Rules & Regulations



As an AGS Board Member, I Will:

In the event of a lawsuit by an AGS member against AGS where AGS prevails, or the case is dismissed, that member shall be responsible for reimbursement to AGS for all related costs, including attorney fees and court costs. In such cases, all AGS privileges shall be suspended until such reimbursement is paid in full. Failure to reimburse AGS within 60 days after a dismissal of the case or decision in favor of AGS shall be grounds for permanent revocation of membership. (BOD 2006)

AGS members are welcome to use the AGS logo on their web pages either as a link to the AGS web site or just to indicate that they are members of AGS. Members shall be prohibited from using the AGS logo as an endorsement of any product or service. Use of the AGS logo does not constitute an endorsement of any farm or breeder by AGS. AGS reserves the right to limit the use of our logo as determined by the Board of Directors. (BOD 2006)

Although you will often see references to the AGS ‘logo’, there are in fact two distinct AGS ‘logos’ currently in use. One logo consists of a Swiss type dairy goat standing on the circled initials ‘AGS’. The other logo is similar to the first with the exception that it includes a Nubian dairy goat in place of the Swiss animal. Both of these current logos along with the older version from which they were derived are the property of the American Goat Society, Inc.

The American Goat Society is divided into five districts in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other areas that provide members. Each district is allotted two Directors to represent members from that district at annual meetings and in decision-making. Three Directors-at-Large also sit on the Board.

These districts are divided based on membership numbers in order to provide a more equitable balance of districts.

AGS pays a small stipend to Directors who attend the annual board meeting. This stipend is to help offset some the travel expenses Directors incur while traveling to and attending convention. The current stipend is $400 for those traveling less than 250 miles, $450 for 250-500 miles, $500 for 500-1000 miles, and $550 for those traveling more than 1000 miles. These mileage numbers refer to a one way trip from one’s membership address.

Only directors who attend a majority of the Board meeting will receive the stipend. (BOD 2005)

Directors may receive only one stipend from AGS per convention. If a director is also assisting with judges training at the same convention, no additional stipend will be paid.

Director Emeritus title may be awarded to retiring board members. Judge Emeritus title is reserved for judges with 25 years of judging for AGS. Both awards are at the discretion of the Board. (BOD 2001)

Several AGS committees are hard at work. Listed below are the committees. Help AGS work better for you by providing your thoughts and volunteer time to one of the following committees. The list of committee chairs/committee members and contact information appears on the AGS website as well as in each issue of the Voice of AGS newsletter.

Awards: Makes recommendations to BOD concerning Lincoln Doe awards and rules. Also makes recommendations for individual awards of merit (i.e. director emeritus, life membership award, outstanding service etc)

Breeds & Registration Committee & AI/Embryo transfer: All breeds' issues should be worked on through this committee in conjunction with individual breed clubs as they pertain to AGS purebred dairy breeds. Keeps abreast of issues relating to AI/embryo transfer, requirements and procedures as it relates to registration with AGS and makes recommendations to the BOD concerning such.

Budget : Develops budget recommendations for the Board for the coming year. This includes recommendations for necessary fee increases and rate changes based on current costs and past Membership/Registrations/Transfers of the Society.

Bylaws: Reviews current AGS Bylaws and makes recommendations to the BOD for changes.

Complaint/Arbitration: Handles official complaints filed by members in good standing and makes recommendations to the BOD (due to the nature of the committee it is limited to BOD members only).

DHI: Handles current issues for DHIR and top ten recognition as well as clarifying wording of AGS milking requirements and forms.

Election/Nomination: Made up of the 3 directors not up for re-election. Puts together a slate of qualified candidates for the general election to the board, based on nominations and input from the members. Recommends election procedures to be presented to BOD for consideration.

Historian: Gathers together all forms of data that make up the history of AGS, categorizing specific items so things can be looked up, Example: all known issues of the Voice, BOD minutes and decisions by year, policy changes/dates, photos and publications etc. Putting all of this together then transcribing/scanning into a format that can be saved to disk. This would be an ongoing project.

Judges/Classification: Makes recommendations to the BOD on issues relating to judges training as well as complaints filed against judges or shows. Makes recommendations to the BOD on issues relating to classification and training of classifiers as well as complaints filed against classifiers. Membership comprised of 2/3 judges or classifiers and 1/3 members who are not judges or classifiers

Show Rules: Clarifies and writes recommendations to BOD concerning show rules for AGS shows. Also reviews any proposed changes to show forms etc. Reviews disputed show results and works with office to resolve.

National Show/Convention: works on guidelines and recommendations for BOD and solicits future sites for convention and/or national shows.

Sub committee – Current year National show/Convention: works with main committee to put together current years' show and/or convention.

Public Relations/Products & Public Awareness: Maintains website and puts together advertising, promotional materials, and merchandise benefiting AGS. . Keeps membership abreast of issues relating to dairy goats, requirements and procedures as it relates to registration with AGS and makes recommendations to the BOD concerning such.

Publications: Oversees and manages all member publications.

Handbook: designs and maintains current handbook content, sends to office for printing.

VOICE: works on recommendations from BOD and member input for content. Published quarterly must send hard copy as well as electronic format to office for printing. Requires knowledge of Microsoft Publisher and or Word.

Scholarship: Reviews scholarship applications and makes recommendations to the BOD if all qualifications are met.

Youth: Develops programs and activities designed to promote youth participation and awareness in the dairy goat industry.

Committee reports for all committees should be prepared twice a year. The mid year report, due in mid December, can be as simple as an e-mail informing the Board of any activity the committee has been working on. The year end report, due no later than 30 days prior to Convention, should be more detailed and presented in the following format:

All committee chairs are responsible for making sure these reports are prepared and presented to the Board in a timely manner. Prior to submission to the Board, committee reports need to have been read and accepted by a majority of the committee. All reports should be submitted to the AGS office.

