I'd like to clear up some misunderstandings........I do NOT have a vendetta against double coated Shetland breeders, never have, and I've ignored the fact that there has been one or two people that seem to think it necessary to constantly stir up things by insinuating that is the case with those of us that choose to breed single coat Shetlands. I have a couple double coats in my flock and they certainly have traits that I value and want to preserve, much the same as my single coat Shetlands. I think if anyone spent any time discussing Shetland sheep with me, they find that I'm far more inclusive than they imagined or where led to believe. If they fit the Standard, then they are Shetland sheep.
I have no intention of using my blog to bash NASSA board members, or attack individual breeders or their sheep, that is not what we should be doing to each other. I have met some of the most wonderful people since I started raising Shetland sheep and if I don't agree with every view someone has, then big deal......I certainly don't agree with everything my husband, son, or parents say, and I certainly don't stop caring about them just because we don't agree. The same is true here. Disagreements are fine, and most of the time, they are healthy, especially if the individuals treat one another with respect.
My real reason for being so vocal the last several months has nothing to do with fleece length, it has to do with what is fair and what is following the rules of our organization. I don't like conflict, but I also think that we all need to speak up when we feel something is unjust or if we strongly disagree, we need to be able to have our voices heard. The only other issue I've ever had is the secrecy and silence that surrounds board proceedings. I'm not saying it's the fault of any one person, I'm only saying that I think that more transparency would inspire more trust.
I had an idea to have historical information available to the membership in a central location, that's why I joined the Education Committee. I'd like to see that project move forward with verified input from both sides of the debate. Facts are facts, and I think we are intelligent enough to sort out fact from here-say and fiction. I didn't have any trouble making a decision once I had the information in front of me, and I continue to dig and read everything that is brought to my attention, I am going to assume that everyone would like to have the right to decide that for themselves.
If you have verified information, get it out there. Put links and references on the assorted Shetland chat groups, I'd love to read it. There is no nastiness intended in this statement, I truly would like to see what is out there. I have a hard time believing that either group is so rigid that they wouldn't work to find something that they could agree upon, there has got to be some common ground someplace. And that....is at least a starting point.
Sometimes it's easy to be less cordial when you are behind a computer screen, but read what you write, and it seems offensive or "in your face", maybe it needs a rewrite.
Just a few things that are weighing on my mind today.......