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TOPIC: The AFA and the truth.....

The AFA and the truth..... 07 Apr 2008 03:13 #1

  • Derin Foor
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I thought I’d start a new thread concerning the recent developments within the AFA. One that would cut to the chase instead of the he said, she said posts that have occurred here lately. I have read and re-read all of the posts, opinions, and assertions made by members and non-members alike and it boils down to this: What really happened? And how do we keep it from happening again?

Somewhere there’s an underlying problem that isn’t being addressed. Is it just me or should we NOT have had 3 different E.D.’s in such a short time frame? Maybe it’s the total structure of the AFA. I don’t know. I attended last year’s mid-year meeting and it became quite clear to me why it was necessary to scale down from 50+ BOD reps to 15. Now that that is in place, I still haven’t heard anything from my representatives to the board as to what is actually happening within the AFA. This is how the information is supposed to be disseminated to the members and it isn’t happening. Why not?

Here’s my suggestion to the parties involved; post your position as to what has transpired here, for all to see, and let them draw their own conclusions. The AFA membership as a whole is an intelligent group that deserves better than to be treated like mushrooms (you know, kept in the dark and fed ****). Look, if there’s nothing to hide and you stand behind what you said/did, then let’s see some of that transparency we were promised in the last election.

I’ll post this on both the AFA site and horseshoes.com. It would be nice to see a reply on both sites so both members and non-members can read the replies. The floor is yours gentlemen.

Derin Foor, CF
AFA # 7018
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 07 Apr 2008 16:26 #2

Derin, let me be the first to whole heartedly agree with you. Something is clearly amuck in the AFA.! I don't understand the lack of communication to its members. I was hoping this was over and a new page was about to be turned.

To all parties concerned, we the members of the AFA have a right to know all comings and goings. Further, we shouldn't have to wait until the next mid year mtg. If the AFA wants to move forward and strengthen then we MUST be HONEST, TRUTHFUL, and TIMELY.
Jason Sharer, CF
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 07 Apr 2008 21:26 #3

  • Mark_Gough
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I became a member of the AFA because this organization provided a committment to several topics that interested me personally and professionally.

That committment is best summarized in the AFA mission statement and the AFA "five tenets" of "Education, Certification, Communication, Innovation and Research".

While the recent drama within the organizational leadership is interesting, I have personally decided that such events are largely out of scope regarding my membership.

Leadership participation, particularly among volunteer organizations, is a dynamic and resilient aspect of organizational structure. Communication, and the risk of misunderstandings, mis-steps and error, is magnified given the lack of geographic proximity and the diverse idealogues of individuals.

Problems originating within the organization are probably best discussed and managed within the confines of the organizations communication medium rather than aired throughout a more general and broader public that has no vested interest.

In short, regardless the political upheavals within the leadership organization, my personal expectation as a member is continued, longterm committment to the mission and the established tenets. That is what I payed for. That is ultimately the "contract" between myself and the AFA.

Individual members are free to debate and discuss ad nauseum the details of specific, individual leadership failures and offenses. Such is the field and manner of politics.

Personally, I find it comparable to watching reality television. Large quantities of ad-hoc rhetoric, anecdotal evidence of dubious character, excess commercialization and overall, a poor investment of time and energy.

I prefer a position that is more focused on delivery of the mission and the tenets that define the promised deliverables to each member.

In that context, I would argue with anyone that I really don't care what leaders "Billy Bob" and "Peggy Sue" have said or done to each other during a specific meeting or event.

I do care that they ultimately deliver on the AFA promise.

Specifics?


Certification:
An organization certification process and opportunity is available to all members. No complaints.

Education:
Education as a tenet seems to be little more than a recommendation and presumed requirement for certification, not a committment outside the experience offered within competition. Pre-certification clinics are an example of good delivery. So is the annual AFA convention. Sadly, I see little else that is more routinely and readily available. Case in point; examine the AFA educational webpage. There are only three topics available. The magazine, while good to excellent in content, but is sporadic and infrequent in delivery.

Communication:
There appear to be four communication mediums in general use. The AFA website, the No Foot No Horse newsletter, the Pro Farrier magazine and a general email distribution.

The website is the weak link. Although there is quite a bit of information offered, much of the content is relatively static. Low attendance on the websites forum is a testament to the entire sites lack of popularity. Improvement in this area should be a major focus of the AFA leadership.

