President’s Message July 2020

President’s Message

Dear OSA Members and Prospective Members,

I am honored to serve as your President for the 2020-2021 year. As I step into this role, it is with a reflection and humility that we are only stewards for a short time and that many industry stalwarts have effectively and efficiently filled this role over many years and built the association into what it is today. So, before talking about goals for the coming year, I want to say a special thanks to all past Presidents and especially the immediate past President Phill Lindgren for their time and efforts!

The mission statement for the OSA is “to represent and promote the interests and importance of the Oregon seed industry, fostering cooperation and communication among members, suppliers, customers and regulators throughout the state, the nation and the world.” My goals for the 2020-2021 year are aligned with the mission statement and will seek to strengthen a few key areas such that the association can continue to benefit its members while continuing to attract talent to serve on the Board.

Presidency Goals:

  1. Continue the advocacy and outreach efforts: Our license to operate in ag is under continued attack. We MUST protect our ability to keep our businesses profitable and located in Oregon! This advocacy first starts with the interests of those we represent as part of the OSA, but then must include outreach to growers, other ag associations as well as education of those who oppose us.
  1. Streamline the Association: We need to find ways to make the OSA more effective while balancing this with the understanding that this is a volunteer organization. I want to work with the Board to synergize the committees (to our core focuses) while also making sure that the successor committee heads have the proper tools to hit the ground running.
  1. Empower the Board: My goal as your President is to be lazy… ok, not really. However, my goal is that the committee chairs and committee members are empowered and held accountable by the President and the Executive Board to do most of the heavy lifting. This is vital if we are to attract talent to the Executive Board in the future.
  1. Attract new members: Let’s work together to make the association one that seed companies, not just grass seed companies but also specialty seed companies, feel is a vital component of their business. I personally believe if we can accomplish goals 1-3 above, the association can recruit new members and offer attractive networking opportunities to affiliates. The health of the organization and our ability to tackle new challenges relies on funding our budget, so we must focus on this important task.
  1. Produce a world-class family friendly summer event: Finally, it is a personal goal to reward our members and their families with a fantastic 2021 summer event at Eagle Crest Resort! It was a bummer to not be able to have an event in 2020 and there is no better way push back against COVID-19 than to have an event that is top notch, educational, and involves the entire family. Without my family’s sacrifices, there is no way I could do what I do each day, and I am sure you feel the same. Let us work together to line up a great array of speakers, entertainment, and relaxation!!

Thank you for your support and encouragement in advance! It is exciting to work as part of an association with people who are vested in the success of the seed industry in Oregon. I am confident that if the association collaborates, we can accomplish amazing things!! Let’s get going…

Sincerely Yours,

James Schneider