All proposals to the board of directors MUST go through the appropriate committee in order to be heard at the annual board meeting.

Members or groups may contact their district representative or a director at large to refer to the appropriate committee their proposals or concerns and they in turn will develop them among the specific committee members to present at the annual meeting.

Individuals are NOT allowed to make proposals directly to the board unless requested.

It is advisable to get proposals to committee chairs well ahead of convention time each year in order for the committee to have time to evaluate and vote on them among the committee members.

The President appoints Committee Chairs at each annual meeting. Committees are made up of members who have volunteered to serve on specific committees. Not all volunteers get to serve on a given committee, as care is taken to avoid having some committees too large to work effectively.

When an animal is re-registered in AGS, coming from another registry (ADGA/CGS), sometimes that animal has other symbol designations for show wins and production awards, such as GCH, CH *M, or *B, etc. Such symbols are granted by other registries. AGS recognizes the animals previously earned milk production awards, if the other organization has standards that equal those of AGS.

AGS will recognize two show wins of a 'finished champion' if the transferee provides, at the time of transfer, a copy of the Certificate of Championship noting the show, date, number of goats and judge of each show where the wins were acquired.

The third win towards a MCH will have to be won at an AGS sanctioned show.

The American Goat Society began a classification program early in its history, in the early 1940’s. Classification is a more accurate way to evaluate an animal’s conformation than judging is because, in classification, the animal is compared with the ideal, not against whatever competition is in the ring at the time. Classification scores are important in figuring sire summaries, and, when combined with DHI production figures, can be used to figure Predictable Difference in sires (how much improvement over dams they throw).

In classification, an animal is given a final percentage score based on 100 being perfect. In addition, each area of the animal is evaluated and assigned points based on how close that part comes to being ideal. For example, if an animal is given four (4) points out of the allotted five (5) on teats, that is 80%, and the owner knows that the teats on that animal are only 80% of the ideal.

If you want your animals classified, contact the classifier nearest you and time for the classifier to come to your herd. If one of them is going to be in your area to judge, you might be able to better afford him/her, as the owner of the animals being classified is responsible for the expenses of the classifier. If several breeders unite to hire a classifier, it becomes more affordable. In addition, you notify the office that you are going to have your herd classified. The office will send you a form on which you list all animals being classified, including name, number, birth date, freshening date, and tattoo. The list and fees are sent to the office before classification is done. Whole herd classification is recommended. Does must be at least second fresheners and bucks at least eighteen (18) months old when they are classified. Spontaneous, on-site classification of individual animals may be done at shows and other places where breeders may meet classifiers, and that under those conditions, classifiers are allowed to collect the fees and send the Society portion (50%) to the office. (BOD, 2002)

Classifiers are ineligible to classify animals ever owned or bred by the classifier.

Final scores are Excellent (90-100), Very Good (85-89.9) Good Plus (80-84.9, which is considered average or acceptable), Good (almost average or 70-79.9), Fair (60-69.9), and Poor (under 60). The classifier keeps a copy of the scores, gives one copy to the owner of the animal, and sends one to the office. The office issues an official certificate to the owner. The score becomes a part of the animal’s permanent record. Classification scores may not be lowered with successive classifications, but they may be raised. Once an animal has been classified excellent, they cannot raise their score on successive classifications.

Potential Classifiers are selected from the most experienced judges. In order to be considered as a candidate for AGS Classifier training, one must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be at least 25 years of age,
  2. have been an AGS Member in good standing for a minimum of 5 consecutive years,
  3. have been a licensed judge for "all dairy breeds" for a minimum of 5 years, including at least 5 years as a fully licensed AGS judge,
  4. have judged a minimum of 10 multi breed dairy goat shows, and successfully complete apprentice training under an existing Classifier. This training will consist of classifying a minimum of 10 animals representing a minimum of three breeds, with a minimum of 85% accuracy.
The Board determines when classifiers are needed and votes on whether to accept a successful candidate who has completed the training.

Current classifiers are Alice Hall of California, Tim Flickinger of Indiana, and John Pfeiler of New York.

Your ability to evaluate the relative quality of dairy goats is of top importance. You must be able to both recognize utilitarian type and appreciate the aesthetic value of breed character.

According to Considine and Trimberger, a good dairy goat judge should; love dairy goats and desire to learn more about them; have a clear mental image of ideal type and be able to recognize desirable and undesirable traits; be able to work alone with just knowledge and experience as a guide; be able to quickly compare and rank groups of dairy goats; be familiar with the score card and faulting guidelines so that each placing is logical and made with confidence; have the courage and honesty required to make every placing fairly; be humble enough to recognize that one can make an honest mistake; have the knowledge, training, practice, and experience to give effective, accurate reasons; and possess a pleasant, even temperament and a firm manner, without being arrogant. Last but not least, a good dairy goat judge should have a true desire to help in some way in the breeding of better dairy goats. (Dairy Goat Judging Techniques, 1978)

AGS offers a license to judge all breeds it registers. AGS does not offer any single-breed licenses.

If you possess an individual membership in the American Goat Society, are a member in good standing who is at least 18 years old, and would like to judge shows for the American Goat Society, send $20 to the office for a copy of the Judges Manual. To become an AGS judge, you will need to attend an AGS Judges Training Seminar. Such training may be offered to AGS members in good standing and instructed by a BOD approved panel of three or four official licensed AGS judges at the annual meeting and/or at other authorized locations.

