Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: IN

Want to be president of your farm group? Nominate yourself!

Want to be president of your farm group? Nominate yourself!
Practical advice on how to keep agricultural meetings short and to the point.

We are in the midst of the hot and heavy meeting session in many communities. Some groups will be electing officers soon. So you want to run for president but not sure how to get nominated? Do it yourself!

That’s right- under normal procedure it’s legal. Read on until you find out why.

Here are four common myths and half-truths many people hold about operating meetings.

1. Debate is never in order before a main motion has been presented

KEEP MEETINGS MOVING: Paying attention to parliamentary rules can keep simple meetings like this one running smoothly.

Many groups have a custom of allowing for some debate before a motion is made in order that some consensus arises prior to wording of a motion.  It’s not a recommended practice for large groups, but is allowed under ‘small board rules’ and in committees. In large groups there should be a motion on the floor before there is debate.

2. A person cannot nominate themselves

Here’s the one you’ve been waiting for. No such rule exists in any commonly used parliamentary authority. You can nominate yourself!

3. A member of the nominating committee cannot be nominated

Again, no such rule exists in any commonly used parliamentary authority.   With this and with question two, if there were such rules, then a member would be stripped of one of the generally accepted principles of full membership in the organization.

4.  Chair should always ask for “old business” on the agenda

The term ‘old business’ is strongly recommended to NEVER be used.  In some folks mind this envisions anything from the past. That’s not the intention. Many groups use it to address items from the previous meeting that may require further discussion.

However, since some people think of it as relating to anything from the past the group ever talked about, using the term may open the door for unintended consequences.  So we recommend you don’t use it.

In FFA meetings the president usually calls for ‘unfinished business.’ This is intended to include only things where continuing updates or discussion might be needed. (Simmerman writes from Spencer.)

Editor’s note: Simmerman is a retired vo-ag teacher and FFA adviser. He has served as parliamentarian for many groups, and headed up the Indiana FFA state parliamentary procedure leadership development event for many years.)

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.