The following is an overview of the minutes from the recent Board meeting of the ASA, held in Sydney on June 28, 2018.

It was proposed that a Deputy Chair of the ASA Board should be nominated and it was agreed that a video log-in should be utilised at subsequent Board meetings for Directors unable to attend in person.

A small amount of funds have been allocated to provide additional resource for communications and social media, Rural Ambassador program enhancement, education, Zoonosis, procurement and membership growth. The only item not allowed for in the budget is the Economic Impact Study as this will require a significant financial contribution. An amount has been included to seed fund the conference and a small allowance has been made for constitution review should it be required. Membership fees are currently set for 2018 and 2019. The setting of fees for 2020 and beyond is to be recommended by the Board for consideration by members at the AGM.

National Finals Competitions
The Board agreed that the Rural Ambassador judging panel selection should include recommendations from the NFWG and focus on diversity of gender and age. ASA Next Generation Director, Ed Scott has been invited to judge as the ASA Board representative. New medallions have been ordered featuring the ASA branding.
Alpaca and Grain competitions need to be ratified at the next NFWG meeting (September). The Poultry competitions are gaining traction with up to 5 states participating.

The most recent edition of The Ring achieved an open rate of 49.6% with click-through rates of 10% – well above industry average. The next edition will be released in mid-July. All members are encouraged to submit content for inclusion, particularly any stories of note regarding Show milestones.

A plan for set up Facebook and Twitter for ASA has been developed and will be undertaken in the coming weeks. Rebecca Somerfield from Mercury PR has been engaged to manage ASA PR regarding the NF program.

The ASA has successfully negotiated with the owner of the website – a site which lists all regional shows across Australia, resulting in the securing of the site’s database of exhibitor and supplier contacts, approval to utilise some of the functionality of that site on the ASA site, and ultimately, for that site to cease to exist after December 2018, with links already in place directing visitors to that site to the ASA one. Updates to the ASA website are on-going with recent updates including the listing of Directors and their bios.

ASA Conference
The Chair outlined the need to re-establish a working group, and for the Board to submit preferences for timing and location of a conference in 2019. A paper was tabled outlining suggested processes and next steps for the inaugural conference. It was noted that our audience is largely regionally-based, with a large representation of volunteers from small Societies and that we should therefore consider streaming options to enable engagement from people unable to attend the conference in person. International keynotes speakers will be sought. The plan for the 2019 ASA Conference will be tabled at the September Board meeting.

An initial target database has been developed, and sales activity will focus on Rural Ambassador and National Finals competitions. Outsourced sponsorship sales services quotes were presented to the Board and it was agreed that these will be explored further later this year should efforts by the EO and Board fail to achieve desired outcomes. A small amount of additional funds have been allocated to the budget for the remainder of 2018 to allow for some support to the EO in the sponsorship sales program.

ASA Member Resources
Fact Sheets on the topics of Animal-Human Health Consideration – Public Health Information for Agricultural Shows and Animal Welfare Considerations at Agricultural Shows have been prepared and will be shared via the next edition of The Ring as well as via the member portal on the ASA website. Details will be communicated shortly.

The RASV has developed a primary school-focused education program and is working with the ASA to make this available to other ASA member organisations.

National Procurement
RASNSW is working with the ASA to establish a working group and plan for development of a national procurement plan with the aim of giving ASA members access to products and pricing which may not be accessible individually.

Government Relations
The Chair has set a meeting with the federal Minister for Agriculture, Hon David Littleproud to discuss the ASA and seek funding for key activity. In addition, the RAHSSA have engaged with SA Minister, Hon Tim Whetstone and representatives from the ASA separately met with the NSW Minister, Hon Niall Blair. State-based Ministers have expressed the importance of all ASA member organisations engaging with their local Ministers regarding the ASA in order to build support from all levels.

A plan has been developed and additional resourcing put in place to grow the ASA membership in the non-core categories of Affiliate, Corporate and Student memberships.

A sub-set of the Board has been working on establishing national consistencies for WHS regulations and reporting. The Board has been advised against developing a database of incidents for legal reasons. It was noted that the a National WHS Chair has been appointed with the purpose of introducing greater consistency between states.

The ASA will continue to partially fund a representative on the IAFE Board. It was noted that several ASA Board members and Society Presidents will attend both the IAFE conference in the USA and the RASC conference in Canada later in 2018 (travel to be funded by Societies, not by the ASA).

A meeting was held between the ASA and a member of the Council of the RASC to discuss a reciprocal membership

Next meeting: Sunday, 2 September, Adelaide