All newly licensed judges will be eligible for apprentice (two year) licenses. As part of the AGS judges’ continuing education program, apprentice judges must renew their license by attending additional training seminars every two years. In the event no training seminar is offered when an apprentice judge is due to renew, the Judge's Committee may allow the apprentice to extend their license until such time as a training seminar is offered, (assuming the judge has not been delinquent in renewing their membership or license). At such time, they must attend the seminar and achieve scores of 75% or higher on all areas (written exam, placings, accuracy of reasons, and presentation) in order to maintain their apprentice license. Renewing apprentice judges who achieve scores of 85% or higher on all areas, will obtain "full" licenses and are no longer required to attend training seminars in order to renew their license.

When an ADGA/CGS licensed judge seeks a temporary license (formerly referred to as a one day license) to judge an AGS sanctioned show, they may do so upon payment of the $10.00 license fee to the AGS office. Judges that submit those fees will be sent a packet containing information on AGS, miniature breed standards, score cards, faulting sheet and instructions on how to measure miniatures (this will be in lieu of the previously required 'mini test') and these judges will be placed on the AGS approved judges list. Any ‘special request’ circumstances will be directed to the Chairperson of the Judges Committee. (BOD 2006)

AGS recommends that every judge have their own official measuring device. However, it is the responsibility of the show sponsor to provide the judge with an official measuring device.

Licensed judges must renew their licenses yearly, following the schedule below:
License Renewal Schedule (BOD 2005):

  1. judges will renew their licenses yearly, with no more than two years being paid in advance
  2. to be eligible to renew, a judge must have judged at least one AGS, ADGA, or CGS sanctioned show within the last three year period
  3. fees are: $10 if paid before January 1st ($15 if paid on or after January 1st but before February 1st)
  4. judges who fail to renew their licenses before February 1st will be required to renew through an official AGS Judges Training Seminar (JTS).Failure to renew by February 1st will result in revocation of the judge's license until a JTS is attended and successfully completed as a candidate
Judges are trained to professionally represent the registry and dairy goats in general. Judges may have their licenses revoked as a result of an official complaint followed by an investigation and/or hearing.

I affirm that I have not been involved in any activities nor signed any documents with other organizations that would in any way conflict with the American Goat Society Judges Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct. I will always judge objectively, with strict adherence to the standards and code of ethics set by AGS in AGS sanctioned shows. I will set aside any personal desires of my own or of any other person or organization while I am representing AGS. I affirm that I have read and agree to abide by the items set forth in the AGS Judge’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct. Furthermore, I will always conduct myself in a positive and professional manner as a representative of AGS and the dairy goat industry.

Showing your goats is a good way to compare what you breed and own with other animals in your area. It is a way to obtain a professional opinion on your animals, and it gives you ideas on where to go for buck service and new stock. Animals that show well also give their owners something to advertise. In order to obtain the most information from a show, you must know the parts of the body and what they should ideally look like so you can understand the judge’s reasons. People show to educate themselves about the quality of their own stock and the availability of superior stock for breeding. They show to advertise their own animals and to help promote their breed(s). And for most people, showing is a form of recreation.

If you want to sponsor a show, read the show rules in this publication. As a sponsor, you would have to pay the office for the sanction(s), hire a judge chosen from the published list of AGS official judges, organize the classes, locate facilities for the show, establish a time for the show and rules for the show, and arrange for clerical help during check-in and show. You would also have to be familiar with the show rules, which are printed herein, determine what awards (championship rosettes and certificates come from AGS with the sanction) will be given, and clean up afterwards.

The show secretary is very important. This person must know the rules well enough to assist the judge, be well-organized enough to obtain the sanction (at least three months before the show date), record wins, and properly fill out the Report of Awards for the office.

Postcards will be sent from the office (verifying the win was awarded to the grand or reserve in each sanction) to the owners of the animals. Sanctions are offered on bucks, junior does, and senior does of each breed. The office keeps records on shows won, and three official wins, or legs, in shows containing at least ten (10) animals per sanction, (at least eight (8) of which must be in milk for senior does), under two different judges with at least two (2) different exhibitors competing, will give an animal a master championship. If the animal also has an AR in production testing, the animal is an ARMCH (Advanced Registry Master Champion).

Showmanship is important in exhibiting animals. An animal should be posed to show its height, width, length, and femininity or masculinity to their best advantage. Generally an animal is posed with its front feet squarely under it and spread apart to show chest width. Rear feet are also spread apart, and they should be placed so there is a straight line from the pin bones, through the hocks, to the pasterns. The head is held high enough to make the animal look alert and attractive. Excessive handling might cause the animal to look sway-backed or shallow, so once the animal is placed, it is best simply to stand and hold the collar.

Leads or leashes interfere with control, a hand on a collar is a better way to control an animal, even if it is very small. The animal should always be between the exhibitor and the judge, so the exhibitor must often move to keep from blocking the judge’s vision. When animals circle the ring, it should be in a clockwise rotation, and animals should be turned toward the exhibitor (the exhibitor should be in front of the animal on a turn, not behind it). Exhibitors should be neat. White show uniforms are preferred. Showmanship classes, which are not sanctioned, add to the educational value of the show. Such classes are usually offered for different ages of exhibitors. They are judged on 100 points, with fifty (50) offered on showmanship ability, forty (40) on grooming of the animal, and ten (10) on appearance of the exhibitor. Other unsanctioned classes might include classes for wethers. If exhibitors in a particular area do not like to think of their wethers as meat animals, the judge should be informed of this before the show so he doesn’t make butcher-type comments in the ring.

Group classes help people see uniformity of strong and weak points in herds and their owner’s breeding programs. Show committees need to decide whether exhibitors of group classes must own all animals shown, or if they may borrow needed animals from other exhibitors. Common group classes are:

Junior get of sire--three does, not in milk, sired by same buck.
Get of sire--three does, any age, at least one in milk, sired by same sire
Produce of dam--three does out of the same dam.
Dam and produce--a doe and two daughters.
Best Pair--any two, selected by exhibitor.
Breeder’s trio--any three, selected by exhibitor.
Club or Chapter group--five does owned by at least three members of the same 4-H or FFA club or chapter
Dairy Herd--See Mrs. J.C. Lincoln awards, page 29 for requirements.
State Herd--eight animals owned by at least five exhibitors from the same state. This would be a good class for a national show.

