By-Laws

Article I — Membership

  1. Charter Membership
    Charter membership will be granted to those members of the Organization who financially support the Organization prior to the adoption of the constitution and By-Laws.
  2. Regular Membership
    Any person eligible for regular membership under the constitution shall be deemed a member upon payment of current and annual dues.
  3. Life Membership
    Any person eligible for regular membership under the constitution shall be deemed a lifetime member upon payment of current lifetime dues.
  4. Honorary Membership
    Any person eligible for honorary membership for a year upon vote of the majority of the eligible members present to vote at a general meeting of the Organization. Honorary membership shall have the rights and privileges of a regular membership, excluding the right to hold office, make motions and vote.
  5. Associate Membership
    Any person who has rendered notable service to the objectives of the Organization may be granted associate membership upon a vote by ballot of three-fourths of the members present and voting at the annual meeting of the Organization. The membership, however, shall be notified in writing by the National Council of any person recommended for associate membership at least one month before the annual meeting when the voting for such membership will occur. Associate membership shall have all the rights and privileges of a regular membership, except those of making motions, voting, or holding office. Associate membership shall have none of the obligations of a regular membership.
  6. Institution Membership
    Any organization which subscribes to the purpose of the Organization is eligible for membership after approved by vote of the voting membership. Institution membership shall have all of the rights and privileges of a regular membership except those of holding office. Institutions will be recognized as one member having one vote.
  7. President
    The major duties of the president shall be to:
    1. Serve as chief executive officer of the Organization and preside at all meetings of the Organization and its National Council.
    2. Act as official spokesperson for the Organization.
    3. Serve as ex-officio member of all committees.
    4. Fill vacancies in the manner prescribed by the constitution and By-Laws.
    5. Appoint chairpersons of standing and ad hoc committees.
    6. Encourage all elected officers and chairpersons of committees to perform their respective duties.
    7. Direct the secretary to call regular and special meeting of the Organization and National Council.
    8. Perform such other duties as shall be imposed upon him/her by resolution of the National Council and/or the Organization.
    9. Enforce observance of the constitution and By-Laws.
    10. The president shall not sign any agreement obligating the Organization to any conditions that are inconsistent with the constitution and By-Laws or established policies of the Organization.
    11. The president or his/her appointed representative may make commitments for the Organization subject to ratification by a majority of the National Council.
    12. Provide for the annual financial audit prior to the annual meeting.
    13. The president shall be authorized to make emergency expenditures up to $100 for special contingencies without prior approval.
  8. Vice-President
    The major duties of the Vice-President shall be to:
    1. Assist the president in the conduct of activities of the Organization.
    2. Temporarily perform the duties of the president when the president is absent.
    3. Complete the unexpired term of the president in the event that a vacancy occurs.
    4. Serve as an official member of the National Council.
    5. Act as a liaison between the National Council and the chairpersons of the standing Committees.
    6. Develop policy/procedures as outlined in Section XI, item C of the Constitution.
    7. Responsible for oversight of all Committees, develops a plan of action on operations with all Committee Chairs, provides quarterly committee progress reports to the National Council, develops a communication plan that provides for efficient flow of information between this office and the Committee Chairs.
  9. Executive Vice-President
    The duties of the executive Vice-President shall be to:
    1. Assist the president in the conduct of activities of the Organization.
    2. Supervise and conduct the affairs of the National Council of the Organization.
    3. Provide expertise in the resolution of formal questions concerning the method and conduct of meetings of the Organization and its National Council in accordance with "Robert’s Rule of Order."
    4. Serve as a member to the audit committee.
    5. Serve as an official member of the National Council.
  10. Treasurer
    The duties of the Treasurer shall be to:
    1. Properly collect membership dues. Proper collection of dues shall include the annual issuance of bills for collection to all members for subsequent year dues no later that December 1st of each year, the collection of dues from new members, and the issuance of a receipt to members having paid membership dues.
    2. Serve as an official of the National Council.
    3. Have custody of all funds of the Organization that shall be deposited in savings and checking accounts in a bank approved by the National Council.
    4. Maintain a complete and accurate accounting of all funds of the Organization.
    5. Maintain a disbursements and withdrawals by checks signed by two officers of the Organization.
    6. Submit a report at each regular meeting of the Organization that covers receipts, expenditures, and balance of funds on hand.
    7. Make a full financial report at the end of each calendar year, with copies circulated to the membership.
    8. Be bonded by the Organization.
    9. On a quarterly basis, provide a current membership list, to Regional Reps and National Council. Develop a database that list members by state and region and other information as needed by Regional Reps and National Council. Provide this information to Regional Reps and National Council as requested.
    10. During the membership drive, Treasurer should maintain a close working relationship with Membership Committee Chair.
  11. Secretary
    The major duties of the secretary shall be to:
    1. Conduct such correspondence as the president of the Organization may direct.
    2. Notify members, through regional representatives, or general or special meetings.
    3. Serve as a member of the National Council.
    4. Prepare and have distributed to members of the National Council and standing committees copies of the minutes of each of the meetings of the Organization and copies of other material as deemed necessary by the president.
    5. Keep accurate and complete records of all proceedings of the Organization and National Council in the "Minute Book" of the Organizations and be responsible for their preservation. When approved, these records shall serve as the official "Minutes" of the Organization.
    6. Determine those eligible to participate in business actions of the Organization.
  12. Regional Representatives
    The major duties of each regional representative shall be to:
    1. Serve as an official members of the National Council.
    2. Represent membership in their respective administrative regions at national Council meetings.
    3. Inform the membership in their respective administrative regions of general and special meetings of the Organization.
    4. Present issues and concerns from members within their administrative regions, including amendments to the Organization Constitution and By-Laws.
    5. Develop policy/procedures to assist members in their region voice issues, comments, and concerns to the National Council. Develop and maintain working relationship with members of their region in cooperation with NRCS HEPM Regional Reps.
  13. Duties of the National Council
    1. It shall be the duty of the National Council to manage, conduct, and have general supervision over the affairs of the Organization.
    2. If a vacancy occurs among the membership of the National Council other than the president, and interim appointment shall be made by the president subject to the approval of the majority of the National Council.
    3. Should neither the president nor the vice-president be present at a meeting, the members of the National Council shall select a chairperson for the meeting.
    4. The National Council shall set the time, place, and date of Organization meetings.
    5. The National Council shall be authorized to make any necessary expenditures for any activities approved by the membership.
    6. The National Council may also authorize disbursements of up to $300 for special contingencies without prior approval of membership.
    7. No member of the National Council may serve as chairperson of any standing committee.
    8. The National Council may call upon chairpersons of standing committees and ad hoc committee to make presentations as deemed appropriate. However, such chairpersons do not have voting privileges, not the right to make or second motions as a National Council Member.
    9. The National Council will serve as the board of directors.
    10. The National Council is responsible for the well being of the Organization. A performance evaluation of the National Council shall be conducted at least once a year prior to the Annual meeting.

