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2020 Candidate Statements

National Office Candidate Statements



Nominee: Jon Johnson, CJF #8861

Greetings members,

It is with great pleasure that I have accepted the nomination for President. I have been deeply involved with Convention, Certification and Finance Committees; thus, I will make myself available to anyone that has issues that I can assist with. Our leadership, as well as the Executive Director, has many great plans for a bright future for the AFA. In a nutshell, our Association is stronger now than it has been in a very long time. I would like to personally thank all of the members and leaders that have gone before me that make it possible to be a part of this. I would very much appreciate your vote that would allow my continued service to this great Association. Thank you for considering me as your next President and I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you down the road.
Hammer On.

Jon Johnson, CJF
(913) 704-9841


Write-in Candidate: Hank Chisholm, CJF #4687

To My AFA Peers and Friends,

My name is Hank Chisholm, and for those of you who don’t know me, I have been a professional farrier since 1985, earning my CF in 1992 and my CJF in 1997. I served as the President of the Southern Farriers Association for six years, as the Vice President of the Alabama Professional Farriers Association, as an AFA Board of Directors member for one year as a mid-term replacement, as a Tester, as a Certification Instructor and most recently as the Pre-Certification Committee Chairman. I was awarded the Edward Martin Humanitarian Award in 2015 and the Walt Taylor Award in 2018.

I believe strongly in the importance of education for the farrier industry. The AFA already has a strong foundation in place through our certification, pre-certification, horse owner education, cultural exchange and equine research programs, and one of my goals as your President will be to expand those opportunities to encourage farriers who are not already engaged to join us in elevating the profession through education and professional development.

Further, having been involved with the SFA and the APFA, I believe that our local Chapters are providing a critical path for farrier education through their clinics, competitions and certifications, and I plan to support them in those efforts by visiting their events, providing education to help them grow and expand their local membership, and by being a resource to them based on my own experiences.

I have decided to run for the office of President in this election as I believe I can have a positive impact on the association, our membership, our educational programs and our influence in the farrier industry. The AFA has done a lot for me throughout my career, and it is my hope to be able to continue to give back to the association and the farrier profession by serving as your President.

Thank you for your consideration.

Hank Chisholm, CJF
(601) 947-5602

Director Candidate Statements



Nominee: Brian Bonnel, CJF #6998

Hello my name is Brian Bonnel, and I have been shoeing horses since 1999. I passed my Certified Journeyman Farrier test in 2006, and became a Tester in 2010.

Now as a Certification Instructor, my goal is to pass what I have been given on to the next generation of farriers. To do that, I believe being on the Board of Directors is an important role. I would like to keep the great programs we have moving forward and also be open to new ideas to keep the AFA moving forward and to serve our members.

Brian Bonnel
AFA #6998

Director Region 1

Nominee: Lance Yohe, CJF #12046

Hello to all my peers and members of Region 1. For those who may not know me, my name is Lance Yohe, CJF. I earned my CJF 5 years ago and after that I had the desire to become an AFA Tester to give back to the Association and to honor those who pushed me to become a better farrier. I also have the privilege to be the Vice President of The Western States Farriers Association and have been on that board for 6 years.

I have been a professional farrier now for 28 years. Let me tell you a little bit of how I spent almost 30 years of my career. My first 14 years were spent shoeing show draft horses, and then I moved to California from Pennsylvania in 2004, married my lovely wife TeaLa in 2005 and started my business in the Sacramento area, shoeing a variety of disciplines. With that said, the last few years I have focused my business primarily on driving and sport horses.

I have served as Region 1 Director now for 3 years and been on the Executive Committee as a Board of Directors Liaison for 2 of those years. As I am now completing my first term as Region 1 Director I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to fill a 2nd term as Director.
With each new year of being on the Board I have seen growth in both the membership and leadership of the AFA. The Board is filled with caring and charismatic individuals that put their heart into decisions to strengthen the AFA. I am excited with the new leadership and direction that the board is taking including the new AFA Executive Director, Martha Jones.

