|United Caprine News April 2004 Issue
Written by Becky DiLella
Anyone who knows anything about Nubians is familiar with the Lakeshore Farms herd name. After all, just looking through the 2003 ADGA National Show Nubian results, you will spot the Lakeshore Farms name a few dozen times!
Owner Megan Tredway of Kelseyville Ca has enjoyed national success and a herd to be proud of, in just a dozen years of breeding. A look through her 2003 herd brochure reveals page after page of gorgeous does. The real showstopper is the centerfold page, featuring rear udder shots of 18 incredible mammary systems. Looking at this "udder view", the herd's overall success comes as no surprise.In 2003, Megan's herd earned the titles of 2003 National Show Premier Nubian Breeder and Exhibitor. Seventeen Lakeshore Farm does traveled to Des Moines Iowa, with all seventeen "making the cut", and all seventeen placing 7 th or higher with the exception of one 12th place kid. Additionally, CH Lakeshore Farms Ace Of Hearts won National Nubian Best Udder of Breed at two years of age. Lakeshore Farms won blue ribbons in the Senior Get of Sire class, as well as winning the Produce of Dam, Dam and Daughter, Dairy Herd and Best 3 Junior Does. Other placings in age classes included 2 1st 's, 2 2nd 's, 4 3rd 's, 4 4th 's, and several other high placings. Lakeshore Farms Lady Liberty captured the 2003 ADGA National Reserve Junior GCH award. While 2003 was a big year for Lakeshore Farms; their animals have achieved success in and out of the ring in years past. In 2002 her first Spotlight Sale Consignment, Lakeshore Farms Just Tina, sold for $3,100.
How did the Lakeshore Farms herd rise to the top so fast? Just 12 years after beginning with a 4H market wether, to regularly head the line at National Shows? Megan attributes her herds' success to several factors but especially credits their strong foundations. Their first animals, four does and a buck came from the dispersing Linkville herd. That starter herd came complete with years worth of UCN's and other goat periodicals. Megan's mom, Kristine spent many hours poring over pages of dairy goat ads, studying all aspects of a good dairy goat. Mr. Earl Brown, owner of the Linkville herd, also put the Tredway's in contact with Karen Senn of Kastdemur's Nubians. The following year they purchased Karen's 10th place junior kid at the 1991 Nationals and many more animals in years following. Once Karen Senn of Kastdemur's moved to Northern California she graciously allowed the Tredway's to breed to B Kastdemur's Crown Excess, the littermate to the 1997 National Champion GCH Kastdemur's Crown Ecstatic, who produced an initial 3 outstanding does in their herd; all of whom are GCH and have appraised EX90 or higher. These does earned National recognition from their performances at the 2001, 2002 & 2003 National Shows. In 2003, Excess was named the 2003 National Premier Nubian Sire. We have continued to work closely with Karen Senn who has remained our mentor and close friend throughout the years.
Over the next few years, the Tredway's added several animals to their breeding program, from herds including Kismet, Wingwood Farms, and Dayspring. Two of the Dayspring animals, Jericho and littermate sister GCH Julie remain integral parts of the herd today. Megan says that not all purchases work out as planned, but as new breeders it takes trial and error to determine what works in your herd, and what will blend well with your existing herd. From their beginning with goats, the Tredway's have made it their practice to "always purchase the very best that the breeder will sell." It is this practice that they feel has helped them move to the head of the line so quickly.
Megan says that the intense CA competition, though daunting at times, actually helped their herd increase in quality. Many of the top Nubian herds in the country were in Megan's backyard. A number of these herds also exhibited regularly in the youth divisions. Megan points out that although she mostly exhibited in the junior division, she still competed against Little Bic's, Kastdemur's, Wingwood Farm and other nationally known herds. She laughed as she related her feelings when exhibiting at the last few National shows. As she looked around at the beautiful does topping the classes she realized that these does were all familiar does, she had shared the ring with them many times in the past. Winning National Premier Breeder and Exhibitor was a thrill, but so was taking that honor the past two years at the CA State Fair!