Article II — Duties and Authorizations of Officers and National Council

Article III — Meetings

Meetings of the Organization shall be called at least once a year by the president on dates to be set by the National Council and such other times as a majority of the National Council so request.

Article IV — Quorum

  1. A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Organization shall consist of 10 active members of the Organization.
  2. A National Council quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the Council.
  3. All members of the National Council may not be physically present at a common meeting location, therefore, all means of available communication will be used to conduct Council meetings and to meet the quorum requirements.
  4. A. The standing committees are the nucleus of the communications network through which active members are to be kept informed of the items and issues of interest that come to the attention of the Organization.
  5. Chairpersons of these committees shall be members of the Organization who are appointed each year by the president, subject to approval of the National Council.Chairpersons shall select their own vice chairperson and secretary.
  6. Members and officers of standing and ad hoc committees shall serve from the time of appointment until the following annual meeting of the NOPHNRCSE membership.
  7. Each committee will be responsible for developing a Plan of Action. This plan will be due 60 days following appointment of new Chairperson and submitted to the National Council.
  8. Natural Resources Committee
    1. Establish a call for "Technical Papers" procedure to allow all members with the opportunity to present papers during the Annual meeting.
    2. Works with NRCS to ensure that the technology transfer from NRCS to the Hispanic community, both urban and rural, occurs as needed.
    3. Provides leadership in assisting NRCS develop bilingual information to assist NRCS meet its communications needs with the Hispanic community.
    4. Represents the Organization in assisting NRCS deliver conservation planning policy such as Whole Farm Planning, Ecosystem Based Assistance.
    5. Works in cooperation with society organizations to assist in the flow of technology and information to the Hispanic community.
    6. Works in cooperation with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) to ensure that the Hispanic community is involved in NACD activities and/or programs including, but not limited to, the District and State capacity building program/initiative.
  9. Communications Committees
    1. Cooperate with and coordinate efforts of other groups and associations to enhance development and dissemination of newsworthy information that relates to or would be of interest to Hispanics in agriculture.
    2. Encourage news media, including trade journals to carry and identify more information that relates to positive roles of Hispanics in agriculture.
    3. Enhance awareness of the role of Hispanics in agriculture through improved communications.
    4. Prepare the official programs for all Organizations sponsored events which require program formats, speakers, etc.
    5. Develop an annual plan for communication and information dissemination for presentation to the National Council and the Membership.
  10. Legislative Affairs
    1. Study and disseminate legislative and political issues related to or impacting on agriculture that are or may be of concern to Hispanics.
  11. Historically Hispanic Colleges Committee
    1. Develop and maintain lines of communication between the Organization and Historically Hispanic Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and officially recognized Hispanic Student Professional Organizations at other colleges. Attention should be focused on those two and four year institutions that have agriculture related curricula as well as high Hispanic enrollment.
    2. Facilitate information flow in educational communities for training and developing Hispanic youth for careers in agriculture and for promoting awareness of career opportunities.
    3. Maintain liaison with the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education on matters of mutual interest.
  12. Recruitment and Career Development Committee
    1. Develop a marketing plan for the recruitment, retention, development, and advancement of Hispanics in agriculture.
    2. Facilitate recruitment of Hispanic Americans in agriculture, domestic and foreign jobs, with regards to public and private employment.
    3. Keep abreast of cooperative education programs to facilitate efforts to enhance participation of Hispanics in cooperative education programs.
    4. Develop and maintain contacts and relationships with Hispanic oriented organizations, groups. and agencies as well as individuals with interest that are related to agriculture.
    5. Enhance and support NRCS mentoring program.
    6. Develop a strategy to strengthen the network of Hispanic employees and Hispanic Employment Program Managers.
  13. Audit Committee
    This committee shall consist of the Executive Vice-President, chairperson of the Ways and Means Committee, official members, and the president and treasurer as ex officio members. The books of the Organization shall be audited annually in advance in sufficient time to present an audit report at the annual meeting.
