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 Suri Network News

Fall 2018



President's Letter

2018 Symposium Update

2018 Barker and Steele Awards

Branding Update

SHIP Update

PDC Update

Board of Trustees
Sue King
Phone: 503-799-6941

Vice President
Deb Christner
Phone:970 872-4446

Phone:970 250-7392

Nancy Lindemood

Home Phone: 859-428-9220 

Cell: 513-218-8978

Beth Sheets

Phone: 765-566-3077

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

Jennifer Hack

Phone: 720-733-2672

Liz Vahlkamp
Phone: 314-440-1627

Suri Network Website

SHIP Website
Branding Suri


The Suri Branding and Mark initiative was launched at The Suri Network Symposium in August.


Branding Suri is part of The Suri Network’s

Mission to Preserve and Promote Suri Alpacas and Suri Products. It is also a critical component of product development.


In September two webinars were presented introducing the Suri Branding and Mark initiative. The presentation given at Symposium and the webinar is located on the Suri Network Website, under Members area, Branding and Mark Initiative.


Phase II of the initiative will be presented in November. Phase II lays out the criteria and program to use the Suri Simply Stunning Mark.

Barker and Steele Awards

The recipient of the 2018 Jim Barker Suri Network Ambassador Award is Tim Sheets, former Suri Network President and current member of the SHIP Committee. Congratulations, Tim!

And the recipient of the 2018 Judy Steele Suri Network Creativity Award is Liz Vahlkamp.  Congratulations, Liz!

What's happening with SHIP?

The Suri Herd Improvement Program (SHIP) is growing up and setting sail on its own, with less help from Captain Tim Sheets.

Tim will be working with the Suri Network office to get Cindy and Charlie trained on the system.

Individuals will be able to enter their own information and print off reports once the upgrades are completed.

Always thinking forward, Cheryl Gehly and Mary Lou Clingan are working on a classifier training program, which includes a manual and videos.

To date 74 farms have gone through the SHIP program, several multiple times. These follow up evaluations are quite rewarding as farms share their knowledge and herd improvement accomplishments with Cheryl and Mary Lou.

PDC Update

The PDC is back with a new chair and looking for new members! You don't have to be a fiber expert to join the committee - you just need a passion for promoting suri and helping your fellow farmers. The PDC is a busy and productive committee that could use your talents - please consider joining!

Joy Conwell - Chair


SuperFleece Alpacas 

Conifer, Colorado 80433

Jan Heinrich


Long Hollow Suri Alpacas/New Era Fiber

Gallatin, Tennessee

Celya Singleton

(435) 201-1748

San Rafael Suris

Ferron, Utah

Michelle Pressler

(847) 373-3056

(815) 713-5234

iMpress Alpacas

Rockton, Illinois

Liz Vahlkamp - Board Liaison


Salt River Alpacas

Paris, Missouri

President's Letter

Happy Fall to our membership!! We hope you are all enjoying the cooler weather and preparations for the upcoming holiday season. The Suri Network had a very busy summer with our headliner event the 2018 Suri Symposium and All Suri Fleece Show held in beautiful Loveland, CO August 3-4th. The Symposium, with its industry leading speakers and events, generated lots of positive buzz from the attendees this year.  Attendees were particularly excited to experience the beautiful suri fleeces that were judged in the Fleece show prior to the beginning of the Symposium.

The All Suri Fleece Show, judged by respected senior fleece judges, had a record number of fleece entries at 278 with color champions by gender for all colors, making this the largest and most competitive Suri fleece show in the country.  In addition, we had Suri Spin Off and Fiber Arts competitions.  It was an amazing collection of outstanding Suri fiber and products for our Symposium attendees to see and learn from.

The Board offers a sincere thank you to all who helped make the Symposium and Fleece Show a success - our sponsors, speakers, auction item donors and auction bidders and winners, our volunteers, fleece and fiber arts competition judges and superintendent, and our Symposium and Fleece Show participants.

The Suri Network Board of Trustees 2018 election results were announced at the Symposium. Beth Sheets and Liz Vahlkamp are your newly elected board members.

The Board elected officers and assigned committee chairs as follows:

  • Sue King, President (Symposium)
  • Deb Christner, Vice President (Branding, SHIP)
  • Nancy Lindemood, Treasurer (Membership)
  • Beth Sheets, Secretary (Strategic Planning)
  • Jennifer Hack, Trustee (Marketing)
  • Michael Alpert, Trustee (Youth Outreach)
  • Liz Vahlkamp, Trustee (PDC)

We want to extend a big thank you to our retiring board members, Jill McElderry-Maxwell and Kristie Smoker. Both have contributed greatly to the Suri Network and will continue to support us in the future.

We expanded the board committees and encourage involvement from all SN members in continuing to make the Suri Network the best breed association possible. Please contact me or any of the Board committee chairs if you would like to serve on any of the committees. We welcome your involvement and input!

Sue King

President, Suri Network

2018 Symposium Update

Suri Network’s headliner event, the 2018 Suri Symposium and All Suri Fleece Show, was held in beautiful Loveland, CO on August 3-4, 2018. Our theme this year was “The Science of Suris”.   

