goat snobs

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I don't know how to phrase this more gracefully so I am just going to come right out and say it.

Why are there so many snobs among goat breeders? I have met a lot of nice folks with goats, but it seems like I meet more serious goat breeders, there are a lot more snobs. There are some nice breeders, and others are nice if you have bought stock from them and talk it up. But some will hardly condescend to look at you, and if you disagree with their divine opinions, well, let's just say they are easily offended. I'm on the Alpine talk list at Yahoo groups. Everytime I ask or answer a question, it's like I never said anything at all, I simply don't exist. There are a few who do answer, Bernice is one of them. Others will answer privately only. What in the world have I ever done to them? Is it just a matter of knowing the wrong people, they judge you based on your friends? I can't afford to buy stock from them all.....I'm going to keep right on breeding my goats and showing them. But the little schoolgirl cliques sure do get old.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), March 09, 2002


Rebekah: I just got started in the goat world myself this last year, and I do agree with you, that most won't even take the time to aknowledge that you do exist. But there are some great people out there, Bernice is one, Vicki another. Both have helped me alot when I have had some silly questions. You yourself answered one of my questions, and if I did not take the time to tell you thankyou, I am sorry, being so new to goats if I had a sick one, I spent all time in the barn.....So thank you now, even if it is too late. I am mostly just a lurker, right now, I learn so much from reading all points of views, and taking from those to plan my own way of caring for my goats. I haven't shown any goats yet, but plan to, and I have heard that there are politics involved which is really too bad. So I have decided to keep going the way you are and just show my goats, I love them, and concentrate on producing better livestock. Keep your chin up, and remember that the good people out there that help you are worth 10 of the others....... Do you have Alpine? I love the breed, but my hubby is medically unable to help me with Alpines, so I have Nigerians, they are much easier for him. He cares for my goats while I am at work. Barbara

-- Barbara (vozarbi@sensible-net.com), March 09, 2002.

Your concern is one reason that I am not encouraging my daughters to enter the world of goat showing. It sounds far too cut throat for me. I like good goats and try to "breed up" but showing has no appeal at this point. I hear stories about the world of 4-H showing now that make my hair stand on end (not just goats but other livestock). Regards, Julie in OK

-- Julie (okwilk213@juno.com), March 09, 2002.

Thank you so much Rebekah and Barb for the nice words. They especially mean a lot to me today. I have had a bad week at work and my entire self esteem is crushed. Its my fault for accepting a position in a madhouse with a small agency that has a high turnover for teachers. But enough of that!

Vicki is a sweetheart and is very dedicated to helping others and really advocates for making sure newbies get the help they need. She always takes the time to answer each and every question and is a source of strength when folks need it. She is direct, but truthful, some folks seem to have a hard time with it, but not too many. She isn't ever going to tell you something that isn't accurate or give a sugar coated reason. I really admire and respect her so much. I have not had the opportunity to meet Vicki yet, but hope one day I will have the chance.

I too have noted that there are snobs in the goatworld, but have not really had any experiences with them, except for one who is a judge and long time breeder. The politics i see are more in the ADGA districts. I used to think after moving to AR last yr and meeting folks here it was just d5, but now after all the debates about nigerians and sables I see its everywhere. Either I have goten to know folks more here and it doesn't seem as bad or it has improved. I really think it has improved though.

I personally can't se why breeders can afford to be snobs, because with one bad kidding season or wrong breeding you can be humbled so quickly. I had an experience at nationals 2000 where awell known Alpine breeder in NC seemed to have a friendly rapport with us, then after my sr kid does placed over theirs the situation changed in a hurry. My husband talked briefly with them after the show and they only asked who was the sire. When he said Sweet dreams Logic Magellan they replied with, "Humph!" Guess they figured because Magellan didn't place well at the NC buck show we were not a threat. And why on earth should w ebe? We wer enew, we still are! It was just luck, fate and a lot of faith in God. He was only 11 months old and was in a gangly growth stage. The cold shoulder hurt. But I will say that they were the only ones who reacted like that.