Milking competitions are also educational and fun. Either exhibitors milk their own animals, and it’s strictly a speed/quantity competition, or the judge will be asked to determine which milker uses the best techniques including cleanliness.
Judging classes can be offered for children, divided into age groups. Each child can judge four classes of four animals in ten minutes per class, to see who comes closest to the judge’s placings and reasons. This class is judged on a basis of 100 points, fifty (50) on placing accuracy, and fifty (50) on reasons: accuracy, organization, and presentation.

Neither AGS nor sponsoring agencies can accept liability for death, damages, disease, or loss of animals, equipment, or exhibitors while at or en route to or from a show. Showmen or exhibitors accept those liabilities.

American Goat Society sanctions a show by:
  1. offering well-trained judges,
  2. furnishing championship rosettes and certificates,
  3. keeping records of show wins in the office,
  4. supplying Master Championship certificates based on recorded wins.
A local club or individual sponsors a show by:
  1. hiring a judge and furnishing any equipment the judge requires,
  2. applying for the AGS sanction 30 to 90 days before the show,
  3. furnishing a show ring and penning facilities,
  4. setting classes for show entries,
  5. formulating local show rules within the confines of AGS rules,
  6. publicizing the show,
  7. cleaning up facilities after the show.
Exhibitors accept responsibility for:
  1. care, protection, feeding, and watering of animals at show and en route,
  2. having animals properly groomed and trained,
  3. bringing only healthy animals to the show,
  4. having original and correct registration papers on hand for all show animals,
  5. using their own proper equipment for care and showing,
  6. helping with clean up at local show if officials so request
  7. transporting animals to and from the show.
Exhibitors at AGS shows will:
  1. Dress inconspicuously. White is desirable, but neatness is more important.
  2. Be courteous to the judge and all other exhibitors.
  3. Avoid distracting the judge or visiting with him, especially in the ring.
  4. Avoid distracting other exhibitors or their animals.
  5. Keep out of the line of sight of the judge, and avoid being between him and your animal.
  6. Avoid pushing ahead of other exhibitors.
  7. Avoid pushing your animal.
  8. Answer questions the judge may ask and follow his instructions.
  9. Graciously accept the decision of the judge.
  10. Be prompt and quiet both entering and leaving the show ring.
  11. Cooperate promptly and courteously with show officials.
  12. Show animals to all possible advantage without dishonest tactics.
  13. Make sure animals are well trained and well groomed.
  14. Be prepared to learn from the judge’s comparisons with other animals.
  15. Be sure all tattoos are legible.
  16. Be sure all collars and equipment are in good order.
  17. Be sure registration papers are in order, and give correct information.
The Mrs. J.C. Lincoln Dairy Herd Award will be available at any AGS sanctioned show where the Dairy Herd class(es) meets application, show report and class requirements. Class requirements are that the class will consist of four or more dairy herds of four or more does per herd, herds owned by 4 or more different owners. The Lincoln Dairy Herd award is $25 and a certificate to the first place dairy herd. Herds that participate and win more than once will only receive the certificate after the first win.

It is the responsibility of the show secretary to send the names of the herds participating with the names of the herd owners to the office with the winning herd noted*.

If not included with the show report, award will not be honored. The cash award can be earned by a particular herd owner only once per year. Certificates will be awarded after that.

AGS registers only animals of proven pure pedigree. AGS recognizes registration certificates of ADGA and CGS for re-registration purposes, furthermore, AGS recognizes only multi breed dairy goat registries excluding privately owned multi breed registries. Purebred certificates of registration from the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) are accepted at face value as long as Americans are not allowed into their closed herd books. Canadian certificates are accepted if it can be proven that no non-purebred animals are in the pedigree. When animals from another registry are applied for, a copy of the certificates from the other registry should be sent in with the application and the fee. When applying for re-registration of an animal from another registry, the member should fill out an A.G.S. application for the office files, even though the other certificate is submitted.

The application is to be filled out completely and accurately and sent with correct fees to the A.G.S. office, which responds as soon as possible with a completed Certificate of Registration.

If different persons own sire and dam on the day of service, a service memo must be sent with the application. The kid must be given a name that starts with the herd name of the breeder; that is, the owner of the doe at the time she was bred. The full registered name of the animal is limited to thirty letters and spaces. The animal's name shall begin with the breeder's exact prefix. (registered herd name)

  1. Each animal to be registered must have a name. An animal’s registered name shall be limited to thirty letters and spaces, including the herd prefix. Herd names or prefixes may be registered with the Society. In order to avoid duplications the Secretary may offer a substitute name. Names cannot be changed after registration is completed. The animal’s name shall begin with the breeder’s exact prefix.
  2. The breeder of an animal is the person who owns the dam at the time of buck service. If the breeder is not the owner of the buck, a Service Memo signed by the owner of the buck will be required.
  3. When a registered goat is sold, the certificate must be returned with the signed bill of sale and the transfer recorded before its progeny can be registered.
  4. Unsound or unworthy individual animals, or those not having the standard breed characteristics of color, should not be presented for registry. Such animals will not be registered in the Herd Books of this Society when the facts are known. False and unworthy registrations will be cancelled without refund.
  5. A recognized purebred is one sired by a purebred registered sire and from a purebred, registered dam of the same breed. The animal should have the standard breed characteristics as to color and/or type. The registry number is preceded by a letter indicating the breed thus: FA - Alpine; N - Nubian; S - Saanen; T - Toggenburg; P - Pygmy; LM - LaMancha; SA - Oberhasli; SB - Sable; D - Nigerian Dwarf.
  6. Under color description, give specific color markings. Disbudding or otherwise removing horns does not make the animal hornless.
  7. All animals presented for registration must be tattooed and/or microchipped prior to registration. Year - 2007 (X); 2008 (Y); 2009 (Z); 2010 (A) and following the alphabet as does ADGA and NPGA with the exception of the letters I, O, U and Q. Even if the animal is to be microchipped, a tattoo sequence must be assigned to each animal.
  8. The term “Imported” applies to animals bred outside the Western Hemisphere. Proof of breeding of animals from foreign countries must be established by Importer when presenting application for registry. Date of Importation, Port of Entry, and all information possible must be given.
  9. If the dam and/or sire is ADGA or CGS registered, a photocopy of the ADGA or CGS certificate must accompany this application. If the animal to be registered is an ADGA or CGS registered animal, then the AGS office must see a copy of this animal’s certificate.
  10. It is not necessary that a person be a member of this Society in order to have goats registered. The applicant is required to furnish the information, signatures, and appropriate fee necessary for the completion of the registration. Higher fees are charged for non-members.
AGS accepts on face value the registration papers of LaManchas that show production records, show records, or AGS registered animals in the first three generations as long as no animals on the paper is designated GL or experimental.

