not forgotten, loved one nor will you ever be,
as long as life and memory last we will remember
thee. We miss you now, our hearts are sore. As
time goes by we'll miss you more. Your loving
smile, your gentle face, no one can fill your
In Memory of Janet
Janet Lynn Snyder was
born August 31, 1954, in Sacramento, California. She found
companionship and pleasure with her animals as she grew up
in the Sacramento area. Janet acquired a horse as a teenager
that had been abused. As a result of the abuse, the horse
had some attitude issues. Janet was told that a goat kept
with the horse might help calm the horse when it was left
alone in the paddock. After trying a dairy goat, Janet found
a pygmy goat that she liked better. She heard about a local
pygmy goat show. Always willing to try something new
involving animals, she entered the show and won a ribbon!
That changed her life. The pygmy goats were small and easy
to work with and she enjoyed the people she met at the show.
Her one goat soon became a small herd known as J-Lynn
Since Janet and her
husband had no children together, Jan wanted to reach out
with pygmy goats to other young people so they could
experience the love and joy pygmies had brought to her. She
began looking for a 4H group to work with. Unfortunately, at
that time, pygmy goats were new, and dairy goat 4H groups
didn’t really want to include them. So Janet started the
first pygmy goat group in Sacramento County, “Pygmy Pride”.
It was an uphill battle since there were other types of goat
groups already in 4H. Getting a separate pygmy goat category
in the county and state fairs was next to impossible---no
ring time, no pen space, all taken by dairy goats. So Jan
took it upon herself to set up pens and make an arena on the
grass at the county and state fairs. This caused uproar.
Eventually the county and state fair boards began making
space available, but Jan continued to have to fight so pygmy
goat activities wouldn’t be bumped by other 4H activities.
Thanks to Janet, pygmy goats were brought to Sacramento.
After hosting a few 4H
pygmy goat shows in her field at home, Jan decided to branch
out and started an NPGA sanctioned show with the name of the
J-Lynn Summertime Spree. One aspect of her show that was
different from other NPGA shows at the time was her focus on
youth activities for the young exhibitors. Her last
Summertime Spree was held last year after 18 years, evolving
into a two-day show of over 250 entries, covering three and
a half acres of pens, show ring, and camping for exhibitors.
In addition to her own
show, Jan showed her goats at seven or eight NPGA shows each
year, frequently assisting with the check-in process. She
attended several National Conventions over the years, the
last one being held in Auburn, CA this past June, where she
worked the show results table.
She always made herself
available to advise 4H pygmy goat groups, attend their
meetings, often holding information clinics at her home for
the 4Hers. She was also “on call” for anyone who had
problems or goat questions and often would go out in the
middle of the night to help someone who had a difficult
kidding. She was well known by the goat vets in the area as
someone who really knew about pygmy goat health and care.
Janet maintained a pygmy herd that focused on the health and
wellbeing of the goats. Although there have been several
Permanent Grand Champions over the years, she believed in
breeding for healthy animals that had the structure for ease
of kidding, never putting the show ring first.
Janet Schager was a long
time member of the NPGA, Silver State Pygmy Goat
Association, and Sierra Pacific Pygmy Goat Association. She
lost her 10 month battle with cancer this past September.
Janet was a quiet and peaceful person who loved the solitude
and beauty of nature, pygmy goats, and her pygmy goat
family. She was well loved, respected and special to all who
knew her and will be greatly missed.
In memory of Jan, Ron,
her husband of 23 years, has dedicated a memorial bench at
the Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg, CA. If you're ever
there, please take a moment to sit and reflect on how pygmy
goats have affected all of our lives and friendships.
In Loving Memory of
Susan Mae McCullough
November 14, 1953-March 29, 2007
I met Sue back in
1981. For the next 14 years we shared 14 summers at the LA
County Fair, untold number of goat shows and countless hours
in her yard or mine, waiting for baby goats to be born. To
say she was one of my best friends would be an
Suzzy always had a
smile on her face. She was always happy to take the time to
teach someone about Pygmy goats. Anything from feeding or
shots to hoof trimming, she had the patience to explain.
