Amber Waves Pygmy Goats

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"American Alpine Registration 10th Cross-Rule (Part 4)"

Amber Waves Pygmy Goats
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By: "Sue Rehyna"
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It is in this article that she addresses the role of the Depression as a "landmark," when discouraged breeders, unable to register their own superior "grade" bucks, either quit the business entirely or, after registering their superior grades for years, simply quit registering any of their animals. Since their animals were no longer registered anyway, they began using their own superior but unregisterable bucks . . . and began to boast quite publicly of the rapid gains in excellence achieved through these breedings (rather that having to go back, as mentioned above, to those "inferior imported sires....") THEN, Mrs. Ettien gets to the bottom line, " . . . such a state of affairs is not good for any record association -- and it was not good for the A.M.G.R.A. A record association needs animals to record!" She does go on to state that A.M.G.R.A. was losing prestige with many important breeders because of their refusal to recognize the "great excellence of these American made animals, although they had accepted the English made Nubian and the French made Alpine."

It is important to note that by this time many of these important breeders were now directors and officers of A.M.G.R.A. Mrs. Ettien, who owned a herd of these "superior" animals, was herself a director. The 10th cross resolution was submitted by Mr.& Mrs. Winthrop Howland of Pacific Beach, California . . . Mr. Howland being described by Mrs. Ettien as "...the oldest director, pioneer breeder and one may say father of the industry in California (another breeder of these exemplary animals, his El Chivar herd name was also accepted by ADGA as an historic herd name in 1981).

Mrs. Ettien states that "... every world record milking Toggenburg doe traces to his breeding" Mr Howland himself, in the December 1935 issue of Goat World, wrote an article titled, My Reasons for Advocating the Adoption of the Tenth Cross Rule, in which defended his submission of the proposal and tried to answer the outcry from those who stridently opposed the passage of the 10th cross rule (who insisted it would destroy the American goat industry and was passed without adequate notice, etc.) He notes first that "having been actively engaged in the milk goat industry continuously since 1907 and having been a director of the A.M.G.R.A. continuously since 1909, it may be assumed I have the welfare of the industry at heart, and if for any reason I believed the industry would be injured by the Tenth Cross Rule I never would have sponsored it. He then asks the reader to consider the most desirable qualifications for a milk goat -- listing them as milk production, ruggedness of constitution and beauty of appearance -- and suggests that if one " . . . can develop such a strain of goats starting with an unregistered dam, why should any objection be made to such animals being admitted to registration as purebreds?"

He cites the Swiss as an example to follow. He then follows the line of grade Toggenburgs he developed, beginning with a native doe from Catalina Island that was caught there as a kid in 1907, to his current outstanding and record holding El Chivar does. It might be noted that, under unfinished business in the 1934 annual meeting minutes, is the following: ". . . the Secretary stated he held several resolutions bearing upon the same subject and it was decided to submit all that same may be considered and acted upon separately. This was done by reading them in the order they had been received, namely, one from Mrs. W. T. Sparks and the Misses Kirby and Saunders requesting the repeal of the rule made at last meeting recognizing the 10th cross as pure and the cancellation of all such now so registered; one by Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop Howland to table above motion; one by Mr and Mrs. I. E. Ettien to maintain the 10th cross rule; one by Mr. Don Allen to retain the rule but to modify it by designation on certificate, the rule under which it was issued.

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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.

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