The March meeting was held by conference call and called to order by President Sarah Kleinschmidt. The minutes and financials were approved. The Board approved renewing the contract with Bar Accounting Services for the upcoming year. Gainan’s will present a seminar on March 28 on the "2015 Widespread Damaged Evergreens in Yellowstone County; To Remove or Not Remove". James Prchal will assist with the seminar. The MNLA Expo Booth Contract has been updated. Lynda Wightman of Hunter Industries has expressed interest in holding an "Irrigation College" at the 2016 Expo and is working with the Board on the presentation. Ian Baldwin has agreed to be the Keynote Speaker at the 2016 Expo. Donna Rise from the MT Dept of Agriculture reported their website lists upcoming Pesticide Applicator Training dates as well as Farmers Market listings. The Department will host a Pollinator Protection Symposium in conjunction with the MNLA Fall Tour in September. The Board discussed the possibility of holding the 2017 Expo in Bozeman.
The MNLA Board of Directors met at the Holiday Inn in Helena with Sarah Kleinschmidt calling the meeting to order. The board reviewed and passed the previous meeting minutes. The board reviewed and tabled the budget for 2015 until the next meeting. Details of the 2015 fall tour in Helena are starting to take shape with a date of Friday September 18th. Shane Clouse reported on The Montana Dept. of Agriculture rules hearing and Donna Rise gave update to changes occurring with staff and regulations. The 2016 Expo was discussed with Missoula a strong choice and ideas for speakers and seminars presented. Expo 2017 city was discussed with the possibility of Bozeman brought to light. Jennifer Weiss updated the board on CPP test results. James Prchal discussed the status of the spring newsletter. New board members were welcomed and agreed to the duties given. The board discussed the future of MNLA and the need to find new members. The Board agreed that the benefits of joining the MNLA are not being presented to new member candidates well enough. The MNLA board feels that the strong camaraderie, the valuable knowledge network of its members, and the connections with the MDA to be able to help shape future legislation are key.
The meeting was called to order at the Holiday Inn in Billings during the Expo. The Minutes of the previous meeting and financials were reviewed and approved. 233 people are registered to attend Expo. The Board reviewed their duties and responsibilities for Expo. The 3rd Vice President Position nominee is Shane Clouse – Agro Vitae d/b/a Pink Grizzly Greenhouse, Missoula, MT. The Secretary Position is also available since Karen Chadwick has fulfilled her term. Greg Johnson, the acting 3rd Vice President announced he would have to step down from his position due to personal circumstances leaving a 2nd Vice President Position open. The board voted to accept Shane Clouse into the 2nd Vice President Position if acceptable at the annual membership meeting. The Plant Something grant was discussed and its value as a member benefit. James Prchal and Jyl Story will attend the Idaho Exposition January 21-23 in Boise, ID. James Prchal and Sarah Kleinschmidt will attend the ATMOPP Conference January 25-27 at Fairmont. The Fall Tour location was selected in Helena in September.
Donna Rise from the Montana Department of Agriculture reported the Nursery Fee Legislation was resurfacing. More details will follow once a bill sponsor has been secured. The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing the Expo. Ryan reported 66 booths secured for the Expo with a potential of 3-5 more. Gainans will provide an interesting seminar on Tuesday evening which will also be free to the public. Marketing was discussed. We feel we have a very good slate of speakers this year. Jyl noted good sponsor participation in the Expo. Holly requested each board member secure two auction items for the Scholarship Silent Auction. Jennifer noted we have six people signed up to take the CPP Exam at Expo. Shane Clouse has offered to have his name considered for the 3rd Vice President position on the MNLA Board. We are still searching for a nominee for the Secretary position. A job posting board will be available during Expo for members to post job opportunities. Sarah will add some games to the Trade Show reception festivities.