Sue had a real thirst
for knowledge. If there was a class or seminar she could
attend to learn more, she was there. She wanted to
contribute to NPGA in a positive way. We were all so proud
of her when she got her judging license. She was a good,
honest person. She never misrepresented herself or an animal
to make a sale. She made it a point to know the rules and
She sure loved her
family. She was so proud of Laura and Jeff and just beamed
when she shared about their accomplishments. I don’t know
how long she and Roy were married, close to 33 years I’d
guess. I do know she never had a bad word to say about him,
just that he worked hard and how much she loved him.
I guess you could say
I owe Suzzy my life. As a result of her illness, I went
straight to the doctor’s office and scheduled a colonoscopy.
That resulted in surgery for me that most certainly saved me
Sue McCullough, we
will miss your smiling face. I expect she’s already in
heaven helping God tend his flocks.
Nancy Harper, Lucky Charm’s Pygmy Goats
Sue first introduced herself to me back in 1991 at the Del
Mar Fair. Her uplifting spirit and her willingness to share
her wealth of information about the goats instantly made you
feel as if you had known her for years.
The fairs and shows
became places we could catch up on the latest techniques in
our goat midwiving experiences. We both decided to try for
our judge’s licenses and I was thrilled to be in Auburn
eight years ago when Sue received hers!
continued as we judged shows together, attended trainings,
and got lost on more than one occasion trying to find our
way out of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport!
Sue loved people and she loved animals. She would get up at
all hours of the night to go help a friend – or even a
complete stranger - in need if there was a goat involved.
She was blessed with a special gift that enabled her to save
the lives of countless baby goats and their mothers. To the
casual bystander, she made it look easy and a simple, “Thank
you” was often all she received in return. But Sue knew that
her reward was not in any tangible gift or payment. Her
reward was knowing that God had blessed her with a gift that
enabled her to be part of the miracle of birth many times
over. Her family and her friends knew this selfless giving
that was part of what made Sue so special.
As great as Sue’s love
for animals was, her greater love was for her family. Her
true love and best friend, her husband Roy, was her great
encourager, supporter and protector. They were a team
raising their two children, Laura and Jeff. The sparkle in
her eyes and the smile on her face when talking about her
family is something I never want to forget.
Sue was inspirational
to me. I learned many things from Sue - not just about
goats. I also learned to stay the course, even when others
doubt you, to always remember your family is there for you,
and that if you take the time to reach out and listen, you
will not only learn, you will gain a friend. We miss you
Sue! We will remember you and we will smile.
Donna Elkins, Proverbial Pygmies
This week the Pygmy
Goat lost a great friend in Larry Zucknick. Larry and
his wife Peggy bred and showed under the name Bent Nail
Pygmys in Sarasota. He was responsible for bringing the
first sanctioned show to Florida and getting Pygmys into the
Florida State Fair back in 1988 . He was also responsible
for this writer getting into Pygmy Goats back in 1989. He
was a friend to all and will be greatly missed. Those of us
who knew Larry back when he was still showing have numerous
great stories and his exploits and I am sure we will spend a
great deal of time and tears recounting them as this years
State Fair. Larry and Peggy were the first family elected
into the Florida Pygmy Goat Association Hall of Fame two
years ago. Below is his obit from the Sarasota Herald
Tribune. -- Gary Dixon
Gilbert Larry Zuknick,
60, Arcadia and formerly of Sarasota, died Dec. 18, 2006.
