The PDCA non-AGM: What’s Going On?!

September 21st, 2010 by Kim

Ryder gets a bath.

Jeff & I had planned for a nice weekend getaway in the Atlanta area, centered around the Purebred Dexter Cattle Association national show & sale and annual general meeting at the Coweta Co. Fairgrounds on Sept. 17-18.  I have been troubled by the problems & conflict among the organization’s leadership that have become evident over the last several months, and was extremely disappointed to find out that the AGM was suffering because of those issues.  It was scaled back to a few simple demonstrations, a seminar by a guest speaker, and a small classification clinic….no show, no sale….but every non-profit organization is required to have an annual meeting, so that was definitely still on.  We decided to go anyway, because we wanted to find out first-hand what is going on, and if the Association can survive it.

Stefani dries Ryder with a heavy-duty blower.

We arrived Friday, to see 3 vehicles in the parking lot & a small cluster of people talking outside the barn, so we joined them.  The fairgrounds was absolutely beautiful, with very well-kept facilities.  Over the course of the weekend, there were about 20-some people that came at various times.  It was disappointing that so few came, but we met some wonderful people who really care about the Dexter breed.  We once again got to see Gabriella Nanci, from whom we bought Rousseau, and spend some time getting to know her better.  And she brought along Nutmeg (Rousseau’s momma) and Pink (one of his daughters), which was a real treat, too.

Stefani demonstrates how to clip for a show.

Friday’s activities included a grooming demonstration by Stefani Millman and a hand-milking demonstration by Ginny Miles.  Stefani showed us how to bathe, dry, groom & clip to prepare an animal for the showring.  This was very informative for those of us who have never shown cattle before.  She demonstrated on Frank & Ginny Miles’ bull, Ryder, then they brought out their cow Urna for others to practice on.  I jumped in with the clippers to get a better feel for how to get that part of the job done.  Ginny hasn’t normally clipped her cows’ udders (I usually do), so I clipped Urna’s so it would be nice for her milking demonstration.  I think she was pleased with the result.  She commented that it had to be less painful for Urna since there was no hair there to pull.  Afterwards, a bunch of us went out to dinner together and had a great time getting better acquainted.

I try my hand at clipping Urna.

Saturday morning we gathered again to listen to a wonderful presentation by Tom Trantham about his “12 Aprils” grazing program.  We came away with some helpful new ideas for pasture management.  Then the classifier explained how the classification system works, and after a lunch break, we all went to the barn to watch him classify animals for Miles’ and Gabriella.  He explained what he was looking at as he went, and there was a good bit of discussion among the group, so this also was very informative, and I came away with a much better understanding of what to look for in good Dexter conformation.

The classifier checks Urna’s udder.

Then it was time for the anticipated & dreaded business meeting.  It appeared that John Colhoun, Richard Stimpson, Frank Miles, Gabriella Nanci & Stefani Millman were the only ones from leadership that found the meeting important enough to show up.  We saw nothing of the rest of the leadership, so apparently they didn’t feel it was necessary to fulfill that part of their duties.  Not only that, but they seem to be trying to block any progress in the organization.  I feel the PDCA is in dire trouble, but that it does have something to offer that is worth fighting for.

It was nice to see Rousseau’s dam, Nutmeg, again.

I was horrified to learn that there has NEVER been an election for new officers or the board of directors….these same people have been in power since the inception of the organization, and that the Treasurer has NEVER, in all these years, presented to the board a real, accurate, complete financial statement or a bank statement for the Association!  This is ridiculous and must change!  Major change is the only thing that will save the PDCA.  I know that most of us just want to enjoy our lovely, little cattle, but somebody has got to run this thing & run it well.  We need people who want to see the Dexter breed improved & promoted to get involved, instead of those who just want to maintain their power & little good-ol’-boy club.  If you’re a member of PDCA, I beg you to get involved and help get new people elected.  How many of us are willing to fight to keep this organization alive?  Without you, there may not be enough.

