National Show Judge Selection

The method of selection for the ABGA National Show judges has been changed. Going forward a small committee of five to six will work to select our judges from a pool of those judges who express an interest in judging the National show. I am not surprised by some mixed emotions over this change. At the current time though less than one percent of the membership has voiced concern or sought clarification from a current Board of Director as reported to me in the latest BOD meeting. There has however been some confusion as the information came out first via board minutes that offered only limited detail.

Let’s address the most popular concern which is who makes up the committee that selects the judges: the board assigned me the task of putting together this committee and chairing it. Please note, I have since asked the board to allow me to serve as only a non-voting member of this committee. Current plans are to limit this committee to only one ABGA board member. Who else would make the ideal committee member is any individual that has solid working knowledge of the judges available, who also represents a unique given segment of the geographical regions of our entire membership, and that is not a member actively competing in some form of the National show itself. Honesty, integrity, and high moral character also come into play where selection is concerned as the committees’ goal would be to find a panel of judges where as an exhibitor you feel everyone has a reasonably equal chance of winning the show. Your Board of Directors will have final approval of my recommended committee members as well as this committees National Show Judge recommendation. Other registries larger than our own use this type system successfully, so again I would ask you at least give it a chance before you start screaming the sky is falling. Most of the major Boer Goat Show venues across the country offer judge selection decisions that are made by only one or two people in charge of running said show.

We have utilized a number of National Show judge selection methodologies over the years for example: in the years leading up to and including 2003 the ABGA Board of Directors made all the judge selections and were required to use two South Africans and one American Judge, the BOD’s mandated in 2004 and 2005 that two South Africans and one American would be selected by a restricted group of adult members who had a paid entry in the National Show for either of the prior two years, in 2006 we again changed and allowed only one South African judge could be in the three selected to judge a National Show and selection was again restricted to adult members with a paid entry in the National Show for either of the prior two years, in 2015 we switched again and via ballot 68 members determined a top six, then we voted a second time where 92 ballots determined the top three judges and an alternate that judged the 2015 ABGA National Show.

Which brings us to the present day where after the Board of Director’s review of the revenue generated by the overall number of entries from the 2015 National Show revealed a drop in numbers which raised concerns the board felt required action to improve. Given the unusually high overall cost to host this event in 2015 a number of changes in addition to judges selection have been implemented to bring the annual production cost of this event in 2016 down to a number more in line with the historical averages of the prior ten years to insure to the entire membership of approximately 6400 active members has a viable association when the next generation takes the helm.

Lary Duncan
American Boer Goat Association CEO

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