• Reindeer Owners and Breeders Association


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Reindeer Owners and Breeders Association ....... See reindeer ...... 


Up Coming Events


Up Coming Meeting



Past events
     2019  ROBA Annual Meeting  for

Hosts Garth and Louise Sherwood

Come join with us just across the boundary line for reindeer information and fun


March 14th, 15th & 16th 2019

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Meeting Adjourned  3-2019



United States Animal Health Association
122nd Annual Meeting - 2018 - Kansas City, Missouri
October 18-24, 2018

Members Daryl Simon and Kyle Wilson were in attendance to represent ROBA


ROBA Central Region Meeting, September 21st & 22nd 

Hartford Wisconsin 


A good time was had by ALL

  Meeting Adjourned Saturday Evening 9-22-18



2018 ROBA Annual Membership Meeting

March 8th, 9th & 10th

Z Arch Barn Farm 10 Klein Road, Easton, PA  18040

Vince and Deb Zarate

Improve your organization through education, participation and support



United States Animal Health Association
121st Annual Meeting - 2017 - San Diego, California
October 12 - 187, 2017 

Members Daryl Simon and Kyle Wilson were in attendance to represent ROBA



2017 ROBA  regional Meetings

September 14, 15 & 16

Western region
Your hosts - Hans and Kari Andersen

Eastern region
Your hosts -
Dan and Linda Downs  



in the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth, Washington or at Pine Acres Reindeer Farm in LaRue, Ohio


                                                                          Enzian Inn in Washington State   in Mid Ohio




2017 ROBA Annual Membership Meeting

March, 9, 10 & 11

host - Richard Corbin

Fulton Valley Farms, Towanda, Kansas

       Meeting Adjourned Saturday March 11th 11 PM      



United States Animal Health Association
120th Annual Meeting - 2016 - Greensboro. North Carolina
October 13 - 19, 2016

 Members Daryl Simon and Kyle Wilson were in attendance to represent ROBA



2016 ROBA Annual Membership Meeting

March, 10,11 & 12

 hosts - Kevin & Alice Preissman

Lawrenceburg, Indiana

Meeting Adjourned 3-12-16



United States Animal Health Association
119th Annual Meeting - 2015 - Providence, RI
October 22-28, 2015

 Members Daryl Simon and Kyle Wilson were in attendance to represent ROBA


Hosts  Dr. Isaac and Melanie Bott

Meeting Adjourned 9-06-15



2015 Annual Membership Meeting

Larue, Ohio
March 12th, 13th & 14th, 2015

Dan & Linda Downs

Meeting Adjourned 3-14-2015 10PM



United States Animal Health Association
118th Annual Meeting -
Kansas City, Missouri 
  October 16-22, 2014 

 Members Daryl Simon and Kyle Wilson were in attendance to represent ROBA


ROBA Eastern Regional meeting September 19-20, 2014 LaRue Ohio Hosts - Dan & Linda Downs
The Friday evening reception at Pine Acres Reindeer farm started out with pizza. As the evening progressed the bonfire was lit. Reindeer stories were abound, some of which may have even been true. The finale for the evening was an unexpected treat as the fireworks went off. Good weather prevailed through the night and for the following day.
Saturday morning got off to a good start with a road trip to the Columbus Zoo. The private tour was provided with a behind the scenes excursion through the medical section including an operating room and the quarantine facilities. Attending ROBA members were then guided to the reindeer exhibit where the local bull was experiencing rut. Then members were on their own to check out the zoo. Time was short as it was time to return to Pine Acres Reindeer Farm but there was time to take in a few exhibits adjacent to the reindeer and the moose exhibit was of particular interest.
The meeting resumed with lunch back at Pine Acres Reindeer Farm. ROBA members from the eastern region were in attendance along with a few from outside the region. Special Guest Kevin Koller of the Columbus Zoo was also in attendance.
With the meeting called to order a few business items were disused and then it was time for the open discussions. With "Rut" in prime season topics included bulls and the dangers associated, along with more discussion on the use of Depo-Provera. Steers were covered and the use of Synovex-C. There was even the item of using Depo-Provera with steers. Other items were brought up before time ran out.
The crowd then participated in the ROBA fund raising auction. Finishing with great success, due to the donated items and the lively bidding.


