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If you are a Holstein USA member, you received a delegate nominating petition in late July/early August. Did you fill it out and send it in? Did you just set it aside? The deadline to get that in is September 29. Why would you want to nominate delegates or even nominate yourself? Well, I don’t think I could say it any better than our own Marion Seifert, a long-time national and New England member and well-known figure in the Holstein industry both regionally and nationally. I am going to quote from her 2023 convention report of earlier this month.

“As a delegate to the convention, you are involved in all aspects of the elections, reports and the discussions that take place. In addition to the elections of officers & directors is the presentation of the newest research on topics that matter to all of us, especially in making breeding and management decisions. This year there was lively discussion on milk marketing both what role the association should be playing and what we can do as individuals to help strengthen the milk market. It is also a time to greet old friends and make new ones from across the country. All have a common interest, the HOLSTEIN COW. On a positive note, Holstein USA has increased the delegate reimbursement to $1,000. Why should you be a delegate? With fewer and fewer of us in the business, it is important that each of us get more involved. I know we are all stretched thin on time, but without your participation, we fall into the trap of letting others make decisions vital to us and our business. See that your name is on the upcoming ballot even if you have to do it yourself.”

And I would add when you get your ballot in December/January, be sure to VOTE. If we cannot fill the number of delegates allowed, then the vacancies will be filled by New York and we will have lost a part of our voice in Holstein USA. Delegates allowed by state for 2024 are: CT/RI (2), VT (2), ME (2), MA (1), NH (1).

Finally, apathy has led to the downfall of many a membership association. Don’t let that happen. The success of your operations is dependent on your active involvement in the organizations that impact your operations, and Holstein USA impacts you on a daily basis.

Below are the important dates in the Holstein USA delegate election process:

September 29, 2023 - Nominating petitions must be received by Holstein Association USA October 13, 2023 - Deadline for nominees to withdraw names from the ballot October 30, 2023 - Ballots mailed to members December 29, 2023 - Ballots must be received by Holstein Association USA February 1, 2024 - Delegate election finalized for the 2024 national convention

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