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TOPIC: AFA program a failure in Vermont

AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 01:36 #1

  • vthorseshoe
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I am tired and this message is blunt and to the point.

Promises and Oh! yes we will be up to meet you.

What am I talking about ?
The regional program that was voted in to bring the chapters together so we could vote as a unified region on matters of importance.

Many members have no more idea who the regional reps are than a man in the moon unless we pull up the AFA site and look up the elected reps names.

As far as knowing other chapters in our region thats a laugh also.(we can contact them but I thought the reps were supposed to be the liasons between chapters)
SNEFA is the only chapter that is in contact with us on occasion.
Members of SNEFA are members of Vermont Farriers Association and are active participants in clinics and events. But THAT IS IT....
There is no contact with other chapters and no regional reps. calling us, e-mailing us, coming up to talk with us,
He-ll they don't even send us smoke signals.

Vermont Farriers Association has been one of the most active associations in the northeast and have proven we are an active association, SO WHY AREN'T WE in the loop of the duly elected regional reps.

My question is are any other chapters on the east coast in the loop ?

Frankly this isn't the first time I have been on this band wagon and it seems I speak on deaf ears all around in the AFA.
AND
I am not interested in all of a sudden recieving a molly coddle phone call from anyone in the AFA.

What I am looking to see is a report from the rep we voted in. "He-ll" I want to hear from all 3 of the duly elected reps with a report on all the things they have accomplished or things that the board members are discussing and voting on.

I know folks are busy from Dick Fanguay on down the list but keeping us as a Chapter informed is part of their "BUSY".

Far as I am concerened either "-hit" or get off the pot.

I can tell you our association has discussed the actual importance of staying a chapter
and at the presence the liability insurance and certification program is reason enough,
but honestly not much else has been very useful.
AND I BELIEVE IN THE AFA but even I get tired of elected officials sitting on their laurels.
Some one is sick or in the hospital, then it should be up to the other two reps to carry the load until it is a team of 3 again.

You all write a great introduction to potential voters and then when voted in it appears from up here you enjoy the accalaid but for get the job.
PROVE ME WRONG for crying out load.

On this end, I, nor can any chapter member show you one bit of communication of what has been taking place at meetings.

We had heard that Jack had a talk with Mike Givney at some point where they got together, but Mike is no longer president and has been incommunicado due to injuries and getting his life back in order.
That was what we heard... but no confirmation from our regional rep on this or any other matter.

Does the rep even know who our new President is ?
Dick Fanguay didn't....

Jack, we were lead to believe was coming up to attend a event or clinic. (I was going to believe it when he drove in)
Then scuttle butt said he was in the hospital.
SCUTTLE BUTT... what happened to the other two reps sending chapters in Jacks area a post card or phone call to inform us ? if he was ill.

my 2 cents worth



Bruce Matthews AFAS #1300
Founder and Past President Vermont Farriers Association
331 No. Hyde Park rd
Hyde Park, Vermont 05655
802-279-5367
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"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
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I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
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RE:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 02:27 #2

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Bruce, you know what their going to say right?

It's the chapters and members duty to contact the reps. Some thing like that. In the last two years stuff coming out of the AFA has gone from little to none. The web site stinks. And like you, most I talk to wonder what the heck is going on cause the communication we were promised has been strangled to nothing. I don't get it. Even Susan has stopped her stuff. Might be my dues are due, or over due, but there's nothing coming out of the AFA office I can see either. Same stuff, different year.
Ben Sturman
AFA CF #7558

Tough times never last, but tough people do!

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RE:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 02:54 #3

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Ben I was informed by our previous AFA president that Susan was voted out and Danvers and April are our communicators.

Don't get me wrong, I BELIEVE IN THE AFA.

I just want to see programs voted in by the board of directors followed through.

If the reps aren't doing their job then it should be checked on by Dick and others in charge and then corrected.

As far as I know Tennessee is the only area where the reps are doing an outstanding job keeping chapters informed and represented.
I have heard this from different members from Tennessee.

I know a lot of the folks in elected positions in the AFA and have visited the office in KY.
It is a great bunch of folks, but being great folks isn't a prerequsit for getting jobs done.

WE in the north east have supposedly 3 reps that cover our region, BUT how can any one truly represent anyone when they never have contact with them. Are they TRULY representing our idea's and concerns.
Not in my book .. Not without sitting down and keeping us informed on what is happening in the AFA and LISTENING to OUR concerns and thoughts.