ROBA Annual Membership Meeting  March 13-17 2014  Johnstown, New York -
Hosts Pat & Dianne Lavery
With snow on the ground members where greeted by host Pat & Dianne Lavery at the local hotel conference center for the evening reception.
Friday morning the conference began. ROBA member Kyle Wilson covered activities with the USAHA and the USDA. Updates on regulations for reindeer were the performance of the blood based TB test now available for reindeer. Other news from the USDA was the approval of micro chip implants with country of origin designation as official ID within the CWD and other federal programs.
ROBA Member John Cusson provided information on running a reindeer business with special attention to customer service. John’s whimsical presentation kept members smiling and laughing, something that carries over from his way of doing business.
Pepi F. Leids, DVM, Veterinarian II, Dept of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Animal Industry, New York gave an excellent presentation on Johne’s Disease. This was at the request of ROBA as questions of the possibility of Johne’s Disease in reindeer is unknown. Dr. Leids confirmed that there were no known cases of Johne’s Disease in reindeer however the possibility exist
ROBA member Daryl Simon provided a comprehensive program on reindeer record keeping and obtaining permits.
ROBA member Pat Lavery started an open Discussion for the afternoon. Male reindeer were a hot topic with items of Bulls
Saturday morning started off with ROBA member Cindy Murdoch on the subject of Eco-terrorism. Activity of such has happened to some deer farmers in certain areas of the country.
ROBA member Dr. Isaac Bott provided updates on Reindeer Artificial Insemination.
Special guest speaker presentation, Gregory Finstad, Reindeer Research Project Manager, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Greg brought good news for the ROBA data base. Dr. Sophia Papageorgiou of University of California, Davis will be collaborating with ROBA and Greg to implement a Disease section to the data base.
Erin Carr, Reindeer Research Technician, University of Alaska, Fairbanks provided
insight to the daily operation of the research farm herd on the campus in Fairbanks. Coverage of a complete year of activities month by month
ROBA Member Mike Cary D.V.M covered a daunting task of the 4 most frequently asked questions about reindeer?
Dinner and a successful Auction brought the evening to a close
Sunday all was not over as Pat Lavery invited everyone to stop by his reindeer farm for a little hands on demonstrations. Live reindeer lead trainning and hoof trimming provided valuable information and a sleigh pulling demonstration covered hitching up and pulling for the first time


United States Animal Health Association
117th Annual Meeting -
San Diego, California
  October 17-23, 2013

Members Daryl Simon and Kyle Wilson were in attendance to represent ROBA



2013 ROBA Annual Membership Meeting March 14th, 15th & 16th
This year’s venue was a different experience at the Casino complex in Lawrenceburg Indiana.
Host Alice & Kevin Preissman’s choice provided a wonderful setting with convenient lodging and meals.



Andy Korb of Kalmbach Feeds Inc. Reviewed Reindeer feed and the importance of supplemental minerals for reindeer health.
Joint Presentation - Daryl Simon, ROBA member & Dr. Cathy Hovancsak, Supervisory Animal Care Specialist, USDA -APHIS-Animal Care. Displaying Reindeer - pens, supplies and travel and requirements needed to display interstate.
Dr. Mike Cary D.V.M. ROBA Resident Veterinarian covered Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and vaccines for the same. The disease is spread by midges. Midges are a group including many kinds of small flies. The common no-see-ums is one example. EHD was once believed to a southern disease but in recent years the disease has been seen in many parts of the country.
ROBA member Matt Shadle and partner Isaac Bott featured a unique presention on new developments in the field of Reindeer Artficial Insemination. Theriogenology is being used. Theriogenology - the branch of veterinary medicine concerned with reproduction, including the physiology and pathology of male and female reproductive systems of animals and the clinical practice of veterinary obstetrics, gynecology, and andrology.
A Joint Presentation with ROBA members Cindy Phillips & Alice Preissman. Tips on bottle feeding, what to have on hand and the many ways to support the calves’ health, with additional information on marketing your reindeer. Field trips, fairs, school visits. Where to look for business and how much is your time worth?
Guest speaker Sophia Papageorgiou, DVM, MPVM, PHD from the University of California, Davis covered parasites such as ticks and their diseases spreading capabilities. The surprising part was the life cycle of parasites. Knowing this helps educate for the control of disease. A possibility of a Reindeer disease data base was also discussed.
ROBA member Kyle Wilson reviewed the new Federal CWD regulations and the new blood based Tuberculosis tests. Announcement of both were released at the United States Animal Health Association meeting during October last year. The CWD rule no longer includes reindeer and now individual states are still in process of applying to participate in the federal program. The new TB blood test approval was announced at the USAHA meeting but the program guidelines were not announced until February of this year and implementation for use by state programs began in early March.
Gregory Finstad, Reindeer Research Program Manager & Darrell Blodgett, Reindeer Research Program Manager, Data Specialist, University of Alaska, Fairbanks explained the new reindeer data base that has been set up at the university. The data base is configured for use by ROBA members to participate. To enroll in the project ROBA members are requested to send in feed samples to the university and supply a little info on the individual herds. All information will be confidential as herd/owners names will not appear on the interactive online website. The project is geared to look at the long term aspects reindeer mortality. The feed information is the base line and other features are being added such a calving weights and sizes. Additional data streams hold possibilities for the future. Information on how to participate will be covered in the next issue of the newsletter as space does not permit in this issue.
Rodney Grubbs from Your Business IGNITED presented a short seminar titled "Growing Your Reindeer Business by Growing a TOMATO Garden" covering the importance of having your own website and working with social media.
Open discussions allowed ROBA members to bring up items of interest that had not been previously covered.
Mike Jablonski, ROBA member – covered the ROBA Breed Registry and the importance of registering your animals.
With a little time left the ROBA Membership Meeting was able to start early and complete before the break between the Seminars and the Membership Business meeting. Dinner was at the EPIC Buffet on site and as usual there was more food than could be consumed with many members making more than one trip back to the "Steak Station".
The ROBA Auction as usual was worth attending if for no other reason than the entertainment value. The "Three Amigo’s" Kevin Preissman, Daryl Simon and Dan Downs put on quite the show while raising almost two thousand dollars in proceeds.
A Farm Tour was available on Sunday at the nearby farm of our hosts at Whitetail Acres.

