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My interest in dairy goats started in 1992, early in the morning, at the South Dakota State Fair, in Huron. The entire grounds were quiet, except for the goat barn. Although all of the exhibitors were preparing for their show, they took time to share their goats with a young girl—including milking, leading, showing, discussing CAE and breeds. I liked Alpines because of the color surprise factor at birth. I purchased my first goat the following spring.
In 1993, my younger brother and I started Dawnwind Dairy Goats with two 2 year-old does, one French Alpine from Marianne Sans (Sanstorms) and one Experimental Alpine. We learned lessons quickly about disbudding, Staph infections, and hard kiddings. By the late 1996, we were hand milking up to 11 goats per year, and participating in a few shows, DHIR, and linear appraisal. We reduced the herd to 5 does in 1998, for primarily family milk production.
By 1999, I was ready to rejoin the dairy goat world in showing and production. After some research, we obtained three doe kids from Waiilatpu in 2000, and our new herdsire Olentangy Gene Therapy from Mark Baden in 2001. We started AI-ing at that time, and also involved many 4-H families in our area, resulting in the formation of Lil'Breeze, Kitchigami, and Eclectic Acres herds.
By 2004, including goats from the Kitchigami herd (owned by Laura Haggarty), we were milking 17 does, and hauling 35 animals to fifteen rings’ worth of shows. We finished 1*M GCH Waiilatpu WAA Camilla, 1*M GCH Waiilatpu WRAL Prima, 2*M GCH Dawnwind Shocking Magdalena, 2*M GCH Dawnwind Mechanical Minuit, and obtained legs for other milking does, bucks, and dry stock. All of the mature does obtained their *M designation from DHIR, and we were very pleased with our Linear Appraisal scores.
Our herd has since moved from Duluth, Minnesota, to Rapid City, SD, to Laramie, WY, to Saratoga, WY, to Van Tassell, WY, and is now located near Hill City, SD.
Dawnwind Dairy Goats is focused on breeding Alpine dairy goats that are:
Frances Loehr has a B.S. degree in Science in Agriculture and French Studies from the University of Minnesota and a M.S. degree in Animal Science, specializing in Beef Production and Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming. She is an equine body worker who graduated from the Vluggen Institute for Equine Osteopathy and Education. Chris has a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Wyoming, and is a certified barefoot hoof trimmer through Liberated Horsemanship. Both Chris and Frances have a solid background in horsemanship and training. Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, they are developing Loehr Horse Care, LLC, to improve mobility and performance for horses in the region.