Saturday, November 20, 2010

Synopsis of the Build A Tent AOBA Meeting - 11/19/2010

To view the original  Agenda click here. 
For background info - other info and copies of the presentation - click here

The meeting took place in Nashville, TN and online through web broadcast software.  The buzz even generated a new story on the local news for a local TN farm. Of course the prices quoted in there should be tongue in cheek (Fiber $6 an ounce), but it was a nice article!    There was also a streaming video stream which was available to folks who did not pre-register.  I chose to join online (gotta love technology) as part of the web conference software.   As part of the AOBA Fiber Committee,  I not only was there for Alma Park Alpacas, but also for the future of the entire Alpaca Industry.  In order for the industry to really grow and become a true fiber producing industry, we need to come together as a large group of breeders.   I will always have a portion of my fleece clip be just for Alma Park Exclusive products and Genuine Aymara ™ products, but it would be wonderful to sell off a large portion of my 1000+ pound clip to a fiber buyer or textile manufacturer!!  OK - now back to the synopsis!

Let me say first that the AOBA staff did an excellent job in the technology portion of the meeting!  They also did a great job pulling the meeting all together.

A couple of tips for future meetings: 
  • We should have a full time moderator for the webinar participants as many of us felt left out from questions and opinions as no one was really "moderating" our chat.   
  • Friday or a day during the week is not the best timing for a meeting like this - there were about 100 participants both online and in person.  With approx 4000 AOBA members and approx 6000 farms across the country, this was not a well attended event.   Most alpaca breeders still have day jobs and many cited this as a reason that they could not attend.  I was dismayed that out of over 100 alpaca farms in the US - there were only 2 perhaps 3 of us in the meeting.   I would hate to think that low attendance overall was due to the fact that people are not interested in fiber and will rather chalk it up to a Friday meeting.  
  • Many folks stated on Facebook that they did not know of the meeting.   I am not sure if the email blast did not get to enough people, people did open it or some other reason.  AOBA has a page on Facebook as well - there are TONS of alpaca folks on Facebook - definitely should have been posted there.  Many folks stated that my Facebook post was the only way they knew about it.  
This synopsis will have both notes from the meeting as well as my opinion on some topics.  My opinions will be in italics and I welcome you to comment on them as well as the actual meeting notes.  AOBA will be putting out a DVD of the meeting and I encourage you all to get a copy! 

The meeting opened up addressing perhaps why the alpaca  industry has not been in the "fiber market". 
  • Industry has historically been focused on promoting breeding stock not fiber
  • Small scale producers of fiber
  • Social problem in the US - rural communities is our target market thus far - but that is NOT where the money resides.  Also the economy show the US is NOT getting richer! 
What does this mean to producers?  While there will always be a niche market for fiber producers, we need to make a move into commercial production in order for our Luxurious Alpaca Fiber to penetrate the market. I have to find the citation, but I think alpaca fiber has only a 5% market penetration.  We need to step out of a breeding market and bifurcate.  Commercial flocks (fiber producers) and Seed Stock (show string).  Producers can have both types of animals on their farms, but we NEED to make the distinction.  We also need to gear our show system and national marketing efforts to identify and make the distinction.  Currently (for huacayas) only merino like (crimpy) fleeces are winning the ribbons, but many of us impassioned fiber people know our "silkies" (smooth cool to the touch non crimpy fiber) make wonderful products and yarn!  The Suri Network has identified several types of fleece structures and most mills will tell you that straight locks are easier to process.  The tight ringlets require more processing and often take more time and "rip" on machines.  We need to start breeding for what fiber BUYERS want, not what we THINK they want or what is aesthetically pleasing to producers.  Also education to the alpaca breeder masses needs to happen to have them all be on the same page as to grade.  Those of us that make lots of products know that grade 3 is the most widely adaptable, usable and easy to work with without compromising feel. 

We have all enjoyed a high priced breeding market to this point, but the fact is that if these animals are for fiber production, prices are too high.  Merino sheep and even cashmere goats are $100s not $1000s of dollars to purchase and enjoy a rich long time history of commercial production!

I also believe since the majority of growers still have a "day job", many have not had enough "skin in the game" for the profits of fiber to make a difference.  The economy may have brought this to a premature inevitability.  

