Wishing all of our members a happy Christmas

24 December 2013

Dear members

As we are drawing close to the end of the year we just wanted to take a few minutes to give you an update of some of the many things the board are working on and to wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas.

The amount of hard work and enthusiasm within the board is incredible and sometimes we can forget that the board members are all volunteers giving up their time for the society. The boards has really come together working on ways to engage with members and to support and encourage growth where we can; some of the key areas we are actively working on

• Marketing of the British Alpaca Industry
• Training
• Shows
• Fibre
• Membership
• Welfare
The magazine will be undergoing a bit of a facelift to make it something that is informative, positive and a magazine you ‘simply must read’, and we would encourage contributions in the way of editorials and photographs etc. Last year we had the Alpaca 2013 ‘coffee table’ magazine and as it was a great success, a new ‘yearbook’ is being produced with 6,000 copies to be printed and available to members, shows in UK and Europe as well as many other local initiatives that go on. This is a great marketing tool and I encourage you to make full use of it. We are also looking at leaflets and other branded materials to help raise the image and profile of the society. A DVD on alpaca welfare and husbandry is in the process of being scripted and is hoped to be available after the summer. There are many exciting things under way and we are working hard to develop new and exciting ideas such as a National Alpaca Week, a lot more details will follow in the new year, so ‘watch this space’.

We held training courses again this year and the Foundation Course was over-subscribed with a waiting list, so we are actively working with the trainers and venues to hold further courses during 2014 and Sue will be publishing more details as they come on line.

I can’t write a letter without mentioning the truly magnificent work going into the National Show for 2014, the dedication and enthusiasm of the organising team is once again tremendous, and it will be a real show case to trumpet alpacas and their fibre in the UK and to our overseas friends. The outstanding venue and many new initiatives (Fleece auction, seminars, fancy dress etc) all go to help it be the greatest show in Europe. The sponsorship opportunities provide many ways to promote business and it is through such sponsorship that we are able to fund such a show. We all wish to say a massive THANK-YOU to all the sponsors and encourage others to take up these opportunities to promote themselves and support the BAS. The entries open 1st January for the halters and fleece and I would encourage you to enter the classes (numbers are limited to first come first serve). If you are unable enter the classes, please try to get the show to support you friends and colleagues and be a part of the event.

The fibre committee are working on new material (no pun intended) and literature to go into the magazines, website and leaflets; again to raise the profile so ‘people just have to have alpaca fibre’. This is very encouraging and we look forward to seeing the results from this committee.

We are working hard to develop ways to build on the membership numbers and one of many things being looked at are ideas around a 2 tier membership and investigating ways a membership package with a range of benefits can be constructed and made available. We hope to be able to expand more on that during the coming months, again ‘watch this space’.

Welfare has been high on the agenda, and rightly so, there has been a lot of work in the area of TB strategy and more information will be coming out frequently as available, 2014 will be a big year for the society in this front and will be very positive (when dealing with agricultural shows etc). TB is a key area of focus for the society, but as I’m sat here writing this letter, I am looking out a storm blowing through and we need to remind ourselves that we also need to keep sight of other welfare concerns such as hypothermia, fluke and other parasites, vitamin D deficiency etc.

I hope that by reading through this letter, you will see that, Sue Welch and the board have been, and continue to be very busy for the society. Please check the BAS Facebook page, website and emails for further updates.

I would like to wish you a peaceful and merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you at the AGM and National Show.

Regards
Peter

On behalf of Sue Welch (Breed Secretary) and the BAS board.

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