County shall also mean Regional Municipality or part thereof, where applicable.
Federation shall mean the County or District Federation of Agriculture.
Director shall mean a member duly elected to serve on the board of directors.
Executive shall mean a member of the board of directors elected to serve in a leadership position.
Officer – shall mean a member of the Executive.
ARTICLE 1 – NAME
This organization shall be known as the NIAGARA FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE (NFA)
ARTICLE 2 – OBJECTIVES
- To develop and consolidate farmer opinion for the promotion of any activity within the Region which will improve the welfare of the individual farmer and the farming industry.
- To bring the viewpoints and concerns of the membership to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) for policy development and action, and, in turn, to interpret OFA policy so developed, to all members in the Region.
- To facilitate the spread of information of concern to the farming industry, to all farmers in the Region.
- To be a local federation of the OFA.
- To promote and educate the public, about the practices and benefits of the local agriculture sector through the use of various communication strategies and organization of events.
ARTICLE 3 – MEMBERSHIP
(subject to change to be consistent with OFA policy)
All active Registered Farming Business Members or an Individual Farm Member of the OFA in good standing, where the registered farm business is located in the Region of Niagara, shall be ordinary members of the Niagara Federation of Agriculture. They shall have the right to vote at all general meetings and to hold office but not the right to vote at meetings of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE 4 – BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The affairs of the Niagara Federation of Agriculture shall be managed by a Board of Directors consisting of up to 12 NFA members (in good standing).
- Directors shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting each year, by those NFA members present at the meeting.
- A representative, appointed by a non-profit farm and rural organization in Niagara, is welcome to attend board meetings in an advisory capacity, (non-voting) as approved by the Niagara Board of Directors.
- The President, two Vice-Presidents (of equal status) and one Executive member, shall be elected by secret ballot from among the duly elected NFA Board of Directors.
- The NFA Board of Directors shall be responsible for:
- appointment of a Secretary-Treasurer (Administrator)
- management and regulation of all business of the NFA between general meetings of the members
- creation and amendment of all rules and regulations and bylaws of the NFA.
- implementation of the Regional and Provincial policy and shall make a full report of its activities, including the presentation of an audited financial statement, at the Annual General Meeting of the NFA.
- The NFA President shall:
- chair the monthly board meeting, executive meetings and annual meeting; ensuring that meetings start and end on time and that all board members have equal access to the floor during times of discussion/debate
- act as a spokesperson for the county federation
- promote membership within the farm community
- prepare himself/herself thoroughly for meetings
- keep himself/herself well informed on relevant issues
- develop a positive relationship with local news media in order to promote agriculture, the county federation and the OFA
- The NFA Vice President shall:
- assume the duties of the president in his/her absence
- serve as a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee
- perform duties assigned by the president which may include serving as chairperson of one or more of the county federation’s committees
- assist the president in the performance of his/her duties when requested to do so
- attend the Annual General Meeting and special meetings are requested by the president
- represent the county federation to other associations, service clubs, community groups and commodity organizations as requested by the president
- The NFA Director shall:
- regularly attend and participate in Board of Directors’ meetings
- participate, as a member of federation committees, in the development and implementation of county federation programs and activities
- promote the county federation to local farmers by explaining its achievement, programs and activities as well as the benefits of membership
- assist in the recruitment of new members and the retention of existing members
- If a director under Article 4 is unable to complete their term of office, the NFA Board of Directors may name a replacement to complete the term of office.
- A director shall take a leave of absence upon nomination as a candidate for election to the Parliament of Canada or to the Legislature of Ontario and shall resign as director of the NFA upon election as a member of the Parliament of Canada or the Legislature of Ontario.
(Description of responsibilities of Executive)
ARTICLE 5 – REPRESENTATION TO OFA AS MANDATED
- The County, according to a schedule established by July 1st each year by the OFA Board of Directors, shall constitute one Region.
- The NFA Members shall, at an Annual Regional Meeting to be held prior to the 31st of
- October each year, elect individuals to the OFA Policy Advisory Council (PAC) and delegates to the Annual General Meeting of OFA.
- Councillor(s), so elected, shall represent the County and the County Federation on the OFA Policy Advisory Council and the Annual General Meeting of the OFA.
- OFA develops and enforces policies and procedures for the PAC members. The PAC task description is outlined in the NFA Board Policy document.
ARTICLE 6 – EXECUTIVE
- The executive of the NFA shall be the President, two Vice-Presidents, and one Executive member elected from the directors to be the Officers of the NFA.
- The election of Executive will take place at the first directors meeting, within 30 days following the Annual General Meeting.
