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Seminars & Workshops

Patty Fuller


Breathing and other necessary things you need to do in the show ring:   Friday at 6:30pm       In the ring between our alpaca and the judge its all about 90 seconds.  This lighthearted look at what you’re doing in the show ring with your alpacas will raise your confidence and final placements too.  It provides a good overview for owners new to the show environment and a quick refresher for those breeders looking for a hit or two on successful show techniques.  From halter fitting to dealing with the PacMonster; this seminar will review the show ring process from start to finish, highlight some do’s and don’ts, and demonstrate safe handling techniques.  You’ve worked hard all year, make the most of the 90 seconds you have to present your alpaca and have fun too. 


Farm Layout Seminar:  Saturday at 2:30pm   Are you ready to improve or begin your alpaca farm? Looking for tips on designing your fences, barns, paddocks and storage? This seminar will focus on the do's and don'ts from three different alpaca breeders. One farm is successfully working with portable structures, another is focusing on the unique land features of their property, and the last farm is a brand new construction plus retrofitting an existing structure for their needs. Each farm is dedicated to the safety, health and happiness of the alpacas with designing their farms to handle the current and future needs of the alpacas and their owners. This seminar will be approximately one hour and after the presentations from each farm there will be a question and answer period for you to inquire more details for your specific farm needs.


BIO


Patty and Les Fuller, and daughters Kelsey and Meghan, own Poplar Hill Alpacas in Blacksburg, Virginia. For 15 years they have grown their herd to 70 alpacas and two very important llamas. Poplar Hill has successfully competed and won multiple color championships in both Huacaya and Suri halter shows and fleece competitions at regional, national, and international levels. Les has been very active in the show world as a ring steward being requested by some of the best judges in the alpaca industry. Les has been a Board member of the Virginia Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association and Patty has been involved in hosting various alpaca seminars for the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, the Virginia Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, the Carolina Alpaca Breeders Owners Association, and the Virginia 4H Congress along with her supervisory positions with Spinoffs and Fiber Arts around the country. Their passion is helping new breeders enjoy and succeed in the amazing adventure of owning alpacas.


 


Steve Purdy


Alpaca Insurance Issues:  Saturday 10:30am


Steve will present an integrated view of alpaca farm insurance that emphasizes the ways in which it is different from and goes well beyond homeowners insurance.  Some of the important farm insurance topics he will discuss are:


Possible gaps between separate policies for differing parts of your coverage


Common mistakes made in selecting coverage for property, liability, vehicles and workman’s compensation


How the rise of Agri-Tourism affects your farm operation


Questions you should ask your agent


 


BIO


Steve is a second generation Farm Insurance Specialist.  He has written more than 2000 farm related risks over his greater than twenty five year career.  He has advanced education as a Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist, the foremost professional designation for specialists in the Agricultural and Farm Insurance Industry. 


Steve represents Farm Family Casualty Insurance offering specialized property and casualty insurance to agribusiness and residents of rural America.  Farm Family is rated A Excellent by AM Best and is a subsidiary of American National Insurance Company in business since 1905.  Farm Family is the leading Agribusiness insurer in the East, and the Farm Bureau insurance carrier in the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and  Rhode Island.


 


Roo Kline


Alpaca growers and the cottage industry: Bridging the gap  Saturday 1:00 pm


What exactly IS your fiber worth to artists? Can the value and profit margin be increased? In order to successfully sell fiber at maximum value to spinners and artists within the cottage market you need to first understand their language and the role of your fiber in their craft.  Learning this not only allows full transparency on your part, it guarantees that your line of communication and information is clear and open.  By fostering trust and familiarity in the buyer of your fiber products, you'll begin to grow a base of repeat customers. This presentation is approximately 1 hour, involves hands on exploration of fiber, a Q&A session, and notes to take home.


Roo will also be doing many workshops all weekend.  Go here for all the details Fiber Workshops


 


BIO


A graphic artist by trade, Roo Kline became involved with alpacas in 2006 and shortly after purchasing her own herd in early 2007, the 'Moonwood Farm' fiber studio was launched, gathering a following of spinners and fiber artists who fell in love with her luxuriously handcrafted spinning fibers and supplies. Since 2010 Roo has been teaching her personal techniques and style to others, especially those who love and/or raise alpacas.  She has instructed at Magical Farms, fiber festivals and alpaca shows, local yarn shops, has been featured on several videocasts, has provided her spinning fibers for classes of renowned fiber arts teachers and has written fiber related articles for American Livestock Magazine. She judges the occasional Fiber Arts & Skein competition and spin-off, and lives with her husband and 11 year old son in Huntsville, AL.


 


 


Virginia Tech Veterinarians  We are very lucky to have veterinary support from Virginia Tech each year to help us check in our alpacas, provide emergency care if necessary and do a seminar for us.


Dr Katie Wilson


Skin Diseases in Camelids  Saturday at 9am


The seminar will discuss different causes of skin disease in camelids, and how to differentiate, diagnose and treat them. 


BIO


Dr. Katie Wilson is a graduate of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  She completed an internship and residency at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Large Animal Internal Medicine and is Board Certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal).  After her residency she worked at a private referral practice in Virginia then returned to the VMCVM in 2010 were she currently is employed as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Large Animal Medicine.  She has interests in critical care, gastrointestinal and endocrine diseases of horses, renal disease and camelid medicine. 


Dr. Melissa Mercer:  Dr Mercer will be doing a parasite seminar for regional high school FFA students.  Saturday at 1:30pm


 


Updates in Camelid Parasite Control and Management: Targeted Approaches in an Age of Resistance


The seminar will focus on common parasites of concern to small and large scale camelid producers, common diagnostic techniques, and when hospitalized management is necessary. Updates on prevention, and control of parasites targeted to decreasing incidence of disease without promoting resistance will be provided.


BIO


Dr. Melissa Mercer is a Resident in Large Animal Internal Medicine at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Mercer obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 from Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She then completed a rotating internship in equine medicine and surgery at Southwest Equine Hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. She joined Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 as a Resident in Large Animal Internal Medicine.

 

Arturo Pena:  Arturo is a Halter and Fleece certified  AOA judge.  He is judging our Walking Fleece Competition this year.  He will give a presentation regarding the Commercial Market for alpaca fiber on Saturday following the conclusion of the Walking Fleece competition.  In addition to being a judge, Arturo is a veterinarian, and farm manager of a large alpaca farm in New York that specializes in fiber for the commercial market.  This should be a wonderful seminar.

The Commercial Market for Alpaca Fiber

Buyers

- What are the commercial buyers looking for?
   The two Qs
- What are the most important fleece characteristics for the commercial buyer?
   Uniformity
   Fineness
   Length 
   Brightness  
   Cleanliness 
   Tensile strength

Breeders 

- How to breed for the commercial fiber market and maximize profitability?
   Genetics and Selection
- What are the most important fleece characteristics for the Alpaca breeder?
   All of them + weight
- How to improve and increase your fiber harvesting?