slow death due to no results for its members.

RupertofOZ said:
Further... why not have each state in Australia represented as a "branch"??

I appreciate what you're saying David... at the moment, the US is broken into 16 "chapters"... without specification of "number" of branches..

 

I was actually more wondering why the "Carribean" chapter, nothing inferred... has initially been assigned 5 branchs... whereas the Australian chapter has only been assigned 4 branchs...

 

I think it could be said that there would easily be more aquaponicists within Australian, than within the Carribean... and just as surely that there, for instance... would be as many within the states of South Australia and Victoria... as say the states of WA, NSW and QLD...

 

Indeed, there's more members from Asia represented on the Australian forums than from the Carribean... agreed this might not be a definitive representation of actual numbers...

 

But currently there is no provision, other than the "chapter-at-large" for any "asian" representation...

 

My only hope that the organization has some flexibility as it grows to do what you think is the best for your country of course. I am looking at the region I live in which is the desert region and the vast area it covers will be a challenge to network and promote aquaponics in. If there are only 20  individual members and no affiliates to create capital the members will fade out over time due to lack of results. If however there are 100 members by combining the three states then the board has some capital to work with to accomplish things. I think geographic location  also has to be a huge consideration in this as well. Maybe a one year rethink option to evaluate each countrys chapters should be the norm. I can see each state breaking off here as the memberships and capital to each chapter increase. AU would see the same Im sure.

David,

 

You are correct in your interpretation, the Charter of the Association allows for growth and as membership increases, the members for a particular area can establish Branches as needed, further a Chapter which group countries for geographic purposes, also allows for Chapter establishment for a country should the members/branches want to do so.

 

Hope that clarifies.

It's not a major point... I was just curious as to why the Australian Chapter/Branch structure had been proposed as such....

 

I'd already envisaged that individual branchs would be formed as you've both indicated...

 

Wayne, have you had a chance to look at the questions in my other post?

Rupert;

My apologizes, been a bit swamped here at home. Let me take a look and get back to you.

RupertofOZ said:

(1) 

Article 9.3.6., and Article 11.5… “The Directors”

 

     Who/What are the “Directors”?

The Directors would be individuals who would bring specific skills to the Board of Governors, their function would be defined by the Chairman and appointed by the Board of Governors.

 

i.e. The Director of Education would be responsible for overseeing the Education committee, and would have the skills that would allow the Education Committee to fulfill its mandate.

 

(2) 

Should Page 21 & Page 27 be combined and edited to be a representation of the structural heirachy of the Association... (as a minimum)

Page 21 would form part of the Charter and would list the Elected Officers and Charter Members for the Association and cannot be completed until such time as the Charter is adopted and approved by the members - it is currently included in this document for illustrative purposes.

 

Page 27 is for illustrative purposes, a visual organizational chart will be used in the final Charter.

 

(3) 

Article 8.3.2 seems  to suggest that the general session is open to all who may have registered or been invited to attend, but may not actually be “financial members” or “members of the executive”, and as such have no right to speak or vote.

That is correct - this would be the working session to conduct the business of the Association and only financial members may speak, unless the Chairman allows otherwise.


Whereas 8.3.3 suggests that only financial members or members of the executive may participate, and presumably speak and vote in the closed session.

Is this the correct interpretation?

Article 8.3.3 is a closed session for financial members only to conduct the private business of the Association.

 

Neither clause however actually defines any voting rights. Does this infer that either/both sessions allow for, perhaps the proposal of motions and discussion, but that any deliberation and resulting actions will be decided at the “executive” level???

The General Session would be where discussions and deliberations would take place.

The Closed Sessions would be where motions would be taken from the floor, and if accepted would then be presented to the membership for voting.

All voting for members will be conducted electronically.

 

 

I am a tad surprised that anyone would not realize that this must be an international group. There are people already out in the world charging huge amounts of money just to "license" a particular  type of system. When one of our main people involved, the wonderful Murray Hallam, is Australian, I figured this needed to go global from the beginning.

 

The nitty gritty of a charter and what is needed and/wanted can be hammered out as we go along.

 

My husband and I have traveled enough to know that the more we know and can offer others, the better it is to  help as many people as possible. We were in a country for half a year that prides itself on promoting organic foods, but still sprays everything from food to flowers. Education on how to grow organically and in large as well as small operations is important.

 

We do need an organization to make the playing field even. We need to know how to help and also how to teach people to make money as well as provide a service that is needed in many places. We live in eastern Colorado where the crops grown are wheat,millet, corn, sunflowers, but no veggies. We have to drive around 100 miles each way to buy good fruits and veggies. Our goal is to start small and then expand as much as we can. We want to educate people here on how to grow their own and perhaps make an income or at least supplement an income from the excess food and in harvesting the fish.

 

We first learned about aquaponics several years ago when Gary's folks wanted us to look into medical marijuana. That venture was stopped immediately when we realized the extent of federal messing about that could happen.The aquaponics bug, however, was firmly planted and we started looking into it for our own use.Now that we know how involved Colorado is in educating people on the many levels of aquaponics, we are doubly excited to get started.

 

Hopefully the negative reactions can be worked out when we are all face to face and can see the global value of aquaponics.

 

Jimmie Berg

Akron, CO

Hay Rupert, I really expect the guess about branch and chapter structure for different parts of the world was just that, a guess.  If you were to make a recommendation for the different areas around your country based on numbers of people involved in aquaponics who have shown interest in joining an association then I'm sure the suggested structure would be altered.  (Though I have noted some kinda strong anti-association sentiments coming from the Oz side of the pond so I wonder how many we will be able to get to join.  I do hope we can turn that around a bit though since as noted, the association is starting now one way or another.)

 

The point that David made about have too thin a population to make it work is a good one.  Why early on I mentioned "well how is it going to work for those who don't yet have branches to be a part of."  Once there are enough members in an area to form branches then I'm sure each state/province/country/island could have it's own chapter. 

 

Then again, I'm sure if some area wanted to "form a club" following guidelines that will match up with or not conflict and then apply for membership into the association I don't see why there couldn't be a way for that to work too.

 

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