Strategic objectives:
  •     To create and promote business model for sustainable alpaca industry
  •     Alpacas of all types and quality
  •     Promotes domestic fiber off the animal’s back to fashion
  •     IMPROVES the economic potential for alpaca farmers
I have said it hundreds of times along with my fiber colleagues - FIBER must be the future.  We need to promote all types and quality of alpaca.  Different grades/lengths are for different uses.  Wool is heavily used in rug manufacturing, but it is NOT the 18-19 micron count merino.  What about all our coarse older animals?  There is a use for their fiber as well - we just have to let the manufacturers KNOW it and get a distribution and collection model together to get it done!  

If we can create a demand for our product, FIBER, then all growers will benefit and it will bring more people into the commercial side of the business in the rural communities who have the land and may want to move into alpacas from other forms of livestock or ag crops or do both! 

The topic of cooperation was discussed and that there were "competitors" in the meeting. 
  • Small producers
  • Mini Mills
  • Alpaca Blanket project 
and probably others I missed.

Rod Dakan (Royal Fiber Spinnery) stated: "... there are no competitors because no one in the room is doing the same thing and 100% of the fleece is not being processed”

I think this was a statement of genius and would have to agree that we are not competing and we are ALSO NOT collaborating or cooperating.

Industry development objective around fiber!!  It is "Fish or cut bait time" .

While I have been a fiber nut for about 6 of the 8 years I have been breeding alpacas, I believe there is renewed focus in our industry because of the economy and the fact that our "crop" could actually generate money is on many peoples minds and agendas. Many small producers and other organizations stated above have been making this a reality.  How about now we have an "umbrella" to bring us all together and pool efforts and knowledge to benefit one and all?  

Animal Statistics in the US only (From ARI):
  • 2006 - 86k registered animals
  • 2010 - 207k registered animals
I have been hearing for years that we do not have enough fiber in this country to do anything with.  Well I said that was BS in 2006 and it is DEFINITELY BS now!!  With 207k animals and possibly another 20k - 50k unregistered - that is a lot of fiber!

If we do the calculation of just the registered ones (and just assume just an average of 3 pounds of blanket - ignoring 2nds, 3rds and those big studs who shear 10 pounds etc), that is 621k pounds of fiber - OVER a half of a million pounds or 310 TONS of fiber!!  Can we do something with that ??  You bet!  This of course does not take into account ANY fiber stored in breeders basements etc (may not be good anymore depending on storage conditions) or unregistered animals.  

Other Statistics:    
  • Peru with 4 large processors uses 85% of the global alpaca fiber
  • Peru has over 100 year history of working with alpaca fiber and this passthrough is estimated at 4000 tons !
  • There are 165k ARI registered animals outside of the US currently
  • Italy KNOWS about processing fiber - think about Italian Cashmere
  • Australia - fiber research is amazing and growing fiber is part of their culture and government support
  • Estimated that there will be 2500 TONS of alpaca fiber in 2020 in the US based on a 15-18% growth in animal population.  
  • In 2003, first alpacas were imported into China, who has a huge rural community and will use the alpaca from cradle to grave as fiber, food and pelts.   Please see the website for alpacas in China (I know the top picture has to be llamas)
  • 2010 China National Cashmere and Wool Conference – Keynote speaker Karl Spilhaus (president of National Textile Assoc and Cashmere and Camel Hair Mfg institute) - Why was there not an alpaca representative at this meeting.  We NEED to be in the fiber/textile space!
  •  Currently the buyers of fiber in the US have a fragile system.  If they do not get enough fiber or the right kinds of fiber, they cannot make production.  ABP cannot make blankets, AFCNA cannot make socks, NAAFP or NEAFP cannot make product for their members to re-sell, Back to back can't make felt kits or quilt batting.  
  • Mini Mills are in an enviable position as they are getting a majority of fiber  - why don't we utilize them further and bring them into the production chain? 
  • Cashmere – small specialty fiber – how come we are not looking at their path to success? 
  • National Textile Assoc  - why aren’t we at that table? 
Production: Some things to think about since there is no current sustainable fiber collection and no private money to set it up.
  • Work with AFCNA and other sorting/collection orgs - pilot by region that would work to serve all of us?
  • Lack of adequate production support – cottage and commercial - LONG wait times in mini-mills that we would NEVER tolerate in a normal industry

Biggest Issues On our Road to Fiber: 
  • Value of fiber and how to do a value added strategy (don't have experience or culture like Italy or Australia)
  • Not an investment opp to date (been focusing on sale of animals not fiber)
  • Need Research and Development (this is on-going with AOBA fiber committee - see here for some info)
  • Need volume (have the fiber) and organization (collection and distribution centers)

What can we learn from others (Cotton): Nick Hahn - private consultant and former CEO of Cotton Inc was the keynote speaker and wow what parallels to our industry.  Read all about the struggle and success of Cotton Inc here. 

