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TOPIC: AFA Mid-Year Mtg Chatanooga, TN

RE:AFA Mid-Year Mtg Chatanooga, TN 01 Oct 2008 22:16 #16

  • Mike Ferrara
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vthorseshoe wrote:
Mike and Bradley, If you believe that certification and a lower rate to get into the yearly convention is all you get then we need to open some eye's.

Another benifit not listed is the comaraderie that comes from being a member.

I've never had to buy comaraderie.

Certification is nothing without the journey it takes you on to achieve your certification.

You gain that by working and studying to pass the tests involved.

ok.

(and in my opinion, you can gain this whether it is a Guild test, AFA test,Union Shoers testing, even BWFA test.

It is the sharing of knowledge that comes and the life long friendships developed.

Again wih the buying friends thing.
It is knowing you have passed an exam others haven't and that you accomplished this by sharing and learning from others.

ok. LOL but how many pats on the back/dollar do you get to give yourself?

$150. a yearly dues includes a $50,000.00 death and dismemberment coverage .

I was hopping to get something out of this before I die.

The discounts from the following companies, idf used by the members adds up to huge savings in total cost of what your buying. (Ask Ken Norman what he saved buying a new tractor with the savings from the discount. I can tell you it was substantial...)

Look at the other benifits;

Someone told me the AFA benifits paid to have his house painted.


The AFA, through its Member Services Committee, works diligently to provide benefits to its members. The following benefits are available:

The magazine is all that most ever talk about, but even that is only one part of the whole picture.

PUBLICATIONS:
Professional Farrier™, bi-monthly magazine
No Foot No Horse™, bi-monthly newsletter
Membership Directory, produced annually
Certification Guide, the only official AFA Certification study guide

NTRA ADVANTAGE
John Deere- Save on selected models of agricultural, construction and lawn and garden equipment

UPS- Up to 30% off next day and 2nd day shipping and up to 5% off ground

OfficeDepot- Preferred member pricing on thousands of office supplies, furniture & technology

Sherwin Williams- Up to 40% off list price on in-store products

Toshiba- Up to 25% off all Toshiba Direct list prices

Equine Travel Advantage- Up to 60% off travel expenses

You're kidding right? Is this a farriers association or a buyers club??

INSURANCE
Markel Insurance Company- Farriers Liability & Care, Custody & Control with an Equipment Supplies floater

Cigma Group Insurance- All regular members of the AFA are automatically covered by a $50,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Policy

You said that already.

AFA LOGO APPAREL
Loose Shoe Embroidery

Since I'm n ot sure what that is, I have to assume that I don't really need it.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

Complimentary promotional AFA brochures
Educational opportunities through the AFA Certification Program
Pre-Certification workshops
Horse Owner Clinics
AFA Title Sponsorship of all AFA Certifications which provides insurance for the event
15% discount on admission to the Kentucky Horse park and gift shop purchases
Free listing on the AFA web site
Free link to your web site
Reduced registration rate to the Annual Convention

Bruce...never mind.


If many of you only knew the many hard working farriers and office workers and sponsors that work so hard to provide you with an association.
But you probably never will because they do this behind the scene and don't ask for any recognition.

To provide me with an association? Are some of them maybe doing it for their pay check? I think they should use their time and efforts as they see fit and in a way that doesn't leave them (or you) feeling that I'm indebted to them.
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RE:AFA Mid-Year Mtg Chatanooga, TN 01 Oct 2008 22:33 #17

  • vthorseshoe
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Mike you leave me shaking my head........

No body is leaving you or trying to make you feel indebted to them.

These benifits were added at no cost to the members.

I know of no one other than the office help that works for a paycheck in the AFA.

It seem to me that you have no interest in joining for any reason, and THAT IS A-OK.
No one twists anyones arms to become a member.
I mearly tried to explain the workings and benifits that are offered after reading your posts.

I just wonder "WHY' if someone has no interest in something , then why do they even bother to offer opinions that tend to be negative ?

