What are bylaws and how do they affect the VFC?
You can think of bylaws as an operating manual for an organization. In our case, they define the Co-op’s legal status and mission, and state some basic principles – such as non-discrimination and cooperative action. They also provide a definition of the Co-op’s Owners and their rights and responsibilities. The Board structure is also defined and its methods, functions and responsibilities stated.
Ideally, given our set of bylaws, someone could recreate the VFC structure without help. In reality, the VFC is much more than a set of laws – it is a thriving and successful community. We function on a day-to-day basis without giving much thought to bylaws. But, the bylaws are checkpoints for action, a base in law for the organization, as well as methods for handling operations or disputes. As such – they are a largely invisible, yet vital part of the VFC.
VFC bylaws have not been modified since about 2007. As time goes by it becomes necessary to make sure the bylaws reflect the present state of the Co-op and meet the requirements of the State. Several of the bylaws are now in need of clarification, and some have to be modified to meet present State standards.
The Board is having the bylaws checked by our attorney. After the attorney reviews them, we will discuss and make comments on them to make sure that the rules for governance of the Co-op are clear and in order.We will vote on any changes or updates to the bylaws this fall, along with electing two Board Members. Our VFC owners have made it clear that growth is necessary. As a Board member, you can be part of that exciting prospect. The deadline for filing is August 4th. To run, you must have been an owner of the Viroqua Food Co-op for at least one year, and be able to commit to a three year term on the Board.
If you’re interested in seeing how the Board functions and are considering running for a seat, the Board would like to encourage you to attend a Board meeting. If you’re interested in running, please contact the Board Vice President Leslie Kruempel email@example.com for more information about the nomination and election process.
Larry Homstad, VFC Board of Directors