What’s Going On? — Info from the Board
2017 AOA National Show
In just a matter of days, the Great Western Complex in Denver will be teeming with alpacas for the 2017 National Show, a Level V event with 872 halter and performance entries, as well as more than 160 entries for the walking fleece competition. There are 44 champions entered into the invited classes to compete for the Supreme Champion awards. The AOA board thanks all our member farms from 30 affiliate organizations that will have alpacas represented at the show. The board also appreciates the generosity of 19 sponsors for the show’s events and the 21 vendors who will be engaging with our members.
This year’s Gala Dinner at the Embassy Suites Stapleton host hotel is close to a sellout. Featured entertainment is the Matt Baker Comedy Stunt Show, along with a live auction that offers an original stained glass alpaca creation from Kim Bisceglia, notable herdsire breedings, naming rights to the 2017 Fleece Conference and the naming rights for the 2018 National Halter Show, as a sampling.
What is a National Show without educational seminars? You won’t want to miss this year’s speakers on topics that are outlined on our website: T.J. Steck, Deb Hill, Stacie Chavez, Tim Sheets, Dr. Mark Enns, Angus McColl, Scott Miller, and the AOA Staff.
Volunteers are the life blood of alpaca shows. Regrettably, we did not attract sufficient volunteer support to staff a Marketplace as had been planned for the National Show in Denver. However, we intend to stage a Marketplace for the National Fleece Conference in Sacramento in July. This will be an opportunity for AOA-member farms to showcase and sell their farm- and studio-produced products. Members will want to build their inventory for this open-to-the-public bazaar.
2018 National Show
The Peoria (IL) Civic Center is the site for the 2018 National Show to be held March 22-25, 2018. This facility offers plenty of space for a variety of alpaca-related needs, including a Level V show, auctions, drive-through unloading, and a Marriott hotel next door.
An ad hoc committee comprised of Julie Butler, Jerry Forstner and Joe Kyger is taking a fresh look at bringing back an auction at the 2018 National Show and will soon be bringing recommendations forward to the board. AOA members with thoughts about a national auction and any creative ideas for staging a rebranded event should contact the committee members or Joe Crocco, AOA’s board-member liaison to the committee.
Marketing: A Missing Link
Your board is pleased to announce the imminent launch of a national marketing and advertising initiative to bring attention to alpacas, their fiber, and products. Executive Director Bud Synhorst has developed an initial marketing presence for AOA that begins with a national advertising placement in USA Today USDA Special Edition. This is just a start, inasmuch as the USA Today ad will have a multiplier effect through other USA Today partnerships, such as the Rural Media Group-RFD TV and Sirius Radio, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the FFA, and other farm-related associations.
Our AOA staff has created a new website, www.alpacalife.com as a landing page for anyone seeing the USA Today ad who wants more information about alpacas, fiber and products. This also will allow the staff to track response to the ad.
What’s more, the USA Today advertising will be used digitally in social media extensions and in promotional programs around regional shows with the opportunity for affiliate engagement.
Nashville Office Restructuring
AOA’s Nashville office lease will not be renewed when it expires at the end of May 2017. Staff members Margie Ault and Becky Farley will work remotely from their homes rather than having AOA search for alternative rental office space. Our Nashville staff will continue to be electronically linked with the Lincoln office for meetings and other interaction.
ET/AI Policies Updated
With the approval of registrations of cria born after January 1, 2017, resulting from embryo transfer or artificial insemination in U.S. alpacas, AOA’s policies governing these registrations have been updated by the board and soon will be posted to the website. Other than the ability to register, key policy points are:
- Sire and dam must be registered with AOA’s registry and both must be identified as breeders
- Recipient dam must be an alpaca
- Registration certificates will include a designation of “-ET” at the end of the alpaca name for alpacas born as a result of ET
Also being posted are certificates of embryo recovery and transfer forms that will need to be completed and submitted to AOA. A certificate of artificial insemination form will be available as well.
Executive Director Connecting With Members
Bud attended the TxOLAN and CABO shows to meet with affiliate members and also served as a volunteer ring steward in North Carolina. He staffed an AOA product booth at both shows, and was a speaker at CABO. AOA members attending the National Show will get their chance to meet Bud. He will continue his introductory tour by attending affiliate shows at MOPACA, MAPACA, and CABA.
Nice to have you making these member connections, Bud!
Your AOA Board