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TOPIC: Relevance To You...

Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 15:02 #1

  • unbridled
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Just quick question I am respectfully requesting you to answer to clarify the "relevance" threads...

What is the most important benefit to YOU personally that any farrier/trade association can offer you; the single most important thing that you can name that justifies paying your dues to belong to that group each year?

I'd value your feedback .....
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RE:Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 15:43 #2

  • calshoer
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I want to belong to an association that is focused on several things:

1) Moving the industry forward in the areas of hoof research and more modern hoofcare techniques.

2) Education of farriers for better understanding of the health needs of the hoof to prevent and eliminte more lameness .

3) Promoting more professionalism and knowledge among the trade, particularly helping farriers to be better partners with veterinarians and each other.

As to benfits to myself personally (insurance and such), if an organization could provide me with some better health insurance by being part of the group, that would be terrific.
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
www.hoofcareonline.com
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RE:Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 16:15 #3

Hi Susan, excellent question.

An organization that understands how to communicate with farriers at various levels. We are all at different levels of experience, knowledge and skill.

Also an organization that understands how to market their value to the horse owner.

I would not throw out time tested, proven standards, however maybe add to them.
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:Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 16:18 #4

  • tbloomer
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I have paid dues to multiple associations for multiple reasons. Professional networking, continuing education, marketing, and certification (peer review). Each of these things is VERY IMPORTANT to me personally.

The "most important" thing I "can get" from a "professional association" is Differentiation. This is most important to me. That does not mean that it is, or should, be most important to YOU.

Right now there is no farrier association that has sucessfully created a market where the horse owning public is aware of a "difference" between farriers due to membership in a given association.

The only association that "exists" for the sole purpose of market differentiation is The Guild of Professional Farriers. The Guild has "potential" in this area whereas the others do not because thay are not structured for this purpose.

Guild membership entry is exclusive, not inclusive. To obtain entry as a member, a farrier must meet all of the requirements below:
  1. Minimum 4 years full time tenure and currently full time (based on primary occupation).
  2. Passing a "journeyman level" written exam.
  3. Passing a "journeyman level" shoe display/fabrication capability display.
  4. Passing a "journeyman level" live shoeing examination.
The Guild has its own examination process, The Registered Journeyman Farrier(TM) exam, but also accepts other certifications/examinations as substitutes for meeting the requirements 2,3, and 4, as listed above. The following certifications/examinations are currently accepted as substitutes:
The AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier(TM) certification. (CJF is sort of a "no brainer: on the written, fabrication, and forging requirements, no?)

The IJHU "Journeyman Exam" - also very substantial in regards to the forging and fabrication requirements, knowledge, etc.

The DWCF, A diploma from the Worshipful Company of Farriers in the UK. Perhaps the most substantial "primary" farrier education program in the world, no?
"The Guild of Professional Farriers exists to define a valid standard of practical competence for professional farriers, and to effectively represent these farriers and the profession of farriery."- From the Preamble of The Guild Constitution. As you can see, this organizations only serves one purpose and promotes a single idea.

While each of us differentiates ourselves as professionals in our business, the Guild is the only national organization (US based) that offers "member differentiation." It allows full service, full time, fully established professional farriers the opportunity to "speak to the public" as a single voice representing only the interests of promoting farriery as a true profession.

The only real objective is to get the "idea" across to the public that farriery is a "profession," not a "trade," hobby, or passing fancy. The entry requirements are exclusive because The Guild wants only members who are "dependent upon farriery" for their livelyhood. Thus the 4 year, full-time minimum entry requirement itself shows that a member is capable of establishing a professional practice and "making a living" in the profession.
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 16:53 #5

  • IRNWKR_2
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Must have been one heckuva meeting yall had at the summit. You seem to be all fired up Tom, How members did you have?
Jason Gilliland
"whether you think you can or think you caint your usually right" Henry Ford

"Im not as good as I once was, but Im just as good once as I ever was" My Grandad

"a wink is as good as a nod, to a blind mule" Barney Fyffe
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RE:Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 17:17 #6

  • beslagsmed
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I can't expand anymore on what Tom stated about the Guild. His stated reasons are the ones I have and the reason I stood out in 0 degree weather to take the test. The fact I have passed the test probably won't mean a thing to my customers here, but it meant a lot to me knowing I can meet the Guild standard.

The one main reason I keep my membership with the AFA is for the $50,000 AD&D policy I get.
Mikel Dawson, RJF

(Denmark)
What part of "NO" don't you understand!!