If folks are happy being an individual enity and not belong to any organization "TIS IS OK !!!" but why try to sway others opinions who might be interested ??

This goes for Georges Union Guild or the Guild of Professional Farriers or the BWFA or the AFA.

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:AFA Mid-Year Mtg Chatanooga, TN 01 Oct 2008 22:44 #18

  • Mike Ferrara
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vthorseshoe wrote:
Mike you leave me shaking my head........

No body is leaving you or trying to make you feel indebted to them.

These benifits were added at no cost to the members.

The cos6t is the membership dues.

I know of no one other than the office help that works for a paycheck in the AFA.

It seem to me that you have no interest in joining for any reason, and THAT IS A-OK.

That isn't exactly the case. To say that I don't see a reason to join now doesn't mean that I wouldn't join for any reason.


I just wonder "WHY' if someone has no interest in something , then why do they even bother to offer opinions that tend to be negative ?

I can help you there. I'm interested in farriery and as a business owner I'm interested in anything that appears to be a cost effective way to help my business.

Aside from that, consider it free marketing info. Sometimes I get as much as a dollar to fill out marketing surveys.

If folks are happy being an individual enity and not belong to any organization "TIS IS OK !!!" but why try to sway others opinions who might be interested ??

I'm not trying to sway anybody.
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RE:AFA Mid-Year Mtg Chatanooga, TN 01 Oct 2008 22:50 #19

  • Mike Ferrara
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vthorseshoe wrote:
Mike, in an organization of any stature that is run with a concience for the welfare of others has to have checks and balance's.
That is why change is slow in many situations. To take an idea or suggestion, run it by others and if it worthy then form aproject and send it to a committee to build and put the project together. Then it is presented to the BOD for approval. Then it is either approved or shot down.
If it is approved then it is back to the committee to set the project rolling.

Money to fund the project has to be approved and that means submitting
a request to the BOD then to the treasurer.

All of these proceedurers are checks and balances. They take time and that is where I say patience is involved. The wheels move slowly at times.
All the folksa involved have their own farrier business;s and customers they service like you and me.
They volunteer their time to the AFA and do so with a passion to be involved for the betterment of all.

my 2 cents worth ;)

That sounds more complex that the credit crisis.
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RE:AFA Mid-Year Mtg Chatanooga, TN 02 Oct 2008 01:54 #20

  • Mark_Gough
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I have a rather mercenary view of my participation in the AFA.

The end goal is to enhance my business.

This year I have received four customer referrals from the AFA website.

Annual income from those calls is approximately $1,684.

That's a return of $1,534, or slightly more than 1,000% return on my membership investment.

Certainly not a remarkable number of customer calls, but still a good value for my investment.

In addition, I recently hosted a non-AFA sanctioned clinic at my facility.

For those horse owners in attendance, the presence of several AFA certified farriers added credibility to the clinic.

The AFA volunteered to staff an information table at the clinic and provided free copies of Professional Farrier magazine, bumper stickers and brochures to any in attendance. There was no cost to me for their time, effort or materials.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Clinic-1/IMG_0012.jpg?t=1222910127

Three AFA farriers volunteered their time, energy and equipment to provide diagnostics, forging and shoeing training to myself and others that was beyond the time frame and topic scope of the clinic. They at no time asked for any compensation.
  • My business revenue was slightly improved because of the AFA.
  • My clinic was more successful (attendance, content and revenue) because of AFA members.
  • My education as a farrier was enhanced because of the AFA members.
  • My customers perception of my seriousness about pursuing continuing education was enhanced because of AFA members.
  • Thanks to AFA members, I believe my customers and other horseman present gained a newfound respect for the service that farriers provide and that their horses need.
  • I have made new friends that I may not have otherwise had the good fortune to encounter were it not for my affiliation with the AFA.

I'm a long time horseman, but fairly recent in pursuing the art, craft and science of farriery.

