ISPA Account

20180626 Minutes

International Society of Precision Agriculture (ISPA) Board Meeting Minutes
June 26, 2018
Le Sheraton Centre Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Participants: Nicolas Tremblay, President; Ian Yule, President Elect;
Ken Sudduth, Past-President; Raj Khosla, Founding President; John Stafford, 2012‑14 President; Terry Griffin, Treasurer; Viacheslav Adamchuk, Secretary; Quentin Rund, Executive Secretary; Jess Lowenmerg DeBoer, New President Elect
Guests: Nicole Dimos (Society of Precision Agriculture Australia, SPAA); Rodrigo Ortega (chair of Latin American Association of Precision Agriculture, ALAP); Manjeet Singh (chair of the next ACPA); Gabor Milics (chair of Hungarian society)
The meeting started at 20:10 EDT. Nicolas welcomed the guests to the special meeting of the Board. Everyone received a paper copy of the draft of MOU with the chairs of regional conferences. Meeting attendees introduced themselves.
Nicolas reviewed the agenda, which was approved. Then, he provided an overview (PowerPoint presentation attached) of ISPA (conferences, governing structure, and financials) and the list of services offered (website proceedings repository, newsletter, listserve, communities). Nicolas discussed the list of potential additional services that could be considered in the future.
Nicolas asked for comments pertaining to the interactions between ISPA and regional groups. Gabor mentioned the usefulness of the newsletter, which helped expand the Hungarian representation at ICPA. Nicolas asked about the formulation of regional groups that would unite country representatives. Raj provided a historical perspective on country representation, which was used to expand ISPA membership. Rodrigo described the process in Latin America where a number of national societies have already been formed. Manjeet asked about time separation of ECPA and ACPA. Nicolas mentioned that ISPA could be the right place to resolve these discussions. Gabor said that regional groups were being formed, like the Central and East European region, but the critical mass is not there. In general, regional groups are a good idea. Nicole suggested that news about international activities could be included in the ISPA newsletter.
Nicolas demonstrated a vision of the structure of ISPA serving as umbrella for ACPA, ECPA, CLAP, ConBAP, PREGA. Rodrigo said that regional societies should be main subdivisions instead of activities under such an umbrella. Raj clarified that this would be an ideal solution, which does not have an appropriate structure yet. In this way, ISPA can help by providing the governing structure for “activities without organization” and similar events. Ian mentioned that the chairs of the previous conferences could form a group to start regional groups.
Nicolas provided a “going forward” list of strategic targets for ISPA (communication, organization of events, website, visibility, discount registration). The distributed draft of the proposed MOU was prepared as an initial stage to formalize the relationship between ISPA and regional groups. Rodrigo asked about the potential service costs. Nicolas replied that costs are there, but the system is already established and costs per specified services should be lower. Raj said that unfortunately the continuity of ACPA proceedings is not there while the proceedings of past ICPA are available. Gabor mentioned that using services for national meetings might not be beneficial, but for regional meetings it would be. This relates to the list of reviewers in the system. Raj clarified that using ISPA services is non-binding. Rodrigo specified two levels of support (with, or without, monetary contribution). Ian added that the risk of conference organization is taken by local organizers (within a country). Gabor said that ISPA endorsement without monetary contribution might be sufficient to gain support at the local level. Raj indicated that financial support has taken place in the past.
After adjustments, the draft of MOU was co-signed by Nicolas, Gabor, Rodrigo and John. Manjeet and Nicole will check with their respective committees to obtain permission to join this MOU.
Nicolas asked about planning the next ICPA, which has to be resolved before the end of the year. Rodrigo said that the next CLAP meeting with be in September 2020 in Cordoba, Argentina. 
Nicolas explained that one of the privileges of ISPA membership is free access to the proceedings. However, as open-access becomes more common, it might be a good idea to move forward with open-access to ICPA proceedings. Terry said that revenue from selling papers is rather small. Everyone supports the idea of open-access.
Nicolas asked if the chairs of regional conferences should be non-voting members of the ISPA Board. Raj proposed a model where a certain number of meetings involve the chairs and other meetings should be limited to ISPA Board members only.
Quentin said that the ICPA closing plenary will have three presentations of upcoming conferences (John, Rodrigo, and Manjeet) and a couple of slides with smaller upcoming precision agriculture meetings.
The meeting was adjourned at 22:05 EDT.
Distributed Agenda
  1. Call to order / Welcome
  2. Agenda approval
  3. Presentation of participants 
  4. ISPA service offer to regional PA bodies / wish list
  5. Coordination around future ICPAs 
  6. Open access policy for ICPA proceedings
  7.  Interactions between regional chairs and ISPA Board
  8.  Letter of agreement
  9.  Regional meeting announcements in closing session
  10.  Adjourn