Most of you have probably heard of the Chapter Recognition Program. If you have not heard of it, I will briefly describe. The program started last year as a way to encourage Chapter participation and local promotion so that we all work towards growing membership, providing the best education, resources, and networking. There are ten criteria that must be met under the program in order to receive ASFMRA Patron Chapter status. Chapters that meet the Patron Chapter criteria will be recognized at the Annual Conference with the program guide, promotions for the conference, signage, and during the accreditation and awards ceremony. Additionally, each Patron Chapter member will receive individual thanks and recognition.
Last year we had four Chapters that met all ten criteria to earn Patron Chapter status. The Mid-South Chapter met nine of the ten criteria. This year we striving to hit all ten! We are participating because we enjoy competition. I know, it is not a competition but to a degree it is – it is a competition to see if your Chapter can grow their own membership and participate in programs that have been proven successful by other Chapters. We also recognize that the criteria for the Patron Chapter status creates a healthy and active Chapter.
So what is my role as a Young Professional Network (YPN) member? It is very simple. Your Chapter needs to have a YPN Committee and hold at least one YPN function in the year. There are other criteria that you most definitely can help meet, but these two are directly tied to you.
The YPN function is so simple. Use your imagination and figure out some event that will be of interest to your YPN members. For example, the Mid-South Chapter went to a Memphis Redbirds baseball game. The Colorado Chapter put together a Top Golf event. You could do something ag related or socialize by enjoying the great outdoors, sports, food, etc. I’m not very imaginative, but between YPN members in your Chapter, I am certain you can come up with a great event.
Bayer CropScience provides funds through their sponsorship of the Early Career Award to the Education Foundation specifically for YPN Chapter events. This helps reduce the financial cost. We currently have $900 available out of $2,000 granted. So far five Chapters have taken advantage of this funding. Here is the Request for Funding application. Additionally, ask your Chapter to contribute. From my experience, Chapters are more than willing to support YPN events, as they help the Chapter grow and develop the next generation of leadership.