He was born Feb. 10, 1946, in Annapolis, Md., and came to
Arcadia eight months ago from Sarasota. He was an auto body
manager before retiring. He was a member of the Single
Action Shooting Society, the National Pygmy Goat Association
and the Sarasota Dog Obedience Training Club. He was a
Survivors include his wife, Peggy; a son, Kenneth of
Bradenton; sisters Mary J. of Sarasota and Betty of
Bradenton; and a brother, Raymond of Sarasota.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Hawkins
Funeral Home, Sarasota. The service will be at 10:30 a.m.
Friday at the funeral home chapel. Burial will follow in
Sarasota Memorial Park.
On January 8, 1915 Frances
Warbritten (Bogart) was born on a farm near New
Bloomfield, Missouri. She was welcomed by her sisters;
Virgine, mother Edna, and father William Peter. Soon, her
brother Willard and twins – Gerald and Geraldine, joined
her. In 1939 she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in
Math from the University of Missouri.
During her college years, she eloped with Ralph Bogart whom
she managed to distract from his fiancé, and they were
married on August 15th, 1938. Ralph described this as “the
most intelligent thing he had ever done.” In 1947,
they made the move to Oregon where Ralph was appointed
Professor of Animal Sciences at Oregon State University.
In Oregon, Fran spent her time working in a drugstore, then
as a school secretary, then as a junior high instructor. She
and Ralph enjoyed Ralph’s many graduate students and their
home became home to many international students.
Fran spent many years dedicating her time to volunteer work.
She worked with RSVP, the Benton Center math lab, Sheriffs
Office, Chamber of Commerce, Crossroads International, and
had international conversant partners. She was active in
Calvin Presbyterian Church. At the age of 82, she was still
The last three years she has been living in a home on
Christina’s family farm. She spent her time relaxing in her
chair and having tea parties with her great-granddaughters
and enjoying her great-grandsons. She received excellent
care from in-home caregivers. Frances passed away peacefully
in the early morning of July 3, 2006. A memorial
service was held for Frances and her late husband Dr. Ralph
Bogart on Sunday, July 9th.
G.O. Skip Rogers, 59,
Marysville, Indiana died February 16, 2004 at Jewish Hospital.
He was a native of Louisville, Kentucky, a U.S. Army Veteran, a
retired security director for Greater Clark County Schools,
a licensed auctioneer and a former school bus driver, member
of NPGA, National Auctioneers Assoc., past master of New
Washington and Jeffersonville Masonic Lodges and a shooting
sports instructor in Harrison County, Indiana. Survivors include his wife, Cheryl Owen Rogers, 3 sons Dean
Rogers, Owen Rogers, and Grant Rogers and 3 grandchildren.
57, of Port Orchard, Washington died on September 3, 2003.
Heinz earned his NPGA Judge's License at the first ever
Judges Training Seminar held in November, 1979. Since
that time, Heinz judged shows all over the country, helping
innumerable new exhibitors learn how to show their goats and
to understand how goats are judged. His herd name,
Mountain View Pygmies, can be found in the pedigrees of many
good goats around the country. In June 2000, The NPGA
Board of Directors honored Heinz by unanimously awarding him
a Lifetime Judging License.
Paul Helsel of
Davisburg, Michigan died in the summer of 2003. Paul
joined NPGA in 1978 under the herdname Helsel's Pygmy Haven.
He earned his judges license in 1983 at the National
Convention held in Roseburg, Oregon. Paul served on
the Judges Training Committee for several years and attended
12 Judges Training Seminars after he earned his license.
In Memoriam, Keith Harrell
Keith Harrell passed away suddenly on November 19, 2012. He was 55. Many of us remember Keith and Marie from their herd name, Promisedland. They raised and showed pygmies until 1999, then raised and showed Nigerian Dwarves. They owned PGCH Whirlwind Farms Merlin’s last son, NATL PGCH Whirlwind Farms No Boundaries, showing him to be the 1998 National Champion Buck. Keith became a licensed NPGA Judge and was also a licensed judge with the American Goat Society (AGS) and the American Diary Goat Association (ADGA).