Innovation:
While there is evidence of historical innovation delivered by the AFA, it is unclear that enough energy is expended by the organization to define this attribute as a tenet. Short of introduction of what is probably one of the earliest, standardized certification processes, I see little innovation delivered. Perhaps I'm not examining the right areas.

Research:
I've identified little or no work in the area of research that would identify the AFA as an organization dedicated to such endeavours. Individual members clearly pursue and, in some cases, even participate in equine farriery research, but I really don't see the AFA involved organizationally. Does the AFA, as a practice, provide funding to research groups? Does the AFA act as a peer review authority in matters of equine research? Are there organized members or committees of the AFA participating in specific research projects? If the answer is yes, I would expect the website to include information relating these topics.

Mission:
"To further the professional development of farriers, to provide leadership and resources for the benefit of the farrier industry, and to improve the welfare of the horse through continuing farrier education".

Is the AFA delivering on this mission statement? Does the AFA deliver on their organizational committment to the five tenets? Those, I believe, are far more relevant and appropriate topics for discussion than the internal political upheaval currently consuming so much attention.

Longterm, it is likely a far more productive discussion to be had.

My 2-cents, and no change coming, from one inconsequential member of the AFA.

Mark
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 07 Apr 2008 21:43 #4

  • Jack Evers
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My 2-cents, and no change coming, from one inconsequential member of the AFA.

Not at all inconsequential, Mark. One of a relatively few on these forums with a positive, forward looking approach. I applaud you and look forward to your posts.
Jack Evers CJF AFA#426

The best things about the good old days -- I wasn't good and I wasn't old.

The older I get, the more horses I shoe, the fewer things that I can absolutely, positively fix.
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 07 Apr 2008 22:04 #5

  • Jaye Perry
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Mark_Gough-I became a member of the AFA because this organization provided a committment to several topics that interested me personally and professionally.

They did.

That committment is best summarized in the AFA mission statement and the AFA "five tenets" of "Education, Certification, Communication, Innovation and Research".

Education- only recent factoid, even sole depth. Savoldi.
Certification- a "standard", definition~~ not of good quality.
Communication- speaks for itself.
Innovation- HUH?
Research- what research?




While the recent drama within the organizational leadership is interesting, I have personally decided that such events are largely out of scope regarding my membership.

Your leaders are out of your scope to cope?





Leadership participation, particularly among volunteer organizations, is a dynamic and resilient aspect of organizational structure. Communication, and the risk of misunderstandings, mis-steps and error, is magnified given the lack of geographic proximity and the diverse idealogues of individuals.

Statement from/ of leadership, you deem not to cope with, failed in one of the parts of the mission statement.
Problems originating within the organization are probably best discussed and managed within the confines of the organizations communication medium rather than aired throughout a more general and broader public that has no vested interest.

Why? More members visit this forum, ask questions, gain information and solve problems than the organizations website. Numbers versus numbers.




In short, regardless the political upheavals within the leadership organization, my personal expectation as a member is continued, longterm committment to the mission and the established tenets. That is what I payed for. That is ultimately the "contract" between myself and the AFA.

What have you learned from the organization except how to pass a standardized test?





Individual members are free to debate and discuss ad nauseum the details of specific, individual leadership failures and offenses. Such is the field and manner of politics.

Been a free country since I have been alive.



Personally, I find it comparable to watching reality television. Large quantities of ad-hoc rhetoric, anecdotal evidence of dubious character, excess commercialization and overall, a poor investment of time and energy.

See above~~~ communication as a mission statement:rolleyes:



I prefer a position that is more focused on delivery of the mission and the tenets that define the promised deliverables to each member.

A mission is stated as a goal, when one or more partitions of the mission fail, the whole mission fails.





In that context, I would argue with anyone that I really don't care what leaders "Billy Bob" and "Peggy Sue" have said or done to each other during a specific meeting or event.

Thought you were a member that stands behind the organization's mission statement or portions thereof. Seems one has a choice to pick and choose parts of the goal they stand for or behind.





I do care that they ultimately deliver on the AFA promise.

Specifics?
Certification:
An organization certification process and opportunity is available to all members. No complaints.

Open to all comers who pay dues, customary and usual for most organizations.








Education:
Education as a tenet seems to be little more than a recommendation and presumed requirement for certification, not a committment outside the experience offered within competition. Pre-certification clinics are an example of good delivery. So is the annual AFA convention. Sadly, I see little else that is more routinely and readily available. Case in point; examine the AFA educational webpage. There are only three topics available. The magazine, while good to excellent in content, but is sporadic and infrequent in delivery.

