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 Suri Network News

Spring 2018


• President's Letter

• SHIP Update

• 2018 Symposium Update

• Future of Suris Survey

• The PDC Needs You!

• Product Auction

Board of Trustees
Sue King
Phone: 503-799-6941

Vice President
Deb Christner
Phone:970 872-4446

Phone:970 250-7392

Nancy Lindemood

Home Phone: 859-428-9220 

Cell: 513-218-8978

Jennifer Hack

Phone: 720-733-2672

Trustees at Large
Michael Alpert
Phone:  405-990-8205

Kristie Smoker
Phone: 717-503-6168

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Phone: 207-660-5276

Suri Network Website

SHIP Website
SHIP Update

The Suri Network’s herd improvement program is moving ahead by leaps and bounds.  Word is spreading quickly as farm after farm shares their excitement about their SHIP herd classification and how valuable it has been in gaining the knowledge necessary to improve their Suri herd’s quality.

In the fall of 2017, four farms and 167 Suris were classified in Missouri.  Then the classifiers moved to California in early 2018 and 93 animals were classified at seven farms. At this time both classifiers, Cheryl Gehly and Mary Lou Clingan, worked together to calibrate their scoring, assuring consistency between them.  Another five California farms and 100 animals are scheduled for classification in April and a Colorado group is scheduled for early May followed by another farm group in the Washington/Oregon area.

Suri breeders who have had a SHIP classification are eligible to display the SHIP participant logo indicating their commitment to quality herd improvement.  The logo is available for display on farm websites and a 15  by 15 inch vinyl banner, to display on the farm and at shows, can be ordered from the Suri Network office for $20.

As the demand for SHIP classification increases, Mary Lou and Cheryl are developing a training manual to be used as additional classifiers are added.  Updates are being added to the SHIP database on a regular basis and Tim Sheets has been invaluable in maintaining the database and improving the ease for breeders as they enter their herd lists directly online.  Breeders are now able to print distribution graphs from the online SHIP database.

Suri breeders who have chosen to participate in the SHIP classification process are leading the way in the improvement of the national Suri alpaca herd.  

For more information on SHIP, please visit the SHIP website at, or contact Cindy Grigg at the Network office to schedule your classification.

Product Auction to Benefit Suri Network and its Members
Your board is hard at work planning a new fundraising event for this summer's Symposium - an expanded, on-line auction of Suri Network member farm items and events, targeted at a national audience. Stay tuned for more information about this event that will help raise funds for the Suri Network as well as showcase member products and drive new customers to your farm stores!

President's Letter

Hello Suri Network Members! We are on the downhill side of winter finally.  The 2018 show season has started and Suri owners around the country are planning their events for the year.  

We here at Suri Network also have been planning our events on your behalf.  The 2018 Summer Symposium on Aug 3-4, 2018 in Loveland Colorado is sure to be the headliner event for the industry this year.  With our theme of “The Science of Suris,” we are bringing in world renowned speakers on topics ranging from genetics, nutrition, and diseases, to fiber analysis and marketing your farm business.  To top that, we are planning the largest Suri fleece show in the country (maybe the world) to coincide with the Symposium so participants can see and feel the best Suri fleeces in the industry, judged by senior judges, including Amanda VandenBosch and Cheryl Gehly.

The conference provides ample opportunity to network with other Suri breeders across the country to compare best practices and farm management.  Most of all, we plan to have a fun time with each other, celebrating the beautiful Suri alpaca!

The Board of Trustees wants to thank you for your financial and/or volunteer support of the Suri Network.  We are a small, but mighty Suri breed association, comprised of volunteers that work tirelessly to advance our mission.   With your support we continue our mission to ensure the preservation and advancement of the Suri breed.  Your involvement, input and feedback are critical to the ongoing success of our industry.  

Warmest regards,

Sue King


Suri Network

2018 Symposium Planning

Save the date!  The 2018 Suri Network Symposium is back in Loveland, CO this August 3rd and 4th!  We are returning to a two day, Friday and Saturday format, with the possibility of attending additional workshops on Thursday. More information will be made available as we finalize the workshop details.

We have some tremendous speakers lined up this year, including top veterinarians Drs. Christopher Cebra, Robert Van Saun, Ahmed Tibary, Ruthanne McCaslin and Signe Balch, speaking on topics from reproduction to nutrition. If you own this book - come listen to more than half the authors!

Mike deSorbo will speak on the science of marketing your business, while Amanda VandenBosch, Cheryl Gehly and Gabrielle Menn will get hands on with fiber - how to assess it, how to use it, and how to profit from it.

New this year, the fleece show will begin judging fleeces on Wednesday, August 1, prior to the start of the Symposium.  All fleeces will need to be mailed in this year (or transferred at no cost from the National Fleece Show!), but will be available for pick up at the end of the Symposium.  Start planning now which of your gorgeous fleeces will compete for the coveted top honors at the largest suri fleece show in the country, including the all new breeders' cup awards!

The August Symposium will again have a Fiber Arts competition and now’s the time to begin planning and creating your entry!  We accept entries in all categories described in the AOA Showbook, as long as they contain at least 50% suri fiber (Chapter 24, Section 3).  Details on entry dates coming soon!

The Product Development Committee Needs You!

The Product Development Committee for the Suri Network has always been a motivated and productive part of the association.  Its main goal is to assist in educating owners and consumers about suri fiber and supporting its use.  To see some of its past contributions, check out the Education Tab and About Suri Fiber sections on the Network website.  (  

Right now, the PDC is looking for new members that share a passion for suri fiber.  Please consider joining and contributing to this committee.  Contact Kristie Smoker (Board Liaison) if interested:

The Future of Suris Survey 

We'd Like Your Input

Because you are a Suri Network member, we know you care about the business of Suri alpaca ownership in North America.  As Board members for this association, we believe that our members have a realistic finger on the pulse of the suri industry and we would like to know what you are thinking!  Please share with us what’s going well for you and what may concern you regarding any/all of the categories below:

  1. Farm operating costs
  2. Fiber processing and related costs
  3. Sales prospects at various levels of the Livestock Model
  4. Show system
  5. Availability of markets for raw fiber and end fiber products
  6. Branding for suri fiber and products

If you would like to share your viewpoint on these or other items you feel are pertinent, please send it to the Suri Network office via email ( by March 15:

  • Indicate whether you would like your responses to be anonymous or if it's permissible to attach your name to your comments (the office will abide by your preference)
  • Please share where you reside (NE, SE, MW, etc.)
  • Provide examples to support your perspective
  • When responding, please indicate or rank which issues are of most concern

Thank you so much for responding to this inquiry!  In addition to the Board review of input, we have created a committee to review and determine what to work on.  All input will be recapped and shared at the Suri Symposium in August as well as in other communication vehicles.  We hope to solidify and support the gratifying aspects of Suri ownership and continue to improve the Suri industry in North America!


Suri Network
Phone: (970) 586-5876
Fax: (970) 591-0007

P.O. Box 1984

Estes Park, Colorado

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Suri Network

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