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Ambassador Award

The Jim Barker Suri Network Ambassador Award was established in 2013 to recognize a Suri Network member who exemplifies Jim Barker’s commitment to and enthusiasm toward the Suri alpaca industry.

Jim Barker passed away suddenly in August 2012.  He had a profound impact on the Suri Industry.  As past president and board member of the Suri Network, he worked passionately to promote and advance Suri Alpacas in the United States. He was a man who lived life to its fullest and was forever giving with a huge heart and warm smile. Jim lived everyday with tenacity, the pursuit of happiness, a hard work ethic, and a positive attitude.

The Ambassador Award is presented annually to an individual with similar attributes.

2022  Award Recipient is Amanda VandenBosch

Amanda Vandenbosch has been a presence in the Suri world for over 20 years. She was the co-author of “The Art and Science of Alpaca Judging” with 3 other judges and was instrumental in helping Suri Network develop the Suri Breed Standard. As a board member of Quechua Benefit, she has supported this organization which is dedicated to helping the children of Peru by often donating her speaking fees. As an active Senior Judge, she has been involved in Judge Training and an advocate for maintaining high standards of dress and behavior in the show ring. Recently she has worked with Dr. Evans and Mazuri, to study nutritional impact on alpacas and their fiber. After developing the Innovative Fleece Assessment program which helps breeders understand the fleece characteristics and combines it with end use of the fiber, she has implemented it with AOA into the show systems. Although she owns both breeds of alpacas, she loves to point out to Huacaya breeders her love of the Suri and its wonderful fiber. Thanks for all you have done Amanda!

2021 Award Recipient is Dale Davis

Dale Davis started in the alpaca industry helping her mom, Jan, over 20 years ago. She has strived to breed alpacas of superior quality fiber and soundness by using multiple tools, including the Suri Network SHIP program. Not only did she participate in the SHIP program at her farm but was instrumental in working with other Northern California Suri breeders to complete the SHIP program for their herds. She enjoys mentoring and sharing her knowledge with new and established Suri breeders. Dale is a tireless and enthusiastic volunteer with a wonderful spirit of fun, competitiveness, and sportsmanship at alpaca shows. She provides extraordinary support to newcomers to the industry and makes unselfish contributions to the Suri Network community , giving freely of her time, energy and skills to the benefit of the Suri Network community. Dale is currently serving as editor of PurelySuri. Plus she is a really good cook!

2020 Award Recipients are Jude Anderson and Alan Cousill. Jude and Alan are no strangers to the North American alpaca world. Jude has served the alpaca industry as an AOA Certified alpaca judge and judge trainer and was one of four authors of the Art and Science of Alpaca Judging. Alan and Jude have been instrumental in advancing the Suri breed on their ranch in Oregon, recently adding embryo transfer to their repertoire. Alan's antics at past  Suri Symposiums left little doubt about their enthusiasm for the Suri  and the industry that surrounds it. Alan and Jude have returned to their home country Australia and will be sorely missed.

2019 Award Recipient is Jill McElderry-Maxwell. Jill has been working with suris since she first fell in love with them in 2005. She has enjoyed owning a breeding farm, competing in the ring and in fleece shows, and now spends her time working with multiple natural fibers as an artist and vendor. Bringing alpaca education to her fellow farmers is also a passion, and Jill is the author of multiple articles that have helped owners keep their animals healthy. Jill spent countless hours as editor of Purely Suri Magazine, is a past board member of the Suri Network, and also served on the board of the Maine Alpaca Association. 

2018 Award Recipient is Tim Sheets. Tim and his wife have been involved in the Suri Network since purchasing their first alpacas in 2003. He has served on multiple committees and as a director and president of the Suri Network Board. Within the alpaca industry he has also served as President and Vice President on the Indiana Alpaca Association Board.  Tim was key in helping to develop the S.H.I.P. program and assists with maintaining the database. Tim has shown remarkable commitment to advancing the Suri breed and the association.

2017 Award Recipient is Patty Hasselbring. The 2017 recipient of the Jim Barker award is a woman who has tirelessly represented the Suri industry at all levels, from welcoming newcomers into the fold with exceptional mentoring skills, to serving Suri owners on the AOA board.  Patty served the Suri Network as President from 2014 to 2016, a consummate professional who helmed the Suri Network through challenging times, leading us with grace and poise. She helped lead the way to a complete overhaul of the Suri Network Breed Standard during her tenure, and began negotiations with AOA for their use of our standard as the AOA standard as well. Patty was elected to and served on the AOA board for 4 years.

The 2016 Award Winner is Linda Kondris.  Linda has served the Suri Network for many years as a committee member working on the Suri Breed Standard, Purely Suri Magazine, and S.H.I.P.  She was elected to the Suri Network Board from 2009 to 2013, and as Board President for 2 of those years. 

Linda's has repeatedly demonstrated her goals to improve and promote the Suri alpaca and the Suri Network.  Linda loves to show alpacas and participates at many alpaca shows. She has provided extraordinary support to newcomers in the industry. Her background in education in her pre-alpaca life has given her many tools to help new breeders (and old) learn about all aspects of alpaca health, conformation, and fiber.

In addition to her work for the Suri Network, Linda has served on the Board for the Alpaca Breeders of the Rockies, and on the Show Rules Committee for AOA. 

The 2015 Award Winner is Dr. Norm Evans. There is little need for explanation as to why Dr. Evans was chosen for this award. He is well known to the entire alpaca industry, but has been an incredible asset to the Suri Network as well.

For almost 25 years Dr. Evans has been working with exclusively camelids. Dr. Evans has frequently shared his knowledge speaking at the Suri Symposium regularly. Focusing on the health and fleece of alpacas, he has developed alpaca feed and counsels owners on improving their alpacas' nutrition.

While retired from active practice, he still works full time with field research of how an alpaca’s fiber production is affected by environment, male and female genetic traits as well as nutritional influences. Dr. Evans has developed a skin biopsy program to assess alpaca density and uniformity, and consulted with multiple farms to better their programs.

 He has written the Alpaca Field Manual tailored to the needs of alpaca owners. In it's fourth edition it is filled with information on alpaca veterinary medicine and husbandry.

How do I nominate someone for the Jim Barker award?
Simply complete and submit the form below for the individual who you feel deserves the highest recognition within the Suri Network community (current members of the Suri Network Board of Trustees are not eligible).

The Jim Barker Suri Network Ambassador Award recipients will be chosen based on meeting at least three of the following five criteria:

  • Assisting in the implementation of an outstanding project that benefits the Suri industry
  • Exhibiting a spirit of fun, competitiveness and sportsmanship at alpaca shows
  • Providing extraordinary support to newcomers to the industry
  • Making unselfish contributions to the Suri Network community
  • Giving freely of time, energy and skills to the benefit of the Suri Network community

Suri Network
Phone: (970) 586-5876
Fax: (970) 591-0007

P.O. Box 1984

Estes Park, Colorado

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