They arfe "Johnny on the spot with notice our due's are coming up, but in this instance they are LACKING ON THE SPOT in checking to see their duely elected reps are following through and doing the job they ran for, (no one twisted their arm to run).

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 program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 03:01 #4

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Same out here Bruce. My dues are up and have been for a couple of months so I could be out of the loop more than normal, but we should not be out of the loop at all. I thought this system was so we could all be kept up to date and have better communication with the reps to get info to the powers that be in the upper leadership and visa versa.

I guess I could go over and check the website and see if there is an explanation of how it's suppose to work.

All I can say is we get more info when things get riled up here and the powers that be try to stop it. Keep typing, maybe we can get someone riled up enough to start the ball rolling.:rolleyes:
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:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 03:57 #5

Hi Bruce and Ben

First off, just my humble opinion but the AFA Program in Vermont is far from being a failure. My experiences in Vermont, Virginia and Maryland was very positive and exceeded my expectations. Everyone did an outstanding job hosting certification. All the folks involved were friendly, professional and very helpful to every single Farrier that attended.

I cut and pasted the following information from the AFA website. Region 5 has 2 reps listed and it is a rather large region.

Region 5
Jack Millman, CJF
Jock Owings, CJF

Connecticut
Delaware
Europe
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
Nova Scotia
Pennsylvania
Quebec
Rhode Island
Vermont
Virginia
Washington D.C.

Just my 2 cents worth :)
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:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 04:05 #6

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Phil, I odn't think it's a failure, but it sure isn't working the way it was said to as far as communication. Do you hear from your reps or anyone else about what's going on? We have three really good guys out here on the west coast region as reps, but I haven't talked to them in a great while. I do think I've got a couple of emails but nothing of real import. I just envisioned more info forthcoming when they promised more and better communication, that's all.
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:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 04:05 #7

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Phil your not reading my post.

It is a failure on the part of the reps for not ever being in contact with us. For not doing their job.

Bruce
"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 program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 04:17 #8

Ben, recently the only questions I have had pertained to certification. Things like dates, locations, membership and what I need to know and do. Most of them I can get the answers by looking it up. Things that I could not look up I called the AFA office or POC for cert and received immediate answers. I do not expect AFA reps to call or e-mail me. What information are you and Bruce looking for?

I do not see a problem, I see hard working farriers takeing time out of there already busy schedule to help others. I am giving back during Oct to help out with the New Hampshire Certification held at UNH.
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:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 04:20 #9

vthorseshoe wrote:
Phil your not reading my post.

It is a failure on the part of the reps for not ever being in contact with us. For not doing their job.

Bruce

I do not see that as a failure. I guess our expectations of our reps roles and responsibilities are different. If I had a question, I would look them up and call or e-mail 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:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 04:41 #10

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Phil are you telling me you voted in the regional reps to give them FREE REIGN to vote any way for what ever reason THEY think or are they there to reporesent our concerns and views ?

To do this they need to be in contact with the chapters and hear our concerns on issues being voted on.

It is their job to visit the chapters either in person or via other means of communication so all the chapters in a region can be represented with a common goal or agenda.

I think you are either playing devils advocate or are
wound up with gratitude for getting your cert.

And while on the subject, it is the Chapters you visited who did the work of cert. NOT the AFA.
The person who passed you was a rep of the AFA cert program.
The cert would not go on anywhere if it were not for the individual chapters hosting it.
The AFA doesn't pay for any of it.

The AFA is a compilation of Chapters.

Elected officials have a job. Voluntarily or paid.

Call me Phil and i will explain in detail.
Bruce


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 program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 11:37 #11

vthorseshoe wrote:
Phil are you telling me you voted in the regional reps to give them FREE REIGN to vote any way for what ever reason THEY think or are they there to reporesent our concerns and views ?

To do this they need to be in contact with the chapters and hear our concerns on issues being voted on.

It is their job to visit the chapters either in person or via other means of communication so all the chapters in a region can be represented with a common goal or agenda.

I think you are either playing devils advocate or are
wound up with gratitude for getting your cert.

And while on the subject, it is the Chapters you visited who did the work of cert. NOT the AFA.
The person who passed you was a rep of the AFA cert program.
The cert would not go on anywhere if it were not for the individual chapters hosting it.
The AFA doesn't pay for any of it.

The AFA is a compilation of Chapters.

Elected officials have a job. Voluntarily or paid.