- Executive shall be elected annually. In the event that an officer is unable to complete the term of office, the Board of Directors may elect a replacement by majority vote for the remainder of term
ARTICLE 7 – NIAGARA FEDERATION STAFF
- The NFA shall employ an individual or individuals to serve in the role of Secretary/Administrator and Treasurer. The roles and responsibilities of these positions are documented in NFA Policy documents.
ARTICLE 8 – NOMINATION AND ELECTION PROCEDURES
Nominations for board members will be accepted up until the voting at the Annual General Meeting.
Nominees must be current OFA members as stated in Article 3. Elected positions in the NFA shall be by secret ballot. Elections of executive positions will be completed by the board of directors. Nomination committee shall be struck by the board of directors in advance of the Annual General Meeting. The parameters of the task of this nomination committee will be listed in the NFA policy document.
ARTICLE 9 – FINANCES
- The NFA shall use the proceeds of the allocation of OFA Farm Business Registration fees in connection with activities approved by the Board of Directors.
- The NFA may become involved in special fund-raising projects provided that such projects are in keeping with the objectives as outlined in Article II. Any revenue obtained from such fees or projects must be deposited in the general account of the NFA.
- The NFA financial records shall be reviewed by a third party on an annual basis and presented at the Annual General Meeting.
ARTICLE 10 – CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
- All meetings of the NFA shall be conducted according to the rules of parliamentary procedure described in Roberts Rules of Order.
ARTICLE 11 – MEETINGS
- There shall be an Annual General Meeting within 60 days following the end of the fiscal year (September 30th), notice of such meeting to be given electronically, and/or mail, and/or insertions in local media at least 10 full days in advance of the date fixed. The agenda shall include at least Election of Directors, Financial Statement and selection of financial reviewers.
- Special general meetings may be called by the Executive or the Board of Directors for which notice of up to seven full days by insertion in the local media and by mail, email shall be given.
- The secretary shall call a special general meeting upon written request signed by twelve members of the
- There shall be at least six meetings of the Board of Directors in each year.
- Special meeting of the board of directors may be called by the executive.
- Board of Directors, Executive or Special meetings can be attended in person or via real-time participation using electronic means (phone, teleconference, video). Physical attendance at meetings is preferred, but real-time participation shall be considered at the discretion of the board.
- Special meetings of the executive shall be at the call of the president.
ARTICLE 12 – QUORUM
The quorum for general meetings of the members shall be the members present.
The quorum for the Board of Directors shall be 50% plus 1 (of the number of directors on the board); that of the Executive shall be 3.
ARTICLE 13 – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the NFA shall close on the 30th day of September in each year.
ARTICLE 14 – EXPULSION AND SUSPENSION
Board members shall sign an Oath of Office which includes a Code of Conduct. If the Oath and Code are not being followed, this may be grounds for discussion of a board director’s position. The expulsion of an officer or director may be pronounced for sufficient cause, after contradictory investigation, by 75% majority vote of the Directors present at the meeting called to consider the question. Temporary suspensions may be pronounced in lieu of expulsion in the same manner.
ARTICLE 15 – ATTENDANCE
Any director missing three (3) consecutive monthly board meetings without providing notice will have their board status as a director reviewed by the Board of Directors at the next regular board meeting.
ARTICLE 16 – INDEMNIFICATION
The Niagara Federation of Agriculture shall indemnify and save harmless the director, their heirs, executors and administrators, and estates from and against:
- All costs, charges and expense whatsoever that he/she sustains or incurs in or about any action, suit or proceeding that is brought, commenced or prosecuted against him/her, for or in respect of any act, deed matter or thing whatsoever made, done or permitted by him/her in the execution of the duties of his/her office except costs, charges and expenses as are occasioned by his/her own willful neglect, default or dishonesty; and
- All other costs that he/she sustains or incurs in or about or arising from or in relation to the affairs of the Federation except costs, charges or expenses thereof as are occasioned by his/her own willful neglect, default or dishonesty.
ARTICLE 17 – AMENDMENTS
The provisions of this constitution may be amended at the Annual General Meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present.
ARTICLE 18 – BY-LAWS
The Board of Directors of the NFA shall enact and revise such by-laws for the direction of its business as shall seem best to suit the needs, provided these are in keeping with the terms of the constitution, such as:
- Insurance – the Niagara Federation of Agriculture shall purchase insurance to cover general liability, office equipment, accident, director and officer’s liability and bonds.
- Remuneration – Niagara Federation of Agriculture director’s compensation shall be set and reviewed annually by the NFA board of directors including per diems, mileage and expenses.
This constitution has been ratified by a vote of the members of the Niagara Federation of Agriculture