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TOPIC: How to improve the AFA

How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 02:16 #1

  • anvilsteve
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You guys that log on regulary are very good at helping each other with forging, shoeing, tooling ideas, etc. And you do it in a non confrontational way that is ever so helpful. As a new BOD member, I would like to hear from you. I have been taking notes from the other recent threads, which I will present at the board meeting. Lets use this thread to express positive ideas that are realistic, so that we can make the improvements that you desire. I will voice your opinions to the BOD in an organized manner.

Thank you,

Steve Kraus, CJF, AFA BOD
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 02:24 #2

  • George Geist
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Like your style Steve,
You'll be a good officer. I got some suggestions but I'll hold off for now and let the members talk. Hopefully this wont get derailed and become another certification argument. For some reason whenever the subject of the AFA comes up it always degenerates into that:rolleyes:

I'll hope this one is more productive.
George
For another fun place to play........
www.horseshoersforum.invisionzone.com
Come over and say hello.
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 02:41 #3

  • Derin Foor
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Hi Steve,

Good thread. My suggestion would be to have the 'e-mail network' that is now set up after regionalizing the AFA, to be actually used. Instead of once a month getting a reminder that it exists and 'here is your password', how about a short note from the 3 board members for each region to say hey, this is what's happening in the AFA, and remind folks in that region about anything that might be happening in their area.

My $.02

Derin
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 02:51 #4

How about:
Posting Photos of Passing Shoe Boards,
on the AFA website.
With nice large 600x600 picsal Photos.
Bradley SaintJohn

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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 02:58 #5

Hi Steve,

I think one of the big things is we want to hear from the AFA. The website is dead, no magazine, the last newsletter was 4 months ago. If I remember correctly we're supposed to be getting a magazine one month and newsletter the next so there is a constant flow of information to the membership. No information makes it look like there is something to hide.

Have you seen Fran Jurga's Hoofblog? Fran updates it every couple of days with hoofcare related news. Something like that with AFA news would probably work to help keep the membership informed about what's going on with the AFA.

I get something in the mail from WCB every couple of weeks. It's just a page or two of general information about what's going on.

The radio silence from the AFA big wigs makes it look like they up to no good even if they aren't.

The rumors are the only news we get, and all the news is bad.
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 03:11 #6

Steve, I think starting a thread like this is an improvement.

My gut tells me the day will come when a farrier needs to be a certified member of a reputable organization, one primary reason is insurance. For example Markel Insurance does ask if your a member of the AFA or local farrier organizations. I assume this is part of risk evaluation.

Natural Balance Certification may be appealing to some horse owners, however I do not see where it would carry any weight with Markel. Maybe someone sees it differently.

The Guild of Professional Farriers looks like a good option, but I have to be honest, it appears it is virtually non-existent.

The AFA is the largest and most organized group of farriers in the US.

Just my opinion, maybe others can share their thoughts.

I think this would be a good selling point to attract new members, however the AFA needs to improve communications.

Thank you.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it." Albert Schweitzer
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 03:54 #7

  • Gary Hill
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My take on this is, that IF they addressed Education first and actually Teach without the intimidation that they do now, they might get back on track? If anyone knows anything about the history of AFA, then they know Walt Taylor wants Farriers Licenced in the USA. First step is to make the certification program work, which ain't happenin! Schools are dumping out "students" that are on the road to failure and it is a money making business. Combine that with the "Daddydidithataways" and the price of shoeing horses is way too low for competant Farriers to make a good living without hearing, "so an so down the road just got out of school and only charges $50 or less to shoe!" Now from the newbies that saturate my area, they ain't concerned about their forging skills because they can buy fronts and hinds at TSC! Their thinking is , IF I can shoe 10 horses aday at $50 ahead, I made $500 bucks aday! We all know that rate will not hold up because 10 aday will kill you quick and your work will suffer and so you will end up loosing those clients due to sloppy work! When I ask some of them to come join in at my place for a little hammer in, they don't care about building shoes, because they have them all ready to hang on cold. I spent the day at one of my Trainers today, and I asked him about a roan gelding that was due. He said it went home and I should call the owner, if I wanted to continue shoeing the horse? Its feet were a mess when it came in and I shod the horse twice before it went back, to most likely the same guy that messed his feet up in the first place. He is a member of the AFA and I am not, but he just pays his dues for what? He doesn't even come to the state assn clinic's? He is riding the coat tails of the AFA just because he is a member? What's that all about? Again from what I hear, those that are out there new, I feel really don't understand this business? Heck I have been at it for 30yrs and still learn new things everyday? OK ,so I'm slower that others?
Really, they feel that it is useless going through all that effort? They do have a point because they do the horses that I am not going to go do! If the Gov or anyone else starts regulating things then we all know it will go to "H ell and a handbag" in a hurry! If you can get them to clinic's, where the point of the clinic is Education and not just how to shoe to the" standard", it might just bait them in and stir interest and not intimidation? Just my Two Cents.
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 04:43 #8

I think that we should try and educate the horse owner more about the AFA. The article in Americas Horse magazine was a great start. I have never had anyone ask me if I was certified until that article was printed. I had at least 5 people ask me about certifcation the week it came out and I don't shoe that many AQHA horses. Maby we can get other horse publications to do the same sort of article. I would be glad to help. Keep up the good work.


