Please Remember to Vote in 2022!
You recently received your ballot for the AgCredit director and nominating committee election with an option to vote electronically or by mail. Because AgCredit is a cooperative owned and controlled by its borrowers, it’s essential that we remind everyone why it’s important to take part in the election and remain engaged with your cooperative. It’s my belief that a cooperative’s strength and relevance is directly related to the engagement of not only its board and employees, but also its borrower-owners.
On your ballot, you have the opportunity to vote for three director positions as well as the nominating committee. The nominating committee is composed of 18 AgCredit borrower-owners who are independent of the institution’s board, management and staff. Their responsibility is to identify, evaluate and nominate individuals for service to the AgCredit board of directors and complete a slate of candidates for the next year’s nominating committee. The work of the nominating committee ultimately shapes the makeup of our board of directors, which has the responsibility of governing and overseeing the Association to ensure it is operating in a safe and sound manner. I consider our nominating committee and the nominating process to be integral to the future success of AgCredit.
The nominating process begins each June with an initial meeting of the newly elected nominating committee. In September, the task of identifying candidates for director positions – along with candidates for the nominating committee – begins. AgCredit has been fortunate to have some outstanding nominating committees through the years, and our most recent committee was also superb. Committee members were successful in securing two candidates for each of the three director regions and identified candidates to replace themselves on the nominating committee. We’re extremely thankful for the time and effort put forth by our nominating committee and are grateful for the candidates who stepped up and agreed to run for either a nominating or director position.
I’m going into this detail about what happens behind the scenes to emphasize the importance of our cooperative governance structure and to share the work and effort that goes into it. Several years ago, I attended a meeting of Farm Credit chief executive officers across the country, and I shared with the group that we had a ballot return rate of 12.4%. To my surprise, many of the CEOs in the room were envious of our ballot return rate. What I did not share was that, 15 years earlier, our return rate was 30%. The declining trend bothered me and, in an effort to improve our ballot return numbers, I reported the declining trend in a Leader article in March 2016. As you can see in the following chart below, rates have improved since 2015. I’m hopeful our ballot return trends will continue to remain strong going forward.
Your board and management team believe your vote is important and needed for the success of your cooperative. Please remember to vote in 2022!