Then we get to AR and as I meet many of the folks here their reactions were insultative because as I was told later by another breeder, I had "High dollar goats!" Well, they could too if they would jsut invest what we did and be serious. That came from some local breeders who didn't show extensively and were not really familiar with alpine lines although they had some. But then you can meet these types anywhere.

As for being judged on your friends, I was told awhile ago by a "friend" here that is a supporter of the other faction in d5, that I wa sjudged by the company I kept and if someone like Shelia Nixon she pointed out came to do LA at our farm (I wa sgoing to host LA this yr but cancelled as I can't afford it now) and met the likes of my friends here. Well let me tell you about my friends, they are sweet, they would give the shirts off their back but they are members of the other side. I told her that I wa ssorry but if tha tis what she thought, then our friendship wasn't going to continue. I ceretainly don't judge folks like that and was horrified a ther thinking. Heck, she herself isn't even a member of the elite in the Alpine world.

There are some really bad riveralies out there, in the Alpine world I have seen a few, so I can appreciate what you say about not being able to afford to buy from them all. But then they forget that mayb etheir stock won't cross well with other lines, so I can't see why they get so uptight about it. Then the other issue is that there is one breeder who is on a search and destroy mission with genetics. Again, politics.

I will say this, I have met and know many of the top breeders in the Alpine world, I can tell you in a heartbeat who to stay away from at the top because of their insolance. Yes, they are snobs and don't recognize the little breeders. But they forget they were newbies once themselves. But I can count on one hand who they are. And quite personally I cannot fathom why they don't want to alienate themselves, maybe its a threat, who knows? But I will say that the majority of Alpine breeders I know who have top herds are really nice, will take the time to talk after getting to know you are entirely different. Think a few are just shy, been hurt so much they don't want to get too friendly until they know someone.

Rebekah, you have a nice herd, the problem is I think the bloodlines you have intimidate many and maybe that is part of it. The other part is you are becomming serious, when that happens it changes things. But you are well on your way to having a top herd yourself, so just step on by them and there will come a day when the attitudes will change, the shoe will be on the other foot. As soon a smy hotmail account decides to le tme in, its slow now, I will e-mail you privately about things.

Take care and keep your head high! You are a wonderful person, don't let the snobs get ya down. Bernice

-- Bernice (geminigoats@yahoo.com), March 09, 2002.

I know what you mean! I am just getting into having a few milk goats for the family, and to raise other livestock (bottle calves, pigs) on. When I asked a few breeders about getting older does from them-or their culls, they were just appalled that I am not interested in showing.

Uh, well don't you *have* to cull somehow????? I mean, I was offering a nice home where they would be well kept, is it a crime that I don't want to show???? And we won't mention the reactions when I said there was no way I could/would pay $600-700 for a doe....

I was lucky enough to find Rebekah in the northern part of the state, thank goodness!


-- Tracy (zebella@mindspring.com), March 09, 2002.

Rebekah, There are quite a few big time snobs around here. I just try to ignore them and thier silly group. I show my goats and last year the "big" breeders hated being beat by me. I hardly paid anything for some of my goats that will consistently against thier expensive goats. One lady went as far as stating that I only got grand champ since I knew that judge. This was my first time showing under that judge and I have never met her before. But still all those comments hurt. I think of showing as paying for a judges opinion on that goat. They see so many goats that they can pick up on faults and good things that my barn blindness can't see. :) There are many really great people out there with so much knowledge that are so happy to share it with others that they do make up for the snobbish ones. I thought this one person was the biggest snob and it turned out that she was so unsure of her goats and breeding that she was shy! We now are great friends. I hope that you can meet lots of great goat people and enjoy your goats. Hope your day is going good.

-- shari (smillers@snowcrest.net), March 09, 2002.

