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TOPIC: What need to change?

What need to change? 05 Jul 2008 17:45 #1

One of the things that always put me off when I was working in IT was when a salesman, or for that matter any representative, for a company tried to convince me that I should buy their product by telling me how bad their competitors produces were. IME, negative selling just breeds more negative selling and leave open a question about the quality of the product being sold.

Farrier organizations in the U.S. would seem to be amongst the worst offenders in using negative sales and recruitment techniques. Why should I believe that the BWFA is a good organization if it is running down the JHU and the AFA to convince me? Why should I believe the AFA has a good program if in every thing it says it in some way has to denigrate or put down the BWFA, JHU and even unaffiliated farriers?

The strength of an organization to capture and hold my attention is focused upon its positive message and its ability to be uplifting to the industry as a whole while moving its programs forward. This message must be echoed in its memberships attitude as well.

I am rather disgusted with organized farriery at this point, not because I don’t think that organization is important, but because the approach being taken is one that focuses on the negatives as tools in the recruitment process and internal elitism rather than focusing on improving the lot of every farrier regardless of their relationship with a particular organization.

Organized farriery needs to figure out that negative or deceptive messages only poison the pool and everyone suffers. If you doubt how infectious that poison is look at the AFA, in 3 ½ years it has gone from well over 3,000 paid up members to just over 2,000 paid up members and is still in a declining trend. Heck, the BWFA, the JHU and the Guild have also shown some decline.

Anyone that bends over and trims or shoes a foot is “real.” It doesn’t matter if they are part-time or full time. If they get money for their work they are “real.” If an organization wants to improve their lot, their skills, the quality of their work or their working environment they have to start first and foremost by recognizing that they bend over just like everyone else. Every one of these people does a hard, dangerous and dirty job for a living and they don’t need or want to hear any elitist manure about them not being “real.”

Any organization wanting to step up must be actively engaged in raising the horse owning public’s awareness of the needs of the horse in regard to professional hoof care and then trust that an educated public will likely make better buying decisions.

Any organization wanting to step up should also have methods in place to provide positive public relations for their membership in the member’s local areas and on the national stage. As an example of this, it means that they have their act so together that when a member passes a certification exam that the member’s local newspaper gets a press release announcing the fact and explaining what that level of certification entails. It also means that local horse associations and clubs are identified and receive regular public relations information.

It is my hope that one of the farrier organizations will step up to the plate, find an unwavering commitment to the good of the industry as a whole and regardless of farrier affiliation start working toward making the world of farriery better. It will require some significant changes in organizational cultural and individual attitude, but in the end it will yield dividends that can only be dreamt of at this point.

Until these changes occur I will continue to hope.
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:What need to change? 05 Jul 2008 18:30 #2

  • George Geist
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Very well said Ron,

To their credit the BWFA has a pledge that all of their members sign that I think most of them take pretty seriously. Good on them for that. It is for this reason you don't see them trashing others.

Decline in JHU membership as you mentioned is due to deaths, retirements and such. Not from being disgruntled. I think that worth mentioning.
George
For another fun place to play........
www.horseshoersforum.invisionzone.com
Come over and say hello.
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RE:What need to change? 05 Jul 2008 18:41 #3

  • vthorseshoe
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Ron, my friend from Tennessee, are you ready for this ??? personal observation ??

Is there a chance that you could post some positive things for even a wee bit of time ?

You are in this fixation of posting what is wrong with each and every asso. organiz. and gathering.

You always give your idea's of what is wrong in your mind and then give us your method of fixing it or complaining about how others haven't managed to make it better, or more efficient, or more managable, or more effective etc...

I am surprised that such an intelligent and well-versed person as yourself
can see how you push folks away with your negative attitude.

You need to shut your brain down and re-boot it with a new fresh outlook on the farrier industry.

I am not standing up for anyone of the assoc. you previously mentioned but as an individual who reads your posts and almost always comes away shaking my head and asking "WHY ?" does he say these things.

I know for a fact, (from personal experience), that a sour attitude reflects in your business and personal life as well as your social life.

I changed my outlook a number of years back and it changed my whole life and the way folks around me thought of me.

