ISPA Account

20200706 Minutes

Agenda of ISPA board meeting help on 8th July 2020
Participants: Lowenberg-DeBoer, Tremblay, Khosla, Kerry, Stafford, Fulton, Sudduth
Absent: Cambouris
  1. Welcome to new board members
  2. Minutes of previous meeting(s)
  3. Treasurer's report - 2020 agreement with PAQ Interactive?
  4. Lessons learned from the Virtual ICPA on June 30
  5. Plans for ICPA webinars including:
    • Feedback from community leaders - Nicolas
    • Data from ICPA accepted authors
    • Ideas for virtual poster sessions
    • Posting papers on the ISPA website in lieu of proceedings
    • Delegation of responsibility for contacting authors and organizing specific poster and oral paper sessions
    • Robert Awards session - will that be a separate session or combined with others? 
    • Publicizing the sessions?
  6. Next ISPA call - Can we set a default date and time for ISPA monthly calls 
Agenda #1 -Welcome to new board members:
Jess present the roles (see annex 1) of each new members i.e. president elected, treasurer, and secretary
President-Elect – John Fulton – The primary task of the president-elect is to learn the ropes of the organization, but some specific tasks include:
1-Working with Quentin on the ISPA Newsletter – How do we make them more useful for our members. In the recent past they have been mostly upcoming PA events and links to PA adoption data.
2-Managing the Pierre Robert Awards process – I will work you on developing some procedures for encouraging diverse nominations and for the evaluations
Treasurer – Ruth Kerry – welcome on the board for a 4 year term. As the title indicates the primary responsibility is to watch over the Society’s money. 
Secretary – Athyna Cambouris – welcome. The primary task is to help the society document board decisions and key supporting information behind those decisions. As with more voluntary organizations, the detail in the minutes varies widely. I recommend that you look at the minutes from the time when Slava Adamchuk was secretary as a good example.
Other points of the opening introduction done by Jess
This is a challenging time for everyone including for professional societies. Even prior to the pandemic there were questions about the role, structure and functioning of professional societies (including ours), including:
Are all voices and concerns in the society being heard? Is the agenda and the leadership dominated by the men of European origin?
How can societies be relevant to its members? In the past the main ISPA activity was the ICPA every two years and supporting:
Regional PA conferences (ECPA, CLAP, ACPA)
The Precision Agriculture journal
How should the society fund its activities? In the past the main (and often only) funding was a small surplus generated by the ICPA. That was enough to get the society started, but not enough for initiatives to move the society forward substantially.
The pandemic and ensuing turmoil around the world have accentuated all these issues. I think that we need to be focused on the following three key issues which will determine the survival and effectiveness of the ISPA:
1) Encouraging broad participation in ISPA activities
2) Developing strategies to serve members beyond an annual meeting. We hope that we can have a successful face-to-face ICPA in 2022, but we can’t be content with that. The webinars that we will discuss today are just one part of this challenge.
3) How do develop the financial foundation of Society activities – There has been discussion of developing a foundation would could attract charitable gifts is one part of that discussion.
All new members agree on the mandate. Athyna Cambouris was absent but she listened to the recording of the meeting and she also agrees.
2-Minutes of previous meeting(s)
Jess suggests that we accept the minutes of previous meetings where they are available and enter them into the archive. Where there are no minutes (primarily meetings to decide on the Virtual ICPA) Jess suggest that we place the agenda with bulleted notes into the archive and move on (see email annex 2).
Athyna agreed that the minutes of each meeting will be done promptly and enter in the archive after all board members get the chance to comment.
3-Treasurer's report:
1- Second signature – John Fulton – He is a US resident and consequently could most easily fullfill the duties. –Kerry, Fulton and Sudduth (current 2nd signature) will coordinate the transfer. Agreed that Fulton would second signature.
2- 2020 agreement with PAQ Interactive? – Quentin will up date agreement and share for signature. No PAQ invoices paid until the 2020 agreement signed. Agreed by all board
3-Kerry will ask Terry Griffin to send checkbook. Agreed by all board
4-Kerry will put funds from CD that is expiring in checking. If not needed in next couple months for webinars, then look for a CD. Agreed by all board
5- Pay 50$ to Terry for fuel due to the 3-hour travel to the bank. Agreed by all board

4-Lessons learned from the Virtual ICPA on June 30
There was some email exchange after the June 30 event (see emails in annex). Some key lessons and suggestions:
The rehearsals were very important in a smooth implementation of the event – Thank you Quentin for your patience with those.
Publicity is key – I think we would have had more participants if we had announced sooner and reminded participants more. With 62 participants at the max (including 4 PAQ staff and the organizers) out of some 400 members we could have had more. 
An hour and a half was about the right duration – We kept most (58/62 = 94% ) participants to the end.
Need for virtual clapping during the award ceremonies? Some comments in favor.
Additional observations linked to the ICPA Virtual meeting :
10 members renewed in anticipation of the Virtual ICPA June 30
Current membership down to 208, from 400 voting members just before Virtual ICPA.
Virtual ICPA recording on the website available to active members.
Discussion of making combining registration with renewing membership. 
Additional Observations on the poll of Virtual ICPA participants:
a. 88% of respondents want to present their papers in a virtual webinar
b. Also substantial interest in a virtual poster session (~60%)
c. Strong interest in webinars organized by communities, but also strong interest from those whose papers don’t fit into a community in webinars organized by the Board. 
Agree by all board that keep membership/registration at $60/year.
5-Plans for ICPA webinars including:
Feedback from community leaders – 
Nicolas – Email indicates interest from the On-farm experimentation, Nitrogen management and Economics. Latin America group may need more encouragement. – Positive response from On-farm experimentation group. Rajsaid nitrogen group already exchanging emails. JLD said economics group would be ok. Just need to encourage the Latin America group.
Data from ICPA accepted authors – Email just out yesterday – 
18 responses so far, including one poster. Agreed by Ken, Ian, and Nicolas
Ideas for virtual poster sessions 
Ken and Ian will look at it. Nicolas is happy to help.
Posting papers on the ISPA website in lieu of proceedings –
This point had been previously discussed in a previous meeting
Delegation of responsibility for contacting authors and organizing specific poster and oral paper sessions – Suggested process. Board agreed a reminder on July 13 and deadline later that week.
Get a list of those authors interested in presenting. Wait until next Monday (July 13). Board agreed that JLD and Quentin would group the authors who want to present and communicate the plan to the board.
Identify those that fit in a community session and communicate to the community leaders with a suggested date of their webinar
Presentation could be done live or pre-recorder (regular session 15 min). Agreed.
Categorize the remainder into groups of 4 or 5 by theme, identify potential dates and confirm that the presenters are available at that time, recruit moderators who would then go on to organize the sessions. Board agreed; JLB will host that session
As soon as a webinar schedule is available to send an email, put on our website and try to get social media attention.
Robert Awards session - will be a separate session; The first session in September. 
Publicizing the sessions
Discussion about tentative schedule:
Some what to start in August and avoid busy fall schedule. All the professional societies trying do on-line meetings in autumn. In August Europeans will be taking annual leave and will not participate even if they are doing a “staycation.”
Board agreed somewhere between mid-August to the end of September

Next newsletter: add information for renew membership. Board agreed, Quentin will do
6-Next ISPA call
First Wednesday of each month at 1:30 pm Central time
New meeting planned for August 5th
Agreed by all board