2017 National Show Judges

Following are the 2017 National Show Judges.

Lynn Benedict

Lynn will judge Oberhasli and consult
on Sables and Alpines

National Shows have marked various milestones in Lynnís dairy goat adventure. She slept in the barn in Columbus in 1975 and helped with the Muirhill Nubians for her maiden voyage. She was wowed in Sacramento in Ď87 at the Alpines that paraded by, brought home one special doe kid and forever changed the focus of her Alpine breeding program. At her 1st National as an exhibitor in í88, her aged Nubian doe was Reserve National Champion. Over the years, her small Alpine herd (never over 20) has brought home Premier Breeder, Premier Sire, Reserve National Champion, Best Udder, Reserve Best Udder, and numerous 1st placings in individual and group classes and Production Awards. 2017 will be the 4th time Lynn has judges the National Show.

For over 30 years Lynn worked on the family dairy farm milking 120 Holstein and cross bred cows in an intensive grazing system. Goats were here before the cattle and remain after, supplying everyone on the farm with milk. The herd has been on continuous DHIR since 198,3 and is appraised every two years. Lynn has served two terms on the ADGA Board of Directors and is currently chair of the Advanced Judges Committee. She also, serves on Linear Appraisal, Production Test, Type, Judges Training, National Show and Genetic Advancement. The herd has had seven Spotlight Sale consignments, including the high seller in 1999. To add to her bachelorís degree in Animal/Dairy Science, Lynn recently has become a Licensed Massage Therapist and is in private practice in her hometown. Daughter Emily is also a lifetime member, the herd photographer and is the artist behind the newer ADGA three headed logo. Granddaughter Maya has a small herd of Nubians.

 She is excited, honored and humbled to be judging her third National Show. She always says that dairy goats have brought her many of her closest friends. So, in the midst of the heat and hard work and stress of the National, she hopes you will remember to enjoy your friends and appreciate the incredible display of animals of all breeds brought here to compete.


Todd Biddle

Todd will judge Saanens and consult on Nigerian Dwarf and Toggenburgs


I have been a licensed dairy goat judge for twenty four years. While I have judged youth events at three past ADGA National Shows, 2017 will be my first year judging breed classes at the ADGA National Show. I also write articles for the Dairy Goat Journal on dairy goat judging.

On our family farm, we maintain a herd of twenty-five Saanen dairy goats, twenty Belgian Draft horses, and seventy head of Dutch rabbits. While the goats are not shown as much as they once were, a family member or I earned National Junior Champion Saanen in 2003, Reserve National Best Udder Saanen in 2002 and Reserve National Best Udder Saanen in 2016. We have participated in the linear appraisal program and have had many does scoring between 90 and 92. We had one doe score EX 93 in years past. We also show our Draft horses and rabbits at many national level shows. We exhibited two past National Champion Belgians and several past variety rabbit winners at both the ARBA convention and the National Dutch Rabbit Show.

I have twenty years of teaching experience and hold three teacher certifications. Currently, I am an agriculture teacher and FFA adviser in central Pennsylvania for the Bald Eagle Area School District. I earned a distinguished teacher merit on the state teacher evaluation form in 2015-2016 for my teaching excellence in the classroom. Our FFA chapter earned national chapter recognition of two stars in 2015. While our chapter has many initiatives, one of our notable missions is to fight childhood hunger as we are very active with the National FFA Hunger Hero's challenge efforts. Another exciting effort is improving and increasing pollinator friendly habitat on our school campus to help with the national pollinator decline.

I, like you, share a love not only for dairy goats but agriculture in general. Each day presents new opportunities and challenges as we promote and "work" for the number one industry in the United States - Agriculture. As we celebrate the accomplishment of excellence at the National Dairy Goat show, it is important for us to never lose track of all the hard work that goes into the preparation of a national show string. This work starts many years prior and requires day to day management. I hope you will enjoy showcasing representatives from your breeding program as much as I will the task of evaluating many of the best dairy goats in the country. Please try to find time between showing and herd care to visit with others who share the same passion as you. These relationships are the root of our industry and what will contribute to making the national show a very special experience.

Reflect on yesterday, strive for a brighter tomorrow, and enjoy the beauties of dairy goat ownership.


