Minutes of 2014 World Ploughing Governing Board Meetings

Minutes of 2014 World Ploughing Governing Board Meetings

Minutes of 2014 World Ploughing Governing Board Meetings

61st World Ploughing Contest

At WPO Headquarters, Merignac Hotel, Merignac, France

Monday 1st September at 2 pm

Board Members Present:

PART 1 In the Chair: Chairman - Tugomir Majdak

Board Members Present:

Australia-Peter GladwellMacedonia-Pero Mitrev

Austria -Bernhard AltmannNetherlands-Willemien Spieker-Looman

Belgium-Johan Merckx Netherlands-Remmelt Panman

Canada-James SacheNew Zealand-Colin Millar

Croatia-Tugomir MajdakNth. Ireland-William King

Czech Rep.-Jan CholenskyNth. Ireland-Richard Gill

Denmark-Lars GammelvindNorway- Rasmus Mjølhus

England-Ken ChappellRep.Ireland- Anna May McHugh

England-David Johnston Rep.Ireland-Anna Marie McHugh,

(Treasurer)(General Secretary)

Estonia-Margus AmeerikasRussia-Roman Ivanov

Finland-Ismo NakkiScotland -William A.Gordon

France-Jean Francois MorinSlovenia -Marjan Kardinar

France-Bernard Lavire (incoming Board Member)

South Africa-Rudi du Toit

Germany-Gebhard BetzSpain-Fernanda Pastor

Hungary -Adrian GuralySweden-Christer Rosenberg

Kenya-Paul NjugunaSwitzerland-Willi Zollinger-Konig

Kosovo-Bekim HoxhaUSA -Richard D. Pedersen

Lithuania-Vaclovas BoguzasWales-John Nixon

Rep. Ireland-Ann O’Shea (Asst. to General Secretary)

  1. Apologies for Absence:

William Hood, Northern Ireland.

Sandor Soos, Hungary

  1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks:

Chairman thanked France for hosting the 61st World Ploughing Contest and welcoming everyone from around the world.

Chairman then informed the meeting of the incoming board members. The Chairman mentioned that 4 countries had only one competitor taking part in the World Contest this year and he hoped that these countries could send 2 competitors in the future.

Chairman spoke of meeting with AWG – the purpose of the association with this group as being important going forward – Eastern European Departments of Agriculture – it’s an important promotional tool and the association may help the WPO in seeking funding from Brussels.

The chairman welcomed South Africa to the Board Table.

Bereavements the Chairman expressed sympathy on behalf of the World Ploughing Organization to all members of the board that experienced bereavements during the year especially:

Gebhard Betz on the death of his daughter.

William Hood – on the death of his daughter in law.

Colin Millar on the death of his mother.

Rasmus Mjølhus also asked that the Board recognise the services of Glen Brown, USA who died in September and who was a former Board Member.

  1. Minutes of Governing Board Meeting held in Olds College, Alberta, Canada

Chairman asked for a proposer and seconder for the Minutes of the World Ploughing Board Meetings in Canada 2013.

Jim Sache proposed/Ken Chappell seconded

General Secretary asked the proposer and seconder to sign the minutes.

  1. General Secretary’s Report (July 2013- September 2014)

General Secretary reported that she had completed one full calendar year as General Secretary of the WPO which had given her great insight into the role.

Reporting that following Canada her main objective was “to create significantly more interaction between affiliates and the WPO Secretariat”.

CONTACT LIST FOR AFFILIATES OF WPO: during the year each affiliate was invited to complete a questionnaire detailing their National Ploughing Organization Executive Team as a means of creating a contact list.

The current listing is available on including photographs of Board members.

COMPETITORS QUESTIONNAIRE: The GS formulated a questionnaire for the 2013 competitors and distributed it through each affiliate – response to this was good and something that will be continued each year as method of gathering information from competitors.

FRANCE: The GS spent a considerable amount of time during the year working closely with the French Organizing Committee particularly online, visiting Saint Jean D’illac in May, attended a local Council meeting to present details of the World Ploughing Contest and meetings with the three organizing groups. She visited site again in July meeting with all parties involved in the contest and holding very detailed meetings about requirements.

INVITATION TO VISIT RUSSIA: The Russian Ploughing Association kindly invited GS to their National Contest in June, however it was not possible to attend due to a number of circumstances.

NEWSLETTER: A short newsletter was circulated to affiliates in January and the GS made a special effort to have some correspondence to email to affiliates on a regular basis in order to keep the lines of communication open throughout the year.

SPONSORS: I have spoken and corresponded at some length throughout the year with a potential world sponsor from an Indian Tractor Company. Unfortunately nothing was possible for France but I am anxious to develop a few more contacts over the next few months as I see this as an important area going forward.

NEW AREAS OF INTEREST IN PLOUGHING: I have also had a number of emails with a ploughing association in Portugal – one member of which will visit the Contest in France.

BEREAVEMENT: Some members of our Organization have suffered very sad family bereavements during the past year and I have expressed condolences on behalf of the WPO to all including William Hood – on the death of his daughter-in-law, Gebhard Betz on the death of his daughter, Colin Millar on the death of his mother.

