Chief Shepherd's Message

New Fees

The meetings were held in conjunction with the Annual finnsheep sale. A number of items were covered by both meetings and the minutes are published in this edition of Short Tales. While only a very small number attended the AGM other members forwarded written comment which was included in discussion. I thank those breeders for taking time to submit their views on the various Over June 18-19, 1999 the FBA held the Annual General Meeting (AGM) followed by a Directors meetingagenda items.

Two directors, Clifford Hatch and Linda Witt retired from the Board and the AGM elected Sandra DeMaster and Lonnie Cook to fill these vacancies. On behalf of the FBA I thank Clifford and Linda for their time and support of the Board, and welcome Sandra and Lonnie to the Board.

A number of issues were discussed at the AGM including:

the breed standard where the consensus was not to change it at this time;

the treasurers report which was referred to the Directors meeting;

the questionnaire which provided good feed back on issues facing the FBA;

registration transfers - referred to the Directors meeting, and

it was decided to offer the combined Shepherd advertisement again next year.

After re-electing the current slate of officers for another year the Directors meeting focused on our financial situation. Discussion centered on how to maintain sufficient revenue to cover our operating expenses. A new regime of fees was agreed upon, effective 01/01/00 and is published in this edition of Short Tales. In short it includes an annual dues, directory listing fee and to address concerns that some breeders tardily process transfer papers, a late transfer fee.

The returned questionnaires were read by Board members who expressed their appreciation for the time and work Elizabeth Luke put in to producing the questionnaire. The Directors present concluded it had been a worthwhile exercise providing good feed back on health issues, not changing the breed standard not supporting showing and updating the logo. In addressing the health issues Dr. Hunter agreed to head a committee aimed at formulating a health standard for use by breeders on a voluntary basis. (It is interesting to note that health issues are a high priority in the federal governments assistance package announced as a result of the recent 201 action by the sheep industry). More will be published on this in due course. Noting discussion on the breed standard at the AGM the Directors decided not to change the breed standard at this time nor change the policy on showing. As for the logo it was agreed to canvass membership with the aim of deciding the future logo at the next meeting. Any ideas on updating the logo would be appreciated.

For the past year our administration has been undertaken by Elizabeth Luke as Secretary and Sandra DeMaster, Treasurer. On behalf of the Board I thank both members for their work and support of the FBA. Both have agreed to continue with their respective roles for the ensuing year. Harry Koenig has been editor of Shirt tails for the last twelve months producing an outstanding newsletter. On behalf of the FBA I thank Harry for the extended hours of labor and effort necessary to produce such a high quality publication. Harry has retired and Grace Hatton has kindly agreed to take over production of Shirt tails.

While the national sale only attracted ten entries it was moderately successful with eight of the ten head being sold (sale results separate). However, breeders in attendance were surprised at the number of inquiries and level of interest displayed in the Finnsheep pens. Much interest came from commercial lamb growers who had 'crunched the numbers' and concluded they were better off with a flock that was prolific rather than one that grew big single lambs, suggesting the market was not for huge cuts of meat but rather tender succulent lamb of average size. From a public relations point of view the sale was very successful in spreading the Finnsheep word to the mid-west.

With so few entries in this years national Finnsheep sale the Board discussed the future of the national sale. While Banner Sales had effectively handled the publicity and sale the meeting concluded that unless there are more entries the annual sale is rather redundant and decided not to hold a national sale in 2000. Instead the meeting agreed to sponsor a display including individual breeder stands at the WI Shepherd's symposium mid next year. The AGM and directors meeting will be held at the same time. More details will be published closer to the time.

In conclusion, I want to mention that our membership numbers are increasing gradually . On behalf of the FBA I extend a warm welcome to those breeders who have become new members and look forward to your active participation in our organization where the focus is on producing high quality, healthy Finnsheep.

With Fall just around the corner I hope you preparations for breeding and the winter ahead are progressing well and happy shepherding as we enter the new millennium.