When a registered animal is sold you should provide the buyer with the registration certificate along with a bill of sale (transfer). All information for the goat you are selling should be filled in on the bill of sale and you must sign and date the form as well. Either the seller or the buyer may send in the certificate along with the bill of sale (transfer) to have the change in ownership recorded and a new registration certificate issued which will show the change in ownership. The original registration certificate, bill of sale (transfer), and appropriate fees must be sent to the office for the transfer to be recorded. The original certificate should not be written on or used as a transfer slip. (never write on your original registration certificate) AGS encourages everyone to submit transfers in a timely manner so that future transactions such as registering and selling of offspring go more smoothly.

When an application for registration is submitted to the office for processing and the sold to line is filled in along with the date of sale, NO bill of sale (transfer) is required as the information on the application will be used to process the transfer. A transfer fee will still be charged in this situation in addition to the registration fee. If the animal is prenatal (meaning you purchased a bred doe and the kids were born as your property) there is no transfer fee as you are the owner when kid is born.

AGS has discontinued printing on the backside of certificates. Transfers are no longer printed on the backside of registration certificates. In the past it was necessary to print all transfers on the backside of the certificates because the same registration certificate followed the animal through its life. Since new registration certificates are now printed each time an animal is transferred the current owner is always shown on the front of the certificate. The office still records all transfers in the database as usual. (BOD 2007)

Any time you are not the owner of the buck, at the time a doe is serviced, a service memo is required. This requirement applies to prenatal breedings as well. The service memo should be filled out completely and signed by the owner of the buck. If you are the owner of both the buck and the doe being bred, you DO NOT have to send in a service memo.

In addition to the regular service memo, AGS also provides a doe only service memo. If this form is used, only the doe kids resulting from said breeding can be registered. If the breeding results in any buck offspring, they can not be registered. Members are advised to have a written contract if for instance, no doe kids are produced or other agreed on expectations from the breeding do not occur. (BOD 2001)

In a situation where the certificate of registration has been lost or destroyed, you may request that a duplicate certificate be issued. Upon written request and payment of appropriate fees, the office will issue a new certificate for the animal(s) in question. Only the owner of record may request said duplicate. If an animal has been purchased but not yet transferred, the owner of record must confirm that the animal was indeed sold before a duplicate certificate will be issued.

The owner of an AGS registered animal may request that an animal’s certificate be revised to show updates to that animals record such as MCH status, milking stars, classifications, addition of a microchip, etc. The original certificate, written request for update, and appropriate fees must be sent to the AGS office. You must request a revision in situations where the animal has been re-tattooed, has had a microchip added, or there has been a change in horn status (such as a goat originally reported as horned has now been disbudded or dehorned). Request must be accompanied by original certificate and appropriate fees.

A herd name or farm name may be registered with AGS, and this “exact” name shall be used as a prefix with the names of the owner’s animals when registering them in the AGS herd books. An animal’s registered name shall be limited to thirty letters and spaces, including the herd prefix. A registered herd name is reserved only as a prefix, not as a suffix. Tattoo registration is free of charge with the registration of a herd name. The Society no longer registers tattoos without the registration of a herd name (BOD 2004)

To reserve a herd name, one applies to the AGS office in writing, submits the appropriate fee, provides first and second choices of name, in case the first choice is already taken. When the application has been processed, the applicant receives a herd-name certificate. A tattoo will be assigned at the same time. IF a specific tattoo is desired, it should be requested at the time of herd name application.

Farm names, herd names, company names, etc., cannot be accepted as signatures for registrations or transfers, unless the owner or other authorized agent also signs the application.

Herd names registered with AGS are permanently owned by those individuals.

Application for a new herd name:
To apply for a herd name and tattoo sequence, the Herd Name and Tattoo Registration Application must be completed and submitted to the AGS office. Each Family or Individual membership (including all categories of Individual membership) may have exactly one herd name associated with it. Please keep in mind when choosing a herd name that names of goats registered with AGS are limited to 30 letters and spaces. The Office Manager will determine whether the requested herd name is distinct from any previously registered herd name according to the rules that follow. Because it is impossible to specifically address all possible permutations in a written policy, the opinion of the Office Manager on this matter will be definitive, unless the member appeals his or her decision to the Board of Directors.

Appealing the Office Manager's decision:
If the member applying for the herd name wishes to appeal the decision of the Office Manager not to register a proposed herd name, that member may contact the Board of Directors in writing, either by e-mail or by US Mail, addressed to the AGS office. A decision on whether or not the proposed herd name is consistent with AGS policy will be by simple majority vote of the Board of Directors. This decision is final.

