For Terry Brown, raising goats and being part of the American Boer Goat Association (ABGA), is not only a family tradition, it’s the circle of life.
“Crystal and Maddie didn’t own bucks for a long time, only using mine,” said Terry, who owns Capriole Goat Ranch in Touchet, Wash. “My herd is now reduced to just a handful of does.”
Her granddaughter Maddie is ABGA Board of Director Maddie Fenton Clemens. Along with her daughter Crystal and Maddie, Terry said they would haul goats all over the Northwest to exhibit goats when Maddie was growing up.
“Maddie learned early on to be a top showman like her mother,” Terry said. In fact, she started when she was just a toddler. “Maddie showed her first goat - a pygmy - when she was 2 years old.”
And she didn’t slow down.
“When Maddie was 5, I had a set of triplet Boers and put one on the bottle,” Terry recalled. “Maddie came over every day to feed her and earned the right to own her. She named her Rosie Goatie.”
As a kid, Maddie even made her own breeding decisions, Terry added.
“I may not have always agreed with those decisions, but Maddie learned what makes a top animal,” she said. “Her ability to assess a goat passed mine a long time ago.”
Even though she’s known for goats, Terry was not raised in agriculture. “The best I could do was raise hamsters in my bedroom and rabbits and pigeons in the backyard,” she explained.
But that all changed when she got married.
“After I married Jerry, we were able to start with a small acreage, eventually moving to a larger ranch to accommodate the expanding goat herd,” Terry said. Their daughter Crystal and son Levi grew up showing dairy goats and ponies. “Crystal especially excelled with the animals and won the Round Robin 4H showmanship title 9 times.”
In 1995, they added Boer goats to the herd, Terry said.
“When it came time to move my goats to an American registry, there were 2 or 3 options, but it was clear to me that ABGA was the strongest organization,” Terry recalled. “That first year I registered with ABGA, I was surprised to get a plaque for the most goats registered in one year.”
While her son moved on to a different lifestyle, her daughter is still raising and showing Boer goats. “She made sure Maddie had the opportunities to choose her path in life, and that path has never wavered,” Terry said. “Maddie met a young man, who shares her love and dedication to this industry.”
Maddie, her husband Trevor, and Crystal operate Dust Devil Ranches with prefixes of DDR and MADI-TRV. “I don’t own bucks anymore but have such a stable to choose from at Dust Devil,” Terry said.