CORRESPONDENCE: I have made a particular effort to reply to every email received within as short a timeframe as possible – depending on the query and follow-up required.

WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGES I am maintaining the WPO Website and Facebook page which is an ongoing process to develop and improve as regularly as possible. Thank you to the affiliates that have send me information to add and made suggestions for improvements during the year – please continue to do so going forward.


In June I visited the 2015 Site in Denmark with the WPO Chairman Tugomir Majdak. We visited the site, the accommodation, the venue for the presentation of awards and we were very happy with preparations to date.

I am corresponding with England, Kenya, and Germany through WPO Board Members at the moment regarding future World Ploughing Contests in the next 4-5 years aswell as Henry Gruber and the host venue for the USA Venue in 2019.

LIGHTING SYSTEM: I have made some changes to the lighting system with the approval of the Executive Committee which hopefully improve the quality of the light.

RESULTS PROGRAMME: During the year I have enlisted the services of an IT specialist in an endeavour to understand the results programme that was created by my predecessor. Hans has been of great assistance in working through the system with me as required and I have my IT assistant here in France should any problems arise. He will also initiate a manual check of the results simultaneously to the computer tot on both days of the competition.

  1. Treasurer’s Report 2014(David. E. Johnson)

a) Accounts 2014 were presented by Treasurer and explained. Chairman said that the new system for paying affiliations before registering for world programme is working well. He asked countries to make sure and inform the Treasurer if they require an invoice at a certain date.

Treasurer explained that the WPO Swiss Account would be closing and proposed that all future payments be made in Sterling. A number of questions were asked about the format in which the accounts are presented. Treasurer explained that format was same as usual and reasoned why.

b) Proposal from previous board meeting to approve an increase of CHF 500 in contest year 2015.

Treasurer referred to the constitution RE: Affiliation Fees increasing from CHF3,000 to CHF 3,500 €2,350 because it has not changed in a long time. That is. David Johnson referred to the fact that the Board can exercise the right to revert to applying a contest fee again or reject that.

Gebhard Betz proposed the approval of the 2014 accounts/Anna May McHugh seconded proposal.

Gebhard proposed to increase membership from CHF 3,000 to CHF 3,500/Anna May McHugh seconded proposal

It was suggested that the WPO accounts in the one currency will simplify accounts going forward. Jim Sache asked was a profit made last year and why would WPO want a larger affiliation fee. David confirmed that Canada was not a profitable event for WPO because of the distance Board Members had to travel and the cost of flights which always occurs when event is outside Europe. The Treasurer did not know exact loss to WPO from event.

Colin Millar commented: CHF 51,249 paid in 2014 should have been paid by end of February 2014. Lars said that a simpler report is required so that that we can see accounts more clearly – because it is hard to see that we need an increase.

Treasurer said that WPO needs to show that we have reserve, good house management keeps costs down. He proposed one set of accounts from one bank.

Lars Gammelvind said he cannot see how an increase was warranted. Rasmus Mjølhus said that if organisation want to do any investments then we don’t have funds to do at the moment and that some cash will allow us to plan into the future.

Treasurer said that we should remember initial fee CHF 22,000

CHF 11,000 fee for hosting World Contest. The WPO suspended this for 3 for review in 2015 and he suggested that we keep that in mind. Anna May said that we have a proposal in minutes of 2013 and we must vote.

Gebhard Betz: Said we first vote on treasurers report and then on proposal regarding increase.

Gebhard Betz Proposed a) part of Agenda (accounts) Anna May seconded proposal - carried unanimously

(b) Proposal to increase affiliation – a vote was taken.

14 voted in favour of increasing affiliations/10 voted against – increase in affiliation was carried.

Lars Gammelvind requested accounts in a simpler format and a budget going forward.

Peter Gladwell asked Ken Chappell asked if our accounts are in English format or international format. Lars Gammelvind agreed to format of accounts being simplified in accordance with a proposed format that Colin Millar presented.

  1. Report on 2014 World Ploughing Contest in France

(Jean Francois Morin)

He explained that there were 3 organizations involved in running the World Contest - France Labour, Jeunes Agriculteurs, Agri Pass.

He explained how one country did not order tractors and when they came they received the tractors for another team and this caused confusion and a shortage of tractors.

Rasmus Mjølhus asked about transport to Marshalling Yard from hotel and it was confirmed that there would be one minibus for Head Stewards, one for Scrutineers and a jeep for General Secretary. Bernard Lavire confirmed that he would request car passes for Marshalling Yard.

Toilets also needed to be organised for Practice Ground.

  1. Review Board Members Duties 2014

Lars Gammelvind said that when William Hood was standing down as Head Steward we should have taken next person on the list from the 2013 election – Bernhard Altmann but it was explained that as 2 Head Stewards have to step down each year – Bernhard Altmann and Gebhard Betz were not eligible to be elected this year.

Gebhard Betz: suggested we have 2 replacement Head Stewards appointed each year.