No herd name assigned prior to April 18, 2005, will be revoked. All herd names granted after this date must comply with these rules.

Guidelines for choosing a new herd name:
  1. The proposed herd name must both look different and sound different from previously registered herd names. The new name should be unlikely to be confused with or mistaken for any existing herd name, in the opinion of the Office Manager.
  2. Alternate spellings of common words are acceptable but will not be considered to be distinct from other words that are homonyms.
    Example: hunny and honey will be considered to be the same.
  3. The following list of words, when added to an existing herd name, either before or after the existing herd name, will not be considered to produce a distinct name: The, Farm(s) Acre(s), Ranch, Goats, Kids, Herd(s), Caprines, Valley, or any breed name, singular or plural. Other similar words may be disallowed at the discretion of the Office Manager. This list is not exhaustive and may be added to at any time
  4. Reserved herd names consisting of two or more words are unique in the combination and order of words, and the addition of another word in front of or behind the phrase will not be allowed. The separate words in those phrases are NOT reserved, and may be used in other combinations.
    Example: Pleasant Valley Nubians--use of Pleasant Valley would violate rule 4. Pleasant, or Valley, or Nubians may be used alone or in other combinations.
  5. or deleting hyphens, apostrophes, or other punctuation to or from a reserved herd name does not create a new herd name. Breaking a one word herd name into two words with no other words added is not a new herd name, nor is turning a phrase into one word. Changes between lower or upper case in one or more words of a reserved herd name does not create a new herd name.
    Example: Red-bud is not distinct from Redbud. Twincreeks is not distinct from Twin Creeks.
  6. registration of animals from other registries: If application is made for re-registration of a goat with AGS from another registry (ADGA or CGS), and the registered name of that animal would conflict with the above rules, that animal will be registered with AGS using its current registered name with the initials of the other registry (ADGA or CGS) as a prefix. Those initials will not count toward the 30 character limit on registered names. The groups of initials "AGS","ADGA",and "CGS" will not be allowed to be part of any herd name registered with AGS.
    Example: Mugwumps is a registered AGS herd name. A goat registered with ADGA as Mugwumps Alice may be re-registered with AGS as ADGA Mugwumps Alice. (BOD 2005)
All animals must be permanently identified before they are registered in AGS. Tattoo Registration is free of charge with the registration of a herd name.

Every kid should be tattooed shortly after birth to assure lifelong identification. Proper tattoo identification is required by many fairs, and it is essential in production testing, and is always valuable to be sure that identifications do not become confused. More than once stolen animals have been recovered because of this positive identification afforded by the tattoo. In cases of death and settling of estates, the presence or absence of tattoo marks in the animals has meant the difference between a good herd being discarded because no one could properly identify the animals, or the profitable sale of the herd because the purchaser was able to know positively the identity of the goats purchased.

Tattooing is a simple operation - so simple it can hardly be termed an operation, in fact. Its success depends entirely upon the operator and following a few simple rules.
  1. Hold the animal securely. With a small kid this is no problem, as its head can be held between the operator’s knees; with a larger goat it may be simple to put a halter on it and tie rather close.
  2. Cleanse the area of the ear to be tattooed, using a cloth dampened with carbon tetrachloride or alcohol to remove dirt, grease and wax. (In the case of the earless LaMancha breed the tattoo is placed in the thin webbing at the base of the tail, using the same technique otherwise.)
  3. Using a pliers-type tattoo, the correct symbols are inserted in the pliers. Check the correctness of the tattoo by impressing it in a sheet of paper.
  4. While not absolutely necessary, it simplifies the operation if a thin sheet of sponge rubber is then pressed down over the tattoo needles. This pad helps to release the needles after the impression is made in the ear.
  5. Smear ink on the skin, covering the area of the tattoo. Choose an area free from freckles or warts that might disfigure the tattoo. Place the symbols of the tattoo so they will be parallel to and between the veins or cartilaginous ridges of the ear. The accidental piercing of a good-size vein may spoil the tattoo.
  6. Make the imprint with a quick firm movement of closing the tattoo pliers. Immediately after releasing the pliers apply a further amount of ink in the ear and rub vigorously and continuously for at least 15 seconds to insure penetration of the ink - this is highly important. The most effective way is to rub with thumb and forefinger, although a stiff brush may be used.
  7. Do not disturb the tattooed area until the healing process is complete, which may be from 5 to 21 days depending on the age of the animal. On light-skinned animals the color of the tattoo is rather unimportant. With dark-skinned animals a dark green ink seems to be preferable. On such animals holding a flashlight in back of the ear will help in reading the tattoo.
  1. Be sure you tattoo the animal’s right ear for tattoos in the right ear and the animal’s left ear for tattoos in the left ear. On LaManchas, this would read, left tail, center tail, or right tail, or a combination of these. AGS currently recognizes tattoos and/or microchips. ANY animal registered must be assigned a tattoo sequence from the herd of origin at the time of registration, regardless of whether the animal is microchipped or not. It is not required that BOTH forms of ID be done at the time of registration, but the tattoo sequence MUST be listed on the application to provide an accurate, alternative form of permanent ID in the event the animal is sold to a non-microchipping herd. In the case of verifying show wins, either form of ID may be read, as long as it is noted on the awards/show report. The win will then be verified by the office. The ID read must match exactly the same ID on the animals registration certificate. (BOD 2001) If microchipped only, the owner must provide the reader to identify the animal at a show. (BOD 1993)
  2. Be sure the animal’s tattoos match exactly the animal’s registration papers. This is very important for animals that enter the show ring.
  3. All revisions (this includes added microchip information) for registration certificates must be sent to the office with the appropriate revision fees.
  4. AGS, along with USDA, is recommending that microchips be placed in the tail or tail web. This is a recommended site only and is not required at this time. Animals that have been micro-chipped in other locations prior to this time are still acceptable
  5. A tattoo will be deemed correct:
    1. If the correct tattoo can be identified.
    2. If other identical markings exist, they are to be disregarded IF the papers are marked "re-tattooed". (In other words, if an animal is re-tattooed or microchipped, papers MUST be sent in to the office for revision.)
    3. If a tattoo revision is made to the registration papers, and revision is NOT identical to original tattoos, the revised tattoos are what will be read.
Some AGS members are in the process of dual registering their animals. A few issues regarding reconciliation of AGS tattoos with those of other registries have come to the attention of the AGS office, and at least one member has altered tattoos on AGS registered animals such that the registration of those animals is in jeopardy. Because of these problems, the AGS Office has asked that we clarify the tattooing procedure to be followed for dual registration.