Call me Phil and i will explain in detail.
Bruce


my 2 cents worth

I will give you a call, but if you get long winded about AFA politics, I might loose you, signal is not too good up around here. I find I get the best signal while talking about bikes, fishing, hunting and horses. :D

I see this is very important to both you and Ben and that your trying to get a discussion going. I imagine this time of the year these guys are busy enough. Sometimes I get home and barely have the energy to make calls, schedule and write up bills. My hats off to anyone who voluntarily steps up the plate for any organization.

Bruce and Ben what concerns and views do you have that the regional reps did not handle for you guys? Any chance you can list them here. I think that would be a fair thing to do.

Thanks guys.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

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RE:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 12:51 #12

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That is a resonable request Phil;

Represent us as true represenatives.
Be in contact with us and represent our views and concerns.
As represenatives of a region with power to vote then they need to know the concerns and views of all the chapters in their region and use this knowledge to vote representing us and OUR views.

By not being in contact with us just how can they be a true represenative of our views and concerns ??
And by God that means more than a Hi how are you.

This, by the way, Phil is just one area of the AFA and its programs.
You give me the impression I am attacking the whole AFA.
I am NOT attacking anyone, just telling them that they are not doing the job they said they were going to do.
The job we voted in the represenatives to do.
So in my opinion, the program is a failure because it is obvious folks are,
1.) not satisfactily doing what they volunteered to do.
2.) the governing body of the AFA is not checking to see the job of its volunteers is being done
3.) people (the reps) have been elected to represent us, (each region) and without communicating with us then THEY ARE ONLY REPRESENTING THEMSELVES AND THEIR OWN VIEWS at board meetings.

Is that plain and clear enough ?

I am not disgruntled or looking to upset folks,I am very simply saying and requesting "do the job you asked for and the job of being a true represenative of chapters in a region."

Dick and all the rest have heard me say time and time again, Communication,
Take care of the projects you have before starting others.

Phil; we have been friends for a lot of years now, but you remark about loosing connection if long winded about AFA politics, rankles me.

Members need to be long winded.
Members need to communicat on a regular basis and know what is going on.

Walt Taylor and others formed the AFA years ago for the farriers to be able to educate, communicate, have commoradity, and through programs and venue's be able to advance their careers and keep our trade professional.
A place where we could come together and learn from others and be the best we can be.

If you and others think being involved is being long winded, or say "Oh please I really don't want to hear this. That is why we voted folks in, to take care of this",
then you need to shake the cob webs out of your head.

This is why it is the same old folks doing all the work in chapters and organizations around the world.
It is your right to be long winded and voice your concerns as a member.
If you choose not to exercise this right then you have no ground to stand on when something upsets you or a chapter fails.
(Maine, and other chapters had great people giving it all to create a place to bring farriers together for learning and advancement.
How many of you came to John or Jerry or other leaders and volunteered to help. Actually worked to keep the assoc. going and moving forward ?
Or was it as it always is, it closed down because of lack of involvement on a reglar basis.
The same folks always doing the work got tired and said they had no help so the assoc. was shut down.

LONG WINDED ? you bet Phil.


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 program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 13:02 #13

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Bruce,
In this day and age communication should not be a problem. If each rep had the e-mail address of contact of each chapter, then a monthly or as needed mass message can be sent to all e-mails at once. Don't know if this would help, but to me Bruce, this is what I am getting.
Mikel Dawson, RJF

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

Caution: Watch for hoof in mouth disease!!!
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RE:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 13:06 #14

Bruce,

Did you not recieve the Reg, 5 report ?

This one....

