Blog Listings

Darby Vannier (AOA)| February 9, 2016

As some of you have no doubt seen, our theme for the 2016 AOA National Show & Auction is ‘Reimagine.’ The idea for this came about as our team was discussing the fact that so many things are dramatically different today, when compared with just a few years ago. Clearly, the industry as a whole has changed, but those changes have also meant that AOA has also needed to adapt.

It is important to remember that success will always take time. It will always take longer than we all hope it will take and is never instantaneous. This will continue to be the case with the initiatives that the staff are currently working on and the strategic plan items that are only just beginning to be prioritized and planned for. Taking the time necessary to properly execute programs and services, will ensure the future success of AOA and the future success of all alpaca owners throughout North America.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we concluded the first ever AOA National Fleece Conference. It was a truly amazing event with spectacular speakers. However, I wanted to discuss just one part of the conference; the National Fleece Show. The fleece show contained nearly 550 entries, which was truly awesome! The room was packed full and the three judges (Diana Timmerman, Sharon Loner, and Wini Labrecque) had their work cut out for them.

Ah, another year of the AOA Student Design Competition is coming to a close. The eight finalists will be coming to the AOA National Fleece Show in Denver in a few weeks. It will be great fun to meet them in person, spend some time with a group of 18- to 21-year-old students getting ready to launch their careers in designing fashions and textiles, and hopefully utilize alpaca fiber as they go along. That's the hope.

Have you ever stopped to think about how things might be different if you never existed? What would be different? What effect has your life had on this world and the people around you? Sure...obviously your family would be totally different, but I am speaking more about other people you have come into contact with, companies where you have worked and organizations you have belonged to.

Isn’t it exciting when a new issue of Alpacas Magazine arrives in your mailbox? All those lovely photos and informative articles — what a great excuse to skip barn chores for the afternoon! I expect many readers have thought exactly that. On the other hand, have you ever wondered what’s behind each issue’s arrival in their mailbox. Here’s the “behind-the-covers” story.

The AOA National Show is a large event, but not as large as many conventions that I have planned in my career. However, it has something that other conventions do not…animals. Adding animals to an event brings in a whole other set of challenges and a dynamic that often requires some creativity to manage. It also means traveling a lot of ground dealing with issues at the show. Most days, I have already walked nine miles by noon.

Change can be scary and difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. With a little foresight and planning, change can be an exciting thing! Just in the last year alone, I’ve become a first-time homeowner, I trained for my first 10K, I’ve gotten married, and I’ve adopted a cockatoo from…

My distaste of large crowds of people is just one part of my often conflicting personality. I say that because while I am often uncomfortable being among large crowds of people, I would gladly step in front of that same group to speak or provide a presentation. It seems strange I know, but presenting and speaking is something that I really enjoy. Those who know me well, understand that…

August 11, 2014

First, let’s be clear about something; there is no shortage of people who have had some issue with a registration over the years. After more than 230,000 alpaca registrations and dealing with tens of thousands of different alpaca owners who are taking blood samples…