The most important thing to remember is DO NOT alter your AGS approved ear tattoos EXCEPT in one very special case!! More on this later. To reconcile tattoos so that any AGS goat with ears can also be registered with another registry without placing your AGS registration at risk: Find out what tattoo the other registry wants to appear on the goat. Put it on the tail (left or right tail web, or center tail). Fill out the other registry’s application and INCLUDE EVERY TATTOO that is on the goat, including ears and tail. Keep in mind that when checking tattoos at shows, ADGA rules require the judge to either fill in a tattoo for each possible place there could be one, or write "none" on the show report if there is none. If a tattoo is present that is not on your registration certificate, your goat does not match your certificate. As of yet, this is not required of judges at AGS shows. Further, at this time, if you add a tail tattoo to a goat with ear tattoos that match its AGS registration certificate, it is not necessary to return your registration certificate to AGS to note the added tail tattoo as a change of tattoo, though of course this is permissible.

Here is the special case where you may change ear tattoos in pursuit of dual registration. You may add one or more digits to an AGS registered goat's right (herd of origin) ear if and only if BOTH of the following are true:
  1. The herd of origin tattoo of the BREEDER of the goat (not your tattoo, unless you are the breeder) has been officially changed with AGS.

  2. AND

  3. The new herd of origin tattoo was derived from the old tattoo by adding one or more digits to the beginning or end of the old tattoo. Example: My original tattoo with AGS was JK. My new tattoo with AGS (and ADGA) is JK5. Anyone may add a 5 to the right ear of a goat of my breeding that is tattooed JK, send in that goat's papers to AGS for a change of tattoo, and dual register that goat with ADGA with JK5 noted as the right ear tattoo.

Requirements for use of artificial insemination are as follows:

An “ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION BUCK COLLECTION FORM” must be on file in the AGS office. This is to include: Date, Name and Address of the owner of the buck and Name of semen processor.

Data concerning the buck must be included: Name, Registration Number, Tattoo on the buck, Tattoo on registration paper (these must be identical), Number of units collected.

Purebred bucks registered with the American Dairy Goat Association may be collected. The data required is the same. A copy of the buck’s ADGA registration paper must be on file in the AGS office, clearly marked for AI PURPOSES. At the time of AI services, an “ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION CERTIFICATE” must be completed. This shall be sent to the AGS office with the Application(s) for Registration of the offspring. (these forms are available from the AGS office)

Breeders using embryo transplant will submit the required forms and need approval by the committee for the offspring to be registered. No grandfathering allowed. Official documents from the flushing/transplant facility will be sent to the office as soon as any procedure is completed. These documents should fully identify the dam, sire, host dam, number of embryos collected, transplanted and dates of each procedure. Note: AGS will not recognize cloned animals for registration.

Breed Standards

The French Alpine originated in France. It is a large animal, and generally excels in stature. Even when quite large, they should remain refined and never be coarse. Alpines are alertly graceful, hardy, adaptable animals that thrive in any climate while maintaining good health and excellent production. They are known for being exceptionally curious, and friendly, although sometimes independent and strong willed. They are also known for their long lactation, producing large quantities of high quality milk. French Alpines are acceptable in any color pattern, although pure white animals and bucks with standard Toggenburg color and markings are discriminated against. The head is long. The bridge of the nose is straight or slightly dished. Ears are upright, alert, fine, and somewhat narrow. The hair is medium to short.

Color patterns in the Alpine are often referred to by French names: cou Clair (light-colored neck), cou blanc (white neck, black rear quarters), cou noir (black front quarters and white hindquarters), sundgau (black with white facial stripes, white below knees and hocks, white on either side of the tail),chamoisée (any shade or mixture of brown, often with a black stripe along the back and white markings on the face) or two-tone chamoisée (usually a lighter color on the forequarters), and pied (broken with white, spotted, or mottled). A "broken" pattern has large white areas obscuring the basic colors. Mature Alpine does should be at least 30" tall at the withers and should weigh at least 135 pounds. Mature Alpine bucks should be at least 32" tall at the withers and should weigh at least160 pounds.

The LaMancha was developed in the USA. It has roots in Spain, but its full genetic history is somewhat obscure. LaManchas vary greatly in size, and often tend to be somewhat shorter and blockier than most other breeds of dairy goats. Taller, more refined animals are seen and are acceptable as well. They are widely respected for their docile, even temperament and steady production of milk of fairly high fat content.

The hair is short, fine and glossy. The LaMancha face is straight or slightly dished, with the ears being the distinctive breed characteristic. There are two types of LaMancha ears. "Gopher" type ears contain no cartilage but only a ring of skin around the auditory canal. "Elf" type ears contain a small amount of cartilage and a small amount of skin that may turn either up or down from the cartilage but should be no longer than two inches. One type of ear has no advantage over the other when evaluating does, however only gopher ears are acceptable on bucks. Any pattern, color, or combination of colors is acceptable.

Mature LaMancha does should be at least 28" tall at the withers and should weigh at least 130 pounds. Mature LaMancha bucks should be at least 30" tall at the withers and should weigh at least 155 pounds.

The Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature dairy goat originating from West Africa and developed in the United States. The balanced proportions of the Nigerian Dwarf give it an appearance similar to the larger, Swiss breeds of dairy goats. Shorter height is the primary breed characteristic of the Nigerian Dwarf, with does measuring no more than 22 1/2” at the withers and bucks measuring no more than 23 1/2" at the withers.

They are known for their high quality milk, often with exceptionally high butterfat content. Nigerian Dwarves are gregarious, friendly, hardy animals that thrive in almost any climate.The medium length ears are erect and alert. The face is either straight or slightly dished. The coat is of medium length, and straight. The Nigerian Dwarf is the only dairy breed known to occasionally have blue eyes. Both brown & blue eyed animals are encountered with no preference being given to either eye color. Any pattern, color, or combination of colors is acceptable.

Mature Nigerian Dwarf does should be no more than 22 1/2” tall at the withers. Mature Nigerian Dwarf bucks should be no more than 23 1/2" tall at the withers.

The Nubian is a relatively large, proud dairy goat of mixed origin. The ancestors of today's Nubian have African and Indian heritage, developed further in England, where they are known as Anglo-Nubians. They are known for high quality, high butterfat milk production. They are also noted for being a quite vocal breed. Nubians often carry more muscling/fleshing than the Swiss breeds.

The head is the distinctive breed characteristic, with the facial profile between the eyes and the muzzle being strongly convex. The ears are long, wide and pendulous, extending beyond the muzzle when held flat along the face. They lie close to the head at the temple and flare slightly out and well forward at the rounded tip, forming a "bell" shape. The ears are thin, with the cartilage well defined. The hair is short, fine and glossy. Any pattern, color, or combination of colors is acceptable.

Mature Nubian does should be at least 30" tall at the withers, and should weigh at least 135 pounds. Mature Nubian bucks should be at least 32" tall at the withers, and should weigh at least 160 pounds.

The Pygmy goat has African origins. It is genetically small, cobby, and compact. Its frame is clearly defined and well angulated. Its limbs and head are short relative to body length. It is full barreled and well muscled. The body circumference in relation to height and weight is proportionately greater than that of other breeds. The short, broad head has a concave or dished profile, and is large in proportion to body size. The ears are small, alert, and erect. The Pygmy Goat is hardy, alert, and animated, good natured and gregarious. They produce high quality milk, often with exceptionally high butterfat content. The full coat of straight, medium long hair varies in density with seasons and climates.

On does, beards may be nonexistent or sparse or trimmed. On bucks, abundant hair growth is desirable; the beard to be full, long, and flowing, the copious mane draping, cape-like across the shoulders. Any pattern, color, or combination of colors is acceptable. Mature Pygmy does should be no taller than 22 1/2” at the withers, with cannons that do not exceed 3.7” in length. Mature Pygmy bucks should be no taller than 23 1/2” at the withers, with cannons that do not exceed 4.6” in length.

The Saanen is from Switzerland. It is the largest of the all the dairy breeds. Saanen hair may be short and fine, although a fringe over the spine and thighs is often present. The hair is white to creamy white, with white being preferred.Ears are medium to large, and should be erect and alertly carried, preferably pointing forward. The face may be straight or dished.

The Saanen doe has a majestic air about her, combined with her large size, consistency in producing large quantities of milk, sturdiness, vitality, ease of management, herd compatibility, a mellow "eager to please" temperament, and capacity to tolerate environmental change; has earned her the name, by some, "Queen of the Dairy Goats."

Mature Saanen does should be at least 30" tall at the withers, and should weigh at least 135 pounds. Mature Saanen bucks should be at least 32" tall at the withers, and should weigh at least 160 pounds.

The Sable is a color variation of the Saanen breed. Sables can be the offspring of Sables or Saanens. Other than color, this breed is identical to the Saanen. Sables may be any color except solid pale cream or white.

Mature Sable does should be at least 30" tall at the withers, and should weigh at least 135 pounds. Mature Sable bucks should be at least 32" tall at the withers, and should weigh at least 160 pounds.

The Toggenburg is from the Toggenburg Valley in Switzerland. This breed is small to medium in size, sturdy, vigorous, and alert in appearance. It is known for its productivity and calm nature. The hair varies from short to long, but is always soft, and fine. The ears should be small, erect and point forward. Facial lines must be dished or straight (dished preferred). Its color is solid, varying from light fawn to dark chocolate with no preference for any shade.

Distinct white markings are as follows: white trimmed ears with dark area in the center; two white stripes down the face from above each eye to the muzzle; hind legs white from hocks to hooves; forelegs white from knees downward with dark vertical stripe below knee acceptable; a white triangle on each side of the tail; white spot may be present at root of wattles or in that area if no wattles are present. Varying degrees of cream markings instead of pure white are acceptable, but not desirable.

Mature Toggenburg does should be at least 26" tall at the withers, and should weigh at least 120 pounds. Mature Toggenburg bucks should be at least 28" tall at the withers, and should weigh at least 145 pounds.

The American Goat Society is dedicated to the dissemination of educational material and promotional material on the dairy goat. Because of this dedication, AGS publishes:

The Voice of AGS is distributed quarterly (spring, summer, fall, winter) This publication tries to keep AGS members informed about what AGS is doing, the actions and decisions of the Board of Directors, and scheduled activities. It also runs informational and educational articles. The Spring and Fall issues will be published in paper format with the Summer and Winter issues being available only on the website (BOD 2013)

The Members Handbook should be printed and mailed in October of each year the new one is printed. This will enable us to get the most current information to the members in a timely manner and will reach the most members by mailing at a time of year when our membership numbers are highest. This will also be the most economical time of year considering mailing costs. (BOD 2003)

Purebred DAIRY GOAT Registry