Governance Structure at Holstein Canada
Holstein Canada is proud to be governed by members for members. A 12-person Board of Directors is elected by the membership from a number of electoral districts. The Board is accountable to all members across Canada. The Board meets four times annually in order to provide guidance and vision for the Association and is responsible for setting policy and general direction of the organization. While our members are the owners of the Association, Directors speak for them and make decisions on their behalf.
By-laws govern the policies and decisions of the Board at the Association and any changes must be approved by members at the Annual General Meeting. However, the legal authority for Holstein Canada comes from the Animal Pedigree Act administered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). By-laws, the rules under which Holstein Canada operates, are effected only after approval by the Federal Minister of Agriculture. By-laws bind or apply to every member of the Association.
There are 11 committees at Holstein Canada. Committee members from across Canada are chosen by the Board, reflecting their level of expertise in specific areas relating to services and/or programs at Holstein Canada. Committees bring forward ideas from the membership for the betterment of the Association. The Board reviews these recommendations and if approved, they become policy.
Another extremely important relationship Holstein Canada has is with the nine provincial branches across Canada who help, support, and share in Holstein Canada's vision of "Leadership in Dairy Genetics." Holstein Canada employees work on a daily basis with the branches and over 100 Holstein clubs across Canada to support the membership through field service activities. Holstein Ontario and Holstein Quebec have full-time staff in each of their provinces, while the other provincial branches are volunteer-based. Clubs function almost entirely through the efforts of volunteers. Once a year, Holstein Canada and the branches host a joint National-Branch Workshop to discuss topics relating to our membership. The branches are the best liaisons with members in each province and are an integral part of Holstein Canada's governance structure.