Standard reading is a basic. But graded practically in the extraordinary.



Communication:
There appear to be four communication mediums in general use. The AFA website, the No Foot No Horse newsletter, the Pro Farrier magazine and a general email distribution.

The website is the weak link. Although there is quite a bit of information offered, much of the content is relatively static. Low attendance on the websites forum is a testament to the entire sites lack of popularity. Improvement in this area should be a major focus of the AFA leadership.

Truth in advertising/mission statement comes to mind.





Innovation:
While there is evidence of historical innovation delivered by the AFA, it is unclear that enough energy is expended by the organization to define this attribute as a tenet. Short of introduction of what is probably one of the earliest, standardized certification processes, I see little innovation delivered. Perhaps I'm not examining the right areas.


Science, technology and innovation has surpassed the organization by 20 or more years.





Research:
I've identified little or no work in the area of research that would identify the AFA as an organization dedicated to such endeavours. Individual members clearly pursue and, in some cases, even participate in equine farriery research, but I really don't see the AFA involved organizationally. Does the AFA, as a practice, provide funding to research groups? Does the AFA act as a peer review authority in matters of equine research? Are there organized members or committees of the AFA participating in specific research projects? If the answer is yes, I would expect the website to include information relating these topics.


See above. No affiliations with prominent research facilities across the world. Goes back to mission statement of innovation, education and research; DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes::eek:




<B>
Mission:
"To further the professional development of farriers, to provide leadership and resources for the benefit of the farrier industry, and to improve the welfare of the horse through continuing farrier education".
Is the AFA delivering on this mission statement? Does the AFA deliver on their organizational committment to the five tenets? Those, I believe, are far more relevant and appropriate topics for discussion than the internal political upheaval currently consuming so much attention.

Long term, it is likely a far more productive discussion to be had.

My 2-cents, and no change coming, from one inconsequential member of the AFA.


The Mission statement will never be implemented to it's full potential. To much tunnel vision for to long a time.</B>
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 00:12 #6

  • raspinit
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Jaye Perry wrote:
I don't Hairbrush or Hand Hold!

Your a bald headed farrier with no hands? :eek::rolleyes::D
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 01:27 #7

  • Derin Foor
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Jack Evers wrote:
Not at all inconsequential, Mark. One of a relatively few on these forums with a positive, forward looking approach. I applaud you and look forward to your posts.

Jack,

This is a comment, NOT a criticism of what you wrote. You are a long standing member of the AFA and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly over the years, but when someone seeks answers and points out weak areas of ANY association, that doesn't make those comments negative :rolleyes:

All too often when someone asks for accountability, somebody jumps in and points out that that person is acting in a negative, non-productive manner. The way I see it, how can you know where you are going if you don't know where you've been?

As you have pointed out, each member's opinions count. This holds true regardless whether they are perceived to be constructive, destructive, or somewhere in between. Personally I don't have time for the 'soap opera style' rhetoric often found here....... I simply want to understand what goes on in the association that I choose to belong to and only ask to be treated in a fair and honest manner, nothing more, nothing less.

Derin
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 01:32 #8

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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Jaye Perry in gray, stuff deleted

The Mission statement will never be implemented to it's full potential. To much tunnel vision for to long a time.

I can't argue with your logic, but I'm damn sure going to try to get some stuff changed. You, perhaps moreso than most other folks, are aware of the "new demographic" of horse ownership and I think making that new demographic of the public aware of the AFA and AFA certification is job one. I'm working at it; things are going slowly - but you know me and you know that I'll stay hooked. :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 05:13 #9

  • Mark_Gough
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Jaye Perry wrote:

Your leaders are out of your scope to cope?

Illogical grammatical construct.

My statement was, "such events are largely out of scope regarding my membership".

What is "out of scope", at least for me, are the events which prompted this particular thread.

As for my ability "to cope" with anything, that is a different topic altogether.

Statement from/ of leadership, you deem not to cope with, failed in one of the parts of the mission statement.

I neither suggested nor stated that I "deemed not to cope" with anything. That was your delusion, not mine. Your reference appears to be to communication. My comments were focused on communication in the context of a goal oriented tenet. I in no way perceived that tenet to suggest a committment to fence line gossip or internal politics, nor do I believe such was the intent.
Why? More members visit this forum, ask questions, gain information and solve problems than the organizations website. Numbers versus numbers.

