President’s Message to A OK Membership, 2017 first quarter update
What has happened:
In January, we had a tremendous education event: Dr. Norm Evans. Bobby and Diane Dickerson of Rock’n D Enterprises were chief organizers and promoters of this outstanding educational event. Cash Sponsors: Mazuri Feed, Debra Gail with Prairie States Insurance, Rock’n D Enterprises. Some highlights from Dr. Evans “My opinions on ways to better fiber management” shared during his workshop:
1. 36% of owners breeding females are actually breeding down based on his biopsy results. Preventable by using biopsy results from 2 year old or older males.
2. Breed for Positive fiber qualities: fineness, smooth handle, uniformity of micron (absence of guard hair), has brightness/luster, density.
3. Breeders, remember that the MALE determines uniformity (breed a male with primary fiber and secondary fiber that are equal micron….or really close.) Upbreed for better fiber.
4. Breed for healthy animals that produce consistent micron fiber. Do not starve animals to get fine micron.
5. Sample site for biopsy is important. Mid blanket.
6. Fresh water and quantity of fresh water critical especially during last 3 months of pregnancy and then lactation (12-14 quarts/day common)
7. Ideal alpaca forage: 11-15% protein. Professional formulation by region is best way to balance. OK Bermuda grass. Orchard grass.
8. Feed amount can vary up to 25% up for extreme cold (below 20 degrees F) to 25% down for extreme hot (humidity and air temp >160). Older get more feed.
9. Powerpoint presentation was available for purchase by attending members.
Board Members were elected during meeting at lunch, that day. Current board members: John Robinson (1), John Robinson (2), Sheila Robinson, Karla Moore, Greg Summers, Al Boyce, Kerry Bates.
February saw enormous preparation effort for the March (Oklahoma Youth Exposition) OYE event.
Openherd membership added by board as a new member benefit.
Have you put your information on this site? Exposure, marketing, public awareness. !!Be sure and check out the Alpacas of Oklahoma website-new tabs have been added to benefit A-OK member who are on Openherd: Area Farm., Alpacas for Sale and Store.-all new Openherd listings
A-OK sponsorship for the AOA Student Design Competition asking that funds support Oklahoma State participants. Other individual A-OK member farms have also sent their support.
March: Oklahoma Youth Expo, was supported by A-OK members.
All A OK members were invited to participate in the Oklahoma Youth Exposition. Six members were able to commit to providing product for sale and manning the A OK education booth during the 8 day event held at Oklahoma City State Fairgrounds. Participants: Sheila Robinson, Janice and John Robinson, Gail Stymerski, Terri and Kerry Bates, Don Ackers, Michael Alpert, Al Boyce, Diane and Bobby Dickerson and Lillian Dixon plus others that provided support and set up assistance.
Event a rousing success. Great public relations and exposure for products made from alpaca. Kudos to Sheila Robinson for finding this outstanding venue.
Oklahoma Ag Day at state capitol rotunda is scheduled for March 29th 10 am to 2 pm. Again, excellent networking opportunity with Made in Oklahoma and Agritourism vendors as well as state legislators and state employees. All A OK members invited to attend.
Events and Activities PENDING later in 2017:
April: usually not much A OK activity because farms and ranches are busy at home and/or helping each other with shearing and fiber collection.
May-June: We have discussed a dying workshop and peg loom workshop in addition to a fleece skirting day. Additional ideas are welcome.
July-August: Membership meeting and fiber event or fiber mill visit is in the works. Details to come. Coordinator: Greg Summers
September: open AOA National Alpaca Open Farm Days, September 23-24.
October: Wings- 2 weekends planned details to come. Sheila Robinson and Karla Moore coordinator.
October: Membership Meeting. Shawnee, Oklahoma pending: Preparation for Alpaca Show and Alpaca shopping Blastoff New show location: Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center, Shawnee, Oklahoma
November 10-12: All members involved in the Alpaca Show and Alpaca Holiday Shopping Blastoff.
New location: Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center, Shawnee, Ok. Fleece show will be judged on SATURDAY-bring your fleeces to the show.-saves shipping for out of town ranches.
In closing, a huge thank you to all that have contributed ideas, money, energy, and time to make this first quarter of 2017 one of the most eventful three months in our A-OK history. Let’s keep the momentum going!
A-OK President 2017