At the conclusion of the event we were not able to determine how many members in attendance were lucky at the gaming operations at the Casino. We do know that the members were definitely lucky to have had the opportunity learn and share reindeer information while attending.


United States Animal Health Association
116th Annual Meeting -
Greensboro, North Carolina
  October 17-24, 2012

ROBA Member  Kyle Wilson in attendance


Western Region Meeting October 5, 2012 Host Ethel Evans - Parker Colorado - the October meeting was an opportunity for reindeer raisers to get together and bring up questions, concerns, with an open forum. The ones who came did so with diverse backgrounds of reindeer involvement, just a small group. Most of the meeting was discussions.


ROBA Annual Membership Meeting 2012, March 8 - 10, 2012 - LaRue, Ohio - Host Dan & Linda Downs once again welcomed ROBA members to their farm. ROBA Scholarship Winner, Hans Fritz reviewed his recent trip to Alaska, George Aguiar, University of Alaska Fairbanks presented on starting a reindeer farm in Alaska. Buck Wheeler from Udderly EZ explained milking reindeer with the new hand pump on the market. ROBA member Mike Cary D.V.M. ROBA member presented on Babesia. Gregory Finstad, Reindeer Research Program Manager from the University of  Alaska, Fairbanks reviewed The  History of Domestic Reindeer in North America. ROBA member, Jeff Fritz reviewed the History of ROBA. Zoe Purtzer, Oregon State University presented on Reindeer Immunology.
During group discussions members discussed Reindeer Nutrition, Calving, Displaying your Reindeer and Marketing your reindeer and your reindeer rental. Trailoring you reindeer was also covered.

The grand presentation of the event had to be preparation and serving of Reindeer Cuisine. Several cuts of meat were prepared and all members had chance for a taste. Provided by Gregory Finstad and prepared by Donna Roach


United States Animal Health Association
115th Annual Meeting -
Buffalo, New York
            October 1 -5, 2011
ROBA Members Mike Jablonski and Kyle Wilson in attendance


ROBA 2011 Annual Membership Meeting  March 10th, 11th & 12th Hosts Jason and Amy Sierpien
Meeting was held at the AZoosment Park on the site of the historic Santa's Village in Dundee, Illinois
History of Santa's Village - the Legendary Santa Phillip Wenz  Santa from Santa's Village
USDA Animal Care Division - Chad T Moore A.C.I. - USDA role in Animal Exhibition
2010 USAHA Meeting update - ROBA member - Daryl Simon - Lake Crystal, Minnesota
USDA Updates on TB research & regulations - ROBA Member - Kyle Wilson - Knoxville, TN Reindeer Nutrition - ROBA member - Mike Cary D.V.M. - Pine City. New York Reindeer Research Funding - ROBA member - Ron Disher - Waterville, Ohio
Group Break Out Session - Reindeer Problem Solving - ROBA members teamed up to look for solutions to everyday problems
USDA National Animal Disease Center - Dr. Robert Kunkle - Results of five year CWD study  with Reindeer
USDA updates on Federal CWD rule - Kyle Wilson
Reindeer as a Domestic Animal - Gregory Finstad & George Aguiar - University of  Alaska, Fairbanks
Steers for display - Yes or No? ROBA members - Jeff & Cindy Phillips - Hartford, Wisconsin ROBA Group Discussion - Marketing your Reindeer, Reindeer Insurance                                          


United States Animal Health Association
114th Annual Meeting -
Minneapolis, Minnesota
            November 11-17, 2010
ROBA Member Daryl Simon in attendance


