The Farm Financial Standards Council has opened itself to membership for the first time since it was founded in 1989.

“Over the past three years we have been receiving more and more queries regarding how people could become ‘members’ of the council, so we developed a program with defined benefits to membership and have opened the doors,” said Paul Neiffer, president of the organization. Neiffer is a principal with CliftonLarsenAllen LLC based in Yakima, Wash.

“Our programs and activities have always been open to anyone who is interested in the activities of the Council. This takes it one step further and opens the organization to inputs and ideas from across the industry and the country,” he explained. “There are people who just want to be more involved at a ‘member’ level. They also recognize the extreme benefit of networking with colleagues and peers from across the industry. That is probably the single greatest driver to wanting to become more involved.”

The Financial Guidelines for Agriculture and the Management Accounting Guidelines for Agriculture are the two benchmark financial recordkeeping documents created by and maintained by the council.

The council has had an industry presence at limited trade shows and expositions over the past few years. “We’ve been inviting people to ‘Be Part of It’….to become involved with the committee activities and actually sit in on the discussions and decisions that keep the Guidelines and the Management Accounting documents current,” added Owen Thompson, chair of the group’s membership committee. He is with AgStar, Mankato, Minn.

Annual dues for membership are currently set at $50 per year with the membership year running from July to the following June. Thompson said there is a $25 member’s discount on registration costs for attending the council’s annual conference, which this year it will be held July 29-31 in Kennewick, Wash. New members also will receive complimentary copies of the two financial documents.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Membership is on an individual basis. Corporations or other organizations can become part of the council through its corporate partners program. Future members of the council’s leadership team and board of directors will be chosen from active members as will those selected to serve on any of the council’s various activities.

Details on becoming a member of the council as well as reports on other council activities are available at