President's message

November and December, 1999

Hello. I am writing this President's Message under duress. I am past the deadline and Hurricane Floyd is churning and ripping across the Atlantic toward Florida and possibly the Carolinas. Until 1996 and Hurricane Fran, I did not fully understand the power and size of a hurricane. Fran sustained winds of 110 mph when it struck Wilmington, North Carolina. Andrew was a category-four hurricane and devastated South Florida. Floyd is three times as big as Andrew and has winds reported to be 155 mph. Winds exceeding 156 mph are a category-five storm. The actual landfall won't be known for a few more hours, but most residents of Raleigh, North Carolina are purchasing generators, milk, bread, nonperishable foods, bottled water, candles, matches, and tarpaulins. The tarpaulins are to cover holes in your roof when a tree crashes through it.

Preparation for a storm is not unlike the continual process of maintaining order and effectiveness in an organization such as the AASP. Foresight and preparedness are essential for survival.

AASP committee structure

The AASP, under the leadership of the Executive Committee and Dr. Tom Burkgren, has examined its committee structure. The goals were to examine each committee, the role and level of activity of each committee, and to provide for both continuity of service and the opportunity for members to serve. The committee structure will be as follows:

  • Nominations and volunteers for AASP committees will be received by the Executive Director.
  • Appointments to committees are made by the Executive Committee.
  • All appointments are for a 3-year period.
  • Members may be nominated or volunteer for a subsequent 3-year term.
  • Each committee will have a multiple of three appointed members (three, six, nine, 12, 15, etc.); the total will be determined by committee needs.
  • Each year, 1/3 of the committee members' terms will expire.
  • Committee members must serve at least 1 year on the committee before becoming eligible to serve as the Chair of that committee.
  • Committees will elect a Chairperson annually through an internal process of accepting nominations and voting by secret ballot.
  • Chairpersons may serve up to two sequential 1-year terms.

If a member misses two consecutive meetings s/he may be asked to resign at the discretion of the Chair and will be replaced by an AASP member who will fulfill that person's term.

Ex officio membership on AASP committees

  • Any AASP member may request to be appointed by the Executive Committee as an ex officio member on any committee.
  • Ex officio members will have 1 year appointments, but may request to be re-appointed.
  • There is no limit to the number of years an ex officio member might serve.
  • There is no limit to the number of ex officio members for any committee.
  • An ex officio member is not eligible to serve as committee Chair.
  • Ex officio members shall not vote on committee matters.
  • Ex officio members are not eligible to receive reimbursement for committee-related expenses except by express direction of the committee Chair.

Transition plan

The transition from the current structure to the new structure is as follows:

  • Current committees will be asked how many members will be required under the new structure.
  • Committees will be asked how much longer each member wants to serve. Committees should attempt to ladder terms according to the structure outlined above.
  • The Executive Committee will re-appoint all committee members, striving to fulfill all requests. In the event that requested term lengths cannot be granted, the Executive Committee will work with the Chairperson to reach a solution.

Current committees

The following committees are currently active in AASP:

  • Swine Health Committee;
  • Pig Welfare Committee;
  • Human Health Committee;
  • Nutrition Committee;
  • Pharmaceutical Issues Committee;
  • Environment Committee;
  • Pork Safety Committee;
  • Collegiate Activities Committee;
  • Public Relations Committee;
  • Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee;
  • Continuing Education Committee;
  • Products and Services Committee;
  • Communications Committee;
  • Budget/Audit Committee; and the
  • Reserve Fund Management Committee.

In addition to these committees, there are, from time to time, ad hoc committees created for a definite time frame and goal.

Joining an AASP committee

You are welcome to indicate your preference of committee assignment to Dr. Burkgren, Executive Director of the AASP. The AASP office telephone number is 515-465-5255. If the AASP is unable to fulfill all requests, then waiting lists will be created for appropriate committees.

Funding request evaluation

One additional change in structure involves guidelines for evaluating funding requests received by the AASP from outside our association. The number of requests for funding for a variety of deserving causes has increased. The new guidelines were established in order to provide the Executive Committee and the Executive Director with some assistance in handling these funding requests. The Executive Committee will consider a funding request up to $2000. Requests for amounts larger than $2000 will be referred to the Board of Directors of AASP. The evaluation criteria for the executive committee are based upon the answers to the following questions:

  • How does this request complement the mission of the AASP?
  • How will this request benefit AASP members?
  • Is the requester an AASP member or do they have close ties to the AASP?
  • Will the funds advance the cause of the AASP?
  • Are there alternative sources of funding?
  • Is it a first-time or repeated request? Our prior experience with the requester will be considered if it's a repeat request.
  • What is the history of the requesting agency or person regarding support of the AASP mission and/or members?
  • What is the worthiness of the project for the money requested?
  • Is there money in the budget for the current fiscal year and what are the anticipated additional requests for funding?
  • If AASP fails to fund this request, then what message is being sent to the requester?