2010 Central Region Meeting, October 15th & 16th, Hartford, Wisconsin
- Reindeer Games - Meeting hosts were Jeff and Cindy Phillips and all the Reindeer Games “elves”. Attendees came from Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Colorado. The agenda began on Friday evening with an informal gathering of ROBA members who enjoyed pizza and refreshments in front of a warming bonfire. Santa was there and we have lot of fun and laughs.
On Saturday, the meeting began at 9:30am and went until about 5:30pm. Morning topics included Wisconsin CWD Ruling Changes, How to Deal with Flies, Case Study of an Antler Injury, Pro’s and Con’s of Raising Steers, Jack Hanna’s Visit to Pine Acres, and Reindeer Games’ Farm Layout. We broke for lunch which was followed by a nature walk through the farm. After lunch the traditional ROBA Auction, our association’s fund raiser. The afternoon session kicked off with a panel discussion of Reindeer Games elves explaining how they prepare and handle a busy exhibit season. That was followed with a presentation on reindeer health – how to boost reindeer’s immune system naturally. Then Reindeer Games handlers demonstrated hoof trimming and how to apply essential oils for wellness. Last demo was sleigh training. Highlight of the day was a visit from Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Everyone got a photo in the sleigh with Santa – a memory of the eventful day.



March 18 - 20, 2010 Toledo, Ohio
North American Deer Farmers Association

21st Annual Conference

ROBA Member Kyle Wilson attending Guest Speaker


Annual Meeting 2010, March 25 - 27 LaRue, Ohio Host Dan & Linda Downs welcomed ROBA to their farm. With early morning came the announcement of the closing of local schools, however the ROBA event was still on. The Marion County road crews were already in action. There were some delays as several ROBA members ended up following the snowplows to the meeting.
  Member Jeff Phillips provided a slide show of the 2008 Alaska reindeer trip.Highlights included the town of Nome located on the Seward Peninsula and of course the tundra.
  Dr Austin Hinds from Ohio
State University covered parasites in reindeer. The different classifications of common and not so common parasites, along with the various treatments available for each type.
Member Kyle Wilson updated everyone on progress of the reindeer CD project at the USDA - ARS facility in Ames Iowa.
  Member Daryl Simon reviewed license requirements from the USDA Animal Care Division for leasing reindeer for holiday exhibits.
Member Tom Scheib ! ROBA founder was available for the afternoon session to spread around his knowledge and answer questions. Many topics were covered. Anyone who missed this lost out on his vast knowledge. Now retired Tom is enjoying traveling with his new pet falcon.
The second day started out with Santa! Santa Dennis Blanden of Grove City
Ohio gave us a special look at Rudolph. While we are all familiar with the 1964 animated feature Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer not all are aware of the original 1947 cartoon version. A nice piece of history was shown during the presentation.
  Member Cindy Phillips presented on using essential oils with reindeer. For use with calming, wounds, abscesses, fly control, digestive issues, parasites and additional facts of use with calf care.
  Zoe Purtzer from Oregon
Health & Science University working in collaboration the Reindeer Research project at the University of Alaska gave an excellent program on Hematology, Immunology and Chemistry Reference Ranges in Reindeer.
Greg Finstad from the University of
Alaska, Fairbanks brought us up to date on the hands on reindeer research used to help the indigenous people of Alaska. Member Jeff Fritz gave hands-on training course of handling reindeer in a hydraulic squeeze chute.
 The wrap up of the second day afternoon was an open discussion on all things reindeer. A wish list had been circulated among the membership for topics to discuss
On to the Auction! We were honored to have member Jason Sierpien once again as auctioneer assisted by Larry Fritz. A very successful auction.
Special thanks goes out to Dan & Linda Downs and their friends and family that helped out with the event. Many behind the scenes duties were handled by this group to make the event even more special. The food, the facilities and the friends were above expectations.         


113th Annual Meeting -
Dan Diego, California
            October 8-14, 2009
ROBA Members Daryl Simon and Kyle Wilson were in attendance to represent ROBA
Topics of concern this year were CWD regulations and USDA concept plan for the future of animal health regulations.


