A Great Yarn
by Jeanette Campbell
When the organizers of the 2013 Midwest Weavers Conference to be held in Emporia, Kansas, decided to ask Sally Brandon of the Shepherd’s Mill to create a special conference yarn, the link between fiber artists and alpaca health care was created.
Sally just knew that the yarn would have to be alpaca and with the support of many Kansas alpaca producers who contributed fiber, she created two different yarns to represent the conference theme of ‘Prairie Winds’. The natural alpaca was blended with dyed fine merino to create the beautiful golden colors of wheat ready for harvest -‘Golden Wheat’ - and the blues of the ever changing Kansas skies -‘Summer Skies.’
The yarn is featured in one of the categories for individual exhibits at the conference and already fiber artists from all over the Midwest who plan to attend are stocking up on yarn and roving for their weaving, spinning, felting and knitting creations.
Although many will not realize it, these fiber artists are contributing to the Mid America Alpaca Foundation with each purchase, as Sally is donating a percentage of sales to the Foundation. Sally has been a long time supporter of the Foundation, processing yarn from the Teaching Herd at Kansas State University and weaving beautiful scarves and throws which she donated as silent auction items at local alpaca shows.
The Foundation would like to thank Sally and all the fiber artists who will be contributing to our programs to improve the health care of alpacas.
The Foundation has entered into a joint project with Marty McGee Bennett.
This partnership will provide two of Marty's dvd's on handling techniques and her book, The Camelid Companion to every Small Ruminant Club in America.
All twenty seven veterinary colleges have been included as we feel these resources have a powerful impact on veterinary students.
Marty's contribution to this program stands as one of the largest single gifts to the Foundation. If you own alpacas; thank Marty for her generosity and dedication to better health care through veterinary education.
Veterinary Student Alpaca Externships
The MAAF Student Externship Fund provides scholarship funding to second and third year vet students at Kansas State, University of Missouri, Texas A&M University, University of Illinois, Iowa State University, University of Tennessee and Oklahoma State University. These funds allow camelid focused students to expand their knowledge at different venues.
Although not a Foundation projects MOPACA has also sponsored scholarships at University of Missouri, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and University of Illinois for those second and third year students who have exhibited special interest in Camelids.
These scholarships are designed to encourage and introduce veterinary students to the care and treatment of camelids during their college experience. These students are the future of alpacas health care.
Practicing Veterinary Continuing Education
The MAAF Continuing Education Fund is an on line education program established to enhance alpaca knowledge for practicing veterinarians. Now completed, this program allows veterinarians veterinarians in all fifty states to acquire accredited continuing education credits. This computer based program allows veterinarians, vet techs and alpaca owners to access programs anywhere there is a computer; any place in the world. The program content is being developed by Kansas State, Oklahoma State University the University of Missouri as well as guest contributors. This program is now available at www.vet.k-state.edu/CE/camelid/camelid.htm. The content developed over the next five years could include as many as sixty hours of core lectures.