Friday, April 2, 2010

MI-ALPACA Committee Volunteers Needed

I know I have talked about the Michigan Alpaca Livestock Product and Commerce Association (MI-ALPACA) on the blog before, but just wanted to spread the word again. The mission of the Michigan Alpaca Livestock Product and Commerce Association is to advance the alpaca industry in the State of Michigan through the joint effort of alpaca breeders, fiber processors, and commercial producers/sellers of alpaca finished products, Michigan educational institutions and alpaca research organizations for the benefit of the Alpacas and all those involved with their care and their fiber products.
The goals of the Michigan Alpaca Livestock Products and Commerce Association are to:
  • Promote the continuance of a dynamic, growing and profitable alpaca industry in Michigan.
  • Encourage the breeding of the highest quality alpacas.
  • Provide training and education to its members on alpaca management, health and other alpaca husbandry practices.
  • Provide marketing and growth opportunities for the Michigan alpaca industry through shows, public relations events, youth programs, and collaboration with state and local governments and civic organizations.
  • Promote, conduct and/or sponsor programs to educate and inform the public about alpacas and alpaca products.
  • Promote research of alpacas and alpaca fiber at Michigan Universities.
  • Help establish and support a South American Camelid Department within the School of Agriculture at Michigan State University
  • Promote the development of products made of Alpaca fiber.
  • Encourage social interaction of members.
Noah and I were both elected to the board of directors back in January and are working to help get the association up and running. If you are not already a member, I highly encourage you to sign up! It is only $35.00 to become a voting member and you receive great discounts on the seminars offered. Check out for more information. While the association is still in its infancy, I believe it will really accomplish some great things for alpaca breeders and the industry in Michigan! Already in 2010, the board has been elected and officers chosen, the annual meeting has been held, the by-laws have been revised per AOBA's requirements, a logo has been created and a Marketing Seminar has been offered. The board is currently in the process of getting a newsletter out the members, is awaiting approval from AOBA on our affiliate status, will be sponsoring the Michigan Alpaca Breeders Show in Davisburg (look for our booth there), updating our website, and forming committees.

I am the Committees Chairman for the association and am currently working to recruit committee members. Committee members would meet regularly (most likely by phone conference since everyone is spread all over Michigan). Once there are enough people sitting on each committee, members would be asked to create a mission statement, vision statement, and 2010 goals for that committee. I know everyone is busy this time of year with spring cleaning, shows and new cria, but we need volunteers to help make the association a success. Not only will volunteering for a committee help progress the alpaca industry in Michigan, it is also a great way to network with other alpaca people across the state! Please let me know if you would be interested in participating in any of the following committees:


Industry Networking Committee

· Network with AOBA

· Network with other affiliates

· Network with informal alpaca groups

· Network with other Michigan Agricultural Organizations

· Network with other natural fiber industries

· Network with local Universities with textile/fiber/fashion curriculum

Website Committee

· Researches relevant information for the website

· Member email blasts

· IT support

· Maintain website (webmaster)

Membership Committee

· Recruit members

· Maintain membership list

· Be responsible for making sure members pay their membership fees

· Evaluate members needs

· Fundraising

Election Committee

· Election nominations

· Organize and run elections

Education Committee

· Seminars (work with other committees to provide seminars related to each committees topic)

· Create reading resource list

· Create a recommended list of educational websites and other resources

Events Committee

· Shows

· Festivals/Fairs

· Auctions and Pen Sales

· Other Events

Fiber Committee

· Research cost effective ways to process Michigan alpaca fiber

· Processing and new product opportunities

· Network with local fiber mills

· Network with local Universities with textile/fiber/fashion curriculums

· Create a fiber co-op

· Create a directory of local fiber processors

· Create a list of fiber fairs and festivals

· Participate in fiber fairs and festivals

Marketing/Advertising Committee

· Create and sell logoed products (pens, bumper stickers, shirts, hats etc.)

· Press releases

· Organize advertisements online, in magazines and through local television and radio

· Create signage

· Find Michigan events to sponsor or advertise at

· Create and distribute MI-ALPACA literature and brochures

Medical Committee

· Liaison with MSU

· Advocate for more alpaca education at MSU

· Health and preventative maintenance

· Create a directory of veterinarians who work with alpacas in Michigan

Michigan Resource Committee

· Create a directory of hay resources

· Network with feed mills to create cost effective pellet and mineral supplements

· Network with other Michigan Farm Co-Ops

· Network with MSU School of Agriculture

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