Because the events of concern represent internal matters that either are, or should be, independent of the mission and tenets of the organization. Additionally, there may be aspects of these events that could reasonably be considered as private matters between specific individuals.

No disagreement that horseshoes.com is a more frequented forum and offers an incredibly useful source of information. That said, the popularity of horseshoes.com is independent of the topic at hand. Numbers are irrelevant to the discussion.

What have you learned from the organization except how to pass a standardized test?

Not enough yet, but I'm a comparatively patient individual. Comes from investing a lot of time around horses and raising three daughters.

Been a free country since I have been alive.

Yep... I've enjoyed that same experience.


See above~~~ communication as a mission statement:rolleyes:

There exists all kinds and flavors of communication. I seriously doubt if any organizations committment to communication includes full disclosure of every squabble that takes place between members or those in elected positions. But of course, you knew this already and now are simply trolling for entertainment. As we've both already agreed, it's a free country so I'll respect your right to engage in your hobby.
A mission is stated as a goal, when one or more partitions of the mission fail, the whole mission fails.

Tell that to descendents of the airborne rangers who landed in St. Mere Eglise in 1944.

Thought you were a member that stands behind the organization's mission statement or portions thereof.

Where might you have gotten this notion? I joined the organization, in part, because the mission statement and the tenets represented by the organization were compatible with my own pursuits.
Seems one has a choice to pick and choose parts of the goal they stand for or behind.

Maybe in your sandbox. We're a bit more reliable in these parts. As for the AFA mission/tenets, as a member I'll certainly pick and choose which elements best meet my needs.
Standard reading is a basic.

As is the ability to write.
But graded practically in the extraordinary.

Thank you for making my point.
The Mission statement will never be implemented to it's full potential. To much tunnel vision for to long a time.

Certainly possible. I've seen few mission statements that ever do reach their full potential. Most such statements provide more value in marketing than in defining reasonably attainable or even intended goals. Sad observation, but anyone who has spent even a single day as an employee for just about any corporation knows this to be true.

I'm pleased as punch that we've had this opportunity to chat and appreciate that you took time to repond to my earlier message.

I can see that you aren't a huge fan of the AFA. Certainly can't testify that I am either, as of yet, but I lack your apparent experience so will pursue what they may have to offer in my own way and see what comes. The revenue from customer referrals has already exceeded the cost of admission so I see little risk in continuing my exploration.

Time will tell.

Best regards,

Mark
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 11:37 #10

Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
Jaye Perry in gray, stuff deleted

The Mission statement will never be implemented to it's full potential. To much tunnel vision for to long a time.

I can't argue with your logic, but I'm damn sure going to try to get some stuff changed. You, perhaps moreso than most other folks, are aware of the "new demographic" of horse ownership and I think making that new demographic of the public aware of the AFA and AFA certification is job one. I'm working at it; things are going slowly - but you know me and you know that I'll stay hooked. :)


Mission statements are not goals they are visions. The AFA has a vision of taking the lead in the industry. Part of that vision is certifying farriers, education and continuing education, providing resources for the working farrier.

Personally I think this is a great vision and very marketable in a wide open market. So I ask what seems to be the problem? Should be an easy task, considering it is there for the taking with no opposition or competition.

The AFA's problem is a great Vision with no goals and no leadership.
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:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 11:51 #11

  • BPethick
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Phil Armitage wrote:

The AFA's problem is a great Vision with no goals and no leadership.


I really hate to admit this, but the problem is the people willing to volunteer their time are often doing it for the wrong reasons...
Bob Pethick CJF AFA #1340
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Only those who have the patience to do things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily...
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 11:55 #12

Derin,

You are right, you were promised transparency in a campaign a couple of years ago. Unfortunately for you the canidates that made that promise lost the election.

But I keep my promises so here is a link to all of the recent resignations and the documentation supporting them that was sent to the Board of Directors.

http://www.kramedjian.com/Resignations.html

This really is all I can say on this subject.
Ronald E. Kramedjian, RJF

Visit the Guild of Professional Farriers, Inc. Website

"What is popular is not always right; what is right is not always popular." Unknown

"In matters of style swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a...
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 12:07 #13

BPethick wrote:
I really hate to admit this, but the problem is the people willing to volunteer their time are often doing it for the wrong reasons...

This is where more education is needed, focused on leadership roles and responsibilities. It would be well worth the expense for the AFA to have current volunteers attend leadership and self evaluation/awareness seminars.

