I purchased my first Dexter from Marcia Read in 1992. At the time I was hand-milking a Jersey cow that gave between 3/12 and 4 gallons of milk each milking. My harms ached and burned at night, sometimes so much so I would awaken. We drank the milk, I made butter and cheese, and then I fed milk to the dogs, cats, chickens and pigs. . . . . and still milk would be spoiling in jars.
Then I read an article in a homesteading magazine about Dexter cattle and the breed description was so appealing and a Dexter sounded like an ideal cow for me! I was first attracted by the size. Every breed on my farm was miniature except for the Jersey cow. I was captivated by these tiny animals that would give me just enough milk for my family's needs. I searched for a source of Dexter cattle, found Marcia Read in Pennsylvania who was planning a visit to a farm festival very near me . . . and purchased my first Dexter. Fell hard!
It was't long before I was looking for another and then another and my herd began to grow.
My father died just before we moved to the farm, and just before I purchased the first Dexter my Mom passed as well.
With their loss I became interested in the "family history" and my life was busy with researching family connections, my grandkids, and raising livestock.
And then. . . . . . . . . . . . . . shat happened!
I became involved with a Dexter discussion group on the internet that was formed around 2000-2001. Until this moment in time I had not concerned myself with the Association or it's leadership or activities. In the early part of the year of 2004 a poster appeared on the chat group using the name "merricharmed" and made some comments about political issues within ADCA. There seemed to be some with "underground" knowledge of the topics but *I* was clueless as to the people or the politics. However, I am now. . . and throughout my life have always been a person of boundless curiosity with an interest in just about anything that passes through my consious awareness. I tend to analyze everything backwards and then forwards again. I am a thinker. I gave it some thought .. . it made for a bit of interesting reading as there was no doubt some controversy connected, but I had other interests that beckoned.
In May of 2004 a letter arrived in the mailbox from the President of ADCA, Kathleen Smith. ( See the ADCA TAKEOVER
pages that will soon be added for historical content). That letter raised many questions, and responses from "leadership" that I saw on the internet created more questions for me than answers. I had questions, I wanted answers, and I set out to learn what I could.
Over the course of weeks I made phone calls to every member of leadership I could contact interspersed with calls to untold members of the Dexter breed, many of them from the past, many of them of long years duration. To a person they were willing to share their knowledge and opinions, both on the breed and on it's owners. A wealth of information and opinions!
Information shared by the many roused all sorts of questions and I found myself drawn deeper and deeper into the politics of the Dexter breed. More on that another day.
In July of 2004 at the Annual General Meeting held in Pennsylvania the breech became a full-fledged fissure and the breed broke into a second group that gave themselves the name, Purebred Dexter Cattle Association.
I am a person of tradition. I am never comfortable with drastic changes. As the breed was broken so were my emotions, and I was deeply saddened by the rift and seeing long term breeders who had shepherded the breed and ADCA . . . LEAVE and form another association. I watched them leave their LEGACY behind and it occured to me that their Legacy should be preserved.
The roots of LEGACY can be found in the political split amongst Dexter owners and breeders in 2004. It first began when I decided to purchase animals from early breeders who left ADCA and build a "Legacy" herd in their memory. This led me to begin researching the bloodlines and pedigrees of long-time breeders who left ADCA. In doing so, and in the controversial aftermath of 2004, I discovered the imported Dexters with the "upgraded" bloodlines and the "Legacy" effort evolved.
I had a strong reaction and opinions to what I witnessed in 2004. Today, there is an attempt by many to re-write history.
Here you will find 2004 as I witnessed and experienced it. It was no more and no less than a fight over power and control.
The owners and breeders and the breed itself were of little consideration. Nothing much has changed in 10 years.