Location: Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto
Date: November 7th & 8th, 2009

This year's fall education seminars were held at the Textile Museum of Canada, situated in Toronto, Ontario. Saturday saw everyone learning much about fibre from Wade Gease. The day was filled with hands-on learning exercises; identifying fleece samples visually as well as by touch. Our members asked many questions and everyone was attentive. Saturday night's dinner was wonderful and very entertaining. Both Wade and Brett were able to join us for many stories told around the table.

Dr. Brett Kaysen spoke to us on Sunday. He helped open our eyes as to where we need to go with our alpaca industry. Many other livestock industries have already gone through the evolution from small time hobby to professional business. Brett used his red Angus herd to give examples of what tracking and recording EPD (expected progeny difference) can do for us. Based on this newly acquired knowledge we will be developing a tracking sheet/scoring system that every farm and breeder can access in the near future. This tracking system will help us achieve a new level of accountability and integrity not seen before. Potential customers will always ask questions and now we can answer them with confidence and the ability to back-up any claims made about our animals. It will also vastly improve mating choices based on real data collected long-term.
The location at the museum was intimate and just the right size for our weekend. The food was fresh and very tasty and those who attended had a wonderful time. The fleece show set up by Stacey Davis was awesome and the added fall colour decorations really made it special.

Since we only got a fraction of Brett's knowledge on Sunday we have already invited him back to be the keynote speaker for next year's fall education seminar. Can't wait to update him next year on the tools we will have implemented by then. Dr. Pat Long will round out the weekend. We have asked him to teach us many different subjects, among them neonatal and emergency situation handling. Please mark your calendars for this seminar on October 23 & 24, 2010. Location TBA.

"Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Adaptation Council's CanAdvance Program."

Guest Speaker
Wade Gease

Wade Gease is an AOBA Certified Alpaca Judge and Judge Trainer. For the past seven years he has judged shows throughout the United States and Canada. He is one of the few alpaca judge trainers in all areas of halter, fleece and performance. Wade is a certified Camelid Fibre Sorter from Olds College Natural Fibre Centre, Canada. Presently he serves as President for the Great Lakes Alpaca Association. He has been co-owner of LondonDairy Alpacas and Alpaca Threads gift store since 1997. Wade has been honored to be so involved with many different activities in the alpaca world: speaking for educational events, consulting for auctions, evaluating for private alpaca breeders and organizing eight past private trips to Peru.
Wade has worked to produce one of the nations' first blends of Alpaca & Bamboo fabrics. This has led to developments into the fashion industry and becoming a broker for bamboo, tensel and silks. Further exploration into a sustainable fabric market is under way.
In his past he has been a certified flight instructor, chemistry instructor, co-owner of a retail gift store and has worked for pharmaceutical companies. Wade has earned an Associate's Degree in Aeronautical Science, a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry & a Masters Degree in Biochemistry.

Wade likes to bring a personal teaching perspective to his judging because of his past passion of showing and professional educating. As a judge, Wade enjoys giving breeders informative feedback through his halter class oral reasons and all other speaking engagements.

Guest Speaker
Brett Kaysen

Brett was raised east of Brighton, Colorado where he has always been involved with every aspect of raising livestock. He earned a Bachelors degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University in 1997. Brett continued his education at CSU earning a Masters degree in Cooperative Extension and Education in 2003 and most recently, a Ph.D. in Management Systems. Brett currently holds a faculty position with CSU in the Department of Animal Sciences.
While growing up, Brett was an active 4-H member and successfully competed in livestock shows at many levels and in many events. While attending middle school, Brett took an interest in livestock judging and competed at several youth contests around the State of Colorado as well as on a National level. Brett was a member of a Reserve National Champion Livestock Judging Team while pursuing his undergraduate degree.
Brett joined the CSU Department of Animal Sciences during the spring of 1998 and has managed the beef, swine and sheep units at the university farm. Currently, Brett's staff position with CSU's Department of Animal Sciences is composed of 50% teaching and 50% extension. Brett teaches Swine Production and the CSU Livestock Judging course. Brett also coaches the CSU Livestock Judging Team.

Brett Kaysen has been an influence in the Alpaca Community on many levels since 2001 when he brought his professional animal science background to the alpaca livestock industry. He travels coast-to-coast teaching seminars on alpacas consisting of classroom presentations, as well as "hands-on" workshops. He also holds an instrumental position with AOBA Judges Training Program where he teaches Oral Reasons and Conformation. Brett has a passion for educating, especially in the area of youth education. He has taught the nation's youth about various livestock industries and has spent countless hours volunteering to educate youngsters involved in 4-H programs nationwide.

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