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2017 Summer Symposium and

All-Suri Fleece Show

About Symposium 2017

The 2017 Suri Symposium had something for alpaca farmers new and old. 2017 Symposium will be offered multiple general sessions designed to appeal to a wide range of owners, as well as break out sessions that  allowed participants to choose the topics they are most interested in. 

See the full schedule here.

The educational and networking opportunities are fantastic! Here is what people have had to say:

“Loved the schedule and educational opportunities. Loved 3 full days. Loved the new location in Loveland. Great facility. Best symposium in 5 years!”

“Topics presented were exactly what I needed to learn about to help my alpacas and my farm.”

“Excellent event. As a relatively new Suri owner/breeder I appreciate the vast amount of info and networking here.”

“So glad we finally came. Have heard from others for a good time that was worth the $ and now I know it to be true.”

Our line-up for 2017 includes:

Dave Scott, Livestock Specialist at the National Center for Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas, who will pressent a general session on pasture management.  Dave's workshop was enormously popular last year, so we're making sure everyone has a chance to hear him.

Dr. Norm Evans will present a general session on using nutrition to improve your herd's fiber, as well as a workshop session on using biopsy data to improve your herd breeding decisions.

Judges Jude Anderson and Amanda Vandenbosch will host a discussion on showing in both fleece and halter, and answer all your questions about each.

Dr. Signe Balch will cover common camelid reproductive issues, as well as discuss cria delivery and neonatal care.

Patty Hasselbring will lead several workshops on grant writing for farmers.  There are grants available to farmers for infrastructure improvements - learn how to have your best chance at being awarded one!

Brion Smoker, CPA will discuss business planning for alpaca farmers, as well as warn us about red flags for the IRS and how to (hopefully) avoid being audited - or else how to survive the process. Additional workshops on developing a business model for your farm will be facilitated by Alvina Maynard, Stacie Chavez and Liz Vahlkamp.

Wini Labrecque is offering a multi-part fiber sorting and grading workshop.  If you struggle with working through your fleece and determining the best use possible, Wini will take the mystery out of the process.  She'll also lead a workshop on preparing your fleece specifically for shows.

Alvina Maynard will lead participants through the Suri Network Code of Harvest best practices - getting the most out of your fleece starts long before your actual shearing day.  She will also share with us her insights into running an alpaca farm using a livestock model - developing and marketing a small or medium farm product.

Nancy Irlbeck will talk to us about the livestock model and how it applies to alpacas.  Gone are the days of alpacas as exotic pets - how do we profit from our herds?  A big part of profitability is sustainability, another topic Nancy will discuss in a workshop setting.

Stacie Chavez will share her large scale alpaca farming adventure with us.  She runs hundreds of alpacas on open land in a model very different than the small scale farming familiar to most of us.

Liz Vahlkamp of the North American Suri Company will share her impressions of the state of the industry today and her vision for the commercial future of alpaca fiber.

Jared Johnston of Alpaca Culture magazine is delivering a general session on marketing your alpaca farm business. 

Bud Synhorst, the new Executive Director of AOA, will speak to us about recent developments within the organization and his hope for future progress.

Dan Corley will share his farm Alta Vida's unique mission statement with us, and speak to how we all need to find our niche and our passion for our farms.

Suri Symposium Sponsors

Many thanks to our Symposium sponsors for supporting the 2017 Symposium!

Purely Gold Sponsor

Tim and Beth Sheets

Flora, IN

Purely Silver Sponsor

Sue and Kevin King

Sherwood, OR

Fleece Transport Supporter Sponsor

Gary and Kali Wilson

Montague, MI

Judge's Choice Sponsor

Brenda Quinones

Palmer Lake, CO

Specialty Ribbon Sponsor

Jill McElderry-Maxwell

Pittsfield, ME

Purely Silver Sponsor

Karl and Jan Heinrich

Gallatin, TN

Purely Silver Sponsor

Deb and Doug Christner

Hotchkiss, CO

Meal Sponsor

Patty and Britt Hasselbring

Concordia, MO

Fleece Show Supporter Sponsor

Candy and Ray McMahan

Ruffin, NC

Farm Table Sponsor

Kristie and Brion Smoker

Annville, PA


  Suri Network
P.O. Box 1984
Estes Park, Colorado   80517
Phone: (970) 586-5876
Fax: (970) 591-0007

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