Symposium topics focused on best practices related to the science of raising Suri alpacas. Topics included Animal Husbandry, such as nutrition, reproduction, internal diseases and parasites; Breeding Program Improvements, such as genetic improvements through reproductive science and the Suri Herd Improvement Program (SHIP), Fiber Production, such as the science of Suri fiber and use of biopsies to improve production and Farm Management topics, including branding and marketing your agribusiness.   

Our world-renowned industry leading speakers included Dr. Ahmed Tibary, DVM, Dr. Christopher Cebra, DVM; Dr. Robert Van Saun, DVM, Dr. Ruthanne McCaslin, DVM, Dr. Signe Balch, DVM; Amanda VandenBosch, Cheryl Gehly, Gabrielle Menn and marketing expert, Mike DeSorbo.

New for the 2018 conference was the on-line auction through the Bidding for Good website that offered many beautiful Suri alpaca products and services in an on-line bidding environment that opened two weeks before the conference and ended on the last day. Products and services were donated by many breeders, fiber mills and others associated with our industry. Suri Network raised approx. $5,000, a record amount of funds compared to our past silent auctions. Donors were given maximum marketing exposure for their products and services offered. A win-win for all involved.

Another new feature for 2018 was the advance judging of the fleece show prior to the beginning of the conference (Aug 1-2), so we could incorporate the results of the fleece show and fleece evaluations into the conference workshops. Attendees loved the opportunity to see how the judges evaluated the fleeces first hand.

In addition to the well-received speaker sessions and hands on fiber evaluation workshops and the fleece show, we hosted a variety of other events including the popular Fiber Fun Happy Hour where attendees could participate in demonstrations of spinning, felting, weaving, knitting and crocheting all while sipping their beverages of choice.

Symposium participants also had many opportunities to meet and network with other Suri breeders, vendors and fiber enthusiasts during break, lunch and dinner times.

Selected vendors participated in the Symposium with their displays and product demonstrations, including knitting machines and nutrition analysis.

The 2018 Suri Network Live Auction was held on Friday night with an all-star lineup of 16 auction lots.  Included in the auction were five pre-qualified top Suri herd sires qualified by the S.H.I.P evaluation.  Other items included a variety of stunning one of a kind art sculptures by Judy Steele, jewelry by Susan Grunger Gray, peruvian shawls and the famous green jacket worn by Jim Barker. All in all, the auction was a fabulous success raising over $10,000 for the Suri Network.

One of the most popular events at the Symposium was the 2018 All Suri Fleece Show, a certified AOA level III show. We had excellent senior judges, Cheryl Gehly and Amanda VandenBosch, who judged the Fleece Show.  Gabrielle Menn judged the Spin-off and the Fiber Arts and Skeins. 

The fleece show, including cottage fleece, had a record number of fleece entries at 278, with color champions by gender for most colors.  Suri Network is honored to put on the largest and most competitive suri fleece show in the country.

For 2018, Suri Network introduced three Breeder Cup awards in the fleece show: Emerald Cup for small entry; Sapphire Cup for Medium Entry; and Diamond Cup for large entry. The Breeder Cups were awarded to breeders who won the most accumulated points for their entries in the respective divisions. 

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2018 Breeder Cup Awards:

Emerald Cup

Alpacas of Tualatin Valley - Lona Nelson Frank

Sapphire Cup

Over Home Alpacas, LLC - Carol Reed

Diamond Cup

Chelsea Farms- Randy and Beth Brealey

It was an amazing collection of outstanding suri fleeces and fiber products for our Symposium attendees to observe, touch and learn from.

Overall, the 2018 Symposium and All Suri Fleece Show, with its industry leading speakers and events was a great success and well received by those who participated. It generated lots of positive buzz from the attendees:

“SN Symposium is THE best alpaca conference every year”

“Excellent choice of speakers/presentations.”

 “Learned lots of new things.”

 “A special thank you to all who put this together from beginning to end! It was truly amazing!”


The Suri Network Board would like to thank all those who made the 2018 Suri Symposium and All Suri Fleece Show a resounding success, including our members who attended, our generous sponsors, our donors who donated items for the live and on-line auctions, and our board and volunteers who planned and worked the conference and fleece show.

We especially want to acknowledge and thank our sponsors who helped make it possible:

Gold Sponsors: 


Big Timber Alpacas, LLC- Sue King


Silver Sponsor: 

       Raynay Alpaca Farm - Candy & Ray McMahan

Long Hollow Suri Alpacas- Karl & Jan Heinrich

Premium Fleece Sponsor:

Heritage Farm Suris- Tim & Beth Sheets

Fleece Show Transport Sponsors: 

McRae Farms, BuzzNHumm Suris,

Healing Springs Suris

Meal Sponsors: 

Healing Springs Suris, Seed Stock Suris

Farm Table Sponsor:

Awesome Acres Pacas & Pyres

Judge’s Choice Sponsor: 

Healing Springs Suris



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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