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
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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IYAK E-Newletter December 3, 2018

NWSS Winter Conference Volunteers Welcomed!

There are many ways to help out at NWSS.  If you have a few minutes or can dedicate a few hours, IYAK has opportunities for you to volunteer.  From helping with the always entertaining Halter Show, assisting the Judges or just spending time in the IYAK Tent meeting and greeting IYAK members and folks who want to yak about yaks - opportunities abound!  Please contact our IYAK President Stephanie David if you want to help out.  Her e-mail is: president@iyak.org.   

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Yak Butter


Yak butter are obtained from milk through traditional churning technique often at upland pasture  The milk are poured into inflated goat skin bag or put into big round pot run by water power and are stirred for an hour to 2 hours The butter or cream are separated from the water milk and the butter are then wrapped it for sale in the Market or consumed it at home  Unfortunately, Local people and farmers of Baltistan has given up this tradition and now Yak butter are rarely available in the Market.

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Yak Cheese Is a Miracle

The secret to Tibetan health in Himalayans

Now, we have found the secret of the strong health of the Tibetan and Himalayan populations. It is in that woolly beast called yak. More precisely in its cheese.

Cheese lovers have got a new target item, as a team of researchers from Nepal (a Himalayan state) and Canada has found that yak cheese has higher amounts of heart-healthy fats than cheese from dairy cattle, being much healthier. The base diet of people from Tibet and Himalaya is butter tea, made of tea leaves, yak butter and salt, combined with tsampa (local barley or wheat bread). The new research has been published in ACS' "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry."

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HealthStefan AniteiDairy, Cheese
Yak Stops Global Warming?

If Climate Change is your concern, Yak is your answer

… UN Special Report confirms the urgent need to reduce methane emission… Whats interesting is that yak significantly reduce methane emissions compared with standard cattle breeds. New research in 2016, by one of my favorite researchers suggests yak could be a key solution in the battle against Global Warming (Zhigang Zhang… That yak are a healthy alternative to cattle is just one more reason to love yak. Get on board!

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IYAK SCIENTIFIC FIRST: Ground Breaking Genome Sequence Research

“The Only Test of It’s Kind Anywhere in the World” IYAK Did It In 2018! Next Stop the whole tamale

I am excited to report that the International Yak Association is singlehandedly responsible for the development of exciting and groundbreaking technology and DNA testing for North American Yak (NAY). It is a scientific first of great importance to breeders, consumers, and academic researchers of NAY. Let me tell you a little about our preliminary results. 

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What Color are Yak?


There are three colors of yak: black, black and gold

Black Imperials: Frequently coal black at birth, Imperials are black with a shiny black nose. As they develop, depending on how wooly the animal is, they often take on a reddish cast from sun exposure. The silkier the coat the less likely it will be changed by exposure to sunlight. The reddish cast may be due to modifying or casting genes that act in the presence of the primary black gene and interaction with sunlight to create the reddish cast. This can also be seen in Black Angus cattle, Friesian horses and many other livestock breeds.

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Yak: Meet The Other Red Meat

It’s Healthy, Eco-friendly, and delicious!

Yak meat is lean yet juicy. Steak cuts are best prepared and served rare to medium rare. A little salt and pepper is all that is needed. The juiciness and the fresh, clean flavor don’t require masking with strong spices or marinades. Some cuts are exquisite when braised-- the connective tissue breaks down, and the meat falls apart. The juices produce the most incredibly rich and flavorful broth!  

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Shoo Fly Shoe ... Feeding Yaks Garlic for Fly Control?

Originally Posted By Lynda Gehring

I wanted to share with you another option for fly control in yaks. Last summer we tried something different...garlic. For the past 12 years we have fed our horses and dogs garlic to help fend off flies, fleas, ticks, gnats, mosquitoes and parasites. I have found it to be very successful for these animals and always wanted to try it with the yaks but I was afraid. I talked with several different cattle veterinarians at Colorado State University who assured me that if the yaks will eat the garlic, it won’t hurt them.

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IYAK E-Newletter March 2018

I’m Holly, the Communications Committee Chairperson.

Did something YAK-TACULAR happen in your area? Haveyouseenanarticlethatyoubelieve will be of interest to the Membership? Let's share that with the Membership. Just shoot me an e- mail at president@iyak.org. Or, if you know someone on the Committee that you like to share with, please contact that person directly. Thanks and looking forward to yaking with you!

Holly Modjeski

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Importance of Yak to Tibetan Culture

Their immemorial relationship

It would be hard to underestimate the importance of yak to traditional Tibetan culture. The yak (འབྲོང་། ) is considered the backbone of nomad life in the Himalayas, with this animal being important to the economic and personal wellbeing of the family. From the products crafted from yaks, the nomad family is able to clothe, shelter, and feed their family, so

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Nicole Porter-Salvato