A brief summary (all cited from
  • Cotton was losing market share to synthetics.  "In 1960, cotton apparel and home fabrics accounted for about 78% of all textile products sold at retail.  By 1975, that share had plummeted to an all-time low of 34%, due to the successful incursion of synthetic fibers in the marketplace, threatening the extinction of cotton as a viable commercial commodity." (Source -
  • 1970 - Cotton Inc is incorporated
  • 1973 - The Seal of Cotton ® is introduced
  • 1983 – Market share reaches 39%. Recognition of the Seal is at 63%
  • 1987– Cotton regains dominant position in the textile industry. Market share reaches  49%.  Recognition of the seal -  71%. Mill consumption of U.S. cotton reaches levels not seen in 15 years. 
It was a long road.  It has been 40 years since Cotton Inc was first formed and branding and marketing is still necessary.   They created the demand for their product.  They already had the supply.  Nick Hahn states that alpaca could use a "little help" in branding and marketing and while it would be too much money to do an all out campaign like Cotton did - we should look to work and collaborate with people and groups already in the fiber industry.

Some Problems to solve:
  • First hurdle – measure production 
  • What about alpaca growers who did not want to  cooperate?
  • Since an all out advertising campaign like Cotton would be too expensive - let's explore social media like Facebook and Twitter and use the power of the Internet
  • Partner with people who are already there, fashion people


Now comes the tough questions!!!! 

What do we do next?

  • There was a "fake" vote on whether or not we should create a new organization to focus on fiber and do what Cotton Inc did.  Call it "Alpaca Alliance".  I believe the majority voted yes.  
  • Other questions were - would you pay $250 to buy a share in this new organization?  Some folks hesitated on answering this question (including me) because they didn't know what the new organization would do, how it would be organized or where the arbitrary $250 price came from. 
Benefits of a L3C were discussed.  This is a hybrid model for creative capitalism.  This type of corporation would allow affiliates, groups etc  to hold shares of stock.  Would allow for charitable donations and would allow for dividends to be paid to shareholders.   Other concerns were voting rights of those groups or farms that bought multiple shares and the balance of power would be "big vs small" once again.

AOBA wants to help build the tent but in NO WAY wants to own it.  They simply wanted to start the conversation and be a part as any other shareholder.  

Here are my thoughts on moving forward: 
  • We need some type of  "tent" organization to focus on fiber only - NOT the animals JUST the fiber.  Supply chain, collection, distribution, education etc. 
  • We NEED a brand - we NEED to educate the public about our product - FIBER NOT ANIMALS. I for one am tired of the "lifestyle" ads and would like fashion or fiber ads!! 
  • We need to give growers a choice:
    • Many already utilize fiber as a small producer or cooperate with groups such as ABP, NAAFP etc etc.  Have these groups be part of the "tent" and able to utilize the new brand.  They have already done some amazing work from scratch - help them be MORE successful- do not try to replace or eliminate them. 
    • Some growers want NOTHING to do with the fiber once they grow it.  
      • Create a collection system to purchase fiber from these growers - Cotton growers do NOT have farm stores selling towels from their farm! 
      • Create a market by which their fiber can be purchased at the "farm gate".  No sorting/skirting etc by them - just clip and bag.
  • Education to the growers to better grow and shear their fleece - guidelines
  • The New organization needs to have some independent (outside the industry) folks involved like Nick Hahn!  I feel that one of the issues with our other efforts thus far is that we in-fight and do not know how to govern ourselves objectively.  This happens in industries in their infancy.  I say Nick Hahn has the experience and we should hire him to do what needs to be done to get this industry on the right track! 
  • Have patience - it took cotton 17 years to get back to where they once were because of synthetics.  
  • Wool and Cashmere are NOT the enemy!!  We are not better than cashmere (although we are more affordable).  We are not better than wool (although we feel better at the same micron).  Embrace these other natural fibers!  Wool (merino) at 30% blended with huacaya makes a much better all purpose yarn than either make on their own.  Merino give it memory and alpaca keeps it skin touch soft.  
  • We need professional staff - this industry is burned out from volunteering
I know that many folks will be hesitant in creating a new organization.  They will say "what about AFCNA"?   Well AFCNA is not working in my opinion and hasn't been for some time.   It gets less and less fiber "donated" each year.  The Alpaca Blanket Project got in over 50,000 pounds of fiber which is a very large amount for a private project.  Is it because of the price that ABP is paying or is it because people have lost faith in AFCNA.  I don't know.  I think that AFCNA cannot take us into the future but there may be a place for them "under the tent" .   AFCNA is the only true co-op that is currently in existence in the alpaca industry in the US and it is "owned" by the members.  The other organizations are all private organizations and can be a choice for growers as well.   (Correction 11/21/10 - NAAFP is also a true co-op and owned by the owners - apologies to the folks of NAAFP)

