Now your starting to sound like some of the barfootistas by only telling part of the story.
An interesting sidenote is that there are probably a thousand practicing farriers within a one day drive of that clinic. I'd guess there were only about 50 attending farriers and zero horse owners. That's sad considering the clinic was free and even included lunch! Only cost to attend was your travel expense.
Perhaps they were spending time w/ their families after working all week. I'm certain some were even still working while the clinic was in full swing. Lets not forget that this is a fairly buisy time of the year.
There are an estimated 50,000 practicing "farriers" in this country. About 500 attended this years AFA convention in Mobile. About the same number attended last year in Lexington. Less than 5% of all farriers are active AFA members.
More than 500 farriers in one place is just asking for trouble.
As for the % of farriers active in the AFA, lets not forget about the BWFA, local farrier associations(most of which are chapters of the AFA though membership to the AFA is not required) and the Guild of Professional Farriers(not sure but may have disbandad due to in-fighting).
Lets also not forget the many other opportunities to aquire continuing ed. There are 40 dates listed for the US in the American Farriers Journal. That's just April-June.
As for AFA membership, most join for benefits. If certification isn't forefront on their list then hopefully the discounts for John Deer or Sherwin Williams will be a draw. I'm certain that losing the Farriers Journal didn't help membership #'s.
Typical turnout at the IHCS is around 400.
I'd say that any farrier within a days drive will spend $1500-$2000 for the week w/o any supplies, typicaly.
Less than 1% are AAPF (continuing education required) members.
Not bad considering that the group was started/opened to membership Jan 1 of 2012.
Also forgot the Farrier and Hoofcare Resource forums/co-op. That in itself could be considered an association as well as continuing ed.