American Farrier’s Association Annual Meeting
From Martha Jones, AFA Exec. Dir.; photos by Bill Brymer
The American Farrier’s Association (AFA) met in Chattanooga, TN for their 49th annual convention on March 9-13, 2020, before so many events had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 epidemic. The theme was, of course, No Foot, No Horse. The line-up of speakers from the U.S. and the U.K. included: Travis Burns, CJF, TE, EE, FWCF; Chad Chance, CJF; Austin Edens, CJF; Jennifer Horn, CJF; Steve Kraus, CJF; Myron McLane, CJF; Lee Olsen, CJF; Wayne Preece, FWCF; Pete Ramey; Johanna Reimer, VMD, Diplomate ACVIM; Debra Taylor, DVM; amd Michael Wildenstein, CJF, FWCF (Hons).
There were CF and CJF demonstrations by AFA Examiners, American Farriers Team demonstrations, hands-on stations, the Farrier Industry Association Market Place, certification workshop and testing opportunities, cultural exchange presentations, AFA membership meeting, awards and certification recognition, live and silent auctions and the Grand Finale reception and banquet.
The convention saw a record number of candidates for certification (54). There were exceptional hands-on stations run by Pre-Certification instructors. And the Grand Finale banquet recognized sponsors, newly certified farriers, Achievement Awards winners and honorees, the 2020 National Forging and Horseshoeing Competition winners, and installation of the newly-elected officers, particularly new President Jon Johnson of Winchester, Kansas.
What happens when you get a lot of farriers together at an annual convention? There will be a lot of learning from expert mentors and speakers and live demonstrations, as well as farriers sharing their own stories with each other. And then, there’s nap time! A photo of napping farriers won the humorous caption award: “no nap, no farrier.”
The Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners (NEAEP) has published a special wrap-up article in their digital magazine The Clinician. In addition, there are resources for farriers, including personal care and workplace guidelines for health and safety, and there are state and national resources, as well.“During this pandemic, overall, many farriers are carrying on with ‘business as usual’ and feeling lucky to be considered essential. However, others are more restricted by state guidelines or have seen a slow down due to cancellation of horse shows, etc. But I would say 85% of the people I speak with are staying busy, or are even busier than before!” said Martha Jones, AFA Exec. Director
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