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April 2023 BBSAI Newsletter Blog

1. Membership renewal reminder

*** Remember that membership renewals will be coming up in June.

2. Outreach Survey

We will be emailing all members an outreach survey thru Survey Monkey shortly. The BBSAI Board wants to improve our organization to help you raise quality ABs and BBs. To achieve this goal, we need to hear from every member, with your preferences, ideas, and concerns to guide us. We also want to see if BBSAI is actually preserving the breeds and improving flocks over time so we need more census information on population trends to improve the accuracy of our current database.

Members who submit their survey responses online by May 15, 2023 will receive $25 off their annual membership renewal fee ($10 off for Junior memberships) for the 2023-24 period as an additional benefit (if used by June 30, 2023). The volunteers on the Member Outreach Committee will contact by phone any members who have not submitted their survey online after this deadline. Although your survey participation will be noted, your individual responses to the questions will be pooled and kept confidential.

You will be asked for your opinions on the current benefits of BBSAI membership, as well as options for possible new benefits. We are also seeking input on changes to how registrations are transferred after the sale, and how to update the database when animals are deceased for any reason. We will also ask census questions about sheep on your farm as of December 31, 2022: how many registered and non-registered but registerable sheep were in your flock; total lambs born from registered parents in all of 2022 and how many were/were not registerable for whatever reason; and how many registered, and how many not registered but registerable sheep did you sell in all of 2022. To get an idea of population trends, we also ask if your flock had more sheep at the end of 2022 than at the end of 2021 (just a yes/no).

Please help us to help you by completing the survey promptly. We know it will take some time and we appreciate your participation immensely. A volunteer will call you if you have not completed the survey by May 15, 2023 (and earned your 2023 membership renewal discount). The more members we can reach for opinions and ideas, the better we can serve you. Thanks!

3. Member’s email group forum:

Members may have noted that our BBSAI Google groups email forum has ceased to function (Google withdrew its support of all group platforms). In its place, during April 2023, BBSAI will be inviting all members by email to join an exclusive members-only Email group forum, to once again provide an opportunity to communicate with each other. The group’s purpose is to encourage and facilitate the free flow of communication among members.

We welcome all members to participate, to share ideas, ask questions, and voice opinions. We anticipate discussion around questions and topics regarding the BBSAI: registration policies and procedures, programs; history of the American Blackbelly and Barbados Blackbelly breeds; breed standards, etc. Use this forum to post topics and converse about your experiences and ask general questions about raising American and Barbados Blackbelly sheep. BBSAI Board members will serve as moderators, and our role will simply be to promote the free flow and exchange of ideas, while encouraging members to always treat one another with courtesy and respect.

This is not the place to advertise sheep for sale- instead, members should use the free Classified Ad section on BBSAI website.

4. Past Newsletters available on the website: highlight April 2015

Many informative articles are readily available (and free to all) on the BBSAI website. Check out April 2015 in particular this month, which contains helpful advice about using round bale feeders; using a stanchion to help feed an initially rejected lamb; pregnancy toxemia in ewes (important since many of us are in lambing season right now); and a simplified treatment for foot rot. Also please read the first article about a valued BBSAI member raising ABs and her experience taking a ram to a Chinese New Year parade. Tiana has also served on the AB Breed Standards Committee and is currently serving on the AB Open Registration Committee, as well as assisting the Outreach Committee with the survey. Loads of thanks to her for her volunteer work to help us all!

5. BBSAI Board of Directors

Jacque Tinker, recently elected as Vice President to the BBSAI Board of Directors has tendered her resignation due to personal reasons. Although her term of service was far too brief, she was considered an asset to both the Board and the newly established Outreach Committee. She will be missed. To fill the vacancy, the Board elected John Carlton as Vice President during the March 29th meeting. John has been serving as an ex officio member of the Board due to his position as Chair of the American Blackbelly Open Registration Committee.