Ed Cavanagh

Ed will judge Nigerian Dwarfs and Toggenburgs and consult on Nubians

I would like to thank the members of the American Dairy Goat Association; and of course, the National Show committee for allowing ADGA judges like myself the opportunity to judge the Most Prestigious Show of the Year!!! It takes a lot of time and dedication for everyone involved and many sacrifices by many to put on a show like the National. Having said that, I am humbled by the fact that those who are members of ADGA take the time to vote and allow me the honor of judging their fine animals.

I am excited to not only judge, but to see so many fine animals and all the hard work the exhibitors put into make the National Show a success. I also look forward to seeing everyone at the show, and working with other judges in a teamwork approach in selecting the best possible animals that meet the standards put forth by ADGA and its membership. Selective breeding, long hours, many years, tears and money have gone into many of the animals presented. 

Without the support of my family, especially my wife Sharon and two daughters Karen and Kassidy, getting to judge any show would be next to impossible. A strong support system at home allows me to do one of the things I like, and that is to Judge Dairy Goats!

I've been raising dairy goats for 41 years this year. I've bred and owned Canadian National Champions in several breeds. Having the good fortune to have acquired an ADGA license and a Canadian Goat Society license has enabled me to travel to many distant areas of North America. Always scouting for lines to add to my own herd.

Remember, no matter how you place, it is the same animal you brought into the ring, so never get discouraged at how you place. You worked hard and everyone deserves to see what your breeding program can do to enhance their herds.

Hopefully, everyone remains healthy, and has a positive experience at this year's National Show. More importantly, I hope everyone arrives safely and has a safe trip home. Have a GREAT 2017 ADGA National Show.

Julie Matthys

Julie will judge LaManchas and Sables and consult on Saanens

Julie has been an ADGA licensed judge since 1994 and is judging her seventh National Show. She has been involved in dairy goats since 1983 and breeds Toggenburgs under the herd name Dairy Delight and LaManchas under the heard name Mint*Leaf. Julie also helps manager her son Kyle's herd of M*L Legacy Nubians.

Julie is the current chair of the National Show Long Range Committee and has previously chaired the Judges Training and Shows Committees. Julie is a Life Member of ADGA. In her professional life, she is a licensed real estate appraiser, broker and professional farm manager.

Dustin Noble

Dustin will judge Nubians and consult on Oberhasli and Rec. Grades

Dustin lives in Franklin, TN, and has raised registered dairy goats under the prefix of Noble-Springs since 1992. He currently raises Alpines, Saanens and Toggenburgs. Dustin has been an ADGA licensed judge since 2004. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science. He and his wife Justyne operate Noble Springs Dairy in Franklin, TN. they milk 100+ goats and have a farmstead creamery where they produce several types of cheese, fluid milk and drinkable yogurt.

Karen Smith

Karen will judge Alpines and Rec. Grades and consult on LaManchas

This is Karen's third time to be selected as an ADGA National Show Judge. She attended her first National Show in 2000 and has been at every show since.

She is looking forward to attending the 2017 show as a Judge. Karen has owned goats for over 30 years and has operated Lady-Kk Farm since 1991. She raises Purebred French Alpines and both Purebred and American Saanens. She acquired her Judge's license in 2003. She is a Senior Appraiser with ADGA's Linear Appraisal Program, and is a member of the AGA Board of Directors representing District III.

She left "Corporate America" in 2007, and has been a full-time farmer since that time. Karen has judges Youth Events at the ADGA National Show twice and was honored to be able to work with the "future" of ADGA. She is currently  Chair of Breed Standards committee, and has chaired the ADGA Annual Meeting committee and the National Long Range committee. She has also served on the following committees: Annual Meeting, Annual Meeting Long Range, National Show, National Show Long Range, Linear Appraisal, Judge's Training, Advanced Judges and National Show Youth Activities. She has participated in DHIR and hosts a Linear Appraisal session at her farm each year.

Karen says," There is nothing quite like the sight of several thousand beautiful animals all grouped together to compete for the title of National Champion in their respective breed. To attend a National Show is an exhilarating experience, and to be selected to judge a National Show is an honor. Thank you to all those who helped make me who I am today."


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