Well....not so much. They're both big racing pigeon organizations, which all the racing clubs are under one or another. AU seems to have a lot more to offer, but then again, they're the bigger one too. AU is mainly on the west coast, and IF is mainly on the east coast. Both are great for their own reasons. You can check out their websites to make your own opinion on which is better http://www.ifpigeon.org http://www.pigeon.org
I have been a dues paying member of both organizations over the years.
Then there was a regional Pet Expo which some local club members wanted to participate in. We contacted both organizations for suggestions and help and support. Both organizations shipped displays, but that was where the similarities ended. The IF promised to show up and help with the event, but never showed up. The AU sent Deone Roberts and she assisted us for the entire three days of the event. The AU sponsored and paid for the front page of the Pet Expo program, supplied tons of litature and handouts, delivered and set up a really first class display booth, paid for a double space, and helped insure a first class event in which over 10,000 people passed by our display. Deone's experience insured that we also got local newspaper coverage, and made this event the biggest promotional event that any of us in south central Pennsyvania had ever experienced.
After the above experience, I made the decsion to throw all of my support behind the AU organization, because they actually took the time, money and energy to support racing pigeon fanciers in our area. The IF was collecting dues from over a hundred members in our area, but did not see fit to follow through on their promise, nor to even extend the courtesy of a phone call to let us know that they would be a no show. At the time, the AU was collecting dues from perhaps 8 or 9 members from the same combine. From my perspective, it was very obvious which organization was really interested in sport promotion.
There are other benefits as well, the Loft Certification program, the Legal Defense Fund, the Lobbyist they have hired to promote pigeon keeping and inform various government officials of issues of our concerns, the Help a Beginner Program, the various AU racing awards, and for me, perhaps the most important, the help and guidance they have provided our club to grow and prosper. Because of all of the above, our club switched our affiliation a couple of years ago, we applied for, and were granted an AU charter. We contribute a few extra dollars a year for this privilege, but it has been one of the best investments we have ever made.
If you have any additional questions, you can contact Deone Roberts at: [email protected]
If your experience is anything like mine, you will find the AU staff will fall over backwards in order to assist you, they will take the time to talk to you, and they return your emails. I think that explains why they are the largest, because they offer the best value. And quite frankly, they try harder.
From my own personal experience, and those of the YRPC, the AU is a much more professional organization with a greater focus on sport promotion.
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