The Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) completed its first comprehensive strategic planning process in 2004. In the years since that plan was completed, WAC programs have grown and become more complex to administer, leading the Council to seek more intensive assistance with reviewing its internal decision
making processes and structure in 2009. The latter assessment resulted in significant restructuring of the board/staff working relationship and reallocation of decision making authority throughout the organization. These adjustments, in turn, were followed by a change in executive leadership in 2010. In an effort to assist with the ongoing implementation of the restructuring recommendations and to help provide direction for new leadership, WAC sought assistance with development of an updated strategic plan as well as executive and board coaching in early 2010, selecting the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) to help facilitate both the planning and coaching processes.

Guided by the WAC Council's executive committee, the strategic planning process utilized a standard planning model: reviewing the mission, vision and values statements developed during the 2004 planning process, engaging a full complement of stakeholders in assessing the current operating environment, and then identifying key goals and related strategies based on the environmental assessment. The primary methods for soliciting stakeholder input throughout the process included facilitation of a full board of directors retreat, a full staff retreat, a meeting of WAC's Advisory Committee, meetings with WAC's executive board and staff leadership group, and a survey distributed to a random sample of 200 farmer participants as well as 430 individuals on WAC's email list.

The following document summarizes the key themes and recommendations generated through the planning process and presents the specific vision, goals, and strategies that comprise the WAC's strategic plan for the next five years. WAC will use the framework provided by the plan to develop annual work plans that more specifically guide both staff and board efforts going forward.

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