Annual Meeting 2009, March 15-17 Gatlinburg Tennessee. Kyle Wilson & Donna Roach hosted this grand event located in the Great Smoky Mountains. ROBA teemed up with the Celebrate Santa convention to share the convention center and provide networking opportunities. Every where you looked there was always a sea of Santa's on hand.
  Dr. Chester Gipson, USDA Deputy Administrator for Animal Care reviewed the Animal Welfare Act and reported that reindeer owners have not been a problem for this regulatory inspection division of the government.
  Artificial Insemination with reindeer was covered by Professor Milan Shipka, University of Alaska at Fairbanks and ROBA Member Norm Mitchell.
  Once again we were fortunate to have Greg Finstad, Reindeer Research Program Manger, University of Alaska present at the conference. Greg gave a detailed presentation on the restoration of reindeer herding on the St. Lawrence Island complete with photo slide show.
 New blood came to the ROBA Auction in form of a new member. Jason Sepira brought the  ROBA auction to life. His auctioneer talents were a welcome addition.
  Reindeer diets were the next subject to be reviewed. ROBA member Dr.Mike Cary provided a very educational presentation about Reindeer Vitamin E Deficiencies. Greg Finstad, Reindeer Research Program Manger, University of Alaska
had an interesting presentation on “Fat Cow Syndrome”. Kyle Wilson provided a Reindeer Protein Percent Survey for the crowd with examples of feed products used by various ROBA members.
  A Reindeer Tack Workshop with Hands-on. Examples of lead ropes, harnesses, halter and more were provided. Followed by Reindeer Identification examples of visible tags, microchips and tattoos was also available.
  Open Discussions – many items covered, but the most popular was the “How to Calculate Prices for Profit”. Many thought this would a discussion about how much to charge but was quite the opposite. Expenses were the hot topic.
 The Holy and Shamrock Parade provide the closing of the Annual meeting. With hundreds of Santa ’s on hand the biggest problem was figuring out which one was the real Santa Claus! A successful event in a somewhat carnival atmosphere in the shadows of the most visited National Park in the nation. 


United States Animal Health Association
112th Annual Meeting -
Greensboro, North Carolina
            October 23-29, 2008

ROBA Member Kyle Wilson was in attendance to represent ROBA
Topics of concern this year were validation of serum based TB testing
and future national CWD regulations


October 4th, 2008 Central Region Meeting,  Lake Crystal, Minnesota Hosts - Daryl & Yvonne Simon and Bev Herda. The meeting started off with food and refreshments and the great fall weather cooperated for the day. A great barbeque lunch was also served for all to enjoy. Folks from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and Colorado made it to the event.
 Cindy and Jeff Phillips, of Reindeer Games Farms in Wisconsin, made an outstanding, informative presentation on their March, 2008 trip to Alaska with a group of ROBA members.  The photos that they took gave a very unique look at Alaska during the winter and a greater appreciation of the absolute cold beauty of that country.
  The second presentation was given by Carl Denkinger, Agriculture Regulatory Specialist from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Carl covered the regulations currently in place for cervi ds in Minnesota, progress in the CWD monitoring and an update on the split state status for TB in Minnesota.   

Next was Dr. Cathy Hovancsak, DVM, Supervisory Animal Care Specialist with USDA-APHIS-Animal Care. Cathy gave a power point presentation reviewing the regulations regarding display work with reindeer.
   Sandy Fritz gave the ROBA treasurer’s report. Several ROBA members had provided very unique, and in many cases, hand made items for the fund raising auction.
   The John Block family then showed the attendees their harnesses and discussed the different aspects of how they worked on different sleigh types.
   The final session of the day was a tour of the Simon’s farm highlighting the reindeer calf weaning pens, their trailers that are used to transport the reindeer and the displays, explaining an example of how our displays are set up and the reasons why they are done that way, and finally the adult reindeer breeding facilities.


March 14-22, 2008
Fairbanks, Alaska - Nome, Alaska
Gary & Carol Borton , Kalamazoo, Michigan

United States Animal Health Association
111th Annual Meeting - Reno, Nevada
    October 17-24, 2007

ROBA Members Daryl Simon and Kyle Wilson were in attendance to represent ROBA
Topics of concern this year were the upcoming validation of the cervid TB rapid test,
CWD regulations and the National Brucellosis program


October 4-6, 2007 Annual Membership Meeting, Plainwell, Michigan - This meeting was hosted by Gary & Carol Borton. This year's feature presentation was by Merlin Henry. Indigenous reindeer herder from the Seward Peninsula in Alaska .
Reindeer Herding in Alaska past and present. A story every reindeer person should hear. Past history handed down within the family. An everyday account of life on the tundra and reindeer herding lifestyle and the requirements. The trial and tribulations of losing a reindeer herd to the ever migrating Caribou. And the final rebuilding of a reindeer herd starting from zero in the modern age with newer technologies.
 Additional Speakers from Alaska were - Greg Finstad - University of Alaska at Fairbanks - Consequences of two reindeer herding strategies in the Hovsgol Province Northern Mongolia. A first hand report of grazing metho ds used and concerns of the Mongolian reindeer herders. George Aguiar - University of Alaska at Fairbanks - Pasture Nutrition Study at UAF. The study reviewed the use of two different pasture grasses for reindeer.
The USDA was represented with staff form the National Animal Disease Center and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames Iowa. Dr. Ray Waters - reviewed the changes in reindeer TB testing and research through the years. Dr. Robert Kunkle – Presented on the status of the five year CWD research program under way for reindeer. Dr. Jeffrey Nelson - Reindeer Serum Bank - This special function has been set up to help the cervid industry submit samples for the validation of the TB rapid test for use in our animals. Explanations of function and procedures for submittal were provided.
 ROBA Members also participated with presentations on reindeer issues to help provide continuing education for the membership. Cindy Phillips - Reindeer health & Wellness Using Therapeutic Essential Oils. Gary Rearrick - Pitfalls and Perils of Bull in Rut (a real life experience). Kyle Wilson - Displaying your reindeer. A review of Reindeer rentals for the holiday season.
The finale included the annual membership business meeting followed by the ROBA auction. Once again new information shared among many.