Rasmus Mjølhus: Said that we should print the complete list of election of Head Stewards in minutes including vote and this was agreed.

As Ken Chappell and John Nixon tied for next position as Head Steward in 2013, they were both proposed to act as Head Stewards in 2014 as there was a shortage of 2.

It was identified that there was nobody scheduled to brief judges as William Hood was not now attending the 2014 World. The Executive Proposed that Gebhard Betz together with Ken Chappell brief the Judges on Board Approval.

Rasmus Mjølhus seconded this motion and it was carried.

It was also proposed by Executive that Christer Rosenberg would replace Sandor Soos as a Plough Inspector/Safety Inspector

Rudi du Toit from South Africa was proposed and seconded as time keeper to replace Dick Pedersen

New members were welcomed to the board. Bernard Lavire – France, Richard Gill, Northern Ireland and Remmelt Panman, Netherlands.

  1. Introduction & Welcome of New Board Members as visitors to Board Meeting

Bernard Lavire was the only new Board Member present and was welcomed by the Chairman

PART II In the Chair: - Vice Chairman – Colin Millar

  1. Judges Panels
  1. Review and accept proposal from Head Stewards – panel of Judges was presented to Board and approved. It was noted that the Executive Committee had carried out the draw for Judges Panels on this occasion but going forward the Head Stewards have responsibility for this task.
  1. Plot Stewards and Measuring Stewards

A listing of proposed plot stewards and measuring stewards was circulated and authority given to the Head Stewards to set up teams of stewards.

Jim Sache requested additional plot steward volunteers.

  1. Rules Committee
  2. Activities of committee during the year.

Ken Chappell reported that the committee were not as active as they should have been during the year but they had two very comprehensive meetings since arriving in France. One meeting for 2 hours on Friday night and a full day meeting on Saturday.

Gebhard Betz commented that some members did not reply to any correspondence during the year, he recommended that preparations need to be done in advance of meetings and that if a Board Member takes a job on a committee – the job is for 12 months, not just the few days of the world programme.

  1. A number of rule changes were recommended to the board which Ken Chappell circulated asking Board to review during the week and return to Sunday’s meeting with conclusions at which point a vote would be taken.
  1. Proposals to the World Board

Denmark Proposal to Revise Format of Briefing System for Judges (Proposals were distributed to Board) – carried.

Jens Iversen, Denmark was invited to present the proposal using a power point presentation.

Very comprehensive proposal (now available on WPO website).

Board were very impressed with proposal – Ismo Nakki said it was the best format identified to date, the proposal was approved by board.

Mechanical Breakdowns – proposal from New Zealand – carried

Colin Millar explained the proposal whereby WPO appoint a suitable person from WPO Board to accompany the competitor during mechanical breakdowns. This would allow all Head Stewards to stay on their allocated plots during the contest. The person must be in continual contact with all Head Stewards (radio), be a WPO Board Member and does not need to be from the Head Stewards Team. They must understand the WPO Rule Book. Must be confident in implementing the rules (time frame, mechanical issues etc). Must understand and ensure only “The Issue” is being dealt with. They should have a sound mechanical knowledge.

Bernhard Altmann proposed Head Stewards select the person to act as Breakdown Steward.

Lars Gammelvind supported the New Zealand proposal and seconded Bernhard’s proposal.

Christer Rosenberg was the nominated person for the 2014 event and this was agreed unanimously.

Proposal from Rep. Ireland RE: Judges returning score cards – carried

Anna May McHugh explained the proposal as it encouraged transparency if each Judge was obliged to present his/her own signed score sheet directly to the Scrutineers Office.

Proposal from Executive RE: Protests – carried

The correct version of this proposal was distributed which clarified that “any member of the official team can lodge the protest”.

Complaints – Head Stewards should report and answer back to Board. In the case of an unsettled matter after the contest, it will be necessary to put a set of rules in place to achieve.

Intention to cover any complaints (scoring not included). Executive will investigate complaint and revert. The suggestion of a temporary fee being necessary to accompany complaint in order to prevent time wasting. If protest is upheld the fee will be refunded.

Colin Millar explains proposal and Rasmus Mjølhus says that it is a way of making us all accountable for our actions. Also complaints after contest – where to address complaint, often people don’t know what to do.

The Rules Committee recommended this proposal be adapted.

Denmark Proposal RE: the way of showing Financial Report – carried

Lars Gammelvind explained the proposal that his association felt that the WPO accounts should be presented in a simpler format and a budget set going forward.

Peter Gladwell asked Ken Chappell if the WPO Accounts were in an English format or an international format.

Colin Millar presented a proposed format for accounts that would be easier to understand – this is to be reviewed by Treasurer, Lars in association with the Executive to come up with a better format for 2015.

Proposal from Executive RE: World History Documentation

Gebhard Betz explained the proposal and the meeting was in agreement that the WPO should create a History Book, find a historian to gather the information and find a way to finance the project. The project is to be costed and the cost approved by the board before commencing.

  1. Reports from Board Members upon preparations for future contests.