Dear Suri Network Members,
We sincerely hope that you and your family are safe and healthy during these uncertain times. The SN Board of Trustees recently held our regular monthly board meeting. With all the changes occurring in our environment, we want to communicate with our members to keep you current on Suri Network activities and solicit input about what is important to you.
We are listening
At the AOA Nationals Show in March, we held a SN Rally with our attending members. It was well attended and an enthusiastic group. We reported our activities and received some very positive feedback on how to improve our programs.
- One suggestion from our members is to change annual publish date of the popular magazine, PurelySuri, to after the first of the year in the Jan/Feb time frame. Winter is typically a slower time for farms and the time for making business plans for the next year, including breeding decisions. SN members felt the information and advertising in the magazine would be more impactful during this time. The board agrees with this suggestion and plans are underway to reschedule the publication.
- There was a lot of enthusiasm for the new and improved Suri Network Symposium in February 2021 to be held in Las Vegas NV. Plans are underway to secure the venue and develop the “March to Marketing” themed Symposium speaker schedule. In addition, the Boot Camp Digital online educational marketing tools was offered to SN members at reduced cost in 1Q2020.
What is upcoming
2020 Suri Network All Suri Fleece Show
- Registration is now open!
Competitions for regular fleece, cottage fleece, spin off and fiber arts are available. See the SN website for more information. https://surinetwork.org/page-1860230
- Remember to send in your Spin off entries in early so you can enter your cottage fleeces. Spin-Off entries are due by May 31, 2020. Spin-Off entries and Cottage Fleece entries can include both 2019 and 2020 fleeces.
- Also, consider entering your lovely handmade Suri products in the Fiber Arts competition. This is a growing competition and a great way to market the products from your animals.
What is different in the 2020 SN All Suri Fleece Show?
- This is a mail in only show this year with judging held July 14-15th hosted at the New Era Fiber Mill in Lebanon TN. Thank you to Karl and Jan Heinrich!
- The AOA National Show, SN Fleece show and PAOBA are working together to transport fleeces between shows to provide transportation between shows and save on costs.
- Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, we will be able to broadcast the results of the Fleece Show to our members in a live feed after the competition is judged. Stay tuned for more information on this.
Who will be judging the 2020 SN All Suri Fleece Show this year?
- Cheryl Gehly and Wade Gease will be the fleece judges
- Gabrielle Menn will be doing Spin-off and Wini Labrecque for Fiber Arts
We need your help
Please consider sponsoring the Fleece Show through the various sponsorships we have available on our Fleece Show webpage. This show could not happen without your financial sponsorship support.
Regional Educational Opportunities
In 2020, Suri Network was planning to launch a series of regional education opportunities partnered with Suri farms across the country. Unfortunately, with the current national upheaval due to COVID 19, the execution of this plan is on hold. However, our Regional Education planning committee is still working to develop these courses so we can offer them later. You can contact Beth Sheets who is our committee chair if you are interested in helping or for more information.
FFA Annual Convention
In 2020 we had planned to participate in the FFA Annual Convention this fall as part of our Youth program. Recently we learned that AOA was not going to participate in 2020 and due to current uncertainties, we decide to also forgo participation this year. But we encourage all our members to work with their regional youth programs to get the word out about Suris and to look forward to our plans for 2021..
Suri Network accomplishments thus far this year.
- Successfully completed negotiations with AOA to license our Suri Breed Standard, which will be adopted my AOA members in their upcoming election this spring.
- Updated the SHIP database to include many reporting enhancements and to allow members to open their SHIP scores to other members. We encourage our members to make their SHIP scores public to other members for marketing purposes. Visit the SHIP database to see the improvements on the SHIP webpage. Currently, you must be a part of the SHIP program to be able to access the database.
- Continue to roll out the “Suri Simply Stunning” brand. This is an important branding campaign to give Suri farms marketing tools to brand their Suri alpacas and Suri products. See more information on our website. Many of our member farms have already signed up. Don’t be left out!
- Forged the path to have a waiver for a PS championship class planned for CABA 2020 show. Although the show was cancelled due to COVID-19 we will look at the fall shows for additional opportunities to explore this option.
- Coordinated with AOA and MOPACA affiliates to encourage Suris to attend these halter shows. The numbers at Nationals and planned for MOPACA were significantly increased.
- Planned the 2020 All Suri Fleece Show and it is now open for registration.
- Currently planning for the new and improved 2021 Suri Symposium in Las Vegas.
- Planning for the upcoming 2020 Board of Trustee elections for four open positions. The nominating committee led by Beth Sheets is currently developing a slate of candidates.
- In March, we reviewed our 2020 annual budget and prepared a contingency budget to address future uncertainties. Our plan is to stay nimble and flexible during these times.
All in all, your Suri Network Board is excited and prepared to address the current disruptive market forces we are experiencing. We are all blessed to live in the country and be able to care for our beautiful Suri alpacas. We can share our blessings with those not as fortunate in many ways. It is time for creativity and an entrepreneurial attitude. Take our strengths and market our farms, alpacas and products. Surprising results can happen!
Please feel free to share any input you have with our board. You can email or call us, and we will respond in any way we can. We wish you and your family all the best in safety, health and prosperity in these challenging times.
The Suri Network Board of Trustees:
Beth Sheets firstname.lastname@example.org Margit Korsak email@example.com
Dale Davis firstname.lastname@example.org Nancy Lindemood email@example.com
Deb Christnerakunamatadasuri@gmail.com Sue King firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Vahlkamp email@example.com