Keith never did anything halfway. In his first year as a member of the North Carolina Pygmy Goat Club he became the club president, and set up our website, one of the first NPGA affiliated club websites. Not much later he created the first NPGA website, including the first online color chart. Once he became an NPGA licensed judge, he seemed bound and determined to obtain his judge’s license for nearly every goat breed association. He mentored several judges along the way, and taught several conformation classes for the NC Pygmy Goat Club.
In 1999 Keith and Marie sold their beloved pygmy herd to return to their first love, dairy goats. Nigerian Dwarves were hitting the scene in a big way, so they went with Nigerian Dwarves. They have many champions, including milk production champions; a Promisedland doe is usually in the top milk production list every year. He became a licensed classifier for the American Goat Society.
Most of us remember Keith as a big man. A few years ago, nature caught up to him when he had a diabetic episode that nearly killed him. In the typical Keith style, he got his weight and health under control, losing 150 pounds in less than 2 years. He became a licensed Zumba instructor. He taught his last class the night before he passed away. If you are on Facebook, visit Keith’s page and marvel at his accomplishments. He was a changed man, you won’t recognize him, except for that smile.
Remembering Judy Starbuck 1943-2014
Judy Starbuck passed away in her sleep on Friday July 25, 2014. Judy was born in Billings, Montana on July 18, 1943. She graduated from Big Bear High School in Big Bear Lake, CA in 1962. She married George Starbuck on March 22, 1960. She is survived by her husband, George, daughters, Jeannette Chen and Shirley Morimoto Downing, and son, David Starbuck.
George and Judy are long-time members of the NPGA, raising and showing pygmy goats since 1977 under the Iron Creek herdname. Both became NPGA licensed judges and nearly anyone who has shown pygmy goats can remember that showing under them was fun and informative. Judy was always ready to help. She took calls from all over the country from people seeking advice. In one way or another she touched every member of the NPGA.
Michael O’Kelly writes this, “When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person or animal was trying
to teach you, and you make it true in your own life. It’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world, by keeping it alive in yourself.” May you rest in peace, Judy. You will be in our hearts forever.
Remembering Miz Polly
Polly Mertens 1935-2014
Our pygmy goat family lost a great southern lady and loyal friend on September 26, 2014 ,when Mrs. Polly Mertens passed away.
Born on October, 15, 1935, she was a loving mother and wife, and was employed for years in the Department of Commerce in the Census Bureau.
She and Mr. Red raised their award-winning Woods Edge Farm pygmy goats from 1996-2009, generously mentoring and guiding uncountable people along the way. One would see them at shows: he neatly dressed in jeans, and she in a lovely denim skirt, not a speck of dirt and not a hair out of place, the epitome of a classy, southern lady. Yet, like a true southern lady, she did her fair share of work in caring for, grooming, and birthing their beloved pygmies.
They opened their home to Region 7 members during the National Convention, when it was held near their home in Shreveport, Louisiana. There are still stories being told of the camaraderie enjoyed there!
I can still see her sitting ringside, covered with ribbons and rosettes,
as Mr. Red was in the show ring. He would lay them on her lap as he left the ring after winning, yet again. She was there later on, too, with encouraging words and smiles, even as her body was ravaged and she had to rely on a walker, then later a wheel chair to get around. Her mind, wit, and smile never wavered. She was always on the other end of the telephone, graciously answering questions and providing conversation for long drives to shows, or even after she became homebound.
2010 found them as recipients of the Jim Rihn Memorial Award from the Kids at Heart Pygmy Goat Club, in which they were instrumental in establishing in 1999. This award was given to those individuals that exhibited extraordinary efforts to help mentor other owners and exhibitors. Their warm personality helped encourage and lead others to improve herds across the country. Their careful selective breeding is still seen in many award-winning animals in herds across the nation.
Rest in Peace Miz. Polly, you will
be greatly missed by all your “kids at heart”.
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