The Saturday morning seminars will cover a wide range of topics. Dr. Cheryl DeWitt, Dr. Walter Bravo, fiber expert Deb Yeagle and one speaker (yet to be announced), will provide helpful and entertaining programs for everyone who loves Suri Alpacas.
Saturday July 12, 2008
9:30am – 10:15am
“Evaluating Previously Shorn Suri Alpacas ”
We all recognize the beauty and elegance of a suri when it is in full fleece and has never been shorn, but it is not practical, nor healthy, to keep alpacas in full fleece through hot summer months. Once they have been shorn, it is critical for breeders to know how to evaluate the regrowth characteristics of the new fleece when purchasing, selling, or making a breeding decision on a suri. This seminar will teach you key characteristics to look for in the regrowth while learning to recognize positive and negative traits in both the conformation and fleece of the shorn suri. You will also learn about the importance of determining annual fleece characteristics and measurements to help you with your breeding strategy and herd sire selection. Join us for some hands-on experience in looking at shorn fleeces and the alpacas that produced them, and use your new-found knowledge to help you select your suris at the RiverStone Suri Select Auctioneer: Phil Cole.
Patti and her husband, Alan, have owned and operated Wild Rose Suri Ranch in Havre de Grace, MD since 1995. They have specialized in breeding top quality suris of traceable Peruvian lineage and have won many championships and awards in the show ring during their 13 years in the industry. Wild Rose Suri Ranch is now the home of over 100 Peruvian Suri alpacas of all colors, and focuses on the production of high luster breeding stock. Four years ago, Patti traded her 25 years as a global Business Director in the chemical industry for the full-time excitement and challenge of the alpaca industry. As a fervent believer in the alpaca fiber industry, Patti has participated in and promoted alpaca fleece shows. Patti was instrumental in proposing and gaining support for the “Previously Shorn” yearling suri halter class now at all the AOBA Shows, to promote the annual shearing of alpacas for health and to better conform to the needs of fiber processing. Patti has taught numerous seminars on alpaca care, selection, and fiber, including the latest seminar focusing exclusively on the suri, “The Suri Advantage – A Seminar for New Buyers and Breeders”.
10:30am – 11:15am
Dr. Cheryl W. DeWitt, DVM
“Reproductive Challenges and Management”
Dr. Cheryl DeWitt is the co-owner of Camelid Veterinary Services and resident veterinarian at Llama Nation farm in Bluffton, Ohio. An award winning graphic designer turned veterinarian, she attended North Carolina State University for graduate studies, and then relocated to Ohio to work in camelid medicine with Dr. Toni Cotton. She and her husband Eric (“Llamafeeder”) have worked with and owned camelids for over 12 years.
In 2006, Cheryl purchased camelid Veterinary Services with P. Walter Bravo, DVM who literally “wrote the book” on camelid reproductive care.
Cheryl has taught neonatal clinics all around the United States, and has participated in several research trips to the Peruvian Altiplano. In 2007 she participated in a research trip working with vicuña at La Raya research station in Peru and also earned a Camelidynamics Handler Seal from Marty McGee Bennett. This year she has taught seminars in Texas, Virginia Tech, Ohio, Michigan, and recently returned from a University Of Massachusetts sponsored trip to Peru that focused on camelid health and humanitarian aid to the people of the Peruvian Altiplano.
In 2008 she has also lectured at The Ohio State University Camelid Conference, The Indiana Invitational, and upcoming events include the University Of Massachusetts, Ősterlen Alpaka in Sweden, as well as many private clinics at alpaca farms around the nation.
11:30am – 12:15pm
“In the Judges’ Eye”
What to look for in Suri fleece, in the ring and for investment.
Deb Yeagle has been in the fiber industry for the past 30 years. She first raised Jacob Sheep, served on the first board of directors for that breed and helped develop the breed standard. During that time she became a proficient spinner and fiber artist. She then started raising Shetland Sheep also, which led to the first guard llama, Thunder Heart, affectionately known as Willy. From one llama to ten in the first year and leading to a herd of 80. During that period she actively showed llamas and became a llama judge, as well as an alpaca halter and llama and alpaca fleece judge for the Alpaca Llama Show Association. Having a degree in Art Ed from BGSU and a love of fleece, weaving and so on. She instructed many classes and recently offered instruction at the Farm Park for their Fiberfest in June of this year. At present, she and her husband, Don, own 40 alpacas and 12 llamas. They have both suri and huacayas, and when Deb is not teaching middle school you can find her in the barn with her camalids.