MISSOURI FARMERS UNION
ARTICLE 1 - NAME AND STRUCTURE
Section 1: The name of this association shall be the Missouri Farmers Union (MFU) and it shall be solely responsible for the operation of a chartered division of the Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union of America, more commonly known as the National Farmers Union (NFU). Section 2: There shall be created and caused to exist within the MFU certain subdivisions as may be approved from time to time as provided herein by the Board of Directors of the MFU.
ARTICLE 2 - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: Regular Membership
Any person regardless of race, sex, religion, or national origin who is at least 16 years of age who supports the goals of the MFU may become a member. Any person satisfying the membership requirements and who has paid the established dues shall be a regular member. The payment of dues allows the member to have full participation and voting rights within the organization.
Section 2: Affiliate Membership
Organizations and groups with appropriately similar mission and goals, which are approved by the MFU Board of Directors, may purchase an Affiliate Membership at a fee to be determined and approved by the Board of Directors. The MFU board may appoint one member, selected by the Affiliate, to the board. Each member of the affiliated group is eligible for full membership and voting rights upon payment of dues. Affiliate Membership on the Board may never be more than forty-nine percent (49%.)
Section 3: Associate Membership
Any person, regardless of race, sex, religion, or national origin, who is at least 16 years of age, or any business entities, may be admitted as associate members with the rights of participation but shall not have the right to vote nor hold office in the organization. The Board of Directors of the MFU may establish such additional associate membership requirements that it deems appropriate and consistent with the NFU By-laws.
Section 4: The MFU Board of Directors shall set the annual dues level for any and all members and may establish different membership dues based upon the manner and method of collecting the dues and such other factors as the Board of Directors deem to be in the best interest of the organization. A member may subscribe to a lifetime membership; dues so received must be forwarded to the NFU Treasurer as required by NFU Bylaws. Membership renewal shall be due January 1 of each year; voting rights are acquired with the payment of dues.
Section 5: Membership dues received shall be distributed as follows:
- National Farmers Union dues as required by their bylaws.
- National Farmers Union News subscription fee.
- MFU shall retain the balance to conduct the affairs of the organization.
Section 6: Any member whose dues are delinquent shall be considered suspended and shall be ineligible to vote or hold office while suspended, and after 1 year of such suspension the member’s name shall be dropped from the membership records. Whenever a member becomes delinquent there shall be a letter sent to the member advising him/her of the delinquent status and encouraging said member to renew the membership. Any member may transfer membership to another chartered division upon notice to the state organization of such transfer. All board and other members are expected to adhere to the established and implemented Code of Conduct. After an appropriate hearing, any member may be suspended or expelled for conduct detrimental to the best interests of this association by a resolution of the subdivision or Board of Directors, provided, however, that before such action is taken such member shall receive notice, at the last address of record, informing the member of the time and place of the anticipated expulsion or suspension action.
ARTICLE 3 - ORGANIZATION
Section 1: The MFU Board of Directors may from time to time establish such chartered divisions, as it deems appropriate. A chartered division (aka a subdivision) shall continue to be recognized as such provided that it maintains the organizational activity level as defined herein and otherwise is not revoked under the authority of the Board of Directors.
Section 2: Upon the application of members, the Board of Directors may establish a chartered division, which has no less than 25 regular dues paying members, upon a finding that the creation of such a subdivision is in the best interests of the organization.
ARTICLE 4 - NOMINATIONS
The board will determine and approve a nominations committee and establish the process for nominations.
ARTICLE 5 - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1: The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, at-large board members, and a representative of each established subdivision, who is elected at the subdivision level and any affiliate board member approved by the MFU board of directors. The Board of Directors may create an Executive Committee and if so created shall operate in a manner consistent with the provisions in Article Five (5). The President, Vice- President, Secretary and Treasurer constitute the Executive Committee. Board officers and at- large members shall be elected at the annual convention and shall be elected by ballot of a majority of members present. The board sets the number of at-large members.
Section 2: The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee has decision-making authority only when essential to the welfare of the organization and the regularly elected board is unable to meet. The Executive Committee shall not make significant organizational decisions that would affect the long-term financial welfare of the organization or that would jeopardize the normal day-to-day operation. Philosophy, policy and direction of fiscal responsibility are the purview of the full board.
Section 3: Board of directors shall have three-year terms of office.
Section 4: The Board of Directors shall be in charge of the business, property, and affairs of this corporation.
Section 5: The Board of Directors shall have the authority to fill vacancies in the Board of Directors, such appointments to be from the respective subdivision in which such vacancies exist and shall continue until the next convention. In the event of a vacancy within the officers of the organization the Board of Directors shall also fill such vacancy.
Section 6: The Board of Directors shall meet in regular session in conjunction with the state convention and shall also meet at least one additional time during the same fiscal year, the exact date, time, and place to be set by the Board or by the Executive Committee.
Section 7: Special meetings of the Board may be called at any time upon reasonable notice by the President or by notice signed by not fewer than three members of the Board. If a special meeting is called, all members shall be notified sufficiently in advance to permit attendance, and the notice shall state what business is to be acted upon and no other business shall be considered unless all Directors are present and unanimous consent is given. A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. Board meetings via telecommunication are authorized.
Section 8: The Board of Directors shall have the power to determine the reimbursement for necessary expenses directly related to their attendance at regular or special board meetings or other meetings directly related to their elected position.
Section 9: The Board of Directors shall have the power to determine and set any and all compensation and reimbursement for expenses of all officers and employees of the corporation.
ARTICLE 6 - OFFICERS
Section 1: President
Members with voting rights and attending the annual convention of MFU shall elect the President. The President shall be elected every year. The President shall serve until his/ her successor shall have been duly elected. The President shall preside over meetings of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and of the convention. The President shall represent the organization in all affairs of the organization or when necessary appoint a member in good standing to do so.
Section 2: Vice-President
Members with voting rights and attending the annual convention of MFU shall elect the Vice- President of the organization. The Vice-President shall be elected every year at the convention. The Vice-President shall serve until his/her successor shall have been duly elected. It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to assist the President in the functions of his/her office. In the event the President is unable to serve the Vice President shall assume the President’s duties.
Section 3: Secretary and/or Treasurer
Members with voting rights and attending the annual convention of MFU shall elect the Secretary and/or Treasurer. The Secretary shall take minutes at the Board of Directors’ meetings, executive meetings, and conventions, and perform such other duties as may be requested by the Board of Directors or the President. The position of Treasurer shall provide the Board of Directors with correct financial statements, including membership dues received, as well as receipts and disbursements of the money of the organization. The members with voting rights and attending the annual convention of the MFUshall elect the Treasurer.
ARTICLE 7 - ANNUAL MEETING
Section 1: There shall be held annually a meeting with voting rights for MFU. The location of the meeting is to be determined by the Board of Directors. The meeting shall be held between October 1 and December 31 and shall reflect the membership of record at the close of the prior year. However, if the annual meeting were held after December 31st of any given year the membership record year would be the year prior to the convention.
ARTICLE 8 - AMENDMENTS
Section 1: These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the members present and voting at any annual meeting. Amendments regarding the fiscal year and/or the annual meeting must first be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Should a member in good standing seek to amend these bylaws, the member first shall present the amendment to the Board of Directors for consideration no less than 60 days prior to the annual meeting.
ARTICLE 9 - ADVISORY BOARD
Section 1: The Board of Directors may create a non-voting advisory board or council.
The above bylaws are shown as amended by the Missouri Farmers Union membership at the December 7, 2019 annual meeting.