Blasts from the Bloomery: Relevancy

© Rob Edwards

published in ANVIL Magazine, April 1997

Some interesting events have been taking place lately in regard to the farrier industry. Their relevance individually could be remote, but collectively they indicate that we'd all best be on the lookout.

First, there is the matter of Robert C. Liotti introducing legislation in the form of the Practicing Farrier Certification Act to state government officials in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. The Act would require farriers to: certify with a state-approved national certification body within twelve months of passage of the act; carry a state-mandated minimum of professional liability insurance within 90 days of passage of the act; register with the state department of agriculture; pay annual license fees to the state, and abide by enforcement of the department of agriculture.

Mr. Liotti also has some "proposed contingencies," one of which I find particularly interesting: "If the State deems that no applying certification body meets the state testing requirement criteria, the State may choose to conduct the testing as a "State Test" . . . . It is highly recommended to ensure proper testing that the department of agriculture send or employ a representative to monitor all testing within the jurisdiction at such time as testing commences at state- assigned test site(s). It is suggested that the State Veterinarian's office fulfill the duties of test application."

Second, this month's (March) Dressage Today reports: "Eight months ago the American Farriers Association began a liaison with the United States Department of Agriculture to discuss certification from a federal standpoint. USDA may look into requirements for continuing education and licensing with a four-year renewal stipulation." No one that I know within the farrier industry was privy to this information.

Last but not least, a motion was made and passed at the American Farriers Association Board of Directors meeting at the time of its 1997 convention (also this month, March) to start the process of becoming a Certified Horse Organization recognized by the USDA. Interestingly enough, no mention was made of such an impending motion in the meeting agenda or of the presentation made by the USDA's representative at that same meeting.

Collectively I'd say these events are not only of interest, but indeed quite relevant. Stay tuned . . .

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