Garden State Dairy Goat Association
New Jersey
   
OUR HISTORY

Garden State Dairy Goat Association was established sometime before 1935. It was started by a small group of people who were interested in dairy goats and wanted to get together to discuss them and present functions. In the “old days” when the sale of raw milk was legal in New Jersey and there were many commercial dairies, there were a lot of dairy goats in New Jersey. There were enough so that there were several goat associations throughout the state. It was a regular occurrence to have over fifty people attend GSDGA meetings, which were held monthly. The meetings were held in large meeting halls, and large holiday parties were held, with gift exchanges and games.

One of the more well-known past members was an ADGA director, Merrill Morris, who owned Ivy Hill, a commercial dairy with about thirty lovely French Alpines, located in Somerville. Under his leadership, several large shows were held annually, including a two day event at the Round House at Rutgers University, New Jersey State Fair in Trenton, and Morris County Fair in Parsippany. There were many exciting events held at Madison Square Garden.
Several members of GSDGA were some of the top breeders of fine dairy goats in the country, and their animals were the foundation animals in some of the top modern herds. In some cases their animals are still winning in the show ring and earning top honors in official milk testing. When the sale of raw milk was banned, and “city people” started moving onto the rolling hills of New Jersey, the decline of dairy goats started.
      
THE PRESENT

At this time the club consists of about twenty members. The group sponsors two ADGA sanctioned shows each year.
The Spring Bash is held on Memorial Day weekend at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Harmony, NJ. The New Jersey State Fair is held in early August at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Branchville, NJ.

Despite the changes that have occurred in our state, our membership is still active in agriculture. Some of the members are  representatives of their County Board of Agriculture.
The club supports the sale of raw milk and whole, natural foods and is working on making state and federal health regulations more “user-friendly”, and trying to make the animal identification program fair and equitable.
The club supports the purchase of local produce, meat and dairy products by the public, and the “No Farmers/No Food” program.

The club supports our youth, the future of the dairy goat industry, by choosing a GSDGA youth representative who attends events and educates the public about dairy goats. The club also holds youth showmanship at its spring show.
The club is always looking for new members. We invite you to attend one of our meetings and join the club to support the dairy goat industry.

   
Volunteer
Our club is strictly volunteer based and we are always looking for members who want to help out.
Are you willing to bring a raffle item to a show for the raffle table? Want to try being a ring steward?
Are you able to come help with set up and take downfor our Spring show? 
A ton of work goes into putting on these shows and any help is appreciated.