Jack Millman CJF,DWCF
AFA, Board of Director
Region 5

Report to members 26 July 2009.
You have recently heard from Jock Owens ,also your Region 5 Representative,reporting to you about the efforts of the Executive Committee and your Representatives over the past year. I also have sat in on virtually every Executive Committee meeting over the past two years and I can assure you that this current E.C. and your Officers are working in your best interests as members of The American Farriers Association.
I am going to follow up Jock’s report with many of the venues coming up in Region 5 and surrounding areas that you can attend. These seminars, clinics and competitions are all offered to you by AFA Chapters, Equine organizations and folks interested in spreading good information so that you can enjoy the good life of being a Farrier and a member of The American Farriers Association.
*In SEPTEMBER the first symposium will be put on by the Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners.
This will take place at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard. CT September 23 thru the 25.
For information call NEAEP at 877-355-9994
NOTE, we are looking for any of our AFA members who are attending to help staff the AFA Booth at this conference’s Market Place. Please call me, Jack Millman, at 413-238-5555 if you can help.
*AUGUST Fran jurga’s Hoof Blog for Hoofcare at Saratoga’s 2009 Safe and Sound Series will take place on Tuesday evenings August 4,11,18,28 in Saratoga Springs,NY
Full details are at http://www3.hoofcare.blogspot.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 978-281-3222.
*AUGUST 15 and 16 The Berkshire Blacksmiths Association will hold their annual AGE OF IRON Demonstration at the Hancock Shaker Village Museum in Hancock MA. Anyone who wishes to demonstrate at this event please call Nick @ 508 867-2454. All are invited to attend and watch the work.
*AUGUST will also be the time for the Empire State Farriers Association Annual Forging Contest at the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck,NY on Sunday August 30,2009 9:00 AM. The Judge will be Denis Girard.
For information contact: Tom DuBois 845-744-5808, cell 845-800-3656. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
*SEPTEMBER 10, 11, 12 World Champion Blacksmiths competition at the 9th Annual Highnote Hot Air Balloon, Music and Fireworks Festival. Competition entry deadline is August 22, 2009.
For more information call 575-868-2414
*SEPTEMBER Horseshoes Plus 17th annual Farrier Family Day September 19, 2009 at Horseshoes Plus, Barrington, NH.
Clinician will be Travis Coons CJF.
For information contact Bruce or Rob at 800-382-5434 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
*OCTOBER 2009 Wellshodhorses Practical Farrier Workshop. October 10 & 11 at the Prince Georges County Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro Maryland.
Clinicians will be Mike Wildenstein (Saturday) and Bob Pethick (Sunday)
For information contact Brian Purrington 443-564-0231
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
*OCTOBER The Southern New England Farrier’s Association Annual Fall Clinic and Competition will be held in New Hampshire. October 16,17,18 Marriott Hotel, Concord,NH. Royden Bloom will be the Clinician and Judge.
For information contact Paul Simard 603-226-4953,
*AFA Certification at UNH in the Fall.
For information contact Jim Smith CJF 603-473-2883, cell 603-312-7647
This is a very good schedule and should keep every one of us on our toes and learning.
If you or your association have any other events coming up for 2009 and 2010
Please let me know.
I will be attending the AFA Board of Directors mid-year meeting in Lexington, KY September 19. If you have any thing you would like addressed at this meeting please let me know.
Thank you for letting me serve as your American Farriers Association Board of Directors Representative.
Jack Millman CJF,DWCF
413 238 5555
Cell 413 539 7704
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Brian R. Purrington
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.wellshodhorses.com
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RE:AFA program a failure in Vermont 01 Aug 2009 13:28 #15

vthorseshoe wrote:
That is a resonable request Phil, here goes;

Lack of communication with the chapters.
(at least with ours)

That means talking to us, keeping us informed, finding out our views on what is going on, coming up and possible in the future.
Being a true represenative .

following through on the programs goal of having a region communicate and then the reps can

Hardly a lack of communications these days. Cell phones, E-mail, Websites and discussion forums. Either party can initiate the discussion. What's on your mind besides communications? If any of us have ideas, questions or concerns all we have to do is call the AFA office or better yet your regional rep. The AFA regional reps vs. one office is meeting the goal of improving the communications. I see that you would like to go beyond that and expect your regional reps to call and/or write a report. That is a lot to ask in my opinion. Maybe it would also serve the AFA and members better for communications to start the other way around. Submit your concerns and ideas.

One thing I would like to see is improving the horse owners and Equine industry about the AFA and certification. I see the AFA has a committee rep on this very issue and also have seen it addressed in the latest AFA magazine. I'm doing a very small part in my area, by informing my clients and barns about AFA certification. One barn I work at is going to promote the AFA to horse owners on their website. After learning what was involved and how educational AFA Certification is, they were very impressed.

This forum is a good tool for communications, however it has the reputation of being very negative and harmful. Keep in mind the number of people that read what we say. We can change that reputation and be more productive by changing how we say things by being more positive. The words failure and accusing reps of not doing their job is very harsh and it is your opinion. It impossible to keep everyone happy, if you were a rep some would be happy with you some would be unhappy with you. Just the way it is. To some folks no matter how you justified yourself, they would see it as an excuse and accuse you of not doing your job. It does not feel good to get on here and see your name mentioned by someone and accused of not doing your job. I think you can handle your frustration with the AFA a better way.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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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