United States Animal Health Association
October 12th - 19th
2006   Minneapolis, Minnesota

ROBA Members Tom Scheib and Kyle Wilson were in attendance to represent ROBA
Topics of concern this year were Chronic Wasting Disease 
and the National Animal Identification Plan


July 19 -22, 2006 Annual Membership Meeting, Parker Colorado - This year’s meeting was hosted in the Western Region by Ethel and Dave Evans. All events were held at Moon Deer Ranch in Parker Colorado. A great setting with a Christmas in July theme.
The festivities began with a reception Wednesday evening. Native Mongolians preformed traditional “Long Songs” from this historical culture. A presentation that will not be soon forgotten.
Colorado location provided access to the staff from USDA operations in Fort Collins. Dr. Robert Meyer, Dr. Bill Hench, Dr. Kurt VerCauteren and Dr. Tom Gidlewski covered many subjects. New cervid TB rules, TB eradication in wild cervid , Wildlife fencing research and Chronic Wasting Disease were reviewed with much interest.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer from the National Animal Disease Center reviewed the current progress of TB blood testing research going on at Ames Iowa
Dr. Larry Varner from Purina Mills gave a most informative seminar on Feed and Nutrition. Protein amounts, season change nee
ds along with differences between complete and supplemental feeds.
Greg Finstad, Program Manager Reindeer Research Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks Alaska Presented about Reindeer as a domestic animal reveled the reasons why that our reindeer qualify a domestic animal. Examples of the differences of caribou and reindeer were also included.
Morgan G. Keay Executive Director of The Itgel Foundation, presented again this year with updates on - Revitalizing the Tsaatan Reindeer Herd, Reindeer Life Project in
Management, Disease, Nutrition, and more.
World renowned cervid veterinarian Jerry Haigh continued with his experiences and world travels and work with the cervid industry. As a special feature Dr. Haigh presented on the reproductive health of reindeer. This was most informative and detailed the cycles of the reproductive systems in reindeer.
ROBA Member Dr.
Bob Dieterich assembled guest speakers from group for an “Ask the experts panel discussion”. This helped provide even more information.
Other ROBA Members Gary & Carol Borton, Ron Disher,
Cindy Murdoch
& Kyle Wilson completed the seminars with topics of Reindeer air transport from Alaska
, Calving care and health, Reindeer farm tours and Reindeer display work.
The Annual ROBA Auction was held by
Tom Scheib with proceeds benefiting future reindeer concerns. Vendors were available throughout the event with items of interest to reindeer owners. Many items from all around the world. Buffalo burgers were severed daily. A great treat from the farm at Moon Deer Ranch.
In closing the departure of attendees saw people heading for different destinations throughout the United States
as well as other parts of North America and abroad. A world class symposium that was filled with World Class people.   


Eastern Regional Meeting - April 1, 2006 - Kalamazoo, Michigan - Hosts Gary & Carol Borton provided the setting for discussions on current regulations and operation standards for the Michigan area. Representative Tom Oliver of the Michigan DNR reviewed new operational standards for cervids. Susi Baer MDA & Rachael Cezar USDA presented on CWD regulations. The Borton's provided a local reindeer farm tour and shared excellent information on facility design and operations. Issues of animal identification and record keeping were also of interest.


United States Animal Health Association

2005 - Hershey, Pennsylvania 109th Annual Meeting November, 3-10, 2005

ROBA Members in attendance - Mike Jablonski, Tom Scheib & Kyle Wilson
Items of new Cervid TB regulations were the hot topics for the industry.


