One afternoon in 1989 John Hooper came up with the notion that, with the increasing numbers of hoof trimmers in the area, it might be a fun and interesting idea to get together with the other trimmers in the area. One thing let to another and before you know it, he was planning the first semi-official hoof trimming conference in St Cloud, MN. The conference was held on Saturday, January 13, 1990 at the Americana Inn. This first hoof-trimmers get together grew to become the first Cattle Hoof Trimmer’s Association.

At this first meeting there were nine trimmers, six of whom are still members of the association today; John Hooper, Scott Hooper, Vic Larson, Jim Hooper, Lee Carson and Al Speigner. The group discussed many of the same topics that are still being discussed at meetings today. Issues such as educational speakers, dues, field demonstrations and leadership were among the topics discussed. At this first meeting the attendees included all the wives and young children. After getting to know each other better the members realized that they missed the chance to “talk shop” with others in their same line of work. They decided that a hoof trimmers association would provide the opportunity to get together, compare experiences and share and develop their knowledge of hoof trimming.

Everybody had such a good time in 1990 that the second meeting was held a year later in January of 1991 at the Sunwood Inn in St. Cloud. We still didn’t have a formal meeting or elect officers but Fran Larson, an area C.P.A., gave a business presentation and videos of hoof trimming techniques were presented by John Hooper, Scott Hooper and Vic Larson.

The third conference was held in January 1993 in Cold Spring. Dr. Ladd Siebert, from Eureka, SD gave a presentation discussing on-the-farm record keeping methods, forms used to track each cow’s foot problems, trimming schedules and diseases of cattle’s feet. There were 14 trimmers at this meeting which included trimmers from Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

In July, 1994 the conference moved to Strum, Wisconsin and was organized by many of the Wisconsin trimmers including Bill Kopperud and Karl Burgi. The attendees came from all over the U.S. including Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Texas, North Dakota, New York, Vermont…to name a few of the nine states represented. This was the year the organization began to change from a Central Midwest regional organization to a national organization.

The next year the organization was incorporated in the State of Wisconsin and a formal board appointed. The Association also started publishing a quarterly newsletter in the fall of 1995 for the 105 members. It was decided that the meetings would be held every 18 months. In order to appeal to hoof-trimmers throughout the entire U.S., the plan was to hold winter conventions in the south and summer conventions in the north and to rotate around the country.

The next get-together was held in 1996 in Sulphur Springs Texas. For the first time, there was a formal meeting and elections of officers. The conference hosted 120 hoof trimmers and included sponsors and more speakers than were at previous conventions.

Since 1996 the organization’s membership has certainly grown – over 500 people receive the quarterly newsletter from 37 states and over 13 countries. The Association continues to sponsor conventions every 18 months. The list following this article shows the dates and sites of these conventions.

The Newsletter, Hoof Health Connection, continues on a quarterly basis and includes educational, promotional and personal interest articles. It includes articles written by veterinarians, hoof trimmers, business people and educators. It continues to be one of many tools used to fulfill the organization’s mission.

compiled by Vic Larson

Past Conferences

Winter 1996: Sulphur Springs
Summer 1997: Batavia, New York
Winter 1999: Modesto, CA
Summer 2000: Duluth, Minnesota
Summer 2002: Columbus, Ohio
Winter 2004:  Phoenix, Arizona
Summer 2005: Burlington, Vermont
Winter 2007: Tampa, Florida
Summer 2008: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Winter 2010: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Summer 2011:  Lancaster, Pennsyvania
Winter 2013: Visalia, California
Summer 2014: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Winter 2016: Atlanta, Georgia
Summer 2017: Syracuse, New York
Winter 2019: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Summer 2020: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (in planning)

Presidents

1995 – January 1996: Bill Riley
January 1996 – July 1997:  Bill Kopperud
July 1997 – January 1999: Don Dupree
January 1999 – June 2000: Ed Spencer
June 2000 – June 2002:  Peter Kudelka
June 2002 – February 2004: Hugh Love
February 2004 – July 2005: Paul Neer
July 2005 – January 2007: Steve Bartelds
January 2007 – July 2008: Jerry Bowman
July 2008 – February 2010: Eric Moyer
February 2010 – July 2011: Richard Weingart
July 2011 – February 2013: Dan Leer
February 2013 – July 2014: Allen Schlabach
July 2014 – February 2016: Vic Daniel
February 2016 – July 2017: Jamie Sullivan
July 2017 – February 2019: Victor Larson
February 2019 – July 2020: Philip Spence
July 2020 – February 2022: Mark Burwell