8 Responses to “The PDCA non-AGM: What’s Going On?!”

  1. Ginny Miles Says:

    Kim,
    Thanks for your support at the AGM. Just wished more people like you that really care about the PDCA would have come also. You just made my day when I received your letter from Stefani today. Hope everyone that received it will send it out to others. Maybe flood the other board members mailbox. LOL !!!!We have so many times thought about giving up but someone like you just adds a little more fuel to keep Frank in office to try and get PDCA back where it belongs and that’s the members. Again thanks!!! Feel free to contact us anytime.
    Ginny Miles

  2. Susan Lea Says:

    Kim,
    Thanks for your comments. We have been troubled, also, but know absolutely nothing about what the issues are–except that there ARE issues. A letter was sent out recently that really didn’t clarify anything for us, and we’re too new to the PDCA to have a clue what is going on or who to ask about it. I called one member whose contact info I found on the website about another matter (a question), and he said things that let me know there’s a problem, but he wouldn’t say anything specific, so I just wrote it off. Let me ask you and perhaps you could address this in a blog, what is the real difference between the PDCA and ADCA? Do we need both? Why or why not? And finally, what can WE, personally, DO–not knowing anyone or what they stand for–as new members? My inclination is just to “get the hell out of Dodge,” if you’ll excuse my expression, and focus on the ADCA (which, by the way, had a great show in June. We went for our anniversary celebration, and although we couldn’t stay for the whole 4 days, we were very impressed.) Please, enlighten me about why we shouldn’t just forget the PDCA and its in-fighting. I really do want to learn!

  3. Susan Jackson Says:

    Hi Kim,

    Thanks for posting this. Joey and I are troubled by the issues with the PDCA. And from what I have learned there are similar issues in the ADCA. Both organizations are troubled with petty in-fighting.

    We are very new to Dexters and this has been the biggest (perhaps the only) disappointment. We love the cows and that will keep us in. But though we would like to serve and feel that we would have something to contribute, we hesitate because we do not want to be part of the political games in either organization.

    At the ADCA’s AGM, they actually voted to keep anyone who serves in the PDCA from ever being able to serve in the ADCA. I think that action alone will prevent most people from participating in the PDCA.

    We are hoping for one registry for the future. Our hope is that some of the positive initiatives from the PDCA will be carried into the ADCA. In the meantime we are registering in both registrations and just waiting. I do really hate that but I don’t know what else to do.

    Susan

  4. David Cluff Says:

    Hi Kim,

    Thank you so much for posting your article about the PDCA AGM. As a member of the show committee I really wanted to be there. There is a lot of preparation that goes into getting an event like this ready and to have half of the board not even make the effort to attend is a real disgrace.

    Like Susan, who posted earlier, I am relatively new to dexters and I am a member of both associations. I have had dexters for about four years now. Last summer some of my dexter mentors encouraged me to attend the AGM in Rupert Idaho and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I obviously had no clue how to show my animals, but I had a good time learning the ropes from others who were there.

    I wasn’t around when the two associations split, but politics get dirty in at any level, even little cattle organizations. I like the PDCA because of the ideals it was founded on: a member driven organization, commitment to accurate registrations, etc. Despite all the trigger events that sparked the current bickering amongst the board members the critical issue has come down to the bickering. Because our board can’t even be civil with one another the entire association has suffered. I had hoped that a resolution would be agreed upon at the AGM, but as you know a large portion of the board did not attend.

    The current board has demonstrated that they cannot resolve these issues on their own. What needs to happen now is for elections to take place so new people can pick up the torch before the PDCA burns to the ground. With new leadership the Association can get back to work on it’s original goals (taken from the website pdcaresources.com):

    1. To preserve purity in the Dexter Cattle breed through conscientious registering of animals. To that end, the
    PDCA’s goal is to establish a professional Registry housed in a permanent facility by the year 2006.
    2. To provide a classification system that reflects the multi-purpose nature of Dexter cattle, and provides
    reliable ratings for individual animals. To this end, the PDCA’s goal is to have herds that regularly maintain
    over five breeding animals to be classified by the year 2007.
    3. To develop a list of breeding bulls that has been tested negative for the chrondrodysplasia gene. To this end,
    the PDCA’s goal is to have all breeding bulls tested and free of the chrondrodyplasia gene by the year 2010.
    4. To establish an updated on-line pedigree registry that will provide accurate pedigree information to the
    membership. This should be accomplished by the year 2005.
    5. To establish an on-line membership application, registration and transfer applications. This should be
    accomplished by the year 2005.
    6. To facilitate testing of animals by contracting with reliable test labs who will report on a timely manner. This
    should be accomplished by the fall of 2004.

    Some of these goals have been completed, some are nearly complete, others are far from becoming a reality. As members of the association it is time for us to stand together, let our voices be heard, and elect leaders who will continue to do what is best for our beloved cows.

