WMMB Director Candidate Information

 
 

Wisconsin dairy producers elect 25 fellow producers, one from each Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc. (WMMB) district, to administer the Wisconsin Chapter ATCP #144 (Milk Marketing Order).

Mission and role of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

WMMB's primary mission is to "Grow demand for Wisconsin milk." Key WMMB roles within Wisconsin’s dairy industry include: working to establish new markets, funding dairy-related research, educating consumers about the quality and nutritional importance of Wisconsin milk and dairy products, and showcasing the important economic contribution that dairy makes to our communities and our state.

Why was WMMB Established?

WMMB was established to help affect demand for dairy products. WMMB began in 1983 when Wisconsin's dairy farmers voted to organize a mandatory state milk marketing order. WMMB was created to:

  • expand and maintain the domestic sales of milk and dairy products
  • develop new products and new markets
  • improve methods and practices related to marketing or processing of milk and dairy products
  • inform and educate consumers

By law, WMMB does not have the authority to:

  • lobby for or against legislation
  • influence milk prices or production levels (supply)
  • commercially purchase or sell dairy products
  • make false claims about dairy products

What is the Process to become a WMMB Director?

Wisconsin's milk marketing order requires the election of a portion (8 or 9 directors) of the marketing board each year. Elected directors will serve a three-year term of office beginning July 1 of the year elected.

Only affected producers are eligible to nominate a director or be nominated.  "Affected producer" is defined as an individual, partnership or other business entity in Wisconsin engaged in the production and sale of milk. Producers must reside in the district in which they are nominated.

Interested and eligible producers (nominees) must complete a Nomination Form, which must be signed by five or more affected producers residing within the nominee's district. An Affidavit of Eligibility (part of the nomination form) must be completed and notarized, and the completed nomination form must be mailed to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection within the stated nomination period.

WMMB director candidates should have an understanding of:

  • Dairy food business and marketing
  • How to serve on a business board and manage business affairs
  • The entire dairy industry and factors affecting Wisconsin
  • How to communicate and share WMMB news and program results with dairy producers

What are the Director's Roles and Responsibilities?

The board exercises general supervision and control over WMMB's business and affairs and discharges all duties as required by law. In addition, the board formulates and sets WMMB policies. Directors make policies and procedures consistent with state law and WMMB's bylaws for management of business and guidance of the board committees, officers, employees and agents of WMMB.

The board approves WMMB's long-range business plan and annual budget. Currently, individual directors serve on one of two standing committees: Channel Management or Communications. Some directors will also serve on the Executive, Audit, CDR Liaison or Policy/Bylaw Committee.

Most Board and standing committee meetings are held in the WMMB office in Madison based on a fiscal-year schedule approved by the Board. Generally, one- or two-day Board meetings are scheduled in January, March, April, June, July, and October; and one-day standing committee meetings are held in September. However, all meeting dates, meeting length (one or two days), and meeting locations are subject to change.

A director averages 200 hours each year on WMMB business, with the chairman and vice chairman committing significantly more time. Directors attend an average of two standing committee meetings and an average of five Board meetings each year. Participation on the Executive Committee and other special committees (e.g. Audit, Policy/Bylaw) will require additional meeting time. Considerable time may be spent preparing for these meetings by reviewing materials, program progress and budgets. Directors may also be asked to represent WMMB at national, state and local industry meetings and events.

WMMB recognizes that electronic communication is the quickest and most economical form of communication between directors and staff, so all directors are encouraged to have internet access.

Director Compensation

Because significant time is required for WMMB business, some directors must hire additional farm help while away on WMMB business. Per diem payments help offset this extra expense. Directors are not compensated for time they spend reviewing material at home, preparing for WMMB meetings or responding to producer questions and concerns.

How is a director compensated?

WMMB directors are not paid a salary. However, WMMB directors receive a per diem (daily wage) for time spent away from their farms while on WMMB business. They are also reimbursed for expenses incurred while on WMMB business. The compensation policy is reviewed annually by the Policy/Bylaw Committee.

Why are per diems needed and how are the rates set?

Chapter ATCP 140 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code states that a marketing board may pay for only those expenses that are "reasonable and necessary for the operation of the marketing board." Thus, the board developed WMMB's per diem and expense policies with two considerations in mind:

  1. Necessary: Because WMMB is a dairy product promotion organization that is funded by all Wisconsin dairy farmers on a mandatory basis, the board should represent all Wisconsin dairy farmers based on ability, not on who can afford to serve.
  2. Reasonable: To determine an appropriate and reasonable level of per diem paid, WMMB surveyed other Wisconsin farm organizations to determine their per diem rate policies. WMMB's current per diem rate is set at $234.50 per day with the exception of the chairman ($319.50) and the vice chairman ($277).

To establish meal and lodging rates, WMMB uses the Runzheimer Meal-Lodging Cost Index. This index represents a survey of meal and lodging rates by city. WMMB's current policy states: "Actual expenses shall be reimbursed up to the Runzheimer Meal/Lodging Cost Index range with receipts being required for meals, hotels, parking, etc."

WMMB's mileage reimbursement rate for business miles shall equal the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Standard Mileage Rate. Effective 1/1/17, the rate is $.535 per mile.

How are compensation policies enforced?

An Audit Committee, appointed by the WMMB Executive Committee, reviews the director expense forms submitted by all directors at least semi-annually for compliance with board policies. WMMB's Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration also reviews each board expense voucher during the processing of these payment requests for compliance with policies and fiscal procedures.

WMMB is audited annually by an independent accounting firm and all expense records are open to public inspection under Wisconsin's Open Records Law.