Megan began with the youth shows, and she participated in several ADGA programs over the years. Her first "big win " was in 1999,winning ADGA National Show Premier Youth Exhibitor, and she was also a member of the 1st pl. Youth Fitting Team, a win made more special because Megan and the same team members had earned that win together in 1995.
Showing against that level of competition inspired Megan and her family to continually strive to improve their own herd. They have never been afraid to cull, especially those does with less than ideal mammary systems. Megan explains that, at least with her line of Nubian, that the udder takes the longest to correct. So does with exceptional mammary systems are retained, and then bred to superior bucks to correct their faults. One practice rarely seen in the Lakeshore Farms herd is that of repeat breedings. Breeders have questioned Megan about this, saying "That doe is beautiful! Did you repeat that breeding?" and Megan will reply, "yes, we love her, but she isn't perfect! We are always hoping to get an even better daughter from the dam, so we are always trying new combinations."
At times, the Tredway's do repeat a breeding, but they are more apt to try something similar by using a half brother or nephew of the original breeding.
Megan's judging has also had a positive influence on her herd. She became an ADGA judge five years ago, realizing a dream she'd harbored since getting her first goats. Once she'd made the decision to attend the judging clinic at the 1999 ADGA Convention, Megan phoned her former 4H leader and ADGA judge, Marlene Sena. Marlene spent a week helping Megan prepare for her judging test. She had Megan place classes of her goats and give reasons, which were recorded and later critiqued.
At convention time, Megan and Kristine flew to Ohio, where Megan and the other trainees, including former 4H club member Fauna Smith, took the judging test. Both Megan and Fauna passed, and Megan judged 17 shows her first season.
"I get paid to do something I love!" Megan smiles. "Travel around the country, and see beautiful dairy goats." Megan spends nearly every weekend during show season either judging or exhibiting her own dairy goats. She also enjoys the opportunity to meet many goat breeders. She often does not realize whom she is judging and sometimes gets a surprise when she goes to sign papers. At one show in 2003, Megan judged some lovely Saanens handled by a group of 4Her's. It was not until later that she found out that those does belonged to Diana Patton of Windsor Manor Saanens, a herd she had admired in print but had not seen in person.
Megan says that another perk to judging is being able to handle animals, not just admire them from a distance. She says that seeing and feeling many Nubians all over the country, then studying their pedigrees helps her make breeding decisions and advance her own herd. For example, when judging a show in May 2003 in Illinois, Megan placed GCH Willow Run AT Erazel Grand Champion. Later that day, she phoned home from the airport, to tell her mom about the show and mentioned Erazel. Kristine responded that she had just read the new issue of UCN, which included an ad for Willow Run AT Enferno, littermate to Erazel. Still at the airport, Megan immediately called Patti Dean and told her that she wanted to purchase Enferno. As Megan says, "He turned out to be a pretty good buy, since his sister Erazel was National GCH just two months later!" Enferno is bred to several Lakeshore Farms does for spring '04 kids.
Megan says that becoming an appraiser is a "someday" goal for her, though right now, managing a herd of goats and a fulltime job, she does not have the time required. She thinks it would be a fascinating experience, because as a judge you see only the animals the breeder chooses to exhibit, but as an appraiser you get to see the whole picture.
Dairy goats are a family affair at the Tredway's. Originally Megan's 4H project, her parents are now very involved. Megan says that without her parents' support, help, and encouragement her herd would not be where it is today. Megan and Kristine have formed a close relationship and work together to plan breedings, care for the goats, prepare for shows, and get the goats to the shows. When Megan was in school, and now that she is working fulltime, Kristine does the morning shift in the barn. Megan's dad, Larry, is the "feed guy". He hauls, stacks, and feeds hay and grain, and packs the truck for shows. He and Kristine also transport the goats and equipment to the shows, when Megan cannot. With Larry retiring last year, traveling is easier, and he and Kristine were able to haul the goats out to Iowa for Nationals. Megan flew in, arriving in time to help unload the truck and trailer. Megan also handles evening chores, with everyone pitching in on weekends.
Megan continues to strive for that perfect Nubian. She is dedicated to improving and promoting her beloved Nubian breed, Someday she hopes to breed and own a National Champion. Judging from the success she has already enjoyed, that may not be too far down the road.