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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Hello! We are the board of directors for USYAKS. We'll do whatever we can to make this the best organization possible, but it is up to the members to make it work. Join us on a working group or on the board.

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President  nct1108@yahoo.com

GREGOR DIKE

Gregor Dike, a founding member of USYAKS and previous Board Member of IYAK,  has raised yaks since 2013 in Appalachia Kentucky. His herd of seventy-five yaks, Zhi-ba Shing-ga Yaks is managed for selling breeding stock and the production of yak jerky in partnership with Greystone Farm in Tennesse. The most important goals of in the development of USYAKS for Mr. Dike are 1: The organization being member driven; 2: A DNA based registry open to all yaks including hybrid yaks; 3: Expanding the scientific study yaks includingh nutrition and health; and 4,  being an organization that is there to help any yak owner or future owner as possible.

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Vice President  zoology8519@gmail.com

ERIN POWELL

My name is Erin Powell. I am the Vice President of USYAKS and own Steer It Up Ranch in Hotchkiss, Colorado. I have a degree in zoology and have worked with a wide range of exotic and domestic animals. Yaks are by far my favorite of all of the animals I have encountered over the years. I have a great deal of experience with training animals large and small but I have found that yaks are one of the smartest and easiest to work with. They do extremely well packing in the backcountry and are so agile that they will go places that horses will not. Many of my yaks are trained to pack and my girls get trained to milk from birth. I handle them very often from birth so that they are tame and easy to work. I prefer to even do things like hoof trimming while they are laying out in the field. If they are accustomed to such things at a young age, it makes life easier for the yak and owner. I have enjoyed felting for over 10 years now, and yak wool is one of my favorites to work with. Yak fiber felts easily, and it is incredibly soft and warm. I also sell yak meat, and work with other farms to help them sell meat. Yaks are an all around great sustainable animal for small homesteads, large operations, and everything in between. I hope USYAKS continues to grow. I am amazed at how supportive our community can be! We are all trying to learn more about yaks every day. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I am always happy to yak about yaks!

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TIM HARDY

My name is Tim Hardy. I worked as a mathematics professor for more than 20 years, before “retiring” at a fairly young age in 2010.  Retirement for me meant buying a cattle ranch in Nebraska’s rugged Pine Ridge and replacing the cattle with yaks. In eight years, my wife Una and I have built our herd at Hay Springs Yaks into more than 100 healthy, happy, fertile, bored, yaks.

I was a member of IYAK’s Board of Directors, and served on IYAK’s Genome Committee until resigning in October 2017. I’m excited by the new opportunities for yak owners that USYAKS represents.

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Treasurer & Registrar  elrutho@aol.com

RUTH HIGDON

Ruth Higdon is a cancer surgeon who is crazy about yaks.  She raised yaks in Alaska and used them as pack animals in the remote Alaska wilderness.

She now is co-owner of Smiling Buddha Yaks in Ridgway, Colorado.  She is treasurer of USYAKS and supports USYAKS mission of transparency and using science to register yaks based on their DNA.  

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BRAD PETERSON

I joined USYAKS looking for a more open minded approach to the Yak world. I found it in USYAKS. I am happy to be part of a group of like thinking Yak producers who are concerned with how all yaks are raised and viewed by the world at large. My goal as a board member is to educate anyone interest in yaks and how special they are to us. My
goal is to teach the general public the benefits of raising, harvesting and using the fiber from healthy grass fed Yaks. USYAKS has created a open doors policy to all it’s members from how to raise healthy yak to helping us sell our yaks. Our goal is to run a open Association where all members thoughts and needs are our first priority. Board meetings are open to all members and your input is much appreciated. Our goal is to help in any way we can to improve your Yak experience. Keep Yakking - it makes a Happier you.

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Board Member  yakgirl55@gmail.com

CARLICE CUTRIGHT

My name is Carlice Cutright, my family and I run Casper Creek Yaks, located in Casper Wyoming, raising premier show yaks since 2015.  We have a herd of 9 and pride ourselves in a herd that is well mannered and halter trained.  I am a certified vet assistant and am planning on going on to school in the near future to get an Ag Degree.  Being a part of FFA (Future Farmers of America) I use my yak herd as my SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) placing first at the state level, I hope to earn the FFA American degree with this project. I offer a fresh young mind to US Yaks as a board member, traveling to shows across the state and country to advocate yaks and this great association. 

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Board Member   stormcloudranch@gmail.com

CARYN DEROCHIE

Hello, my name is Caryn DeRochie and I am a yak rancher in New Mexico. My husband and I have a herd of 15 yaks  and are working on getting the new ranch up and going.

I have experience with various animals including chickens, reptiles and New Mexico Dahl sheep. The school I teach at is a 4H school so I bring my ranching experience to my kindergarteners.

My hobbies include weaving and knitting and I can hardly wait to use the fiber from my yaks.

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Board Member    vance@hkyakranch.com

VANCE HAWK

I was born and raised in Western Colorado to Carl and Dana Hawk. He received a Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) in Biology from the U.S. Air Force Academy and am currently serving on Active Duty. When my parents bought their first yaks in 2005, I was immediately put to work helping manage and grow the herd. Since then it’s been full steam ahead for me in learning everything I can on ranching and spreading the word about yaks. I'm happiest when I'm busy, so when I'm not working at my day job I'm busy working for the family business, HK Yak Ranch, based out of Sundance, WY! I'm happily married to the beautiful Kealy Hawk and a proud father. I'm a member of the US Yaks Meat Working Group where I hope to get the word out about yak meat and the awesome organization that is US Yaks!

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Board Member    brenda@winterfiberfarm.com

BRENDA WINTER

Hello.  I am Brenda Winter, with Winter Fiber Farm, in Laramie, Wyoming.  I have been raising cashmere goats and learning about natural fibers and spinning, after a life time of yarn crafts.  I went to a small ruminant workshop in Ithaca, New York in November and learned so much valuable information, and decided to diversify my farm.  I did a lot of research, including a visit to Haysprings Yak Ranch and decided to add some yearling yak calves, after buying some yak fiber to experiment with.  I went to my first yak show at the Denver Stock Show this year.  I was thrilled to hang out with the yaks and the USYAKS group.  Unlike the show people I encountered for other kinds of animals, I found the USYAKS people to be very friendly, and while they were stressed, they answered many questions.  I was hooked.  I wanted to get involved.  I got my 2 heiffers and my bull calf home at the end of February.  I spend time with them everyday, and we enjoy our Yak Cookie time. 

I have degrees in Wildlilfe Management, Biology, and Earth Science.  I have been an entrepreneur most of my life, with 20 years connecting people with nature with nature hikes, slide shows, live animal presentations, and creating my own animal puppet shows.  I have been a science teacher and enjoy creating art through many mediums, but have really gotten excited about making 3 D felted animals with yak down. 

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Registrar   jsorum@mac.com

JAMIE SORUM

Greetings!

I’m Jamie Sorum, USYAKS Registrar II. I have been raising yak with my husband since late 2014. We never imagined how much joy these fuzzy bovids would bring to our little farm. Over the years we have had such a great time meeting fellow “Yakkers“ and learning from each of their experiences raising yak.

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