Monday, March 05, 2018

Virginia Farrier Travis Burns Elected American Farrier's Association President

American Farrier's Association Past President Donnie Perkinson passes the symbolic presidential gavel to incoming president Travis Burns at last week's AFA Convention in Reno, Nevada.

Veterinary college farrier Travis Burns, CJF, TE, EE, FWCF of Virginia has been elected president of the American Farrier’s Association. The results of the 2018 election were announced on Friday during the AFA's 47th annual convention in Reno, Nevada.

In a traditional "passing of the gavel" ceremony, now past-president Donnie Perkinson passed the AFA's fire-red gavel to Burns. Perkinson, a farrier in Grafton, Illinois.

Perkinson is optimistic as he leaves office. "It was a honor to serve as the AFA president this past year. Moving forward, I am very much in support of Travis as our new president. 

"The AFA has made a lot of positive changes and I'm looking forward to more to come. The future of the AFA is bright!"

Travis Burns told The Hoof Blog on Sunday night, “As the new AFA President, I would like to thank all of the members for their support and confidence in electing me their President.

"I look forward to working with all of the members of the AFA, the Board of Directors, the office staff, and our Executive Director, Beth Daniels.

Travis Burns competing in a draft shoe forging competition, with striker Carl Via. (Hoof Blog file photo)

"It is my hope that we can accomplish many things in the next two years and afterwards. To be successful it will require all of the membership to combine their talents, skills, and efforts towards a unified vision. In the upcoming months we plan to develop a strategic plan to outline the goals of the AFA in the upcoming year, in two years, in five years, etc. It is a very exciting time!”

About Travis Burns
Travis Burns is no stranger to the AFA; until Friday, he served on the AFA's Board of Directors, representing Region 5, which stretches from Maine and Nova Scotia in the north to Virginia in the south, and includes Europe. He was also chair of the AFA’s Education Committee, a position he has held since 2012.

A full-time farrier and educator, Burns is employed by the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Polytechnic University, where he serves as Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and Chief of Farrier Services in the Equine Podiatry Service of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Travis Burns often travels to speak at conferences; here he is shown presenting at the Laminitis Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida a few years ago.

He is a graduate of both the North Carolina State University animal science program and the North Carolina School of Horseshoeing. He joined Forging Ahead, a multi-farrier sport horse practice in Northern Virginia in 2007. In 2010, he became the Virginia Tech’s first resident vet school farrier.

His certifications include the therapeutic and educator endorsements offered by the AFA, as well as being a certified journeyman, and he has earned the coveted British farriers' Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers; it is considered the highest qualification for farriers in the world. Burns is currently completing a Master of Veterinary Education degree at the Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom.

Travis married last year and lives with his wife Lauren in Christiansburg, Virginia.

What's ahead for the AFA? Travis Burns has a simple vision for the AFA, but even as a candidate acknowledged that he can’t do it alone. “If elected, I’m going to ask not just the members for help, but the non-members, too," he told The Hoof Blog in December. "The AFA is the de facto representative of our profession in the horse industry and beyond. Each of us has an opinion on what it--or we--should be or do, but what are the things we agree on? Let’s build on that.”

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