2015 Election Results

The BLU board election is completed. Our new Vice President is Joan Chapin of Indiana. Heather Landin was re-elected to her second term on the board. Elected to her first term is Carol Densmore of Michigan. Please join me in congratulating them. The first board meeting of 2016 is scheduled for January 6th at 7PM EST. Please contact any board member if you have an item for the agenda.

Candidate Bios for BLU election

Ballots will be mailed out the 1st of November, and are due back to the election chairperson by December 1st. Ballots will be mailed to all active members as of October 1st. Here are the candidates:

1 CANDIDATE FOR VICE-PRESIDENT
Joan R. Chapin – Atlanta, IN
(formerly of CT and Milton, NH)
I would be pleased to serve on the Board of Directors of the Bluefaced Leicester Union of North America.
After 35 years of shepherding, I developed a spinners’ flock of Bluefaced Leicesters (with a few Border Leicester crosses), and my passion for sheep and fiber arts has only grown. In 1984 I was working Federal Crop Insurance field assessments as a summer job, when the Farmer at Connecticut Junior Republic handed me a pair of bottle lambs, gifting me and my children with their first sheep. That started my children participating in 4-H before they were eligible. They attended the Vocational Agriculture supplement in high school, were active in FFA, and in County 4-H. One of my children and his family now keep a flock of Romneys, my granddaughter has a small flock of —wait for it — Bluefaced Leicesters!
I have been a leader in 4-H, a breed secretary for a few years for the New England Youth Show, and clerked the junior show ring. I have been vendor co-chair for the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival, managing approximately 100 vendors, for several years before moving lately to Indiana with 4 Bluefaced ewes and 2 ewe lambs. (Oh, and Great Pyrenees guard dogs – brother and sister.)
I am retired from public education after 30 years as a school psychologist. I have always had a deep commitment to personal development of youth. As with my own children, I believe that sheep ownership is the perfect venue for a growing sense of responsibility, developing work ethic, and for maturing social interactions. The youth community active in raising and showing sheep is a good environment to learn animal husbandry and to learn to help others. And the role models and mentors are not bad either

2 CANDIDATES FOR BOARD POSITIONS
Carol Densmore – Webberville MI

Greetings! I’m Carol Densmore and together with my husband, Steve, operate Cross Wind Farm. We primarily raise Bluefaced Leicesters and Lincolns. The BFL breed was the first sheep we started with and remains my favorite. Our farm is located in an agricultural community in the central part of Michigan. We raise our sheep for breeding stock and wool.
After growing up in farm country on opposite sides of the state Steve and I continue our life long desire to farm and raise livestock. Steve has many years of livestock experience, having grown up on a dairy farm; and I grew up on a farm that raised pigs and chickens, boarded horses, and chased cattle from the adjacent farm.
After owning a herd of alpacas raising sheep was a natural choice because of my insatiable love of fiber and the fiber arts. As a master spinner (Olds College, Alberta, Canada) I teach all aspects of spinning and working with wool as well as judge for handspun skein competitions and wool shows. I shear all of our sheep myself and stay up close and personal to the wool as it grows.
The approach at Cross Wind Farm is to breed our sheep for wool, conformation, and disposition. They are bred for soundness and manageability, while producing a beautiful, marketable fleece. Ewe lambs that we retain as replacements are not bred until they are yearlings. Our goal is to keep select ewes even after their breeding
career so they can grow fleece without the stress of pregnancy and lambing. Our rams are selected for fleece characteristics and temperament.
If elected, I will diligently work to contribute to the Bluefaced Leicester Union’s mission and its events and activities. I’ve always been a vocal spokesperson for the Bluefaced Leicesters and am passionate about educating others and gaining support for the breed.

Heather Landin – Baldwin, WI
I’m running for my second term on the BLU board. As a board member I have been maintaining the files for imported BFL rams as well as assisting in other activities. My daughter and I have a flock of approximately 80 BFLs on our farm in west central Wisconsin and are working on maintain and collecting for storage a number of different bloodlines. We have been members of BLU since 2007.
I am a fiber artist and working with BFLs to maximize their potential as productive wool sheep that can also deliver an excellent crossing carcass is out flock goal. My other life as an engineer and clinical researcher has led me to focus on sheep health. We have an OPP/CL tested flock and have done a great deal of research into good herd health practices which we try to share as much as possible.
I’ve learned a lot about how the board functions to promote the breed during my first term and would like to take advantage of that to continue to help promoting the BFL breed and making the next national show happen next summer. I hope you’ll agree and vote me in for a second term.