March 3-6, 2005 Hamburg, New York - With the theme of reindeer nutrition. The annual meeting started off with the Cargill seminar. This discussion enforced the importance of proper nutrients to the diet and diminishing values of minerals within feed products based on shelf life.
Dr. Belinda Thompson of Cornell University reviewed the importance of vitamins in the reindeer diet and the long term effects on herd health and birthing success.
More presentations by ROBA members covered supplies to have on hand for birthing season, medical injections and vaccines used with reindeer.
Current Rules & Regulation updates for reindeer were presented by USDA staff. ROBA members also provided updates on research projects at the National Animal Disease Center.
A review of the The Reindeer Life Project in Mongolia during 2004 by Morgan Keay, Itgel Foundation, shows progress for the reindeer and the Tssatann people.

The Reindeer Research Project from Alaska was present again this year with more information. Greg Finstad, University of Alaska, Fairbanks provided a report on reasons for reindeer castration. An additional presentation explained that reindeer and not caribou are one the few Herbivores that qualify as true domestic animals and why. The differences in behavioral traits between Reindeer and Caribou was very enlightening!
ROBA members Gary & Carol Borton provided colorful slide show and video of reindeer herding on the Stewart Peninsula.
Antler Marketing was covered by Norm Mitchell, Saskatchewan Reindeer Association. Used throughout centuries and now continuing with modern man reindeer velvet has many purposes.
ROBA Reindeer Registry, Mike Jablonski, ROBA. The importance of breed line registration and record keeping were emphasized.
The Annual Fund Raising Auction was once again presided over by Tom Scheib. Another success and wonderful evening. Reindeer crafts and vendors offered a vast range of items this year. With great meals provided by ROBA throughout the event, ensured no one had an excuse to be hungry!
Wrapping up with an indoor reindeer hitching lesson the reindeer headed outside to show a few maneuvers in the snow! With the event at conclusion a final stop on the way out of town provided a tour of Antler Ride Farm for all members by our gracious host Mike & Mindy Jablonski


United States Animal Health Association
108th Annual Meeting
- October 21-28, 2004 Greensboro, North Carolina

ROBA was represented by members: Tom Scheib, Kyle Wilson & Terry Klick.
Official Recommendation presented by ROBA for change of the official scattergram used for reindeer.


Central Region ROBA Meeting, September 18, 2004 Erin, Wisconsin.

The region was well represented by ROBA members and State & Federal Guest speakers.

The topic of CWD was reviewed with regards to fencing, statistics for control, procedures for monitoring testing, primary goals and current media coverage in the state of Wisconsin.

A general overview of TB testing reindeer was presented along with the advice of the use of the correct scattergram to be used for reindeer only and the best time of year to test is in Jan, Feb. & March.

Other reindeer health issues discussed included Brainworm, Hernias and Fly Control.

The day also provided lunch and another famous ROBA Auction with Tom Scheib as auctioneer. Host Jeff and Cindy Phillips of Reindeer-Games provided a wonderful setting and weather. A demonstration of harnessing and hitching reindeer to a sleigh was special presentation.

In conclusion it is advised that ROBA members contact their local representatives on issues concerning their reindeer and stay proactive on both state and federal levels.


The 2004 ROBA Annual Meeting was located in Ames Iowa. Home of the USDA's National Animal Disease Center along with the Agriculture Research Services and the National Veterinary Service Laboratories.

March 18,19 & 20, 2004 - This was the longest ROBA Meeting ever. Three full days of seminars and events. Fourteen guest speakers and even more seminars provided valuable information to all that attended. Many of the speakers were from the NADC with others from all around the country.

With the focus on disease this year.  Causes, Symptoms and Diagnostics were covered in the following presentations: Babesiosis, Bovine Viral Dirrhea, Brucellosis, Prion Diseases (Scrapie-CWD-BSE), Johne's, Maligant Cartarrhal Fever, Prion Protein Gene Polymorphisms of Reindeer, Tuberculosis, A new TB Blood Test for Reindeer and West Niles Virus.

The event also saw presentations on the new United States Animal Identification Plan and a very special presentation about Biosecurity for your Reindeer was most informative! Acronyms used within our industry were also covered.

Current reindeer husbandry projects in Alaska were also reviewed, and for a different look there was a unique presentation on reindeer husbandry in Mongolia.

Group tours of the National Animal Disease Center were provided to all participants. Additional time was allotted for a group discussion on displaying your reindeer and training your reindeer to pull. The ROBA Store was present with a complete new expanded line of reindeer attire. The ROBA Registry was on hand to register farms and member's reindeer.

On Saturday lunch was provided and a delicious dinner smorgasbord buffet in the evening. The meeting concluded with the ROBA Auction, a grand event in it's own right!

More information than ever before for reindeer owners in one place!


United States Animal Health Association, 107th Annual Meeting,

9-16 Oct 2003, San Diego, CA.
ROBA was represented by members: Tom Scheib & Ethel Evans

Many topics were highlighted and briefed including, results of reindeer TB testing study preformed by ARS at the National Animal Disease Center, West Niles Virus titers in reindeer, Chronic Wasting Disease, Johne's Disease, National animal identification system, National animal disease response system, Wildlife diseases, and more.


