Building and Maintaining an Effective Board

Cultivating Leadership for Breed Organizations

Welcome to Module 4 of our Cultivating Leadership Training Series. During this module we will discuss the how to build an maintain an effective board.

A Board of Directors acts as the governing authority of an organization. Board members are responsible for advancing the organization’s mission, carrying out legal and fiduciary duties, setting and managing policies, and upholding obligations to members and breeders.

Building and maintaining an effective board requires intentionality. In this module, we’ll discuss policies and practices that organizations can put into place to help build and maintain an effective board. Topics will include board orientation, code of ethics, conflict of interest, conflict resolution, confidentiality, term limits and fair elections.

The Cultivating Leadership Initiative helps breed associations, clubs, and registries establish and achieve high standards of operation for longevity and continued success. Thriving organizations save more livestock and poultry. The Cultivating Leadership Training Series also aligns with general best practices and is especially beneficial to officers and leaders of breed associations and clubs.

Banner photo of a Hog Island sheep courtesy of Peter Kasmala

Your Instructor

The Livestock Conservancy
The Livestock Conservancy

This course is taught by Judy Brummer, Brian Larson, Jim Cheskawich, and Jeannette Beranger.

Judy Brummer has been involved in the Rocky Mountain Horse Association (RMHA) for more than 10 years. She has served on several committees, as a Director of Examiners, and as President for 6 years. She also assisted in the establishment of the Rocky Mountain Horse Foundation and became a member of their board. Judy has traveled across the United States and overseas as a representative of the RMHA and the Rocky Mountain Horse, and was inducted into the Charles Kilburn Society, an honorary society recognizing individuals who have made a significant contribution to the RMHA and the Rocky Mountain Horse breed.

Brian Larson is a former Board Chair of The Livestock Conservancy, a former President of the National Lincoln Sheep Breeders Association, a former Board member of the Michigan Sheep Producers, and a former member of several sheep, cattle and horse associations. Outside of livestock, Brian is also a former county commissioner and school board member.

Jim Cheskawich grew up working part time on a nearby farm in Southwest Pennsylvania. He is the immediate past president for the Samoyed Club of America and served 5 one-year terms as president going back to 1999. Jim has also been treasurer and a board member for the Samoyed Club of America; quartermaster and adjutant for the VFW Post (a 501c18) in Woodland, WA; treasurer for the SCA Foundation (a 501c3); and founding President for the Rex of White Way Samoyed Memorial Library (a 501c3). He also served for nearly 30 years in Federal HR as HR Director or Personnel Officer for 3 different agencies in the Federal Government. He currently works for NIH as a contractor.

Jeannette Beranger is the Senior Program Manager for The Livestock Conservancy and has 30+ years’ experience working as an animal professional in zoological and non-profit institutions. She uses her knowledge to plan and implement breed conservation programs for the Conservancy. She is an active lecturer, writer, and photographer. She is co-author on the best-selling books An Introduction to Heritage Breeds and Managing Breeds for a Secure Future. Recently she was named one of Country Women Magazine's "45 Amazing Country Women" for her work in conserving endangered breeds, and as one of the Grow Network’s “Top 14 Women Leading the Natural Food Movement.” At home she practices what she preaches and maintains a heritage breeds farm with a focus on critically endangered breeds.

The Livestock Conservancy is America's leading non-profit dedicated to saving rare breed livestock and poultry from extinction.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
What is the Cultivating Leadership Initiative?
The Livestock Conservancy launched the Cultivating Leadership Initiative to help breed associations, clubs, and registries establish and achieve high standards of operation for longevity and continued success. Thriving organizations save more livestock and poultry. Components of the Cultivating Leadership Initiative include a Breed Organization Accreditation Program, Breed Organization Training, and Pedigree Registration Services. These programs are available to breed cubs, associations, and registries as optional services. Organizations may adopt whichever building blocks are most needed to address their own situation.

Get started now!