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AOA Board Candidate

The Alpaca Owners Association has announced its 2024 board of director candidates and Jason is running. He had not planned to run, however, he received a call asking for him to step up and help. So he did.

The election takes place between May 9 and 30, with the winners announced once voting closes.

As part of the process, Jason was asked to answer some questions and create a candidate statement. We worked on this together for quite a while, because we really wanted it to represent what we feel the industry needs and how we think Jason could help bring forth change.

Below is the candidate statement Jason created for the election process. If you are a voting member of the AOA, we encourage you to review it and determine if this aligns with your views and what you’d like for a board member.

Jason’s Candidate Statement

After working in the automotive industry for over 25 years, my wife and I started Cotton Creek Farms in Northern Michigan. Raising alpacas and running our farm is my full-time job and one that I take very seriously.

While owning our alpaca farm I have:

  • Served on the AOA election committee
  • Served on the board of the Alpaca Association of Michigan
  • Presented color genotyping education at the NEFC, regional alpaca shows, and affiliate events
  • Served as a 4-H leader for the Northwest Michigan 4-H Livestock Council
  • Collaborated with other farms to collect 4,000 lbs of fiber and convert this into US made alpaca products

My passion is focused on solving the problems we all face as alpaca owners:

  • Promote youth involvement through 4-H, FFA, and other programs
  • Educate and mentor new alpaca farms
  • Create multiple revenue streams so alpaca farming can be profitable and sustainable
  • Advance the industry’s knowledge and usage of color genotyping
  • Collaborate with other farms to get fiber out of the barn and into US made alpaca products

As a potential member of the board, I would like to work towards:

  • Expand the association’s outreach to new farms
  • Engage youth members in all aspects of operating an alpaca farm
  • Provide education on fiber quality, value, and usage
  • Collaborate at the regional/national level to collect and process raw fiber into US produced goods
  • Revise the existing point system to place value on recruitment, volunteer time, and industry involvement

For our industry to survive and flourish, we must investment time and energy to move past breeding and showing. We need to reorientate our efforts on educating new farms, teaching farms how to create sustainable business plans, helping farms convert their fiber into sellable products, and court the next generation of alpaca breeders.

Industry Feedback

This week he announced his candidacy on Facebook and we were both thankful for the comments received from friends and industry peers. Samples of this feedback include:

We have worked very closely with Jason Gill and his wife Rebecca for several years now and are so impressed by the leadership and support they provide to our industry. As many of you know Jason has been at the forefront of developing the application potential of color genotyping in alpaca breeding, but you may not know that he and Rebecca also operate a regional alpaca fiber product effort, help lead an active 4H group, provide marketing and business development support to farms throughout their region, and somehow manage to do all of this while operating their own successful breeding effort. Jason would make an outstanding AOA board member and we hope that you will take the time to learn more about him via the page linked here. Lynn Edens, Little Creek Farm Alpacas (Snowmass and Accoyo America)

I have worked extensively with Jason Gill with regard to Color Genotyping. Through the numerous conversations we have had I have gotten to know a man who is honest and fair and very knowledgeable about the many aspects of our industry. He and his wife Rebecca not only breed and raise quality alpacas, they have a successful agritourism business, work closely with youth, and create product from a regional fiber collection. They show alpacas too, so they understand firsthand the challenges and rewards of the many parts of our industry. Jason is a thinker and an analyzer who is always open to other ideas. I believe Jason would be a great leader and addition to our AOA BOD. I hope you will strongly consider voting for him. Carol Howard, Cinco C’s Alpacas

Your passion, dedication, and work ethic are undeniable. You sink your heart and soul in each endeavor! You are a fantastic leader for the industry. Mitch Shaver, Lifelong friend

Thank you to everyone who has called, text, or left a Facebook note on Jason running. Your words of encourage mean the world to us both.

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