What I've learned from (and about) Yaks 111

I’m no expert but when spring is in the air everyone seems to get excited! The people I see out and about seem to be smiling more and then there is the evidence of elation in all creatures. We see the massive flocks of birds return from more southern locales. Instead of the silence of the winter we hear chirping, honking, and a cacophony of song. The squirrels are once again racing up and down and all around our trees.

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Yak Butter Tea (བོད་ཇ): Steeped in Tibetan Culture

This a family recipe handed down to me from our native Tibetan friend, Ping, through Ping’s grandmother, to her mother currently living in China-Tibet today. She is with her mother tonight and sent this recipe for Po Cha (བོད་ཇ). It reflects the history of this region. Ba Tang (Chinese: 壩塘鎮) is a rural town on the northeast corridor of the Tibetan Plateau. The Wu River (乌江), known as "Mother River" flows through Ba Tang and comes from an elevation of 8,900 feet. It’s quite chilly there, at 50 degrees, in the morning and evenings — even in the summer — and for Westerners, the altitude is challenging.

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IYAK Fiber State-of-the-Art

“So what do you do with a yak?” This is probably the first question that we all get after  “Is that a buffalo in your pasture?” Once you establish the fact that no, those beautiful animals aren’t buffalo, but Tibetan yak, people immediately want to know why we raise them, and what they are good for. So, the conversation starts rolling along and we, as breeders, spend most of the rest of the conversation discussing the fact that in addition to these animals being aesthetically handsome, they are easy and fun to raise, and that yak truly fall into what we call “ an end use livestock model.”

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IYAK Fiber Arts

Wini was on fire again this year during the IYAK Winter Conference at the NWSS. Her seminar was clear, deep and thorough. Packed with information, innovation and practical instructions. What a knowledgable and great speaker and mentor! IYAK is very grateful to have such an enthusiastic expert dedicated to the yak fiber experience. She says we’re stuck with her. I say: Hallelujah!

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FiberNicole Porter
What I've Learned from (and about) Yaks 104

The Tibetan people relied on them heavily for everyday life (and some still do).  Every part of the yak was utilized. They milked them and made cheese and yogurt with the milk.  They combed out their fiber to spin into yarn. The hides were used. Even the manure was collected and dried to use as fuel.  They ate the yak meat. Tibetans rode yaks and used them as pack animals.

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What I’ve Learned from (and about) Yak 103

I’m no expert but visiting the yak show at the National Western Stock Show in Denver is invaluable.  We have been attending the show for the last 5 years. What a wonderful way to learn about yaks it is!

At the show you can: -see numerous yaks and compare and contrast them…

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Suzanne Drumm
I’m No Expert... What I’ve Learned from (and about) Yaks 102

One thing farming has taught me to appreciate is the beauty of our world.  There are the easy things to appreciate like the awe-inspiring sight of a herd of yaks running towards you through a pasture.  Their tails are raised, their fiber is flowing in the wind, and their tongues are hanging out! Seeing a group of calves playing king of the mountain on a mound of manure is also beautiful.  

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HealthSusanne Drumm
Judging Criteria For Yak Fiber 2019

All entries must contain at least 50% yak fiber and must include a 3x5 card containing the following information: Fiber content and percentage; preparation and intended use; construction techniques…Skeins - clean, properly skeined and tied, notation of yardage and/or weight, blocked if necessary. Fiber Arts - clean, blocked and finished with no threads hanging, visual appeal, notation of technique and or production methods. 

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USDA Yak Meat

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has officially decided to grant the IYAK petition of September 3, 2014 to add yak to the list of exotic species eligible for voluntary inspection in the United States. This is a big win for IYAK and the yak industry in the US, allowing us to continue to supply the public with a healthy product that is professionally inspected by USDA. Thanks are due, first of all to IYAK members for being engaged and contacting their elected representatives to make this happen. And to USDA FSIS for working with IYAK…

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HealthJandy Sprouseusda, meat
IYAK NEWSLETTER: Fiber Arts Competition

You do not have to be a member of IYAK or even own yaks to participate.. Now is the time to take your fiber and/or yarn and fashion it into something exquisite to enter in our competition in any (or all!) of the following categories: Hand knitting, machine knitting, crochet, weaving, felting, braiding, or any other type of hand work as well as hand spinning. Awards will be given for 1st through 6th place.

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