|Thoughts on Convention and 2010
(March 1, 2010) As I am writing this month’s column, we have just come home from the American Sheep Industry Association’s (ASI) Convention in Nashville. We had another record crowd with lots of enthusiasm. We added two new groups this year making a total of nine plus the youth as organizations joining together for the meetings. The American Goat Federation is getting closer to becoming a partner national organization to ASI, and we hope that next year in Reno we can vote to do joint activities.
Our hosts from Tennessee did a great job and we thank them.
By the time you read this, we will have named all the members of your councils and committees. These are the people who set policy and direction for ASI, and I certainly appreciate each of them.
Three of our executive board members retired this year, Angelo Theos, Bill Taliaferro and Tom Watson, and they have added a lot in the last four years. Tell them thanks for their hard work if you happen to run into them.
It has been an honor to work with the other two officers and the executive board this past year, and we look forward to another year of opportunities to strengthen the sheep industry. 2010 is an election year and typically not very much of consequence happens in Washington, D.C., in Congressional election years. I hope that we will see a lot more bipartisanship in Congress this year, and maybe something will get done.
At the convention, we were honored to have the under secretary for Marketing and Regulation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Edward Avalos, with us and to address us. It was like a breath of fresh air to hear him. He is a friend of the sheep industry who was raised and worked in New Mexico and is in a position to be a great help to us.
We also had an excellent presentation from Bruce Vincent who is a logger but speaks for all people that work with and control the great outdoors of America. He challenged us to get involved and lead the movement to protect our property rights from the many different attacks that we face.
Lastly, I want to say thanks to Peter and all of the great staff he has accumulated. To watch and participate in convention activities shows how talented and dedicated they all are. I bet if we offered, we could sell a sheep to each of them.