I've invested thousands of dollars and uncountable hours in equipment and training.

If someone asked me what two investments have made the greatest difference in my pursuit of farriery education and associated business success I could easily cite two sources.

1. The Farrier & Hoofcare Resource Center
2. The American Farrier's Association

The first has provided, at no cost other than time, access to information from some of the most generous and talented people in this industry that I've had the honor of coming into contact with.

The second has provided a means by which 'the rubber meets the ground', with talented farriers volunteering their time and effort to help me acquire the motor skills to put the academics to work.

In short, the choice to affiliate with an organization like the AFA should, in essence, be a business decision.

Regardless the political discord, the gaps in organizational delivery and the seemingly endless drama that is really nothing more than 'business as usual' in virtually any American institution, it is nearly inarguable that association with the AFA is, by any measure, a reasonable return on the investment cost.

I have been asked on numerous occassions, "what would you do to 'fix' the AFA'.

Such a question implies the organization is broken. It is not.

For all it's supposed failings, successes, short comings, accomplishments, and yet to be realized goals for farriers everywhere, the AFA need answer only a single question to change every aspect and perception of its existance.

For more than three decades, that question has been, "What do you want the AFA to be and how committed are you to achieving that goal?".

In September of 2008, the collective leadership of the AFA answered that question.

The answer was nothing less than astonishing!

Like you, I'll wait to see if the results of that answer manifest significant change in 2009.

In the shorter term, AFA membership is a relatively simple decision.

Simply ask yourself if membership will add value to your business that exceeds the investment cost.

If the answer is yes, join the AFA.

If the answer is no, tell the AFA why and what changes they might pursue that could make membership a good investment for you.

I have it on good authority that the AFA wants to hear your answer.

In closing, and with specific regard to the questions and concerns that Rick and Mikel have raised early in this thread, I would offer that such questions are deserving of a reasonable response. It is my hope that an authoritative response is forthcoming and I look forward to additional information on the topic.

For those who may wonder, please understand that I am no standard barer for the AFA. I'm simply a recent member in no particular position of authority within the organization. As I've already explained, my own reasons for affiliation are a mixed bag of fun, education and a touch of mercenary entrepreneurship.

Best Regards,

Mark
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RE:AFA Mid-Year Mtg Chatanooga, TN 02 Oct 2008 02:18 #21

:eek: WoW Mark,

Now that's passion, :)
and sounds like you may get voted into the position of recruiting officer, :D
if there ever were to be that position.

You have given us lots of points to ponder.

I wish our local had that much punch to offer.

They mayhave but I don't see it.
Bradley SaintJohn

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RE:AFA Mid-Year Mtg Chatanooga, TN 02 Oct 2008 02:52 #22

  • vthorseshoe
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well said Mark....
"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:AFA Mid-Year Mtg Chatanooga, TN 02 Oct 2008 14:22 #23

  • Jack Evers
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Mark does such a great job, it's hard to add anything, but I'd like to suggest that every group need some sort of repected national representation and right now for farriers that is the AFA.

What I'm going to recount might have been a one time deal, but with the barefoot movement, PETA, over zealous veterinary regulation and other well intentioned, but misinformed groups, I doubt it. The Horse Protection Act was passes about 1972 in response to soring complaints involving the gaited hose industry. By the middle '80s, new ways of soring had emerged, such as sole pressure from the double nail pad and congress reacted with some poorly thought out amendments such as no pads, 12 oz max shoe weight (for the Budweiser Clyds?). These regs would have been disaster for some specialized farriers as well as some horses.

Then AFA president Randy Luikart went to Washington with the prestige of presiding over a national farriers group and was able to get the amendments set aside while a group with him as leader rewrote the shoeing section of the HPA to be positive for both the horses and the farriers.

Yes, local groups can hold clinics and contests and replace some of the
AFA's work, but a local group (say the ficticious Tennessee Gaited Horse Shoeing Association) can't lobby congress nearly as effectively as a national group.
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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