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Future annual meetings: An update
September 27, 2016
Our recent history of sharing a truly joint meeting with ASAS reached its conclusion with the 2016 JAM in Salt Lake City. Many of us found these joint meetings to be a very positive scientific interaction and are sad to see them end. In discussions of annual meeting plans, members must recognize the long planning horizon for organizing these annual meetings. We issue formal “requests for proposals” for meeting venues almost five years in advance of a meeting. Therefore, all significant meeting parameters must be defined far in advance of the actual meeting. The possibility of a collocated, partially overlapping meeting with ASAS in 2021 is currently being discussed among the leadership of the two societies but a fully integrated meeting is not being considered.
I am confident that our ADSA annual meetings will remain stimulating, useful, and sustainable. This will certainly be true as long as researchers bring their new dairy-related information to this meeting. There are some real benefits to a more intimate, shorter, and more dairy-focused meeting that addresses the needs of research scientists, technical support professionals, teachers, students, and industry sponsors. We are committed to quality standalone meetings in 2017 (Pittsburgh), 2018 (Knoxville), 2019 (Cincinnati), and 2020 (Fort Lauderdale). It is up to all of us to do our best to make these meetings the best venue for sharing dairy science, and I am sure we will all meet that challenge. We must explore all options for attracting quality science that addresses the production, processing, and role of dairy foods to the benefit of human society.
Update on Status of the Joint Annual Meeting
August 13, 2014
In response to ongoing discussions, I want to reaffirm that ADSA remains fixed upon sustaining and continuing the Joint Annual Meeting (JAM). The ADSA Board has worked diligently, over several years and in good faith, to ensure continuation of the JAM, based in large part on our membership surveys. According to the 2013 JAM survey, 49.9% of respondents ranked JAM as the top interdisciplinary meeting (overall) attended in the previous two years. When asked if meeting jointly with ASAS and other societies added significant value to their overall conference experience, ADSA members responded affirmatively at 4.05 on a 5.0 scale; ASAS members responded at 4.21 on the same scale.
Most recently, ADSA sent representatives to the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) meeting in Las Vegas, at the request of AFIA, and then to the ADSA-ASAS Midwest Meeting in Des Moines in March, where ASAS held a Town Hall Meeting on the future of JAM. At these meetings, it was clear that the attendees did not support ASAS's unilateral decision to end the JAM. ASAS's justifications for their decision to end the JAM, as requested from the floor at both meetings, remain vague to the point where ADSA does not have clear actionable items to resolve. ASAS provided additional justification in a Taking Stock article published on March 31, 2014. That article contains several statements that need clarification [ADSA Clarification to Taking Stock Article and Chronology and Summary of ADSA's Efforts to Continue JAM].
ADSA firmly supports continuing to meet with ASAS under the current JAM memorandum of understanding (MOU), which allows each group flexibility and autonomy for planning meetings in alternate years while maintaining a fair and equitable financial structure for both societies. Additionally, both societies have equal opportunity to make future changes to the JAM MOU to allow for any reasonable modifications.
Beyond the obvious logistical and financial benefit to joint members, exhibitors, sponsors, and international attendees of a single meeting (JAM), the ADSA Board knows that the multi-species/multi-discipline meeting we have in JAM adds tremendous content and networking value for all. In response to ASAS's declaration that their decision to end the JAM will not be reversed, ADSA will now devote its time and attention to hosting the premier dairy science meeting in the world for 2017 and 2018. Yet, ADSA stands ready to reengage with ASAS beginning in 2019 under the JAM MOU.
JDS Endowment Fund
The purpose of the JDS Endowment fund is to produce investment income to replace member page charges (currently $85/page), thereby eliminating the financial burden on members who publish. Removing the financial burden will likely bring forth additional journal content that may have gone elsewhere, to the benefit of the readership that does not publish. Thus, publishing at no charge will become a new and significant benefit of membership, an estimated value of $850 per publishing member, per year, or 7.3 times annual professional member dues. In addition, elimination of member page charges will make JDS more competitive, by putting the Journal of Dairy Science® on equal footing with almost all journals in its Thompson Reuters impact factor category. This very compelling benefit will serve to encourage membership in the ADSA.
The ADSA Board of Directors approved creation of the JDS Endowment fund in 2008, with a goal of $8 million. An assumed rate of return of 5%, once the goal is reached, will serve to replace member page pages. The ADSA board designated $2.2 million of unrestricted net assets as the initial contribution in spring of 2009. The Board can un-designate part, or even the entire fund, in case of a financial emergency, at any time. Annually, the ADSA determines what additional unrestricted net assets to designate to the fund. The maximum contribution is constrained by the requirement that four months of expenses be maintained in cash and near-cash holdings, a level made possible by ADSA’s insuring the JAM net income, ADSA’s single largest financial risk. In round numbers, the contributions that the board has made are roughly equal to annual JDS page charge revenue.
The fund is governed by its own investment policy and is invested 100% in equities, to effect the most rapid growth possible. The timing could not have been better, as stocks recovered at an historic rate from early 2009 through 2012, and then turned in a 30% return in 2013. While the market changes by the minute, as of May 31, 2014, the fund stood at $6,093,521, or 76.2% of goal.
Copyright 2018 by The American Dairy Science Association