President’s notes on Board meeting held February 17, 2014

The board met by teleconference the evening of Monday, February 17th.  The treasurer submitted the financial report for the 2013 year, and the board approved it.  You will find the report posted to the BLU website.  The proposed budget for 2014 was discussed and tabled until a few more expense details are available  Over the last 4 years, the board has been spending less than what has been collected in dues, registrations and transfers, and so the organization is on firm financial footing.

Kris Barndt presented the minutes from the previous meeting in January of 2013.  A postcard reminding members of the deadline for paying 2014 dues will be mailed out.

The BFL National show committee reported on its progress.  Margaret VanCamp is heading up the local show committee, and submitted a list of items the committee will need to work on.  The show is at the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan, MI on Saturday, August 16th.  The festival runs from the 15th to the 17th.  She is looking into hotel rooms, and a banquet site.  There is a need for volunteers to help plan the event, and for award sponsors.    information will be posted to the BLU website, Facebook page, and advertised over the next few weeks.

The genetics taskforce reported that the semen that was collected 2 years ago is still in storage at Inovis.  Dr Hull from USDA states that negotiations are taking place between the EU and the US state department to work out an agreement to allow sheep semen importation to commence.  The taskforce will be following up with USDA to be sure that our concerns are voiced, and the process progresses.  In the mean time, there are still several straws of semen available from several UK rams that were collected a few years ago.  It was a consensus on the board that in their flocks, they still have plenty of genetic diversity to take advantage of while waiting for the new semen to be released for shipment to the US.  Interested breeders can contact any board member for information on procuring straws from the currently available rams.

A list of fiber festivals and sheep publications where BLU has advertised in the past was discussed.  There is room in the budget for more advertising, so members are encouraged to approach the board with events they attend as exhibitors or vendors.  A llama group which is meeting in Ohio in August has requested that BLU provide a speaker to present our marketing program.  Margaret VanCamp has volunteered to speak at this event.  This is a great opportunity to reach out to other fiber producers which we have not worked with in the past.

The 2013 election was discussed, and possible solutions to its omission were suggested.  The board will decide on a course of action over the next few weeks.

The contract between BLU and American Sheep Registries, who handles the BFL registry records and issues pedigree forms comes up for renewal in November.  The board discussed, and as there have been no complaints about the work ASR has done in recent years, will likely sign a new agreement later this year.

A special thanks to Robina Koenig for her work in overseeing the 2013 Fiber Testing Program.  The board is pleased that the samples submitted from several flocks all over the US fall within the breed standard, and that we can with certainty provide this information in BLU promotional literature.   A complete report and explanation of the program can be found in a recent post on the BLU website.


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