Our herd of dairy goats and Bostons are nestled in scenic Perry County, Pennsylvania where we have lived since 1978. Our two legged children are grown now, but enjoyed growing up with dairy goats as 4-H projects throughout their childhood. Our grandson Hazen especially loved his "beautiful Chablis" and was walking in the show ring holding his goat and pap's hand at 10 months! He is now 21 years!
Our herd is CAE, CL and Johnes free. We started a pasteurization program in 1984 and have not had a crossover in all those years. Our animals live healthy disease free lives and are rarely given antibiotics. In March of 2010 we had an outbreak of soremouth in our kids, from where, we have no idea. We had no animal in, none out and back into the herd, no shows and no contact with any other herd. It will always be a mystery. We vaccinated the entire herd and will continue to do so as kids are born. Because of this, we have hidden cameras around the farm to make sure our girls are secure.
We have been on continuous DHIA test since 1986 and have Classified/Linear Appraised since 1982. Two tools we strongly believed in for genetic progress but after a bad experience in 2012, I lost my faith in the LA program and skipped a few years and now will only Appraise under certain Appraisers. We attended our first show in 1979 with our Grade Nubian, Marie. That was the Perry County Fair and we have continued to show throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New York and New Jersey as well as attending many National Shows across the US. As life has become more complicated, we have not attended as many shows as we have in the past. Generally, when the does are finished, we don't take them out to shows with the exception of a couple of fairs. They have nothing to prove and stay home to milk and make babies.
Our girls had not made it to an ADGA National Show since 2004 so when it came back to Harrisburg in 2016, we had to do it one last time. With the exception of two does I scratched and one that I milked too much out of in the morning, all our does made the cut and stood in the top ten lineup. Our Recorded Grade out of Moon was first place and our Togg, Burberry won the highest 305 Butterfat Production. It was a long hot week with no ventilation in our corner of the barn and the girls did not look their best but I was proud of each and every one of them!
I have always thought milk was a priority and we milked goats long before we ever had a registered goat or stepped into the show ring. I milked for 20 years straight with no dry off. After 20 years it worked out that we had a month off. After that month off, I continued to milk another 10 years or so straight through. The past few years as the winters take a toll on me, we decided to start drying the does off during the winter months. For the past few years we had been drying off over the winter and actually liking it. I hate not having the milk, but it is working for me. Milk records have suffered but after all these years, I can live with it. The Toggs putting in Top Ten records have put a cramp on that!
We have raised Boston Terriers for over 30 years. We do not show our Bostons, but always wanted to do so. It was just never in the cards. We will not just breed them to breed them. Just like the goats, we strive for type and more importantly, healthy, loving, family dogs. We are not your typical dog breeders. I will admit, I'm addicted to puppies, but we don't have litters very often. We have gone four or five years without a litter. The sire we select has to be just right and it is not as easy to find them as it is in the goats. Our Bostons love the goats and they, the Bostons. Our Bostons mother every kid born on the farm. They are a good combination of absolutely wonderful animals!