In creating a new enterprise I adamantly feel that it SHOULD NOT be a co-op.  Co-ops rely on member support and volunteering etc.  I think we need a real corporation, a staff that is answerable to the shareholders like IBM, Microsoft or Exxon!!! 

I am optimistic about the future.  I support moving forward into the FIBER WORLD.  I vote for Nick Hahn to be brought on board to help us get started.  As part of the AOBA Fiber Committee, I will relish helping with this project.  

I will continue to do my own portion of Alma Park Exclusive stuff but LOOK FORWARD to the day where 80% of my clip can be purchased at my "farm gate" and I get a check for it!!  The other 20% of my fiber will be the passion that I currently enjoy, but I can be more focused on the fun stuff with that 80% safely in the pipeline and off "my mind".  

So until the DVD comes out - here is my synopsis!  Please comment good or bad - as we are at the first steps in this process and EVERYONE's opinion matters!!! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Build A Tent Initiative - AOBA meeting 11/19/2010 - Agenda Build-A-Tent Initiative will be held both on-line and in person in Nashville TN.  For more info - please see the AOBA Build - A - Tent website

The initial agenda was as follows (all times Central) :

8:00 – 8:30    A.  Getting Started (30 min.)    
  1. Purpose of the Meeting
    •    Development of a fiber business model and initial objectives.
    •    Participant Purposes (per e-mail survey)
  2. Introductions 
  3. Meeting Process
8:30 – 10:00    B.  Overview - Benchmarking (90 min.)        
Where Are We?
  1. Status and Opportunities – C. Raessler
  2. Industry Exchange - Open Discussion - On-site and Webinar Participants
  3. Summary of Conclusions
10:00 – 10:15    Break (15 min.)            

10:15 – 11:15    C.  What We Can Learn from Cotton! (60 min.)
  • Nick Hahn, Private Consultant and former CEO of Cotton Incorporated a NYC based research and marketing 501(c)(3) corporation owned and directed by US cotton farmers and importers

11:15 – 12:30    D.  Business Model Discussion (90 min.)
What is a “For-Profit Low Income Limited Liability Co.” aka “A For Profit With A Soul”
  1. Concept Introduction
  2. Proposed “shareholder” tracks(1)  - The Moo Cow Story!
  •     Commercial
  •     Cottage Industry
  •     Individual
  •     Others
      3.    Role of 3-5 person “council” and operational management
      4.    Open Discussion – On-site and Webinar Participants
12:30 – 1:15     Lunch (45 min.)
Individual and/or Organizational Discussion and Straw Vote

1:15 – 2:30    E. Pretend We Are Having a “Shareholders’ Meeting” (90 min.)
    Agenda Item: Development of Business Objectives Year One (the IBM-BHAG Concept)
  1. Commercial – “Build a Graded Bale” or other core project
    • “BHAG” – Standard – commodities exchange
      2.    Cottage Industry – “Build and Brand a high-end E-Commerce Site” (an alpaca Etsy) or other core project
    • “BHAG” – Standard – Local Harvest?
      3.    Individual – “Build a Farm Based Collection Model”.  This model could (and should) leverage existing industry resources such as non-profit and private collection cooperatives.
    •  “BHAG” – Run on a profitable basis a regionally based, centralized collection pilot in 2011.
2:30 – 2:45    Break (15 min.)

2:45 – 3:30    What an Industry Brand Could Do for Us! – Nick Hahn (45 min.)

    Please note that the media has been invited to log-in at 3:30

3:30 – 4:00    Wrap-Up (45 min.)

