Sami Kerr for Bengal Breed Council Secretary

Dear Breed Council Members,

Your active participation in the 2018-2019 Bengal Breed Council is greatly appreciated. Our shared passion for the Bengal breed is evident and I have enjoyed the opportunities to meet and get to know the many breeders and exhibitors at shows and events. The role of the council is to serve as an advisory body on our breed’s standard to the board. As a council, our goal for the coming years should be to work collaboratively to meet the expectations of CFA in refining a concise standard that allows us to work toward our ideal cat. As Breed Council Secretary, I plan to foster cooperation and this collaborative environment by listening to the individual members of our council, and by focusing on being inclusive and respectful.

My support of CFA is evident in the involvement of time and energy given to promote the Bengal breed and encourage others to participate. The role of breed council secretary is to both act as guardian and to promote our breed to a wider audience. I intend to take the varied perspectives of our breed and ensure that the standard maintains a consistent representation of features and characteristics that have made our breed one of the most popular in the world. It is my assertion that the position of breed council secretary is to serve the role of helping all perspectives be heard and contrasted against each other while working to maintain the value and quality or the Bengal Breed. Many of you know that I hold my own perspectives of what I want to see for the breed. However, in running for secretary, my goal is to serve the position to promote our breed and not use it as an opportunity to further my own agenda. The time and efforts of these first few years, with all perspectives fairly weighed and accounted for, should create a standard that will last for years to come.

I have been active in CFA and the miscellaneous exhibition since our acceptance in 2016. I have worked to encourage and mentor those new to CFA and will continue to do so. I feel strongly that the breed council of the future should be a cohesive unit able to work collaboratively to ensure that our breed continues to attract and captivate future enthusiasts. The next generation of fanciers and owners depends upon our constructive efforts to lay a strong foundation.

I appreciate your support.

SamanthaKerr@akerrsbengals.com or 614-218-zero812



WHO I AM:

I am the owner/operator of A-Kerr’s Bengals carrying on the high standards set for running a transparent cattery based on health, temperament and appearance. To do this I rely on the following:

Health:

  • Health is paramount to the A-Kerr’s tradition and to myself as a breeder dedicated to providing companions to the public and improving the breed. I follow my bloodlines, I stand behind them.

  • Veterinarian inspected cattery. First CFA Bengal Cattery of Excellence, two years in 2018.

• Repeated HCM screening of all my breeding cats. I provide reports and disclose results of screenings in order to strengthen the breed as a whole.

• Preliminary DNA testing and screening for PK-def and PRA-b, regular health testing for parasites. Ophthalmology consults with OSU.

• Veterinarian administers vaccines and sees all kittens at least two times, full disclosure to new owner on any and all health issues.

• Written contracts and health guarantees

Temperament:

• Kittens and cats are handled from birth.

• The majority of our cats are shown, we select for a ‘winning’ temperament.

• Acclimated to children with our two tiny humans.

Appearance:
We hold many title and awards granted by TICA and CFA for the quality and look of the cats that we produce. Some of our cats have titles not only regionally, but nationally and internationally as well.

First Female Grand Champion Bengal, A-Kerr’s Vanna Rusa!

• other A-Kerr’s Grands at this time:

First titled cat in CFA: AW BengaMur Alina of A-Kerr’s was 4th in the Great Lakes region for 2017-2018 in Agility.

So why is this all important?

I wanted you to know a little more about me… it is easy to make assumptions and for those of you who have not met me, let this be an introduction. I fell in love with the cat fancy as soon as I moved away to college and promptly decided I wanted a red point colorpoint shorthair or a snow Bengal to show. The waiting list for the Bengal kitten produced a mink male within a year and I became the proud owner of an unwilling show cat that I drug around to a few shows before I realized I was not likely to win anything with a grouchy cat. With my first cat, Osiris, I founded Lunazul Bengals in Columbus in 2005. The happy by-product of going to the few TICA and CFA shows (not with the Bengal!) in the early years was that I met a great deal of people that were encouraging and enthusiastic about welcoming me to the cat fancy. They became mentors and friends and I continue to treasure those relationships to this day. One of those mentors was Libbie Kerr of A-Kerr’s Bengals, who happened to have a handsome son that I fell madly in love with. Fast forward to today, Jay and I have two children, Chase and Vivi and we live in Cardington, Ohio on 10 acres with an indoor / outdoor climate controlled facility for the A-Kerr’s breeding cats, while kittens and queens are a part of our home and our family. I have a true love of animals and their care and take the approach of always asking questions and seeking solutions.

What would I bring to the CFA Bengal Breed Council as Secretary?