Caution: Watch for hoof in mouth disease!!!
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RE:Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 17:30 #7

  • tbloomer
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IRNWKR_2 wrote:
Must have been one heckuva meeting yall had at the summit. You seem to be all fired up Tom, How members did you have?
Hi Jason,

In the interest of keeping this thread on track, I'm going to ask you to move that question to the Guild forum. Would you please?
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 17:56 #8

  • unbridled
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Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.

With appreciation, Susan.
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RE:Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 19:24 #9

  • JimBondra
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unbridled Relevance To You...
What is the most important benefit to YOU personally that any farrier/trade association can offer you; the single most important thing that you can name that justifies paying your dues to belong to that group each year?

Susan,
The most important benefit that I can think of from my 27 years as an AFA member is the many friends that I have made.
I have learned and laughed with some of the most influential people in the Farrier community.
So far it's been one heck of a ride.
And it's not over yet!
Jim
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RE:Relevance To You... 07 Feb 2009 23:54 #10

  • brian robertson
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If it wasn't for the AFA and it's convention, I never would have had the chance to meet my lovely bride of 30 yrs, in 1973 at MSU.

My accountant says the insurance alone is worth the price of admission.

Networking with other AFA members, even if we're all complaining about it, PRICELESS. More fun than whining about the weather.
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RE:Relevance To You... 09 Feb 2009 20:03 #11

  • Cyber Farrier
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brian robertson wrote:
...My accountant says the insurance alone is worth the price of admission....

FYI, you can get your own 50k AD&D policy from Globe for less than $72 a year.

Baron
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RE:Relevance To You... 09 Feb 2009 20:52 #12

  • JimBondra
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FYI, you can get your own 50k AD&D policy from Globe for less than $72 a year.
Baron

Kinda off topic isn't it Baron?
Is that with the FHRC co-op membership?
If it is, that would be $47.00 more per year than AFA membership.:confused:
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RE:Relevance To You... 09 Feb 2009 22:30 #13

  • Cyber Farrier
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I was simply throwing that out, because Brian said his accountant said that the insurance alone was worth the price of admission. Since the AFA dues are $150, if the only reason someone belongs is to get the AD&D, then the accountant needs to do the math. This wasn't a remark directed at the AFA, it was directed at the accountant...:D

Since you asked, the Co-Op does not yet include AD&D as a benefit. Eventually, once the membership numbers are high enough, it'll qualify, and add it in as a benefit. In the mean time, Co-Op members can save more than enough, just on the supplies discounts alone, to have their own private AD&D policy, and still come out way ahead.

Baron
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RE:Relevance To You... 09 Feb 2009 22:50 #14

  • JimBondra
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Baron
This wasn't a remark directed at the AFA, it was directed at the accountant...

Are you sure that it has nothing to do with the AFA not using the FHRC as it's official website?:)
No disrespect intended.
Merely a question.
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RE:Relevance To You... 09 Feb 2009 23:14 #15

  • Gary_Miller
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unbridled wrote:
What is the most important benefit to YOU personally that any farrier/trade association can offer you; the single most important thing that you can name that justifies paying your dues to belong to that group each year?
I saw this first thing Saturday morning and have been spending all week end thinking about his question, and all I could come up with was:

Value to my business.

My problem was I felt that answer was really vague, thats way I spent all weekend thinking about what it is I really want and need that would make me want to spend my hard earned money. While their is many thing I could think of these this is the list I narrowed it down to.

1. Education, the organizations must provide education which is convenient and inexpensive in both the trade as well as in business operations.
2. Marketing, the organization should have enough visibility to make it relevant to my customers. I want my customers have enough visibility about the organization that they will ask me. Are you a member of such and such organization?
3. Inexpensive insurance.
4. Discounts on products that a relevant to the trade. Such as tools, materials, business products (such as quicken, quick books, tax software), etc.
5. Provide an apprenticeship program that enables those enrolled to get and use education funding while serving an apprenticeship. If your not sure what I'm talking about look up apprenticeship programs for the building trades.

Everything the organization does must benefit my business. No competitions, no putting together shoeing plans for cities, no Official Farriers of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games(let the local farriers do these things).

I don't want a club I want a trade association.

So far we don't have these things in any of the associations.

However, I do thing FHRC is headed in the right direction.

Side Note: When got serious in becoming a farrier I went looking for an association which could provide these things. I found the AFA, the BWF, Doug Butlers site, and the FHRC. To date I have learned more about being a farrier from the FHRC than any other resource available.
Gary Miller, PF

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"Discover what it is that makes you passionate then grab a firm...
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