EC Meeting Sept 2007 Rome, Italy

International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists

Executive Committee Minutes

September 27, 2007

Rome, Italy


Members present: Peter Ballantyne, Stephen Rudgard, Dorothy Mukhebi, Antoinette Greider, Debra Currie, Michal Demes, Elizabeth Goldberg, Barbara Hutchinson, Nihad Maliha, Takashi Nagatsuka. Apologies: Elizabeth Dodsworth, Shuchun Pan. Guests: Justin Chisenga, Franz Martin, Arman Manukyan.

The meeting came to order at 9:05 a.m. Peter Ballantyne opened the meeting and discussed arrangements for the day. He reminded the Executive Committee that the minutes from the last EC meeting held in Nairobi had been approved by the EC via email earlier in the year.

The agenda was approved and Elizabeth Goldberg added two additional agenda items: our role in International Information Systems for Agricultural Science and Technology (IISAST) and a letter to Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) about the future of the Regional Agricultural Information Network (RAIN).

Barbara Hutchinson represented IAALD at the IISAST meeting and will provide reports for the blog on the results of the IISAST consultation as well as the Web2.0forDev conference, the Farmer-to-Farmers session and the WorldAgInfo symposia being held at Cornell in October 2007.


Michal Demes reported that the Central Science Library in Russia and its libraries are meeting with Anton. A project to establish an agricultural information management institute in the Ukraine has been completed and it will provide a solid base for IAALD in the future. Work is being done on the language issue for the former Soviet Union. There is potential for IAALD in Syria. The FAO Office in Hungary will be responsible for the EU countries.

World Congress: Takashi Nagatsuka reported that plans for the Joint IAALD Congress with AFITA are moving forward. Takashi represented IAALD at the Agricultural Library Section round table at the IFLA conference and marketed the IAALD conference. There were about 60 people at that meeting.

Listserv: Barbara Hutchinson reported that the listserv is being cleaned up and will be limited to members only.

Membership: Dorothy Mukhebi reported that the African group is still finishing up the Nairobi Conference and that they have a small amount of money left to complete the work. The rest of the funds have been transferred to IAALD. The IAALD Africa Conference had a lot of impact and the organization is still building on that momentum. There is still untapped potential in Africa. The African Group met at IFLA and the African Chapter wants to have a Conference in 2009 in Southern or West Africa. There is still a lot of enthusiasm and Peter was interviewed for Dorothy’s final report. Dorothy will have more time for IAALD and will work on expanding membership. Michal Demes observed that project based activities die unless there is another organization umbrella.

President’s Report (see written report): The President’s time has been spent on international positioning of the organization through the blog, the web and investing in the organization. He is looking for blog reporters to report what is going on. Michal Demes reported that the Central/Eastern European Roundtable may be revitalized. Peter asked if there were any questions on the written report. There were no questions.

Editor’s Report (see written report): Debbie Currie reported that the Quarterly Bulletin is now on schedule and much of her time has been spent on the launch of the new journal, Agricultural Information Worldwide. Advertising and sponsorship need to be discussed.

Secretary/Treasurer’s Report (see written report).

Financial Overview: Toni Greider gave a financial overview of IAALD. The organization continues to spend more than its income with the journal being 66% of the budget. We did not reach our membership targets and are still running a large deficit. Part of this is due to the accountants fees. These fees were higher because of the work done to establish IAALD as a legal entity. These fees will be considerably less on a routine basis.

The 2007 budget was reviewed and Debbie Currie moved that it be accepted by the Executive Committee. Stephen Rudgard seconded the motion. The motion passed. A draft budget for 2008 will be circulated to the Executive Committee in early December.

Updating the Back Office: Toni Greider reported on the updating of the back office. IAALD is now an incorporated association with an educational mission. The process took approximately 18 months to complete to obtain the legal status. The membership database has been set up in Microsoft Access and the data from Card Box was exported to an Excel spreadsheet. Other activities to update the back office: renting a post office box to give IAALD its own address, arranging to accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), setting up the accounting in Quickbooks, use of D-Groups to distributed organizational documents, creating e-packets to send to new members, and using the listserv to acknowledge new members.