(1)   LLC equity interests are not “shareholders” and shares.  The correct term is “members” and “units”.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What will you do today to build your business?

In my Facebook account, I try to post an inspirational message several times a week.  Today I took a quote from one of my favorite dancers of all times!  I had not seen this quote before, but it hit me like a ton of bricks today!! 

“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to to dance better than myself.” Mikhail Baryshnikov 

To me this quote means a lot !!  Many folks look at some of the large or successful farms and want to compete with them.  Many folks look at farms who have had breeding programs for the last 12-15 years and want to immediately have the success they are having.  They are upset when they are beaten by one of these animals in the showring.  While it is natural to compare yourself with the most successful of folks in your industry, it can be detrimental to your own success. You are not comparing apples to apples so to speak.   If you have been in the alpaca business for less than 3 years, how do you think you can compete with the likes of folks that have been here 8, 12, 20 years?  I say - unless you spend a ton of money and buy from established farms and buy these winning genetics, you need to look within your own herd and see what you need to do to improve!  Get an outside breeding, skirt/sort your fleece and be honest if "fluffy" just isn't doing it for you.  Breed for the show ring or breed for the fiber market - but have a GOAL. 

I have been raising alpacas for 8 years.  My breeding program has really been on track for about 5.  I have enjoyed a lot of success in the show ring in recent years, but I did something different about 6 years ago - I decided to concentrate on the fiber!!  I have 2 types of animals in my herd.  Those that are destined for the show ring (merino type fiber)  and those that are destined for the fiber market (silky type fiber).  Sometimes the show ring animals make great yarn - sometimes they don't.   My champion herdsire Sebastian took a First Place and Judge's chocice of the entire skein competition at MAPACA this year.  That was QUITE an honor for me !  He is a dual purpose animal and that thrills me to no end.   Not only is he a champ and get of sire winner, he can also make money off his originally intended purpose - yarn!!  His yarn sells out quickly at all my events !!  I have to actually hide skeins for myself !!

I have said before I have a background in economics and realized before the economy took a dump that the alpaca market would follow wall street and the housing market and the housing market showed signs of problems back in 2004 according to my analysis.  I knew that in order to build a sustainable industry, we needed to work on fiber.  I also knew that in order to continue to sell breeding stock, you also had to market and get into the ring with your progeny!! So I took a two pronged approach.  Today I enjoy a thriving yarn and fiber business as well as selling breeding stock and the occasional fiber boy.  I make my living off my animals and yarn business. 

I empower each of you today to do something different than you did yesterday or last week, last month or last year!!  Compete with yourself as the quote above states.  Don't try to compete with others - you may not be on the same playing field!  

For me - I have detailed records of what I sold last year in terms of fiber/yarn online, at certain events on and off the farm etc.  I also keep detailed demographic records of my customers and any inquiries I get for animals.  I look at what works, what doesn't and my marketing budget is tailored to the stuff that is working!

I set goals each quarter using S.M.A.R.T goals.   I try to increase sales etc each day.  

So - what are you going to do today?  Spin some yarn?  Learn to spin/sort/grade?  Look at one of your alpaca's fiber with an objective eye and see where he/she fits into your program and the overall industry?  I say do something today that will make you just a little bit better and more competitive than yesterday - and this builds on itself until you are the one that is envied in everything you do !!!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Future of the Fiber Industy in the US

I have officially removed myself as a member and co-founder of CIABA.   I also asked my articles be removed from their site.  What started out as a fiber organization will (I fear) turn into nothing more than an organization that is more concerned about rescues and less about creating a TRUE fiber market so the NEED for rescues would be diminished drastically.

Leaders into a new frontier must be forward thinking, passionate and business minded. The emotion needed for rescuing is in direct opposition to a true fiber market in this country.   The emotion that most small breeders feel towards their animals also can be detrimental to their own success.

To all those folks that lust over the success of large farms like Snowmass and Magical - I urge you to think what really happens to all those "fiber boys" and ask yourself - will "rescuing" all these animals help or hurt our industry? Think about why Snowmass ships their fiber to Peru.  Because there is NOT a fiber industry yet in the US.

While the economic feasibility of a meat market is highly dubious in my opinion because of the slow growth of an alpaca compared to other forms of livestock - all livestock industries do have a cull market.  While I personally have made a pledge to myself and my animals that the animals I bring into this world do NOT wind up in bad or slaughter circumstances, I do not have a moral objection to it.