Steve Sermersheim CJF AFA #6617
Steve Sermersheim CJF
middleforkforge.com
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 05:26 #9

  • BS-Horseshoeing
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Steve Ser wrote:
I think that we should try and educate the horse owner more about the AFA. The article in Americas Horse magazine was a great start. I have never had anyone ask me if I was certified until that article was printed. I had at least 5 people ask me about certifcation the week it came out and I don't shoe that many AQHA horses. Maby we can get other horse publications to do the same sort of article. I would be glad to help. Keep up the good work.


Steve Sermersheim CJF AFA #6617

Steve, I'm with you on this. I have been asking for a couple of years why we don't have articles in the QH journal since we are supposedly corporate partners with them. So many magazines we could put articles in and so many guys who could write them and we are missing out.

Also the AQHA has the regional kind of play days all over the country that last over a weekend and only one time have I ever seen or heard of a AFA farrier being at one to answer questions and give demo's. This is a great opportunity we have been missing if what we feel we need to do is educate owners. There are hundreds if not thousands of owners at these combined events. Educate the owners is the cry, but it seems to be being ignored, why is something so glaringly obvious, right in front of us, is not being used. Stepping down now.
Ben Sturman
AFA CF #7558

Tough times never last, but tough people do!

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity, one lick and you will suck for ever!

Folks who think traditional farriery means perimeter fit don't know a heluva lot about shoeing. Tom Stovall,...
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 10:24 #10

Steve,


How about making the CJF mean something to horse owners? Just about every horse owner knows who Pete Ramey, Ralph Casey and Gene Ovinicek are, but why don't they know who they're local CJF's are? One word: PROMOTION.

For years the AFA said it was up to it's members to promote the organization and not the other way around. I strongly disagree. An association should work for it's members just as much as it's members work for it. The AFA's reputation currently is it's a group of competition farriers who only see one way to shoe a horse. I think the AFA needs to promote its diversity in education to the horse owning public. It shold promote its certification programs to the owners as much to the farriers. Make an AFA Certification mean something and not just a personal accomplishment for the individual farrier achieving it.


Dianne Lemmon CJF #2495
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 11:48 #11

  • anvilsteve
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Wow-I started this thread last night, just before our power went out in a wind storm. This morning there is a whole bunch of constructive replies!! Even from people who usually get on my case.

KEEP IT COMING!!

Steve Kraus,
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 12:08 #12

  • Mike Ferrara
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Dianne Lemmon wrote:
Steve,


How about making the CJF mean something to horse owners? Just about every horse owner knows who Pete Ramey, Ralph Casey and Gene Ovinicek are, but why don't they know who they're local CJF's are? One word: PROMOTION.

I don't know, most of my main clients (barn managers or trainers) know about the AFA and certification. They just don't care because they haven't seen that a certified farrier can fill their need any better than anybody else can.

On the same note, I doubt that many of them know who Pete Ramey or Gene Ovinicek is either and niether the barefoot thing nor NB are much of a factor.

It would take more than marketing to impress anybody other than maybe a few novice owners.
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 12:22 #13

  • Jaye Perry
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Dianne Lemmon-Steve,
How about making the CJF mean something to horse owners? Just about every horse owner knows who Pete Ramey, Ralph Casey and Gene Ovinicek are, but why don't they know who they're local CJF's are? One word: PROMOTION.
For years the AFA said it was up to it's members to promote the organization ...........


From the Shoe God:

http://s150.photobucket.com/player.swf?refURL=/&file=http://vid150.photobucket.com/albums/s120/ferrous2007/shoe%2520god/shoegodgump.flv&fs=1&os=1&ap=1
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 12:51 #14

  • JimBondra
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Gary Hill,
I think that Steve was hoping for constructive suggestions. Yours is perhaps the most negative rambling I have read in a long time:eek: Maybe your having a bad day but, I don't think it would be the AFA's fault if your truck didn't start this morning:D
Jim Bondra CJF
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RE:How to improve the AFA 02 Apr 2008 12:57 #15

  • Guy_Buck
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Steve, Thanks for the effort. I have seen several accounts of the current membership, most agree that it's in the 2500 range, until we can establish a larger footprint I'm not sure the general public will care. I believe that a membership/education drive would be money well spent. If there is a gathering of Farriers anywhere, the AFA should be there, promoting and educating.
While I'm at it, the website has to be funnel of information for Farriers and owners, we are in the internet age and anything less is unacceptable. I check daily in hopes that some new information is posted, I'm sure most farriers would like to get updates there instead of on this forum.
I will admit that the magazine was nice, but we seem to be having no luck in this arena, why not mend fences and go with an established publication, and concentrate on a good newsletter.

Guy Buck
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