After reading the following editorial I urge you to voice your opinion not only to your ABGA Regional Director, but to Robert Swize ABGA Executive Director, and ABGA President Bob Duke. Faxed or email may be more effective than just a phone call since they can be documented. Phone and fax numbers, as well as e-mail addresses can be obtained either on the ABGA web page or in the front of the ABGA magazine. In addition, the new rules for ennoblement that the Executive Committee passed are on the ABGA web site, www.abga.org .
The ABGA has created a new and improved Ennoblement Program for the Traditional and Non-Traditional (Red, Paint, White, Black) Boer Goat. Sadly the new program needs to be named the "Executive Committee's Folly-or How to Change the Rules and Make Becoming Ennobled More Difficult!"
First, let me state up front, I have no aversion with having an ennoblement program for the "Non-Traditional" Boer Goats. However I take great exception to any organization that decides to change the rules of the game, which is exactly what the ABGA Executive Committee, has done. Before we go any further let me identify for you the members of the Executive Committee. They are lead by ABGA President, Bob Duke (region 5). The other members of the committee are: Richard Parmer (region 6), Pete Warlick (past president), Jessie Cornelius (region 15), Carrie Boyer (region 12), John Edwards (region 2) and Peggy Taylor (region 3).
The ABGA should be welcoming the new Non-Traditional Program with the same rules that the Traditional goat has had to meet since the inception of the ABGA ennoblement program. The only change that should come into play at this time, is for those animals that would have failed the Traditional program due to too much color or lack of color (on the face and ears). This is the only rule that should have been added or amended. However as you will soon discover, the ABGA Executive Committee and the ABGA Ennoblement Committee choose to change the whole system and change the rules under which Ennoblement operates.
Two areas of the ennoblement process have been changed. These changes will make it much more difficult for animals to achieve the ennoblement title. First the ABGA Executive Committee has changed how points are award in classes with five or fewer goats. Currently (prior to 1 Oct 04), class winners in which 5 or fewer goats are shown receive 5 points for winning first place. After 1 Oct 2004 points will be awarded for first place as follows: 1 goat in the class then they get 1 point, 2 goats in the class first place receives 2 points, and so forth and if there are 5 goats then first place receives 5 points. However, the Non Traditional Boer Goat will use only the new point system, as they were not covered or included in the original rules of ennoblement.
My interpretation of the program as presented by the ABGA, has led me to the following conclusion. Let's look at the consequences of this point system in a little more detail with two goats. On 15 July 04, (in separate shows) both of the animals win their class of two animals. However, the Traditional goat would eventually be credited with 5 points once he passes inspection but the Non Traditional winner would only receive 2 points once he passes inspection. Is this fair? Is not the ABGA making it harder for the Non Traditional goat to become ennobled?
The other change is that beginning October 1, 2004, before points can be awarded, the goat must pass two visual inspections versus the one that is now required. This means added cost to the member ($10 for each inspection). However it could take as many as 4 inspections prior to the goat either passing or failing. Then there is the month of September 2004 where only one inspection is required for the Non-Traditional goat, but those goats inspected beginning Oct 1, 2004 will require two inspectors to pass an animal. This means a number of Non Traditional animals will require only one inspection. Why has one inspector been adequate for the thousands of goats that have been presented for visual inspection prior to 1 October 2004? What will be achieved by having two or more inspections, other than to take more money out of the members' hands and put it in the hands of the ABGA and the inspectors? Is a goat that passes two inspections better than those animals required to pass one inspection?
There are several questions that must be asked: Why does the ABGA find it necessary to change the rules of ennoblement and make it more difficult to obtain the title? Are the goats ennobled after October 1, 2004 of a higher quality than those ennobled prior to that date because of more stringent requirements? It is apparent from these rule changes that the ABGA wants to make it harder to become ennobled, why are they doing this? Is it fair and equal treatment to change a point and inspection system in an established program with 100+ goats in the Ennobled Herdbook. Why is the ABGA not allowing for member comment on this new set of rules and regulations for ennobling these animals?
If ABGA members do not speak out and make their feelings in regards to these new rules known then these changes will stand. I urge you to make your voice heard and let the ABGA know what a disservice they are doing to their members and to this grand animal, the Boer Goat.
ABGA Approved Judge/Inspector
ABGA Member 5133
BoerGoats.com invites opposing views to this or any of the editorials presented. Those that support their author's viewpoint in a logical and informed manner will be considered for publication.
Keith Smith, Editor & Publisher.