The BLU board met for its organizational teleconference meeting on January 17th at 6PM EST. All board members were in attendance, including newly elected VP Meredith Myers-Null of MD as well as board members Katie Sullivan of VT and Shellie Ross of FL. President Margaret VanCamp welcomed them to the board, and also recognized outgoing members Joan Chapin, Carol Densmore, and Heather Landin for their time and service to BLU.
Sect/Treas Lisa Rodenfels gave the treasurer’s report. The current balance is $10,117.43, with a net gain of $716.27 for the year 2017.
In the secretary’s report, Lisa told the board that she she is working on a postcard to remind members to pay their 2018 dues. There are currently 106 members, up from 98 in 2016. There were 383 registrations and 235 transfers made in 2017.
Next were the committee reports. President Margaret VanCamp appointed Kat Bierkens to the Youth Committee Chair. She will begin working on an online survey for our youth to answer, since the mailed survey did not net results.
Shellie Ross is the new Bylaws/Standards chair. She will work on a draft to improve the current breed standards to include line drawings showing examples of good and poor conformation, as well as showing desirable breed specific characteristics. This draft will be presented to the board at a later time.
Katie Sullivan is the new Media chairperson. She will work on providing articles and photos to media to better promote our breed.
Margaret will take over as the Genetics Taskforce chairperson.
The National Show Committee chair, Karen Szewc, began a discussion on plans and ideas for the show during the Black Sheep Gathering on June 29th. There are 2 hotels on the fair grounds, but they do not accept blocked rooms, so it is first come, first served. The festival committee will allow us to have whatever classes we’d like. They provide ribbons, and Karen is arranging for small trophies for all class winners. Would like to get a list of the entries to the show in order to have a program printed. There will be gift bags for all exhibitors, and a banquet is planned. There will be an auction at the banquet, and it will be open to all people interested in BFLs, not just BLU members. There has been an ad running in the Black Sheep Newsletter for the past 4 quarters, and a full page ad is planned for the spring edition. She would like to donate a basket to the BSG with BFL fiber in it. There will be classes in the wool contest for BFL fleeces. Lisa will keep the website and FB page up to date with information as it becomes available. A sponsorship level was set at $50.
New business included the upcoming Maryland Sheep & Wool festival. A yearling ewe is needed for the Youth Conservation Program to be donated during the festival. Meredith Myers-Null will provide a ewe for the breed display. The board voted to add a $50 cash award to the top placing BFL fleece there.
It was also decided to have a contest for the most new memberships sponsored by existing members. BLU has always recommended buying a membership for youth members and breeding stock buyers, and would like to encourage BLU members to do this for their customers.