2008 SRS® Alpacas International Conference
2008 SRS® Alpacas International Subscriber Conference
June 1st to June 3rd - Wagga Wagga NSW
Chairman's Opening Address
The third annual conference of SRSAI was officially opened at 9.00AM on 2nd June 2008. There was an introductory biology and fleece marker session held on Sunday 1st June which was attended, and appreciated, by twelve new subscribers. These subscribers, plus some board members, Breeding Advisors, Dr Jim Watts, lecture presenters and more experienced breeders joined together for dinner at a Thai restaurant adjoining The Club motel.
As chairman, I welcomed the 66 subscribers, 4 Breeding Advisors and presenters who traveled to Wagga Wagga for the conference and advised them of all the changes that had occurred since the last conference in 2007.
- New company structure now in place
- SRSAI® Subscribers Handbook produced by Justin, Jim and Sue
- New logo has been produced
- We have had 31 new subscribers since last conference from Aust., N.Z., U.K., as well as Mallkini Ranch in Peru
I then gave a very brief outline of the conference prepared by Bronwyn and David Mitchell, in conjunction with Annette and myself, and hoped that all in attendance enjoy the conference as much as we had in creating it.
Dr Peter Howe
As a presenter for the second time, Peter re-capped his talk from last year and took the subject to another level. Peter finished by asking subscribers to please forward more data to help his research and in turn enable him to give us more feed back next year. To this end, he has provided a simple form which will be distributed to all subscribers very soon. Please help Peter to help us by filling in as much data as possible.
Dr Jim Watts
"Watt to Mate to Watt and Why" Jim continued to explain the SRS® Breeding System as only "The Master" can. Jim then went outside to assist in the "Animal Workshops" conducted by Neil Parker and Keith Cowen.
Trevor Nicholson and John Pike
These two Breeding Advisors conducted a very stimulating workshop relating to fleece appreciation and hands on participation by conference attendees.
To complete the involvement of the four Breeding Advisors, Justin presented a very well researched topic on "The Importance of Data Collection". He pointed out how easy it is to collect data and the benefits to be gained by submitting that data to the AGE program. Two of his key take home messages were:-
- routine weights tell you a great deal about your animals;
- by providing performance data you are letting your potential customers know that you are taking your role seriously; and
- by breeding for more productive and commercially viable alpaca, and can prove it
Jeffry Farman (Director)
Jeffry announced the introduction of an "Animal Sales Section" to the SRSAI®: web site. Yet another new addition since our last conference. Even though it is not fully operational, we were shown how it will look and work, and were left with a feeling of excited anticipation as our organisation moves forward.
OGA Marketing & Design
Ben is a marketing expert with very extensive experience in the marketing of live stock, especially sheep and cattle. He addressed us on the principles of marketing and how we can promote SRSAI® and the SRS® Breeding System. As time goes by, Ben will help us to market our improved animals and fleeces.
Matt McAninly (AAFL Fleece Division Manager)
Matt presented a very informative topic on fleeces, from collection to processing, and what breeders can do to improve their return on capital invested.
- The importance of growers producing what the markets are seeking
- The difference between a good animal and a good fleece
- Productivity of alpacas compared to merino sheep and angora goats
- Managing alpacas through the fleece production period
- The factors influencing world alpaca fleece prices
- Specific issues relating to suri fibre
- The importance of preparing fleeces before sending to AAFL
- What AAFL is doing with all of the fleece it receives
Dr Jim Watts
Jim wound up the conference by outlining the advancements we have made and how we now have to look to marketing our improved fleeces. He also spoke of the involvement of Dr Peter Howe and how he can further assist us if we feed information back to him. Jim suggested other speakers we could consider for next year’s conference.
A very short speech thanking Subscribers, Presenters, suppliers of animals and fleeces, staff of Riverina TAFE, Breeding Advisors and especially Sue Northfield.
I made special mention of the fact that the Breeding Advisors and Presenters donated their, preparation and presentation, time free of charge, and how much we appreciated their efforts.
Thanks also to Bronwyn, David, and Annette for joining with me to present this conference to you and to wish you all a safe trip home, and return the same time next year.
13/06/13 - New England Alpaca Show
Four subscribers were represented at the New England Alpaca show consisting of fleeces and lead animals over the long weekend of the 8th & 9th of June. They were Glen Waverly Alpacas (Betty & Adrian Whitten), Sunline Alpacas (Jeff & Jill Willis), Towarri Alpacas (Stuart & Fiona Marshall) and Glenhope Alpacas (Bronwyn & David Mitchell). Everyone took home some ribbons from the event which attracted 44 fleeces and 136 animals. In the fleece section Glenhope entered 7 fleeces and received 3 Championships, 2 Reserve Championships and the Supreme Champion. Glen Waverly received a Reserve Championship. The judge commented on the weight of the fleeces and the quality of the presentation which is encouraging. In the animal classes Sunline received 2 Championships and a Reserve Champion and Glenhope received a Championship and 2 Reserve Champions.
24/04/13 - Castle Hill Alpaca Show
Castle Hill Show, near Sydney, Australia, on the 9 March was another great show for SRS(R) studs. Walkley Fields (Richard Brennan) and Gunnamatta Alpacas (Sue Maynard and John Hay) had a very succesful day collecting 7 out of 10 Champions, with Walkley Fields taking out Supreme Huacaya Alpaca and Sire's progeny.
Judge Joanne Ham commented on the "super softness" of the animals.