A different type of round-up, showed up in Pendleton as ROBA hit the Oregon Trail !

 June 20-22, 2003 - the annual meeting started with a reception on Friday evening.  There were several small group discussions taking place, much was learned from these talks as was from the scheduled meetings.

Saturday saw a full day of activities taking place at the Pendleton Convention Center.  Dr. Bob Dieterich gave a report and slide show of his involvement in the relocation of reindeer from South Georgia Island to the Falkland Islands in 2001.  Mike Gillaspie gave an interesting report on the history of Operation Santa Claus of Redmond, Oregon, which has been in operation for 50 years.  It was good to have Greg Finstad from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with us again this year.  He and his assistant, Carrie Bucki, provided a report on reindeer nutrition.  A video on the capture of reindeer in Alaska was presented by Ron Dirkes. Carol Borton gave a report on the up-comming new health manual . Updates on Chronic Wasting Disease and West Nile Virus were given by Tom Scheib.

During, breaks members had time to check out the various vendors with reindeer related products for sale and the auction items. A delicious lunch was provided and a great prime rib dinner.

Following dinner the annual meeting was held.  Plaques were presented to Dr. Bob Dieterich and Mr.Tom Scheib for their many years of dedication to the reindeer industry. The reindeer industry wouldn’t be where it is without them.  After the meeting the annual auction was held. Tom Scheib presided as auctioneer and did his usual grand job!

Sunday festivities moved to sponsoring member Ron Dirkes’ farm for hands on demonstrations, including, hoof trimming and harnessing a reindeer for the first time.  Following the demonstrations and lunch members began their trek towards home, with thoughts of, new information and friends.


Eastern Region Meeting - March 15, 2003 - Santa's Hitching Post, Gloversville, New York.

A great day for a meeting. After a long cold snowy winter the day of the meeting was the nicest day of the year. Good attendance was represented from the region.

Updates of the latest concerns from the Board Members, and letters of interest received by ROBA President Pat Lavery concerning reindeer were covered. A group discussion reviewed current C.W.D. problems and how different states are handling it. The recent Pennsylvania Game Commission meeting was covered. West Niles Virus in reindeer was also a hot topic. The upcoming calving season was another point of interest that was of great concern to all.

Additionally a discussion was held on concerns and questions from the membership and ideas to take to the annual meeting in Pendleton.


Finnfest 2002 – Aug, 7-11 2002 – University of Minneapolis

ROBA was represented with members & reindeer. Lavvus were set up as traditional homes complete with skins and tools. Traditional Sami crafts were also exhibited, which included, how to make birch bark baskets, weaving a bootstrap on a traditional Sami loom, authentic Sami prints, and the works of a dugout canoe.

The highlight of the event was a wonderful young Sami herder, Antti Satta from Orajarvi Finland. A 16 yr old lad with a warm, outgoing personality and infectious smile who was staying in this country a few weeks and enjoyed the opportunity to see America.

The Sami encampment was well attended by Finnfest participants, university students and the general public. One family with children spent hours with the reindeer, even bottle-feeding the calves.


Central Region Meeting – R.O.B.A. Working for You - La Cross Wisconsin July 27, 2002

The featured guest speaker was Dr. Bob Ehlenfeldt, DVM State of Wisconsin’s Assistant Veterinarian.

Tom Scheib presented the opening statements and addressed the concerns of membership regarding the effects of recent legislation that has affected income of owners that travel interstate for exhibitions, commercial work, leases, sales & breeding purposes.

Dr Ehlenfeldt’s presentation discussed “What is Chronic Wasting Disease[CWD]?”; the causes of CWD, signs of CWD, transmission, locations of infected populations, states involved in tracebacks, taking samples, Mandatory CWD testing of all dead captive deer/elk over 16 months of age, live animal movement restrictions, quarantines and condemnations, the anticipated federal program, along with an extensive question and answer period.


2002 Annual Meeting – Feb 22-24 ROBA descended upon Frankenmuth Michigan for this year’s Conference.

This Christmas town played host for ROBA's 10th Anniversary, with the largest attendance from the membership on record!

The weekend offered many diverse exhibits for all to enjoy along with the hospitality. Special presentations included hitching eight reindeer with sleigh for the local news

A report on the World Reindeer Congress meeting held in Inari Finland included the new ways they do business was well portrayed in a colorful slide show presentation.

Guest speakers from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks honored ROBA with their presentation on the “Effects of two barley-based diets on captive reindeer during winter”.

Additional health & medical discussions and presentations provided more information for the attendees. A lot of information in such a short time!

Reindeer are Special !