AFIA Board Meeting Report to Members (Monday 20 July 2020)

The Board of Directors of AFIA met on Monday 20 July 2020 via a Zoom teleconference for a quarterly Board meeting. A number of issues were discussed as part of the agenda for that meeting and we are pleased to report to the AFIA membership some of the key outcomes, decisions, and information from that meeting:

1. AFIA Staff & Office Update

John McKew provided the Board with an update on staff and indicated that he was very happy with the performance of all staff, especially the manner in which everyone has responded to the COVID-19 situation and their willingness to adapt to a changed working environment and a tighter financial budget.

Pip Robinson, who commenced in the role as AFIA’s new Industry Development Officer from the beginning of April 2020, has successfully passed her three-month probationary period and is now permanent in her role. Pip works three days/week.

As noted in the last AFIA Board Meeting Report to Members, the Board agreed to a recommendation from the CEO to close the physical AFIA office (located in Docklands, Melbourne) to save costs especially in light of the reduced income facing the Association this year with (a) no National Fodder Conference and (b) a reduction in annual sponsorship income. The AFIA office (costing approximately $20k per annum) has now been closed (effective from 31 July 2020) with all office items (furniture, surplus stationery, merchandise, files, etc.) having now been moved into a storage facility in Flemington. AFIA already had a storage facility in Flemington and this has been upgraded to a larger space to accommodate the office closure.

The Board will review this decision again in twelve months.

2. AFIA Key Work Programs

John McKew noted to the Board that the focus of the Association and staff over the next six to twelve months would consist of several key projects, including:

a) AFIA website redevelopment.

b) Develop and deliver some virtual (online) information sessions for members.

c) Update to the 2009 publication “The Australian Fodder Industry – an overview of production, use and trade” (Sometimes referred to as the “Fodder Atlas”).

d) AFIA Fodder Festival 2021.

e) Sponsor discount incentives program for AFIA members.

3. Audit and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2020

As part of the annual audit, our annual Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2020 have also been produced and signed off by the Board. In the 2019/20 financial year the Association posted a modest surplus of $8,390.

Production of the AFIA Annual Report, which includes a copy of the Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2020 has commenced and this will be made available to all AFIA members (via the AFIA website) from late August 2020 (date to be determined).

4. 2021 Fodder Festival

Planning in underway to hold a second AFIA Fodder Festival at the Elmore Field Days site in 2021. Discussions have commenced with the Elmore Field Days committee on holding the event next year, potentially in March 2021. At this stage, a final decision on the event will be dependent on COVID-19 restrictions and a go/no-go decision on this will be made in late September/October 2020.

5. 2021 National Fodder Conference

A reminder that the 2021 National Fodder Conference has been scheduled for 26-28 July 2021 at the Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort, Queensland (the location that was booked for the 2020 event).

6. 2020 AGM & Board Elections

With the cancellation of the 2020 National Fodder Conference, the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association (which would have been held at the conference) must be rescheduled. A date for the 2020 AGM is still to be finalised and will be conducted as a virtual (online) event in 2020.

As per the Constitution of the association, two current AFIA Directors will be up for rotation on the Board in 2020. They are David Cossar and Suzanne Woods. Both Directors may re-nominate for their positions. Members interested in applying for a position on the AFIA Board from 2020 are encouraged to discuss this with the AFIA Chair, Mr. Frank McRae. Frank can be contacted on 0428 737 403.

Call for nominations to the AFIA Board of Directors in now open and a Nomination Form can be emailed to interested members by contacting the CEO on email –,au.

Nominations for the AFIA Board will close on Friday 21 August 2020 at 5pm (Victorian time).

7. Next Meeting

The next AFIA Board meeting will be scheduled after the 2020 AGM, once the date for this has been finalised (which is dependent on finalising nominations for the AFIA Board and the need, if one is required, for a ballot to elect new Directors).