I have enjoyed being on the Board and seeing us gain inclusiveness of this Association to further not only our education as members but also the education of up and coming farriers for the betterment of our industry. I am anxiously waiting to see what the future holds for the AFA.

My plan for the next 3 years is to continue on making decisions to strengthen the AFA, communication between the leaders and its membership, and to help better our programs offered to our members. One of my goals is to restart the Horse Owner Education Clinics. The Clinics will help educate the general horse public about the AFA, its Chapters, and the Certification process as well. Hopefully the result of hosting these clinics will be that more AFA Members are chosen as respected farriers to better the hoof care of their horses.
In closing, I hope that this candidate statement gives you a better idea of who I am, why I enjoy serving as your Region 1 Director, and the places that I would like to further expand the Association to make it better for those that are going to take our place not only in our industry but those that step up to be a part of this Board. Thank you for your time and consideration. Please feel free to contact me if I can assist you in the future.

Lance Yohe, CJF


No Nominees


Nominee: Kenny Hoyle, CJF #7217

Hello! My name is Kenny Hoyle. I have been an AFA member since the early 2000's (#7217). I recently (and finally) went through the AFA certification program and acquired my Journeyman. I have been involved with SWOFA (Southwestern Ohio Farriers Association) since the inception over 10 years ago. I have served as an officer and on the Board of Directors. I am excited for the direction our AFA is going under the current leadership. If elected, I will do my best to be a spokesman for our region. I will be readily available to hear members concerns and ideas. I would like to give back to the AFA as it has done so much for me.

God Bless,

Kenny Hoyle, CJF

Director Region 3

Nominee: Sara Vanderpol, CJF #16009

My goal in becoming an AFA Regional Director is to further the progress of the AFA. It has given me much so much in the form of education and a path to experiences I never would have found in any other way. This was thanks to all the founders and past board members. So I would like to give back and continue that pathway for up and coming farriers.

Sara Vanderpol, CJF


Write-in Candidate: Eric Gray, CF #5224

I have been an AFA member since 1997 and passed the CF at the age of 18 in 1998. I was one of the guys that did an apprenticeship during high school and in hindsight went out on my own too soon. As I did not attend horseshoeing school, nearly all of my farrier education has come from participating in farrier clinics held by the AFA and various state chapters, as well as their members that were willing to pour into a hardheaded know-it-all kid.

My early career I was fascinated with the nuances of shoeing long footed horses, primarily walking horses. I was able to go to work with Curtis Hamilton in 1999 and this would lead to opportunities to shoe walking horses from coast to coast over the next 7 years.
I moved back to Georgia in 2006 and moved my focus from shoeing long footed horses to trying to make a living within an hour of my house. Today my current clientele is a mix of dressage, hunter, endurance and backyard horses.

Since 1999 I have served terms as GPFA Secretary and Vice President as well as serving on several committees and helping to organize dozens of clinics and events.

As well as my involvement in the farrier industry, I am actively involved in the drug and alcohol recovery community serving as the recovery Pastor for Mountain Lake Church.

I personally think that the hands-on clinic/competition is vital to the success of our industry. These events don’t just provide continuing education but give Farriers an opportunity to connect with each other and communicate in an environment completely different than during the work day at a local boarding facility.

Eric Gray, CF
(770) 238-2951


Nominee: Matt Hillegas, CJF #18036

I became involved with the AFA later in my career, joined the Association, and began the certification process. Soon after, I realized it was one of the best challenges in my career that I could have undertaken.

The people within the organization who I encountered and the education I acquired had lasting implications which impacted my career profoundly. In turn, this encouraged me to become a Tester so that I could be more involved in our exceptional educational program.
I believe that communication and interaction are essential to keeping an organization moving forward. As a Regional Director and liaison to the Association, I would work diligently to keep my region involved and informed concerning events, updates, and matters involving the AFA.

Matt Hillegas, CJF