I have had goats for about 15 years and my Dad had goats for about 10 years before that..... everytime I think that I have heard or seen it all, something else new pops up. I really have a hard time with people who think that they have "arrived" in the goat world. I have deliberately removed myself from several goat lists because I simply don't have the time or energy for most of that hogwash. I often wonder if these people REALLY have goats.... I don't have time to send 1000 email a day to 15 diferent lists and debate a gazillion topics of little or no interest just to make myself look very impressive to some one I will probably never meet face to face. I do know alot about goats--- they are my passion BUT I don't know absolutely everything and I have ben known to be wrong a time or two :-) I don't like horns on my goats and I have to really watch my attitude about that topic but that is probably the extent of my snobbery-- at least I hope that it is. I only attend the local shows that my club put on because I have a life other than goats. I enjoy competing and winning but I LOVE teaching. It is just as much fun for me to have someone I helped get started in goats or advised on something about goats to win. Yes, it is very flattering to me when a goat owner tell their vet that they need to check with me before doing something he recommends(LOL) but in the end-- it is their goat and their decision.... no hard feelings either way.

Yes--- I have had to answer incredibly stupid questions ( some several times) but I can remember how hard it was for me in the begining. All this is to say--- for every snob out there, I am sure there is another bonafied goat lady. So don't give up on the goat world as a whole.....

-- Tana Mc (mcfarm@totelcsi.net), March 09, 2002.


I'm sorry to hear that you've run into the Attitude. I encounter it in nearly all my hobbies (and in my job) and it is part of the reason I moved to where I can't see my neighbors.

Back in the seventies when home computers were brand new there were many different, incompatible types and most of them had to be soldered together. When enthusiasts got together everyone just enjoyed seeing what the other had come up with, if they had programmed tic-tac-toe into it, and what they did for a cassette interface. Then, some got the Attitude and their computer was serious and yours was just a toy. (My best friend has a 486-based Packard Bell which gives her two stigmas - the brand, and the earlier generation processor. Yet, she is a freelance writer and makes money with her machine which is incredibly more productive than anything my other friends have done with their 1.4 GHz P4's.)

I don't have goats (yet), but I have chickens and I understand the Attitude is there, too. One chicken forum I read once or twice had a little flame war between the fanciers/showers and the people who have chickens for food. No one disputes the crucial role of breeders and aggressive programs of improvement of breeds, but raising a chicken for eggs versus ribbons doesn't make you a second-class citizen. Get a grip.

When I get goats, it will be for milk for my family (and I'm still wrestling with the decision about wether meat). If my children want to pursue a 4H or county fair project I'll stand behind them but I'll explain to them about who they moght encounter. To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, a person can make you feel inferior only with your cooperation.


BTW- my wife and I like your name, we named our youngest daughter Emilee Rebekka.

-- Mark in West Central Ohio (mark@marksykes.net), March 10, 2002.

Rebekah, Good question and informative answers too. I am new to goats so I try to just read, learn and keep my mouth shut. I've run across similar behavior with birds and other animals also. I just keep reminding myself that there are also a lot of good people out there who are more than willing to offer advice and help.

-- Trisha-MN (coldguinea@netscape.net), March 10, 2002.

Rebekah,I know what you mean,I fell into the same situation when I had lost a goat and I was so uneducated of what he died from that I was on a mission that I was going to learn everything, for my goaties so I never made that mistake again.I now save onto a disk so I have info to refer back to.I dont have to ask many question just listen.Pam

-- Pam (pams65@hotmail.com), March 10, 2002.

Rebekah, Gee, it is really too bad that some goat people have to act like that. There really are some very nice goat people out there. Tecoa Maresch here in Kansas is a cut above the rest. She is actually happy for you to win even if you place above her(not an easy thing to do), I have raised goats since 1976, and I love the silly things. It doesn't matter to me if they are grades or purebred or American, they are all very neat creatures. I don't show anymore, it isn't any fun, too mch politics. I want to raise big healthy homestead goats. I only went to shows to see if my breeding program was going in the right direction. But there are some very nice goat raisers out there, don't let the snobby I have to win people get to you. My guess(not seeing your goats) that you have really nice ones that might place above these jerks animals. They get really nasty to you if that happens. What you did was win so smile at them and take your ribbons and love your goats.

-- Karen in Kansas (kansashobbit@yahoo.com), March 10, 2002.

