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 Suri Network News

Spring 2017


• President's Letter

• Upcoming Election News

• Symposium Update

• PDC Update

 Auction Donations Sought

• Fleece Show Deadlines

Board of Trustees
Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Phone: 207-660-5276

Vice President
Sue King
Phone: 503-799-6941

Deb Christner
Phone:970 872-4446

Phone:970 250-7392

Kristie Smoker
Phone: 717-503-6168

Trustee at Large
Michael Alpert
Phone:  405-990-8205


Suri Network Website

SHIP Website
Herdsire Donations Sought!

Do you have a herdsire that you want to showcase?

The Suri Network is looking for proven herdsires that have statistics showing why they are wonderful.  These may include a recent histogram, skin biopsy, 
S.H.I.P. evaluation, and/or show ribbons.

This is a great marketing opportunity for your farm and a way to get the word out about your awesome herdsire.  Your herdsire and farm name will be posted on the Suri Network website and included in all Suri Symposium promotional materials. 

Sign up now to help promote your farm and support the Suri Network!

Contact Deb Christner at or 970-872-4446.

Donate to the Symposium Live Auction!
The Summer Symposium Live Auction is always a highlight, with spectacular herdsires and unique items to bid on.  It's a great way to support the Network and get recognition for your farm during the Symposium, in printed materials, and on the website.  Donations do not need to be alpaca related - maybe you have a cabin in the woods where people could stay for a week?  A piece of art?  Admission to an upcoming seminar or event?  The Network greatly appreciates any and all donations valued at $200 or greater for the live auction.  Items valued at less than $200 are enthusiastically welcomed for the silent auction.

Please contact the office or any board member if you have an item to donate, and thank you!

President's Letter

It's finally spring (at least, most of the time for most of us)!  Here's hoping that spring births are uneventful and everyone has beautiful bouncing babies to celebrate.  Spring brings our annual harvest, too.  As you're shearing, think of sending your nicest fleeces to the upcoming Suri Symposium and All Suri Fleece show.  You won't find a bigger or better suri fleece show anywhere.

There's lots to tell you about in this issue, including our upcoming Board of Trustees election, an update on the Symposium and Fleece show, and some words from your hard-working Product Development Committee.  Additionally, we're nearing an agreement with AOA regarding the use of the Suri Network Suri Breed Standard; if you're an AOA member, look for more information from them soon. It's exciting to see our breed standard serve as a model for the new huacaya standard.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
President, Suri Network

Upcoming Board of Trustees Election

Our Nominating Committee did an excellent job recruiting outstanding candidates to stand for election this year.  The Board has four openings, and will be increasing in number from five to seven trustees this year.  

Jill McElderry-Maxwell, Kristie Smoker and Sue King each have a year remaining in their terms; Michael Alpert and Deb Christner have completed their terms but are running for re-election.  In addition, Al Cousill, Jennifer Hack, Lucy Lee Fowler, Nancy Lindemood and Diane Dickerson have agreed to run. All trustees elected this year will be serving three year terms.

The upcoming election will be conducted electronically, using the same provider we used for the Breed Standard vote.  You will receive an invitation to vote on or about June 16; voting will close on July 10. Please make sure your email address is up to date - you can call or email the office to make any changes.

You can find all of the candidate statements on the Suri Network website at:

Many, many thanks to our candidates as well as to the Nominating Committee: Sue King, Patty Hasselbring, Dan Corley, Hillary Devin, and Liz Vahlkamp.

2017 Summer Symposium Update

No matter what type of alpaca farm you have or what you aspire to be in the alpaca industry … this year’s Suri Network Symposium has something for you!  Please join us in Loveland, CO on Thursday, August 3 through Saturday, August 5 for a fun-filled and educational experience you won’t soon forget.  Just go to the Suri Network website to review the schedule of events and top-notch speakers, then Register:

We also want to highlight the All-Suri Fleece Show that occurs that same weekend.  This year’s judges include Jude Anderson and Amanda VandenBosch for fleece and cottage competition, Stacy Heydt for Spin-Off, and Wini Labrecque for Fiber Arts & Skeins.  Entries for the Spin-off must be registered by June 19 and received by June 23 - you must enter Spin-off to enter Cottage Fleece.  The deadline to register fleeces for the Cottage and regular fleece competitions is July 28.  Mail in fleeces must be received by July 28, or may be dropped off at the show Wednesday, August 2.

Speaking of Wini Labrecque, she is one of our workshop presenters.  She will offer a full, half day, hands on workshop, Understanding Fiber Sorting and How to Apply it on your Farm, in addition to a presentation on Skirting for Shows.  Other fiber related topics include an in-depth panel discussion where several mills will share new trends in the industry; Alvina Maynard will discuss the Suri Network Code of Harvest Best Practices; and after completing the fleece show judging, Jude and Amanda will hold a question and answer session about halter and fleece showing.

Of course, in order to reap all of that wonderful fleece we will offer presentations that support the health of your herd.  Norm Evans will share his renowned wisdom regarding nutrition and how to use skin biopsy data to your best advantage.  Dave Scott will describe proper pasture management and offer a “how to” workshop on creating a pasture.  Well known veterinarians, Drs. Signe Balch and Nancy Irlbeck from Colorado State, will share their years of experience in reproduction, cria delivery and care, and sustainability as it relates to alpaca farming.

We will also include several sessions related to running a successful alpaca business with speakers that include Stacie Chavez, Liz Vahlkamp, Alvina Maynard, Jared Johnston, Dan Corley, Patty Hasselbring, and Brion Smoker, CPA.  Topics include business models for the small, medium, and large breeders, business planning,  grant writing, audits, and marketing. There will also be a panel discussion about mills and what they can do for you from Russell Ratti, Rachel Boucher and Karl Heinreich. These are can’t miss presentations!

You can see we will keep you busy with many educational opportunities for both suri and huacaya breeders, but there promises to be lots of laughs and opportunities to network as well.  The Product Development Committee will again host the Fiber Happy Hour and have many interesting demonstrations throughout the weekend.

So, register your fleeces for the  Fleece Show and register to attend the educational opportunity of the year in beautiful Loveland, CO! Early bird registration prices are good through July 1.

PDC Update

The Product Development Committee has been busy this spring sharing their expertise to help fiber producers at shearing time.  They produced a video explaining the rationale behind preparing a well "noodled" fleece, as well as how to noodle one properly. This video, narrated by Alvina Maynard, was shared on The Product Development Facebook page and will be available on the Suri Network website shortly. This video is particularly timely this year since AOA Fleece Shows will accept properly noodled fleeces in competitions.

Of course, the committee is also integral to the success of the annual Suri educational event of the year, the Symposium.  The PDC will again host the Silent Auction and they are currently seeking donations. Think outside the box - your donation does not have to be alpaca related! To offer donations, please contact Heather Hernandez at  

In addition, the PDC will help defray the cost of bringing fiber enthusiasts and specialists to speak at Symposium. Some of these speakers include Liz Vahlkamp, Stacie Chavez, and Alvina Maynard, who will share their business models and methodologies for success. 


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

P.O. Box 1984

Estes Park, Colorado

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Suri Network

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