This is not a personal attack, but a person who has considered you a friend for quite a while who hates seeing you continue down this road.
We have never pulled punches with each otrher, but been brutally honest with each other.

We all know there is room for improvement in everything everyone does in this lifetime.
We all know there have been mistakes made in the past and will continue into the present.

It is time for many folks to accept the fact they cannot change the world and to learn to laugh a lot of the stuff off.
Ron, Life will go on and it won't matter one little bit if you or anyone else is determined to convince everyone else to think as you or they do.

It is time to take a walk and smell the roses and realize there is more to life than any of these associations or farriery or thinks we worry about.
If our attitudes go down the drain then everything else will fail in its own time because of attitude.

Stand in front of your mirror ( is what I tell folks) and smile then say "I like myself" "I am a good person" "I am n ot going to allow things to depress or bring me down anymore"

Thats it friend.
I have given you all anyone can give and that is Honesty from my way of seeing things.

My 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:What need to change? 05 Jul 2008 19:07 #4

  • Kelly Case
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To their credit the BWFA has a pledge that all of their members sign that I think most of them take pretty seriously. Good on them for that. It is for this reason you don't see them trashing others.
George Geist


George you are absolutley right, as corny as it sounds it is taken very seriously at the the last BOD meeting four names were brought up (in regards to trashing and bashing other farriers and other farrier organizations) they were sent a letter reminding them of that pledge and how it is viewed, they were also informed that if there actions continued they would be out of the BWFA.

Just an FYI

Kelly Case
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RE:What need to change? 05 Jul 2008 21:31 #5

George and Kelly,

I was unaware of the BWFA pledge. It would be a good requirement for all organizations that want to represent farriers to have the same kind of requirement and the same apparent commitment to enforcing whatever code of conduct they have set in place.

Bruce,

Recognizing that the emperor is naked is not a negative thing. It just is a state of mind that is swept clean of denial. Having watched how the game is played by some I have grown less willing to deny that the emperor is naked. I am sorry that you can not see that the emperor is naked. Perhaps when you have been treated like a mushroom or an earthworm long enough you will.

I’ve suggested that the organizations representing us need to make some major cultural changes. I believe that they need to start acting like they value all farriers, not just those that are their members or those that hold an XYZ certification, because unless they do they will continue to fail in their recruitment efforts. I believe that they need to figure out that unless they market a strong hoof care message to the horse owning public that they are doomed to fail in their mission. I believe that until they treat all of their members as valuable, REGARDLESS OF THEIR LEVEL OF CERTIFCATION, they are doom to continue failing to retain membership.

Sorry Bruce, the emperor is a bit naked and I think he needs some new clothes. There is nothing negative here, just an observation of how organized farriery can become more successful.
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:What need to change? 05 Jul 2008 22:19 #6

  • Brown Bear
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RON
Thank you so much for your post.I could not agree more :)
Mark Carlone
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RE:What need to change? 05 Jul 2008 22:54 #7

  • vthorseshoe
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Ron;
The only thing that is proven time and time again to bring ANY group together is death, birth, and emergencies.

Other wise each person has been raised to think on his/her own and to believe in their abilities and in some cases their ego takes over and leads them to believe they are better than they are.

The king is naked is an OLD fable told to teach a lesson in life.

Why do you think it is OLD ? and why do you think it is still used as a Parable (I think that is the term used for it)
Because NO ONE EVER FULLY CHANGES over the centuries.

Folks will always compete and squabble and disagreee.
Folks will aways have leaders, loners, and followers.
To try to get the followers to do more than agree isn't going to happen.
The leaders and loners will continue to be leaders and continue to be loners.
But to get followers to unite, is not going to happen now or ever.
They will follow the strong and sway on the side of the person they believe is the winner.
When the strong faulters then the temporary unity will falter and fail.

YES RON the "king is naked" are you going to dress him ?

my 2 cents worth
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:What need to change? 06 Jul 2008 02:33 #8

vthorseshoe wrote:
YES RON the "king is naked" are you going to dress him ?
Bruce,

It is not my job to dress him. Just as in the parable, now that this emperors know that they are naked, they need to take the steps to dress themselves.

That said, I will always do what I can, when I can, within the limits of my abilities. I can not do otherwise.
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:What need to change? 06 Jul 2008 02:53 #9

  • vthorseshoe
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You are a formitable foe with your belief strongly rooted in your being.