World Congress: Takashi Nagatsuka, Conference Chair gave an update on the planning for the XIIth World Congress. The challenge has been bringing three organizations together. The conference is fully supported by the Tokyo University of Agriculture with the provision of 10 rooms fully equipped for the sessions. A budget has been prepared and Toni Greider indicated that the budget was adequate for the conference. Takashi asked for committee members and advice on how to share the call for papers and abstracts. Peter Ballantyne suggested that we canvas the Executive Committee to see who wants to be on the program and that the committee be chaired by Takashi and someone from AFITA. A discussion followed on the panel sessions and it was suggested that there be an e-agriculture theme throughout the conference. The second day could be different sessions. Stephen Rudgard suggested that the e-agriculture platform could advertise the call for papers. Michal Demes suggested that there was a possibility of a Central/Eastern European Roundtable meeting at the conference. Post conference activities such as excursions were also discussed. Nick Maliha asked what can we give to CGIAR in return for their membership. There are lots of centers in the region and we need to do some homework to see what we can offer.

Toni Greider mentioned that a change in wording in the IAALD Rules of Procedure is needed to conform with the financial review process that has been done for the organization in the past.

Journal: Agricultural Information Worldwide: Plans for Agriculture Information Worldwide are progressing. The cover has been designed gratis by designers at the University of Arizona and Debbie Currie discussed the theme (e-agriculture) and the contents of the first issue. The news will consist of organizational and chapter news. The Editorial Board has been identified and invited to participate and we seek both funds and content for thematic issues in their area of expertise. The Editorial Board members are the big picture people and Debbie Currie will circulate the duties of the Editorial Board. Each issue will have a theme and will include a one page executive summary on the topic. The committee then brainstormed on topics for issues (see attached). The journal needs to be rolled out to members so we can solicit ideas. Stephen Rudgard volunteered to put up an ad for the new journal on the e-agriculture page. AIBDA will advertise the journal as well. Debbie Currie then outlined a plan for phased electronic distribution of the journal between 2008 and 2010.

Membership Recruitment and Retention: Toni Greider expressed the opinion that IAALD’s future is in chapters and discussed ways to provide chapter funding. The idea is that a percentage of the membership fees would go back to the chapter to provide program funding. Chapters could apply for additional funding for major events. Michal Demes commented that the transfer of money to chapters may not work in all cases and Toni indicated that terms for chapters could be flexible. Franz Martin suggested that we use Skype for meetings. A discussion followed on how to build a chapter. Justin Chisenga that Africa has piggybacked other events such as the IFLA Conference. Michal Demes observed that membership dropped in the Central Eastern European Chapter when the meetings were no longer held. Activities need to be planned that attract people by providing access to good keynote speakers. Video conferencing might be a way to build IAALD’s virtual platform. A brainstorming activity followed on how to increase membership (notes attached). Franz Martin suggested that potential members be identified in various areas. Dorothy Mukhebi volunteered to revitalize the membership committee. Stephen Rudgard suggested that there be a link to IAALD from the page. Elizabeth Goldberg moved that 10% of dues collected for a recognized IAALD Chapter be returned to the chapter for programming. Debbie Currie seconded the motion. The motion passed.


IAALD’s relationship with the IISAST consultations and process was discussed. Barbara Hutchinson suggested that IAALD be the neutral party that can help facilitate collaborations. A follow up “organizers” meeting will be held in Paris in early 2008.

Michal Demes brought up the need to have branding including the web.

RAIN: Dorothy Mukhebi described the situation with the Regional Agricultural Information Network (RAIN). ASARECA falls under FARA and RAIN worked with many areas. In the reorganization RAIN is going into a bigger program and there was a feeling that the information activities will be diminished in the program. There is a need to express concern to the appropriate people that the information activities continue. Peter Ballantyne will draft a letter and circulate to the Executive Committee.

The meeting adjourned at 17:29.

Respectfully Submitted,

Antoinette Paris Greider Peter Ballantyne

Secretary/Treasurer President

Action Items:

Action ItemWho is ResponsibleBy When
Draft a budget for 2008 and circulate

to the EC

Toni Greider Dec 2007
Duties for the AIW Editorial BoardDebbie Currie 
Put a Call for Conference Papers

and an ad to AIW on the e-Agriculture Page

Stephen Rudgard 
 Link IAALD web page to the eagriculture


Stephen Rudgard 
Advertise AIW in AIBDA

Franz Martin

Revitalize the Membership GroupDorothy Mukhebi 

Draft a letter to ASARECA Board Members concerning

the activities of RAIN

Peter Ballantyne