Canadian Dairy Network Board Directors Executive Summary – April 2018

Canadian Dairy Network Board of Directors Executive Summary – April 2018

The CDN Board of Directors held one meeting on February 26 at the Dairy Farmers of Canada office in Montreal and a second meeting on April 13, 2018 at the Hilton Quebec Hotel in Québec City. Immediately following this latter meeting, representatives of CDN member organizations attended a Special General Meeting of Members. The following is a summary of actions, recommendations and decisions stemming from these various meetings.

  • At the Special General Meeting of Members held on April 13, 2018, the voting delegates unanimously approved that By-law No. 3, which is a by-law to amend and restate By-law No. 2, become the new by-law of the Corporation. In addition, the membership also unanimously approved the amendments to the articles of the Corporation as proposed by the Board of Directors. These approved amendments included all modifications to the current CDN by-laws and articles that are required to proceed with the proposed partnership between CDN, CanWest DHI and Valacta, which is scheduled to be effective on October 1, 2018. Earlier in March, the required by-law amendments for CanWest DHI to move forward with the partnership were unanimously supported and the process for Valacta is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
  • During the meetings of the CDN Board of Directors an important topic discussed was the ongoing collaboration between CDN and Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) towards the establishment of a national dairy cattle traceability solution for Canada. This program, named DairyTrace, was a vision developed by the DFC Board of Directors but defines CDN as the legal entity to become responsible for dairy cattle traceability across Canada. Given the approved governance structure for the DairyTrace Program, the CDN Board of Directors approved the establishment of a new committee, the DairyTrace Advisory Committee. The committee composition includes representatives from the Boards of Directors of CDN and DFC, as well as industry partner organizations and regional representatives from provincial dairy associations, and the CDN Board appointed Gert Schrijver as Chairman. Following its establishment by the CDN Board in February, the DairyTrace Advisory Committee held its first meeting in March, for which a separate summary will be provided.
  • Based on 12 months of activity for the fiscal year ending March 31, the unaudited projected total revenue is 1.7% above budget, mainly due to additional contracted services provided internationally during the year. Unaudited operational expenses are projected to be 4.1% lower than budget, mainly due to reduced staff salaries and benefits resulting from a vacancy during the year. Overall, the year-end result is expected to be a significant net surplus of revenue over expenses, estimated at ≈$120K, translating to Members’ Equity of ≈$420K at March 31, 2018. For DairyGen activities, administrative expenses as well as funding of ongoing and new projects were lower than budgeted, resulting in a carry-over of ≈$800K instead of the budgeted amount of $533K. Given the various activities related to the new DairyTrace Program, associated expenses and revenue totalling ≈$200K are presented under Special Projects in order to separate them from ongoing operational activities.
  • For 2018-2019, the CDN Board of Directors approved a budget that balances revenue and operational expenses at a level just exceeding $2M. Operational expenses are budgeted at 1% higher than projected expenses for the past fiscal year, which now includes a full complement of staff. Given the expected revenue from other potential sources during the coming year, the budgeted level of funding from members increased by 3.1% compared to the 2017-2018 budget to a total of $1.927M. In addition, CDN will be offering administrative services on behalf of the Canadian DHI partners for the implementation of their new data access and usage policy to be implemented during the year. Budgeted revenue remains consistent with the pre-defined levels collected from A.I., breeds and DFC, totalling $430K while expenses are expected to include contributions to new projects submitted to AAFC as part of the Dairy Research Cluster 3 under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). The 2018-2019 budget also includes balanced revenue and expenses of $500K for the next year of the development and implementation of various activities related to the DairyTrace Program.
  • CDN management updated the Board regarding the recent offer of employment accepted by Dr. Allison Fleming, who will join the CDN team of geneticists in the coming months. After completing her BSc (Agr), MSc and PhD degrees at the University of Guelph she comes to CDN from her post-doctoral position within the Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock (CGIL) at the University of Guelph. Dr. Fleming’s responsibilities will cover a wide range of activities including research and development leading to new genetic/genomic evaluation services from CDN as well as contributing to the continued effort in terms of extension and communication to industry personnel and Canadian producers.
  • The Board of Directors received a presentation to demonstrate the new software being jointly developed between CDN and Holstein Canada. Named Compass, this web-based genetics decision tool will be freely available to Canadian dairy producers of all breeds with an expected launch in the fall. The Board also reviewed and discussed the suggested themes and presentation topics for the 2018 Dairy Cattle Improvement Industry Forum, which will be held at the Château Vaudreuil Hotel & Suites, Vaudreuil, Quebec on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. The 23rd Annual General Meeting of CDN will take place the following morning on September 20th.
  • As usual at the start of each year, CDN circulated the call for nominations for the 2018 Dairy Cattle Improvement Industry Distinction Award. All industry organizations are encouraged to identify quality candidates and submit the nomination form in advance of the May 31, 2018 deadline for consideration by the CDN Board of Directors.
  • The next CDN Board of Directors meeting will be held in Quebec City on Thursday, July 19, 2018.

For further clarification regarding the above decisions, please feel free to contact any member of the CDN Board of Directors or the management staff.

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