2015 Election Approaches

Deadline to submit resumes to run for Vice-President or 2 board positions is OCTOBER 25th ***
Send resume to BLU breed secretary at 44011 County Rd 23, Coshocton, OH 43812, or email to info@bflsheep.com

Timeline for Election:

October 25th – Last day to receive resumes for candidacies. Resumes will be posted on the BLU website during the election.
Nov. 1st – Election Supervisor will mail ballots to all BLU full members as of October 1, 2015.
Dec. 1st – Deadline for ballots to be returned to Election Supervisor.
Dec. 5th – Election Supervisor will count ballots and report to BLU president.
Dec. 6th – President to contact all candidates with results, and post on website.

***Check by-laws for eligibility rules and position descriptions

President’s notes on Board meeting held August 6, 2014

The board met by teleconference the evening of Wednesday, August 6th. The treasurer submitted the financial reports for the year to date through June 2014, and the board approved it. You will find the report posted to the BLU website. The treasurer reported that our current bank, Bank of America, has been purchased by Huntington Bank.
Kris Barndt presented the minutes from the previous meeting in February. They were approved as written.

The 2014 BFL National show committee representative, Margaret VanCamp, reported on final preparations for the event. The sheep show, which has 62 entries, is at the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan, MI on Saturday, August 16th. The festival runs from the 15th to the 17th. There is also a fleece and a skein competition. BLU has some special educational sessions planned during the festival. Information on the event is posted on the BLU website and Facebook pages. There will be a banquet on Saturday evening, and all BLU members will be able to sell items at the BLU display booth in the sheep barn during the festival.

The genetics taskforce reported that there has been no contact from USDA since the last meeting. At that time, the USDA official stated that an agreement on protocol to allow importation of ovine semen from the UK to the US was imminent. The protocol for bovine semen has long since been adopted. Since this still has not happened for sheep producers, BLU now takes the position of contacting our US representatives to ask for help in moving the process along. Members are also encouraged to push their state and local sheep organizations to press for the protocol to be adopted so that semen can once again be imported from the UK.

The upcoming 2014 election was discussed, and the schedule of deadlines reviewed. The positions of president, as well as that of 3 board positions are up for election, with all 4 current members being term limited out of office. Annette Boose has agreed to be the election supervisor again this year, and will be handing the printing, mailing, and counting of ballots. Please consider running for the board. A postcard with a call for resumes as well as the schedule of the election will be mailed out in the next few weeks. The deadline to submit a resume will be October 25th.

ASR, our registrar, had sent a letter to the board, requesting input on suggestions to improve their registry software, since they are working on an upgrade of their system. Several ideas, including an online searchable database, and the ability to register sheep online were discussed. Lisa will email all the suggestions to ASR. The deadline to comment is August 15th and members are encouraged to send suggestions to Lisa to forward to ASR. Our current contract with ASR is up for renewal in November of this year.

Since our current secretary will be leaving office, and our current treasurer has expressed the desire to resign, the board has appointed Lisa Rodenfels as the new secretary/treasurer. She will assume these responsibilities as of January 1, 2015. This position is not a board position, and serves at the pleasure of the board. It is reappointed each year. Lisa will be working with our current secretary and treasurer to make the transition as smooth as possible.

The board welcomes comments and concerns from members. Please contact any board member to have your issue addressed during quarterly meetings. The next scheduled meeting of the board is in midOctober.

Candidates for BLU Election 2012

For President:

LISA RODENFELS, CALDWELL, OH

My husband, Chuck, and I have been shepherds for more than 25 years. Somerhill Farm comprises 164 acres in Noble County, Ohio, where we raise 50 head of registered Bluefaced Leicester sheep. We bought our first BFL ram in 1991, and have been breeding purebreds since 1995. Somerhill Farm is a founding member of BLU.
I am a past board member of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, and served 13 years on the Ohio Lamb and Wool Board. I have served as president of the Ohio Cheviot Breeders Association, and was instrumental in the establishment of that group’s very successful annual bred ewe award to an Ohio youth.

