[nafex ibiblio list] Question, why drop of member numbers
Jwlehman at aol.com
Jwlehman at aol.com
Wed Dec 21 08:08:03 EST 2011
In a message dated 12/20/2011 9:44:18 PM Eastern Standard Time,
sherwindu at att.net writes:
Unattainable I think the 2,000 figure has dropped considerably. My rough
count of the membership list in my Fall 2011 Pomana was more like 600
entries. It would be interesting to figure out why there was such a big drop in a
little over a decade.
Most people will not voluntarily pay for information by purchasing
membership when it is available free. The Internet with gargantuan amounts of free
information makes many organizations obsolete, minimizing the usefulness of
such as NAFEX that were born by the need to share experience and research.
Then consider the cost to attend. For northern and midwest members to
attend this past meeting would have cost totally about $900 plus 2 to 4 days
travel time. Little incentive to retain membership when attendance is practical
only every two years or less.
Many organizations such as NAFEX, NNGA (Northern Nut Growers Assoc.) are
experiencing great membership decline. These organizations were established by
growers and hobbyists with common interest in order to share research and
hard to find information. Now there are massive amounts of free expert
information made available by the Internet, FREE. No need to buy a cow when milk
Smaller associations such as MIDFEX (Mid America Fruit Explorers) in the
Chicago area, Indiana Bee Keepers and INGA (Indiana Nut Growers Assoc.) have
done better due to the physical nearness of their membership and commonality
The Indiana Nut Growers is now operating as Indiana Nut and Fruit Growers
Assoc. Our membership has been steady for many years around 300. In my
opinion two reasons. First and most important is four meetings a year and on the
average under two hours drive to attend at driving cost only. Annually we
have a free scion wood exchange meeting, a free grafting demonstration meeting
and an orchard visitation meeting with 60 to 80 attendees at each. The
speaker at the past meeting from Purdue spoke on pruning fruit trees. This past
September the meeting was here to see my fruit and nut collection. I believe
there were 76 in attendance. The maximum travel time about 3 hours, average
attendee under two. Steve Covacci, member of this list, came from New
Jersey. These four meetings annually afford personal contact and support
friendships undeveloped with one meeting every two years or even annually.
Another important factor is low cost of membership, INGA's membership fee
is $7.00 annually or $100 for lifetime membership. We publish a 12 to 16 page
news letter four times annually. The contents include some free information
gleaned from the internet. Most new memberships come from personal contacts
by members not Internet.
One sentence blunt summery:
For many, membership cost has risen higher than benefits.
7780 Persimmon St.
Terre Haute, IN 47802-4994
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