I would like to see respectful and thoughtful discourse return to our working relationships on the breed council, I believe this can be done through a transparent participatory process. My approach to being more effective in this respect is to have the option of self selected committees to work on various questions that come up, that would work with myself as breed council secretary to form a strong communication process that explores the reasons to support or not support various ideas that arise.

I would like to organize more zoom (video conferencing) meetings to allow for face to face communication and meetings as a council. The main role of the Breed Council is to serve as an advisory body regarding our standard to the board. This should be done to represent the dream cat of the majority, while preserving the integrity of the breed and what it represents. A multi faceted approach to utilizing social media to facilitate communication can also be explored, as we’ve seen from previous years, Facebook has some obvious advantages in terms of translating for members outside of the US. Email lists are the preferred method [see the Breed Council Secretary job description, from the CFA website, where it states: Maintain contact with Breed Council members via BC email list/regular mail and keep informed of new developments or issues relevant to your breed through such activities as exhibiting at CFA shows and attending the CFA Annual Meeting.]

I fully support a Breed Council Code of Ethics… This was also an idea discussed at the Breed Council Secretaries’ meeting that I attended at the CFA Annual meeting in Atlanta, GA this year, so it is likely that as a council we will be hearing more about this in the very near future. As a breeder and exhibitor I also adhere to the CFA Breeder Code of Ethics. This is a document also found under the ‘Breeder Index’ on the CFA website.

I want to see an informative and visually intriguing Breed Website, CFA provides the space for this, it is up to us as a council to provide the content within their guidelines. There are several updates on the main website itself that I would like to see made with input from the breed council.

Why I am qualified to be Breed Council Secretary?

  • Professional Qualifications : B.S in Animal Sciences from The Ohio State University. I’ve worked and managed people in the research field for several years only leaving in 2015 to focus on my family and the cattery. Some publications I was a part of include : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S216225311630172X (Oncolytic Virus and Prodrug paper), Previous ALAT certification in the care and usage of laboratory animals. DOJ / BSL2 Clearance / Certification for government / NIH funded studies.

  • 2016-2018 Breed Committee/ Council member and active participant.

  • I was an active participant in our breed’s exhibition throughout our time in Miscellaneous category. I have been involved since the beginning of our breed’s involvement in CFA, attending over 10 shows and exhibiting 17 unique cats, not including the ‘Pet Me’ cats at several shows.

  • I took the clerking class taught by Bethany Colilla at the 2018 Rebel Rousers/ New Vision show in Atlanta, GA, so that I would be prepared to assist and understand CFA’s scoring.

  • I’ve organized and assisted in 5 breed booths to educate the public about the breed. These include Novi MI in 2016, Portland OR in 2017, San Diego CA in 2018, Lexinton KY in 2018, and Edison NJ in 2018. I am currently organizing the 6th breed booth for the International in Cleveland, OH in mid Oct.

  • Attended CFA Annual meetings in 2017 (Chicago, IL) and 2018 (Atlanta, GA). In 2017, I attended the Breed Council Secretary Meeting in place of current BCS, Marie Vodicka. In 2018 I was the Delegate for The Bengal Alliance Club, and also sat in for the BCS meeting.

  • I am the founding secretary of The Bengal Alliance club, which is the second breed club for the Bengals in CFA. We held our first show, a breed summit meant to assist in educating and with breed specific awards in July of 2018. This successful show was done in conjunction with the Global Egyptian Mau Society in Richmond, VA.

  • I have worked to bring new participants into CFA and the cat fancy through co-ownership, mentoring and by working directly with people who have questions on registration of cats, litters and in showing. I have been happy to educate and encourage participation. I have made myself available to answer questions.

  • Register ALL my litters with CFA. In fact, I have registered over 20 litters and over 22 individual cats to date. I own 3 Grand Champion, 1 Grand Premier, and 4 Champion Bengals in CFA.

  • Exhibited multiple cats in over 10 CFA shows personally last year, co-owned cats and agented cats attended several more shows.

  • Have shown at my own expense completely in over 12 states including, Georgia,California, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia. I have had cats shown in Missouri, Michigan, New York as well as Internationally in Japan and Italy. This is just CFA cats.



I believe that I am the best candidate for the position of CFA Bengal Breed Council Secretary because of my participation and active involvement in the CFA organization since the beginning of our drive toward Championship status. I understand what we, as the Bengal breed council, are being asked to clarify and refine in the current standard, as well as what is winning and what judges like. I understand that the cat fancy as a whole needs to encourage and include those people who are passionate about their cats, especially their Bengal cats! Our breed is amazing, and I am dedicated to supporting and promoting the Bengal breed any way that I can.