BFLs have been my passion since 1991. Our first was purchased as a crossing sire on our Cheviot flock, and I still feel strongly that the BFL can fill its important niche in the grassfed lamb market in this country. And besides its traditional role as the sire of the mule for commercial lamb production, I believe the BFL is positioned to become the producer of premier wool for the large handspinning market in this country.
The first 3 years serving on the new BLU board have been challenging and rewarding.  I feel that our board has accomplished so much in this time; adopting bylaws for the association, establishing a website and keeping it fresh and up to date with lots of interesting articles, expanding on the advertising we do in national and local magazines and show catalogs. We’ve redesigned brochures and created banners for members to use at events to advertise BFLs.   I would really like a second term to continue working to improve our association and if re-elected, look forward to serving such a great group of people.

3 Candidates for general board positions:

KRISTEN BARNDT, FRISCO, TX

Greetings from Reveille! My name is Kristen Barndt. I’m originally from the eastern side ofRochester,NY. My husband Karl and I lived in northeast PA for 16 years, and now we live inFrisco,Texas. I have a BS in Fine Art, and my interest in history and arts and crafts led me to learn to spin and weave (I took a weaving course in college). As I was learning to spin, I knew that owning sheep wasn’t far behind. After becoming interested in and then raising BFLs, I can honestly say that I love this breed… it’s my favorite!

Current BLU Involvement/Goals:

I have been a member of BLU since January 2005, and have worked in some capacity for BLU since 2005. I was the BLU Flock Book Editor (although we are now rethinking the Flock Book format). I have been the Secretary since the incorporation/reorganization of BLU. I have also worked as BLU Librarian (to archive articles, books, flock books, and other information), and I help with development and maintenance of the new website.

I have offered to stay on as Secretary for BLU. If so, I hope to serve BLU and its Members in any way I am capable, to continue promoting the breed, and to always help others by education, sharing information, and/or support. It’s been wonderful working with the new Board; I think our goals are all the same… continue to make BLU better each year, do more for our membership, and of course promote our favorite breed.

I think the Bluefaced Leicester “does what it does best” whether you are using it for beautiful fiber, market lambs, commercial cross ewes, carcass improvement, fleece improvement, or in a purebred breeding program. I hope we can maintain the breed as a “well balanced” stylish sheep, with excellent conformation, temperament, soundness, and utility (including fleece). We should not lose sight of its traditional purpose, and those unique genetic qualities that were developed in it for that purpose, but the BFL can also serve so well in a variety of areas, which may be one of its greatest appeals… to adults and youth alike.

Related Experience:

Experience in various animal-related organizations for over 20 years, serving as secretary, general board member, planning committee member, and/or newsletter designer/editor. I was involved in the planning of the First National BFL Show (Rhinebeck,NY, 2007), the Bucks County Horse Park Driving Show (helped develop the show, served as Show Manager), and other fun riding and driving shows… including judging.

Current Employment:
Farm & Livestock Manager, Heritage Farmstead Museum, Plano, Texas. Besides livestock care, grounds management and event set-up, I also assist in tours, educational programs, and create some outdoor exhibits. You can often find me demonstrating to the public at special events by hand carding and spinning wool on a Great Wheel, and talking about the history of sheep and fiber arts.

 Thank you for considering me!

ROBINA KOENIG, BEND OR

Bleatings All,  My name is Robina Koenig, owner and shepherd of Tumble Creek Farm in Bend, Oregon. I’ve been raising purebred Bluefaced Leicesters for 12 years; sheep for 14 years. I would like to be considered for another term as a BLU board member, to continue representing our dynamic membership.

The Bluefaced Leicester is a wonderful breed that I’ve been sharing with other producers, encouraging new breeders and introducing to the public since I acquired my first ram in 2001. Promotion of the breed has been my main focus at the west coast shows, “Black Sheep Gathering” and “Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival,” where we’ve seen tremendous interest in both the sheep and their fiber.

We (BLU) have sponsored four National Shows to date and I’ve been fortunate in being able to attend each one. I showed when possible, but always embraced the opportunity to meet other breeders and learn from them.

The Board has been working on some excellent ideas and I’ve enjoyed being a part of the team. I hope you will favorably consider my application for another term. Thank you all.

JOLENE VEZZETTI, PERKASIE, PA

Fellow BLU Members,

I have enjoyed being a Board member for the past few years and would be honored to serve another term.

I have been actively involved with BLU for the past 10 years. This involvement has included showing our sheep at local and national shows, representing the breed at these events with the BLU display, helping to organize a BFL breed show, or participating in a Parade of Breeds.

For the past 4 years, I have been responsible for setting up a display for BLU at both the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival and the Garden State Sheep Festival in New Jersey. I compiled a membership list of all BLU members and their contact information that is distributed at Sheep & Wool Festivals throughout the country.

