Success Story: Midwest Dairy Association
Midwest Dairy Association needed a software platform to help host elections during virtual meetings and comply with organizational governance rules. The organization chose DirectVoteLive, and has been very pleased to date with the seamlessness, simplicity and savings it has delivered.
About Midwest Dairy Association
Midwest Dairy Association, based in St. Paul, Minn., represents approximately 5,800 dairy farm families to 39 million consumers across the region. It works on dairy farmers’ behalf to share information and real-time experiences about how dairy products resonate with today’s consumer: responsibly produced, nutrient-rich, locally driven and enjoyable. It also shares insights, programs and resources with partners in retail, health and wellness, school food service and other industries.
Midwest Dairy is comprised and funded by farmers across a 10-state region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. For more information, visit www.midwestdairy.com.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Midwest Dairy held in-person meetings throughout the year to elect board members and identify and promote leaders throughout the ranks. These elections were administered using a traditional paper balloting procedure; members would vote and a teller would tally ballots by hand. Organizational by-laws dictate that candidates need to get a simple majority in a round of voting to win a particular seat – and candidates who ranked last in a round would be eliminated from consideration. As such, some elections are settled in one round of voting, while others could go for several rounds.
Since the pandemic, Midwest Dairy has struggled to hold fully in-person meetings. As a result, it needed a new system to facilitate elections, comply with its governance rules and ensure adherence to its calendar of corporate board meetings.
A search commenced for the best tool(s) to use to hold meetings and conduct votes. Midwest Dairy wanted a simple and easy platform for voters to use, and one that would ensure voters could be anonymous as ballots were cast.
After a review, the company chose to use DirectVoteLive: a software-as-a-service platform that enables voting groups to securely conduct their business regardless of whether people are connecting in person, virtually or in a hybrid meeting.
Results and Benefits
Immediately, DirectVoteLive delivered for Midwest Dairy. The organization held two elections virtually in July 2021, and everything went flawlessly.
- The elections proceeded seamlessly, with all voters casting their ballots anonymously.
- The roughly 35 voting delegates in each election really liked the platform, and found it very simple to use. They didn’t have to download an app – they just responded to text prompts on their phones/tablets and tapped the appropriate places.
- Each election operated far more efficiently – more than one hour faster per election than they did under in-person procedures. This was due primarily to the real-time vote tabulation process; the organization didn’t need to have a teller count votes, so voting rounds could follow each other much faster than the 15 or more minutes it used to take per round.
- The organization also was pleased that DirectVoteLive eliminated the chance of human error or another random event derailing or plaguing a vote or outcome. With a secure, automated platform, everyone had confidence in the integrity of the election.
Given the success of this election, Midwest Dairy has decided to use DirectVoteLive for all its elections going forward – as many as 8-10 each year – no matter whether the elections are held at in-person, virtual or hybrid meetings. As its use of the platform scales up, Midwest Dairy expects that DirectVoteLive will save many more man-hours of time, eliminate the cost of election-related materials and make its election process even more efficient.
“DirectVoteLive was secure, simple and efficient. It saved us so much time, both before and during the election. Everyone, from our leaders to our members, said they had a great experience.”
Stacey Bergherr, Director of Administrative Services and Events at Midwest Dairy Association