I feel like I need to clarify. I think it's quite possible to be very professional about one's animals without being snobby, to breed for only the best, to want only the best, and yet not be snobby to other people. Its not just beginners either, these people are not exactly nice to each other, especially behind their backs! I don't mind if someone is opinionated either (after all that would be calling a kettle black!!) but some of these people do not even act like they see you. To be honest, I don't trust any of them 100%.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), March 10, 2002.

snobs are everywhere,

if you are a person who deosnt quite"fit in" , you will find them ....odd thing is , i breed and have raised/shown(seriously) everything from beagles and st bernards to quarter horses and paints, and holstiens to angus,...... and the other day , when talking with a hirse person , i was told i will never win at anything since i dont "focus" on one breed and one animal..... oh darn , poor me ........

i love animals , i really do , but someties the whole showing circuit , and regesterd animals makes me sick , .. 250,000 for a unborn filly.......10,000 for a 2 day old buckling........... and the one that blew my mind the other day 175,900 for a STEER!!!, this animal cant even breed!!!!.......give me a break, ... expensive burger....

ah well, i love my animals, all of them , the mutts to the pure registered "grand dammes"

:) Beth

-- Beth Van Stiphout (willosnake@hotmail.com), March 11, 2002.

$10,000 for a buckling? He must have been a Boer or something really special?

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), March 11, 2002.

Hi Rebekah,

My partner Joe and I are starting a dairy in Arkansas. Bernice was one of our first contacts when we make this decision. She's good people! Joe ran a dairy in California so he know what he was getting into. I was a banker for 23 years that got disgusted and resigned. Joe is also a Professional Dog Handler. I've been observing what's been happening at goat shows and on the lists. I've had to bite my tongue many times as I see the attitude you're talking about crop up again and again. The only worse attitude is from dog breeders and many dog handlers. Always having been the defender of the underdog, it's difficult not to fire up and "right the wrongs". But you know what I've ultimately discovered? The best revenge is to just ignore them. They can't stand that, lol. And you'll end up better off without them as the best, most helpful, caring people are the ones you'll end up corresponding with. The goat snobs don't rembmber that outcrossing gives the "hybrid vigor" that will keep their lines from petering out. And when their lines start to fade, they'll find they haven't done their homework, and more, it's too late. After the attitude, no other breeders will consider crossing. I've seen it happen in dogs time after time. They'll eventually fade away and the rest of us will be better off. Divine retribution. There are "good people" out there, and here too!


-- Dennis Enyart (westwoodcaprine@yahoo.com), March 13, 2002.

Dennis, what breed and lines do you have?

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), March 14, 2002.

We have Nubians, LaMancha's and Alpines. Oh, and as of this evening, a few Obers. Milking 20 now and selling milk. Need 30 more, quick!!!


-- Dennis (westwoodcaprine@yahoo.com), March 14, 2002.

Hi Dennis, if you are serious, Jean Baugh oldglory@bigcountry.net recently told me she will have 25 or so milkers for sale, Fairwoods Farm also is selling out Nubians fairwood_farm@email.msn.com If it were me looking I would email Janice Frazel, Butterhill LaMancha's and Saanens Janicefrazel@aol.com and beg her to sell you some of her first fresheners, she doesn't sell often and then only to the very best of people, better animals you will not find! There isn't a Saanen, Alpine or Togg from East Texas, Lousianna, Mississippi left, we just purchased 40 for an export in April :) Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), March 14, 2002.

Rebekah, my Boy is in 4-H and I see it with EVERY type of animal. We have Arabs and in my part of the country (Middle Indiana) that is just like having a DOG. I figure that I am teaching my son and myself something just to compete. Critters aren't about snobbery. They poop on ya and pee on ya and that kind of levels the field. I ABSOLUTELY know what you are talking about, though. When he showed our goats last year in 4-H we had some pretty nasty looks and attitude. I don't really care THAT much as I met some neat folks too. The negative folks don't pay my mortgage, I do. They seem to forget that they didn't invent goats. God did. And he had a sense of humor, lemme tell ya. Don't let those folks ruin it for you. (Although I growl about it too...) Or ruin 4-H for the rest of you. 4-H is about learning. From one another and your animals. All the rest is stuff to be put into a wheelbarrow and dumped on the pile. Don't get discouraged! That's how some folks get their power kick over others... Smiles to you and yours...

-- Gailann Schrader (gtschrader@aol.com), March 20, 2002.

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