In 2012 I attended the National Show in Wooster, Ohio and set up the BLU display as well as led a discussion/workshop on Felting with BFL Fiber.

While the show ring is certainly not the only way to promote the BFL, I do feel that it helps to validate that the breed is to be taken seriously, that it is not a fad, and to have it judged on the merits of the breed. I am committed to establishing a BFL breed class at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in the upcoming year, which would be a first for the breed.

When I attend shows throughout the year, I am hearing more and more of the need to have BFL fleeces available for purchase. There is a need for both purebred and cross bred fleeces. I would like to work towards encouraging more breeders to enter fleeces in fleece shows and for fleece sales.

There is much to be excited about as we look to the future of the BFL in America and I look forward to helping take the Bluefaced Leicester to the next level.

Thank you for your support.

Annual Election Approaches

The BLU election is coming in November !
Deadline to submit resumes to run for President or 3 board positions is OCTOBER 25th    ***
Send resume to BLU breed secretary at P.O. Box 2304 Frisco, TX 75034, or email to info@bflsheep.com

Timeline for Election:

October 25th – Last day to receive resumes for candidacies.  Resumes will be posted on the BLU website during the election.
Nov. 1st – Election Supervisor will mail ballots to all BLU full members as of October 1, 2012.  Please check membership list on this website to be certain that your membership has been recorded.
Dec. 1st – Deadline for ballots to be returned to Election Supervisor.
Dec. 5th – Election Supervisor will count ballots and report to BLU president.
Dec. 6th – President to contact all candidates with results, and post on website.

***Check by-laws for eligibility rules and position descriptions

Are you missing from our membership directory?

Just a quick reminder to our membership… if you see that you are “missing” from our online Membership Directory, please renew today and we’ll add you back in!

Your membership is vital to BLU, and your visibility here helps people locate BFL breeders in their area… so it means business for you!

Plus, you need to be a member in order to vote in or run for office in our upcoming election.

President’s notes on Board meeting held June 12, 2012

The board met by teleconference the evening of Tuesday, June 12th. Our new treasurer, Cindy Cieciwa, reported that a new checking account has been opened, and submitted a treasurer’s report for the period of January to May, 2012.
Secretary Kris Barndt presented the minutes from the previous meeting in February. She also reported on her progress with the 2010-11 Flockbook. There is still a bit of work to be done, but she plans to have both years ready to post on the website within a week. She is also working on updating the membership list on the website. There are a few new members, and some of the existing members need their “paid through” date updated.
National Show Chair Robina Koenig led a discussion of the recent national show with the board. A financial report has been submitted, showing a profit of $45.08 from the show. These funds will be set aside to be used toward the expenses of the 2014 show. There was a brief discussion of possible venues for the 2014 show. Show proposals will be due by the January 2013 board meeting, so the membership needs to be reminded to work on these proposals.
The Bylaws & Standards committee chair, Margaret VanCamp had been approached by several members concerning the need to clarify what show category BFLs fall into; medium wool or longwool. After reviewing the existing breed standards, as well as other publications provided by BLU, it was decided that the informational tri-fold flyer available for reprint on the website needs to have the wording from the standards added to the section on wool. In the mean time, members who show BFLs might want to have the breed standards in hand should this question come up at shows where BFLs are entered. The flyer will be corrected as soon as possible.
Jolene Vezzetti, membership chair, reported that she has gotten a list of new members from the secretary and will verify that welcome packets have been mailed to all. After a discussion, it was decided that the treasurer should report paid memberships with the treasurer’s report so that the board will be aware of members status.
The genetics taskforce reported on the progress in getting several new rams that have been collected into the US for our membership’s use. There is a problem with the company that does the collection work that is being looked into by USDA.
The upcoming election was discussed. A postcard reminding members of the schedule of election, as well as requesting resumes for the positions of president, and 3 board members should be mailed out by the end of the month. Annette Boose is willing to handle the mailing and counting of ballots again, and the board agreed that she should continue to do this.
The next scheduled meeting of the board is on August 8th.

BLU Election Results

The board election results are finalized. As reported by our election chairperson, 31 ballots were returned. Vice President Margaret VanCamp won re-election, as did board member Jared Lloyd. Our new board member, replacing Becky Utecht, who did not seek re-election, is Heather Landin. Please join me in congratulating them. The board will be meeting by teleconference in mid-December. All BLU members are encouraged to contact any board member with questions or concerns to bring before the board.