Day 2 & 3 of the NW Co-Op Council Meetings

David Enquist from our Moses Lake, Washington office is providing the following recap of day 2 and 3 of the NW Co-Op Council annual meeting.

Days 2 had presentations focusing on succession planning, reputation management, talent management, and an awards banquet. The succession and talent management presentations tied in very well together as properly identifying future leaders and developing them makes succession planning much easier. The reputation management presentation ended with a nice quote from Warren Buffet: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.”

Day 3 saw presentations around Washington DC developments, specifically tax reform, the farm bill, immigration and discussion around the Capper-Volstead Act (which protects cooperatives from anti-trust laws). Main takeaways here were don’t expect much from congress as we move to an election year in 2014.It’s possible there is movement, but not expected.

As for the Capper-Volstead Act, one piece of this act says a cooperative must ensure each voting member be a producer to be protected under the act. I’m sure you can imagine the difficulty in ensuring every member of a coop is a producer each year given different crop rotations, crop shares, etc. that may make a member a producer for a coop one year but not the next. One common issue with each court case was publicizing the coop was trying to increase prices by
decreasing supply. As I’m sure you are aware, the Department of Justice frowns upon that.

Overall it was a great conference and very valuable for cooperative employees and board members.

Paul Neiffer, CPA

  • Principal
  • CliftonLarsonAllen
  • Yakima, Washington
  • 509-823-2920

Paul Neiffer is a certified public accountant and business advisor specializing in income taxation, accounting services, and succession planning for farmers and agribusiness processors. Paul is a principal with CliftonLarsonAllen in Yakima, Washington, as well as a regular speaker at national conferences and contributor at Raised on a farm in central Washington, he has been immersed in the ag industry his entire life, including the last 30 years professionally. In fact, Paul drives a combine each summer for his cousins and that is what he considers a vacation.

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