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Steering Committee

Posted by patriot@harnerfarm.net on October 25, 2016 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

We have a steering committee to get this association started! Deb McAvoy, LeAnn Norton, Jennifer Pond and Jaclyn Hollands have all stepped forward with me to pledge our support and effort over the next two months to developing an association for all North Dakota goat owners - regardless of breed or interest.

Here’s a little more background about each member.

Deb McAvoy, Anamoose – Deb has dairy goats and participates in the ADGA performance programs (linear appraisal and DHIA milk testing). She sells goat shares and is familiar with the regulations on selling both dairy products and meat. Deb brings a lot of goat knowledge and professionalism to the committee.

LeAnn Norton, Fargo – LeAnn N. is a nursing student at NDSU and just moving from owning mostly pet goats to developing a more serious dairy herd as she learns about pedigrees and performance. She brings the fresh perspective of what a newbie needs to know as well as a willing set of hands no matter the task. She already helped with a couple of goat events, including cleaning up afterwards – the sign of a true volunteer.

Jennifer Pond, Bowman – Jennifer is no stranger to people with meat goats across the state and has worked for several years to try to bring goat folks together. In 2010 she led the ADGA & USBGA show in Bowman (which included several educational presentations), then worked on the succeeding shows in Baker, MT and Park River, ND. She’s had Boers since 2005 and has added a few dairy does as well. Jennifer is interested in marketing goats and caprine products.

Jaclyn Hollands, Mapleton – Jaclyn is a fairly new owner of Nigerian Dwarfs, though she doesn’t consider herself a milker – yet! (That’s a future goal.) She’s employed with Forum Communications and travels ND helping Forum’s sales force communicate their digital products to Forum customers. So she’s working closely with AgWeek, Northland Outdoors, and the eastern ND newspapers. She’s most interested in educational opportunities and will be a big help marketing our association.

LeAnn Harner, Mandan – In case you don’t know me, I’ve had registered Nubian goats since 2010. Our goats were intended as home milkers, but then I wanted to keep a couple of kids – and you can guess the rest. I’ve been involved in ADGA Linear Appraisal since 2012 and on milk test since 2015. I have over 30 years professional experience in the association management world, so pulling together a new group is challenging, but still familiar territory.

I'd like to thank the people from the North Dakota Goat Breeders Facebook group or our tour who expressed support and offered assistance. The five of us on the Steering Committee are just the beginning of the volunteers we'll need to make your association work. We'll put together the framework, and then we're going to need help with committees, planning activities, and just keeping things running. So don't feel bad if you weren't asked to help in the beginning. I have your name and we'll find a place where you can use your talent to help.


By LeAnn Harner


Posted by patriot@harnerfarm.net on October 23, 2016 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A bit of history as far as I can discover....way back in 1979 the North Dakota Goat Association was formed and registered as an organization with the ND Secretary of State's office. They never filed a follow-up report (required annually), so apparently it died quickly. (If anyone has information about that group, please let me know. I'm curious.)

In 2005 there was another attempt to form the North Dakota Goat Association. Goat owners met at the State Fair and collected dues of $10 per family. They elected officers and Lisa Dworshak from Dickinson volunteered (or was coerced :) ) into doing a website to explain their purpose. At one time, the site also included contact information for goat breeders to help people find goats. There was a second meeting in Steele, but the group never got as far as filing with the Secretary of State or doing bylaws.

So - we'll be starting from scratch. That's not all bad. Times have changed, so we can attempt to develop an organization that works for today's world. What a fun challenge!

By LeAnn Harner

The Tour

Posted by patriot@harnerfarm.net on October 22, 2016 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

As a test of the eagerness of goat owners to learn from each other - I helped organize a tour of goat operations. The event was held Octover 22 at the farms of Deb & Martin McAvoy, Marla & Monte Countess (all near Anamoose) and the Velva operation of Christi and Troy Bragg. 33 people pre-registered with LeAnn Norton.

The day was pretty warm for October with a slight chill in the morning, so the group gathered near the coffee and hot chocolate pots to taste delicious dairy goat products and get to know each other. Deb explained a bit about her operation and the group kept talking and moving through the barns, seeing the milk room, corrals, Great Pyrenees and German Shepard dogs as well as registered Nubians in a variety of ages. Deb explained the care of each group in their different stages of life, problems she'd encountered as well as solutions.

By noon we were at Countess Farms, where Marla had the barn all decorated for lunch - again with a variety of goat products. In addition to her Nubians, we also saw a variety of buildings, feeders and shelters and learned about their construction and purpose. Marla talked about her sheep operation a bit just to highlight the differences between sheep and goats. She also showed her Jersey dairy cows and discussed her innovative CAE prevention technique of feeding raw cow's milk to the kids and raw goat's milk to calves.

The sun was in full force when we reached the Bragg Farm. Troy and Christi have both registered Nubians and Boers and do a bit of crossbreeding to put extra milk into their Boer herd. They've done extensive work on an old dairy barn and corral system with a wide variety of options for feeders, kid warmers, etc. The tour ended with a look at how Troy is retrofitting a quonset for goat housing.

The participants truly enjoyed the day and asked for each other's contact information so they could keep in touch. Our hosts were all gracious in opening their operations and sharing the good and the not-so-good. There's nothing like seeing another operation to help generate ideas for your own. I hope this is only the first of many such tours in our state.

By LeAnn Harner

The idea

Posted by patriot@harnerfarm.net on October 15, 2016 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

After wondering for six years why "someone" didn't do it - I finally decided to ask if other people were interested in having an organization for all the goat people in North Dakota and the surrounding area. They could get to know each other, share information, provide educational opportunities and represent our industry. I posted to the North Dakota Goat Breeders Facebook page - which has over 400 members. The concept was enthusiastically received. YES! There is interest from all sectors. Best of all - there were several offers to help. Now we just need to lay the foundation.

By LeAnn Harner

March/April Newsletter is out

Posted by patriot@harnerfarm.net on Comments comments (0)


Our second newsletter is now being distributed with another eight pages of information. It’s exciting to have such wonderful articles and authors.


We’re looking forward to receiving fun photos from our members to liven up the website.