So we should and shall agree to disagree on this.

Hope your getting some good weather to put hay away for upcoming winter.
We just had 2 days with Sunday looking good giving us 3 days of dry no rain farmers cutting and baling weather.

Take care friend and keep up the good fight.

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:What need to change? 06 Jul 2008 11:45 #10

vthorseshoe wrote:
You are a formitable foe with your belief strongly rooted in your being.
Bruce,

I do not see us as foes, just two guys with a lot in common discussing an issue. I do not believe that I am all that formidable either. I am just one guy with an opinion that is based on my experience and education. I don’t see discussion of ideas as conflict. I see it as a way to communicate. Ideas that are good or opinions that are accurate tend to be adopted and supported by those that hear them. Those that are not fall to the wayside.

vthorseshoe wrote:
So we should and shall agree to disagree on this.
Agreed. Perhaps if more of us were willing to agree to disagree things would work better. PAX

vthorseshoe wrote:
Hope your getting some good weather to put hay away for upcoming winter.
I got more hay up in my first cutting this year than I did all year last year. With a little luck I’ll be getting another cutting in about a month and I’ll be in very good shape for the winter.

Be safe.
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:What need to change? 06 Jul 2008 23:35 #11

  • vthorseshoe
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Amen Brother !! :D

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:What need to change? 07 Jul 2008 00:23 #12

  • solidrockshoer
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Ron, I find your lack of faith in the AFA disturbing.

I do however give you much credit for getting involved. That is more than most people do that complain about it.
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RE:What need to change? 07 Jul 2008 03:55 #13

high performance shoeing wrote:
Ron, I find your lack of faith in the AFA disturbing.
Nick,

You should go back and read what I wrote again. I am not targeting any single organization. I am suggesting based upon my experience with them in general that in their zeal to compete with each other for membership that they have forgotten a few things that are critical to their mission.

high performance shoeing wrote:
I do however give you much credit for getting involved. That is more than most people do that complain about it.
Thank you.

By my recollection while there are just over 2000 paid up AFA members there are only around 70 or so that are truly active on anything approaching a regular basis. A goodly portion of them are involved in the certification program. The AFA's certification is the most objective. But beyond the value that each individual places on it when they attain it, out side of the AFA there is little or no intrinsic value.

In general, horse owners do not know about the AFA and do not know about the certification program and what it takes. I've never been asked if I was certified and most of the guys I know haven't either. Ralph Casey has done the best job of marketing a farrier organization, the BWFA, and its certification program to the horse owning public. But it is still a long, long way from being a well known organization.

Until all farrier organizations get focused on marketing professional hoof care to horse owners, regardless of what brand it comes in, they have no chance to develop brand recognition that is a value add to their memberships. Competition for membership needs to come from the quality of the programs that they have and the quality of horse owner education and associative brand recognition. Every farrier should want to join because it will help them advance their business and they feel uplifted by the message.

I got involved and gave my all. I still have faith Nick because I still hope. I just refuse to wear the rose colored sunglasses that everyone seems to want me to because I know for a fact that until you admit there is a problem you can not fix the problem.

Now let me ask, why don't you show up in the AFA mebership roster?
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:What need to change? 11 Jul 2008 20:21 #14

Ronald E. Kramedjian wrote:
By my recollection while there are just over 2000 paid up AFA members there are only around 70 or so that are truly active on anything approaching a regular basis. A goodly portion of them are involved in the certification program. The AFA's certification is the most objective.
(... )

In general, horse owners do not know about the AFA and do not know about the certification program and what it takes. I've never been asked if I was certified and most of the guys I know haven't either.
(...)
Until all farrier organizations get focused on marketing professional hoof care to horse owners, regardless of what brand it comes in, they have no chance to develop brand recognition that is a value add to their memberships.

Now let me ask, why don't you show up in the AFA mebership roster?

So if in the USA with MILLIONS of horses there are only a couple of thousand farriers who bother to associate, what shall the rest of us put their hopes into? My membership in our Association also has gotten under the wheels of money considerations, re-weighing cost vs gain in times of meager cows...
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God" Rom.8 (28)
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