  14. Constitution and By-Laws Committee
    Its duties shall be to review and recommend to the National Council for approval all proposed amendments to the constitution and by laws in accordance with Article XVII of the Organization’s Constitution.
  15. Ways and Means Committee
    Its duties shall be to provide the guidance and the ways and means for raising funds to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Organization. This committee shall plan and recommend the scheduling of special fund raising activities. Special fund raising activity functions shall be handled by a subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee.
  16. Budget Committee
    Its duties shall be to develop and present the annual and multi-year budget of the Organization for approval by the National Council.
  17. Ad Hoc Committee
    Ad hoc committee and representatives to other organizations may be appointed by the president whenever deemed advisable by the Organization to the National Council.
  18. Membership Committee
    The membership committee shall be responsible for updating the membership list, conducting membership drives, and enforcing membership policy.
  19. Scholarship and Endowment Fund (S&EF) Committee ***
    1. Will consist of a representative from each of the NOPHNRCSE regions.
    2. Chairpersons of these committees shall be members of the organization who are appointed each year by the president, subject to approval by the National Council. Chairpersons shall select their own Vice-Chairperson and secretary. Exception to this procedure will be the S&EF Committee, in which the President will initially appoint a Chairperson, First Vice-Chairperson, and Second Vice-Chairperson. In subsequent years, the president shall select a second Vice-Chairperson on a yearly basis to assure continuity in this committee. ***
    3. Will establish an objective screening process to evaluate all applications.
    4. Will present and recommend applicants to NOPHNRCSE National Council for approval.
    5. Will coordinate and conduct annual fund raising activities in support of the scholarship program as authorized by the NOPHNRCSE National Council.
    6. Scholarship awards (amounts and number) shall be determined by the S&EF Committee with concurrence of the National Council, on an annual basis. ***
  20. Women’s Issues Committee Responsibilities
    1. Conduct a study on the status of Hispanic women in NRCS to get a better understanding of the characteristics particular to the Hispanic female experience, obstacles, and goals. Develop a strategy for the recruitment, retention, development and advancement of Hispanic women based on the findings of the study.
    2. Establish a network of Hispanic women in NRCS to forge partnerships with women’s organizations inside and outside of government.
    3. Enhance and promote the Agency’s mentorship program by bringing a better understanding of the special needs of Hispanic women.
    4. Promote Hispanic women’s equitable and active participation in decision making processes of NOPHNRCSE and NRCS.
    5. Affirm and strengthen Hispanic heritage and bring awareness of it to the agency at large.

Article V — Committees

***Amended 6/24/98

Article VI — Procedure

Meetings of the Organization shall be conducted in an orderly, democratic manner and in case of dispute, the most recent available edition of "Robert’s Rules of Order" shall apply.

Article VII — Disbursements

  1. Disbursements of funds shall require one authorized signature. There shall be two members authorized to sign. The current treasurer shall be one, and there shall be an alternate designated by the National Council. ****
  2. Disbursements not in excess of $100 may be made by the president without prior approval.
  3. Contingency disbursements of up to $300 may be made with approval of the National Council.
  4. Scholarship Endowment funds shall be administered by the S&EF Committee Chairperson with concurrence of the NOPHNRCSE National Council. Disbursement of funds for scholarship/ awards shall be made in the amounts as recommended by the S&EF Committee with the concurrence of the National Council. ***
  5. The National Council shall contribute a minimum of 33% of the net revenues from the Annual meeting to the S&EF each year by no later than 90 days following said meeting. ***
  6. All approved disbursements shall be recorded in the official minutes of the National Council meeting. ****
  7. It shall be the policy of the Organization to develop and to disseminate in appropriate ways information on matters of interest to members of the Organization.
  8. The Communications Committee shall develop an annual plan for communication and information dissemination for presentation to the National Council and the membership.

Article VIII — Information Dissemination

These constitution and By-Laws were adopted at an official meeting of the general membership and National Council on April 23, 1993 and this action is so recorded in the official minutes of said meeting. In addition, amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws were approved by the National Council on January 21, 1994, November 20, 1997, January 21 , 1998, June 24, 1998, November 03, 1998 and are recorded in the official minutes of said meetings.

***Amended 6/24/98 ****Amended 11/3/98