AMERICAN ALPINE REGISTRATION 10th CROSS-RULE (Part 3)
By: "Sue Rehyna"
About the Author
The tenth cross resolution was indeed introduced at the 1933 A.M.G.R.A. annual meeting and passed unanimously by directors present. The existing rule #11 read: "A doe eligible to registry as an American Saanen, American Toggenburg, American Nubian, American Alpine, etc.; requires five generations of continuous ancestry registered upon the books of this Association." The tenth cross rule continued at this point to say that: "Does of the fifth grade 31/32 pure or those higher only, are acceptable for registry in the American breed classes. Upon attaining the 10th cross representing 1023/1024 pure, the word American shall be dropped and the word Pure used in registering all such."
In order to understand this vote, and the reason it was unanimously passed in 1933 when it was soundly rejected some 10 years earlier, one must look at events occurring between these years . . . the most critical of which was the Depression. Two articles in Goat World, in February and September 1934 respectively, make clear why the issue arose once again and why the vote was unanimously in favor. These articles were written by Mrs. I.E. Ettien, accredited dairy goat judge and owner with her husband, Judge I.E. Ettien, of the very well known La Suise herd of Oakdale goat Ranch in Wareagle, Arkansas. (La Suise was, by the way, accepted by ADGA as an historic herd name in 1981).
The first article, Purity at the End of the Trail, shows Mrs Ettien's felt need for the passage of the tenth cross rule because of the handicap put upon breeders who were obliged to use poor quality imports as herd sires in order for progeny to be registerable (therefore pulling down the overall quality of their herds and frustrating those trying to upgrade the species in America). She cited the embarrassment of judging shows where observers were appalled by her placing obviously superior animals behind inferior purebreds . . . simply because they weren't "pure."
Specifically she saw the 10th cross rule as benefiting the Alpine breed: "It is going to prove a great boon too in that newer breed in this country -- the French alpine. With so few lines to begin with in the pure French Alpine a rather dangerous amount of inbreeding has been going forward. When we may have the Rock alpine and later on the American Alpine added to these fine French Alpines we will be really getting somewhere." She speaks finally to beginners in the goat industry as the major beneficiaries of the 10th cross rule, "The pioneers of the industry have blazed the trail. You will not experience the hardships and disappointments we older breeders have passed through."
Her second article, Breeds in the Making, Mrs. Ettien speaks even more strongly of the need for the 10th cross rule. She states that in accepting 10th cross as pure, " . . . A.M.G.R.A. has fallen in line with other progressive associations and saved the industry from stagnation." She speaks of these 10th cross animals as "masterpieces" and she cited the situation in Europe where such animals were accepted as pure in many less generations and noted that Americans had quit registering their grade animals because they could only register does and not bucks out of clearly superior lines. (Winthrop Howland (Goat World, Dec 1935) describes the Swiss view of purebreds, "In Switzerland goats are not registered on blood-lines, but certain individuals of the Swiss breeds are judged at shows and if deemed worthy as individuals are admitted to registration as pure-blood" but also noted that "...while all goats of correct appearance are considered as pure blood, goats of different breeds there are cross-mated, therefore when we import goats from Switzerland, we have no guarantee that they are purebred."
GoatWorld Editor Note: Please note that references to "Goat World" within this article refer to a separate entity entitled "Goat World" that existed many years ago. I am extremely happy to be carrying the torch for a name that has already been previously used but out of respect for this entity, we have chosen to use the name GoatWorld and not Goat World so there shall be no conflict of interest.
About the author: No information is available about this author.