  5. Adrienne Knight Says:

    I’m not a good person to add anything to this conversation as I am phasing out of the Irish Dexter cattle world. I love these little cows but for various reasons I’m giving it up. Main reason is getting burned out with the work and then the register thing is becoming difficult. I never wanted a hassle. PDCA is too slow in their registrations and I do not believe there should be two organizations in the first place. And, then ADCA has this genotyping thing going on which is costly, so those two factors have put me right over the top. I can keep the unregistered steers for awhile but my remaing two registered animals will be going. That’s my little input. Good luck.

  6. Bonita Says:

    Kim,
    I am a Kentuckian living down on the Tennessee border. I have Dale Hollow
    Dexter’s.
    I’ve been put out with this bunch for some time. Back when they had the first
    split I sent $100 to apply towards the bill with the lawyer and did my best to
    support the organization and founding members of the organization. I even sent
    a check for someone down in Florida that Frank Miles said needed help (by the
    way, Frank and Ginny are very nice people). I wish I could say the same for a
    few others of the elected officials.
    Over the years I have just gotten frustrated over the squabbling to the point I
    don’t care if my Dexter’s or registered with the organization or not.

    I believe part of the fussing now is over whether polled is a mutation or if
    somewhere along the line an Angus jumped the fence. I own two polled. My vet
    told me Nelly had been dehorned. He obviously didn’t know what he was talking
    about because she has a grand daughter that never grew horns either. They were
    registered as horned, Nelly, because she was already registered and Glenna
    because I registered her soon after her birth, before I realized she would not
    have horns. So, as you see, if part of this fight going on is about polled or
    not I’m part of the problem. I was just waiting to see how they worked it out.
    I have a few members that I hear from occasionally wanting me to pull hairs out
    of Greta’s tail for DNA. She is what they call a Heritage Cow. Since some of
    the group has been down right ugly to me I haven’t felt very hospitable.
    Besides, Greta is full of piss and vinegar and the last time I had any close
    contact with her she kicked me so badly I had a knot and bruise on my leg as big
    as your head. If she had hit just a few inches higher I would have had a busted
    knee cap.
    So, it’s like this, I did my best in the past, but got nothing but grief. I
    have learned to stay out of it and let them destroy themselves if that is what
    they want.
    I am sick and tired of the fact this organization can’t seem to get along. It
    seems it is about to implode once again because all they do is turn on one
    another.

    I am really please to hear from you. Glad you are in Kentucky. If you ever get
    down towards Dale Hollow Lake look me up.
    L&L, Bonita

  7. Anna Says:

    Thank you for the work you are doing to keep the PDCA going.

    I have raised Dexters since 1995, and have seen many changes during that time. But some things, as you have stated so well on your web page, have NEVER changed. There has always been conflict. Most organizations have some, but the disputes between Dexter owners was so bad that they caused the breakup of the ADCA. The PDCA was formed, in the hope that there would be a smoother future. It looks like that is not the case.

    I hosted the 2002 ADCA show here in Jackson County, Oregon. It was a good show and sale, and do not regret all the time, work and money that it took to make it successful. But I hate conflict, and of course, there was plenty of that.

    By spring 2003, family health issues forced me to become less active in the workings of the association. When the split occurred, I was not very involved, but went with the new organization, thinking that the dissension would end, or at least, lessen. It looked like the only way to separate from the people who seemed to be causing the major part of the conflict.
    I’m sorry to hear that things are this bad….. again.

    I continued to raise my precious little Dexters unit this past spring, when a major life change required me to sell them. But I gotta tell ya, as much as I miss my little pets, I do not miss the bickering. Straightening out this bunch is going to be a major job. Good luck to whoever tries.

    I love a lot of wonderful people that I met through the ADCA and PDCA.
    The whole Dexter raising experience was absolutely wonderful. One of the majors checked off my “Bucket List”.

    I certainly hope things can be worked out. Thank you for trying!

    Anna Clough (Poole)

  8. david eccleston Says:

    i have a herd rite now of 14 cows and calves i see no reason to belong to registry i have tried on many occasions to find out how to get them registered and got no info i have a heifer with calf on her side she is 38 inches calf is gonna be small and i hand milk 3 others so maybe i should start my own maine registery anyone want to join we wont have shows or any thing like that but you will have a piece of paper to be proud of