I think the growing pains of our industry has been exacerbated by the poor economy and I ask each alpaca breeder to look long and hard about the industry and ask yourself....what will make this industry strong, long and prosper?  I say FIBER. Breeding stock produces fiber, but fiber herds need to be established and made to be profitable as well.

Support those causes that are working towards the fiber end:- AOBA (raw fiber committee)
- Alpaca Blanket Project

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Exclusively from Alma Park Alpacas - Genuine Aymara ™ products

Aymara (noun) pronounced \ˌī-mə-ˈrä\ is the people and/or languange of the native Indiana of Bolivia, Peru, and northern Chile. The word "alpaca" actually comes from Aymara language whereas the other camelid species is from the native Quecha tribes.

Genuine Aymara ™ is Trademarked by Alma Park Alpacas to distinguish it from other alpaca products on the market. There will be 3 grades of Genuine Aymara ™.

  • Royal Baby - alpaca products made from alpaca fiber under 20 microns
  • Baby - alpaca products made from alpaca fiber 20-22.9 microns
  • Superfine - alpaca products made from alpaca fiber 23-26 microns

Genuine Aymara ™ is prepared under certain quality control techniques that are currently being refined after going through initial development. Anyone wishing to use this trademark in the future must contact Alma Park and be licensed to do so once the quality control of growing and preparing are examined.

Any questions can be directed to Rose at Alma Park. Contact info can be found at

Monday, November 1, 2010

How to be a good boarder

We have been raising alpacas for the last 8 years. In the past 4 years we have had a steady stream of boarders (agistors) on our farm who are in transition to setting up their own farm or who are in a long term boarding situation because they are "hands-off" investors. Well, in the last 6 months or so, let me tell you that I have had "boarders from hell"!!!! So much in fact, that I am no longer offering any long-term boarding on my farm.

I am not sure why this has only occurred in the last 6 months or so. In speaking with other long term alpaca breeders, we can only liken it to the economy. People seem to be more demanding, less trusting, and just overall more uptight. I believe that people need to start cooperating in the alpaca community or this backstabbing BS will hurt us all long term. It seems a day doesn't go by that I don't get a phone call or an email from someone telling me gossip about another alpaca breeder. It is quite sad and something I did not face in my other past and current businesses.

I have asked a variety of host farms what their issues were with their boarders and I have compiled the top 10 here in no particular order and paraphrased quite a bit on many:

1 - Boarding is a privilege not a right
2 - If you use something, put it back where you found it when you are done. Put your 'stuff' away before you leave.
3 - Remember that the host farm is a business (and often times their home) - do not monopolize their time with unnecessary chit chat or tirades about your personal problems. Be considerate of their time spent with you.
4 - Let the farm know if/when you are coming to visit. Don't expect the host farm to necessarily be there or be available each and every time for you.
5 - Do not take advantage of my time. A million and one questions can and will be answered, but need to be at a mutually convenient time. NOT at 9:30pm at night, when it is good for you but I am exhausted and want to relax a bit.
6 - Do not speak about me or my operation to others - it is none of their business. If someone wants to know about me - they should ask me personally. Gossip is never good.
7 - You are not the only boarder/client on my farm. My farm protocol is what it is and was discussed when you first came here. If you want a different level of care - then I suggest you go elsewhere or have your own farm.
8 - I am here to make money, this is a business. While I may do things from time to time for free, EXPECTING it will only strain the relationship.
9 - Treats such as apples, grapes or whatever ARE forbidden on my farm (EVEN for your animals). . . they are not to be given period. If you want to feed them to your animals, then I suggest you get your own farm. If you want to give handfulls of grain - that is fine. Please also do not spill grain all over the floor. It is expensive and flies multiple in the summer months because of this.
10 - Board is due the 1st of the month for that month. It is a set fee (like rent for an apartment/home). There is no reason to wait for a bill. If there are additional charges, they will be billed separately. If you don't, can't or wont pay on time, why would you expect me to return your phone calls 5 minutes after receiving them?

I believe people get too comfortable and then they treat ME as THEIR employee. Well I am not, I have my own farm and my own animals and you are simply a guest here.

Anything I left out?

I will be posting new board prices effective December 1, 2010 for short term boarders (3 months at a time). . . and have to say, the few ruined it for the future boarders that may come here to live.