A Cowboy’s Faith: Business meeting procedures critical

buchmanhead“The meeting will come to order. We are now conducting a meeting of the Council Grove FFA Chapter.”

It’s been close to a half century since we last made that announcement, but strong reflections came to us Saturday morning during the Morris County 4-H Club Day.

Our grandson was serving as vice president in the Gavel Games competitions now featured as a part of the day’s diverse activities. While we grinned several times during the quick-paced, mock business meeting demonstrated by a group of four Dwight Sunflower’s 4-H Club members, it was actually quite professionally done.

The judge applauded the youngsters’ accuracy and attentiveness to the Robert’s Rules of Order by which all meetings should be conducted, according to her noteworthiness.

Recalling similar contests days in gone by, the East Central District had FFA parliamentary procedure competitions each fall, and despite diligent practice, our chapter was second, likely due to the president failing to remember that discussion is not permissible before voting to adjourn.

Fortunately, we survived presidency issues serving our chapter, the FFA district and our Flint Hills 4-H Club.

In those days, entire 4-H clubs participated in model meeting competitions, with vast similarities to today’s Gavel Games, emphasizing correct procedure of conducting a 4-H meeting.

Determined to be the best at that Saturday event, second was still all we could do, as our opinion was the lady marking the scores didn’t really appreciate our cowboy-way of tapping the gavel: “Motion passed. Madam Secretary, please record.” Of course, we thought that way “most official and better than all the rest.”

Now being a member of several organizations and attending their meetings, proper techniques for administrating a business session are often poorly followed.

Sometimes, it seems unimportant how matters are handled, and others don’t have a clue one way or another. Perhaps they weren’t at FFA and 4-H meetings to learn the right way, or maybe they forget. That’s generally our excuse.

Certainly, we could all stand a refresher course on correct parliamentary procedures, and there are some not-yet-teenage 4-H club members who could provide the training.

Reminds us of Psalm 75:2: “I’m calling this meeting to order. We are ready to set things right.” Then, Romans 13:8: “We must meet all of the meeting requirements.” Because, Acts 19:25: “Gentlemen, this meeting determines our future.”


Frank_BuchmanFrank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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