The solution is simple, once the leadership get on the right path. Realistic and achievable goals can be set to meet the mission statement. Once this gets underway more and more will be attracted to a well run organization that will have a lot to offer to the trade and the equine industry in the US.
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:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 12:13 #14

  • Jaye Perry
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Mark_Gough;-Illogical grammatical construct.

Really, thought this was a forum not an English composition class:rolleyes:




My statement was, "such events are largely out of scope regarding my membership".

Just what the leadership likes to hear~~~ "I am just a member, that's all".
What is "out of scope", at least for me, are the events which prompted this particular thread.

See above
As for my ability "to cope" with anything, that is a different topic altogether.

See above, again.

I neither suggested nor stated that I "deemed not to cope" with anything. That was your delusion, not mine. Your reference appears to be to communication. My comments were focused on communication in the context of a goal oriented tenet. I in no way perceived that tenet to suggest a committment to fence line gossip or internal politics, nor do I believe such was the intent.

The original reply , #3, has glee, then turns to apprehension:confused:
Because the events of concern represent internal matters that either are, or should be, independent of the mission and tenets of the organization. Additionally, there may be aspects of these events that could reasonably be considered as private matters between specific individuals.

Thought you were a dues payin' member.
No disagreement that horseshoes.com is a more frequented forum and offers an incredibly useful source of information. That said, the popularity of horseshoes.com is independent of the topic at hand. Numbers are irrelevant to the discussion.

Innovation and communication. The membership on this forum surpasses the organization almost three fold~~~"numbers are irrelevant"?

Not enough yet, but I'm a comparatively patient individual. Comes from investing a lot of time around horses and raising three daughters.

I also. Have heard the same colloquel "tenets" for 20 years, the "train never showed".


There exists all kinds and flavors of communication. I seriously doubt if any organizations committment to communication includes full disclosure of every squabble that takes place between members or those in elected positions. But of course, you knew this already and now are simply trolling for entertainment. As we've both already agreed, it's a free country so I'll respect your right to engage in your hobby.

A favorite pass time sure beats sittin' in traffic for a Braves game.
Tell that to descendents of the airborne rangers who landed in St. Mere Eglise in 1944.

You need to talk with my business partner about missions; Ranger in Somolia. Could have talked with my late in-law, pilot who flew McAurthur off Correigdor~~ your anaolgy is useless.

Where might you have gotten this notion? I joined the organization, in part, because the mission statement and the tenets represented by the organization were compatible with my own pursuits.

At one time they were mine. Years ago. People evolve, some don't.


Maybe in your sandbox. We're a bit more reliable in these parts. As for the AFA mission/tenets, as a member I'll certainly pick and choose which elements best meet my needs.

"My Sandbox" is pretty cluttered with scat that the organization couldn't comprehend with their tenents. There are "all levels of need".:rolleyes:
As is the ability to write.

Failed english composition, but my broken, ill written prose caught your attention.
Thank you for making my point.

Per your original reply~~#3, you sound hopeful then proceed to show problem(s). Your welcome.
Certainly possible. I've seen few mission statements that ever do reach their full potential. Most such statements provide more value in marketing than in defining reasonably attainable or even intended goals. Sad observation, but anyone who has spent even a single day as an employee for just about any corporation knows this to be true.

See above.
I'm pleased as punch that we've had this opportunity to chat and appreciate that you took time to repond to my earlier message.

Sure, anytime!
I can see that you aren't a huge fan of the AFA. Certainly can't testify that I am either, as of yet, but I lack your apparent experience so will pursue what they may have to offer in my own way and see what comes. The revenue from customer referrals has already exceeded the cost of admission so I see little risk in continuing my exploration.

Grammatical error Mark!!! To each their own.
Time will tell.

Maybe?
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RE:The AFA and the truth..... 08 Apr 2008 12:17 #15

  • Jaye Perry
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Tom Stovall, CJF;104459]Jaye Perry in gray, stuff deleted

The Mission statement will never be implemented to it's full potential. To much tunnel vision for to long a time.

I can't argue with your logic, but I'm damn sure going to try to get some stuff changed. You, perhaps moreso than most other folks, are aware of the "new demographic" of horse ownership and I think making that new demographic of the public aware of the AFA and AFA certification is job one. I'm working at it; things are going slowly - but you know me and you know that I'll stay hooked. :).

I sure hope so Pard! In any business, evolution to met customer needs are foremost.
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