President's Update #9
The NACS Board traveled to Washington, D.C. the week of March 28th to meet with National Office leadership. On Wednesday, March 30th, all of the FSA employee associations gathered for a joint meeting. We had the pleasure of hearing from the Secretary of Ag, Tom Vilsack, and the Under Secretary of Farm & Foreign Agricultural Services, Michael Scuse. They discussed their views on the current agricultural economy and praised FSA employees on a job well done in assisting farmers and ranchers. That evening, all of the FSA employee associations gathered at the hotel for a reception with National Office leadership to mix and mingle.
Program issues and topics were discussed with Jim Radintz, DAFLP, and his staff, including "Easy" guaranteed loans, environmental training, FBP issues, FLOTRACK changes & CFAT, progress on the website for online application, and the upcoming shortfall of loan funds. The term "guaranteed microloans" is going to be changed to "easy." Look for more details about who the NACS Board met with and topics discussed in the forthcoming NACS Newsletter.
The overall theme from all National Office leadership was workforce engagement and creating a positive work environment for all employees, whether it be investing in employees with training or recognizing employees for achievements with awards. FSA leadership is truly working to make FSA a better place to work. NACS members' ideas and resolutions are being heard and implemented.
On Tuesday, March 29th, the NACS Board held its spring meeting. First time members' dues will remain at $52 for the first year of membership, if they join between now and May 31, 2017. The Board's FY2016 goals were reviewed to gauge progress, the National Convention agenda was reviewed and discussed, and a legislative update was provided by Ben Herink, LI Committee Chairman. Ben visited with key Senators and Congress members on Wednesday, March 30th. On Friday, April 1st, John Gehrke and I met with Andy Quinn and Jill Colgan to review progress on corporate sponsorship, legislative issues, NACS' media strategy, and promoting the 2016 National Convention.
The Convention Committee is finalizing the last of the details for the 2016 National Convention in Washington, D.C. Start making travel arrangements to attend July 10-14, 2016. Look for registration and hotel details to be coming out very soon. NACS members plan to stay on Thursday, July 14th for an optional "Day on the Hill" event with McAllister & Quinn, our lobbyist firm, and the Legislative Issues Committee. They are planning to conduct a "Day on the Hill" for members to get a chance to meet with Senators and Congress members on Thursday morning. Do not miss out on this amazing opportunity!
Now is the time to be working on resolutions. Please go to the NACS website to submit your concerns and proposed solutions. This is your time to make a difference! Also, now is the time to be thinking about how you can become active in a leadership role in the association. If you have a desire to run for a position, please contact the NACS Board, and we can answer any questions you may have.
Lisa A. Liska
Quote of the Day: "Positivity is like a boomerang. The more we put out there, the more it comes back to us." -Jon Gordon
LeAnn is a Farm Loan Chief from New Mexico. She was elected NACS President at the June 2019 Convention.