Iron Rod French Alpine Dairy Goats
Iron Rod Farm French Alpine Dairy Goats

Breeders of Purebred French Alpine Dairy Goats
"Breeding for Beauty and Bounty in the Bucket."

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Leslie Sidwell & 2014 Alpine National Champion, Iron Rod STB Shelby
Leslie Sidwell & 2014 Alpine National Champion, CH Iron Rod STB Shelby

"I am grateful for all the congratulatory mail I have received following CH Shelby’s National Championship win and wish to share my hope that it gives all small breeders belief that their devotion, knowledge, and hard work can be rewarded by the dairy goat world." ...Leslie

Please check back because we will soon be posting all new L.A scores,
2014 show wins, and breeding plans for this fall.

 Leslie with newborn kid
Leslie with newborn kid

We would like to thank you for your interest in our herd. After having moved from the Pacific Northwest, we have successfully shown our animals primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region for the past twenty-two years. Although we have been breeding quality French Alpines for over twenty-five years now, we have purposefully kept the herd small with an average of twelve milkers.

Our herd name is derived from the lyrics of a favorite hymn:

"Hold to the rod, the Iron Rod; 'tis strong and bright and true;
The Iron Rod is the Word of God; 'twill safely guide us through."

We are grateful for the stewardship we have been given over our small herd of God's graceful and productive creatures.

We own a small farm in the beautiful Piedmont Valley just north of Charlottesville, Virginia, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We have been able to make our farm a place where caring for our animals can be characterized as a more comfortable routine (except for breeding, kidding, and showing seasons, of course).

Our commercial cheese product, Iron Rod Chevre, had been a successful enterprise for fifteen years. Two years ago, we decided that trying to do breeding, showing, Grade A dairy, & cheese production was leaving us with too little sleep and affecting our quality of life. It was just Larry and myself, and I was wanting to be "perfect" in each endeavor. There is wisdom in the mantra, "moderation in all things". My admiration for those who are able to "do it all" is immeasurable!!! Like many other dairy goat breeders, we are now selling our beautiful Grade A milk to someone who loves being a cheese producer as much as I love breeding and showing. This is the greatest of complementary relationships!!!

We participate in linear appraisal every other year. Our last linear appraisal was in 2012. We were very pleased with the results, and the individual scores appear on the individual animal's page. We will be linear appraised again sometime in mid summer of 2014. We are very excited to see the linear appraisal results on the 2012 yearlings that will freshen this spring. The scores will be posted following appraisal. As a group, we feel this is the finest our herd has ever been. We are eager for our estimations to be validated!

Leslie says,
     "I have been breeding and showing dairy goats for over twenty-five years now, and have noted over these years the benefits and disadvantages of this passion. Enthusiastic pursuit of any goal has its sacrifices. As most of you reading this know, raising dairy animals is the most time consuming of all livestock enterprises. There is no time that they do not require our concern and effort. We are each given one lifetime, with finite time, strength, resources and relationships.
     "Our success in preserving these elements is a reflection of our choices. As a rule, (1) I do not breed does their first year, (2) I choose some heavy milkers to take through a second lactation, and (3) some finished champions are given a season's rest and renewal in hope of extending their lives.
     "I am a patient herdsman, respecting the lives for which I am responsible. My barn is not burgeoning with does, my kids play in a half acre of forest, and each buck has a quarter acre in which to exercise.
     "I want to breed these wonderful animals for many more years and so I am conservative, attending only those shows that do not deplete my savings or over strain my marriage."

GCH Iron Rod Rev Sutra *M
GCH Iron Rod Rev Sutra *M
1993 ADGA National Champion Alpine

Our most unique and memorable experience still must be the 1993 National Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, when GCH Iron Rod Rev Sutra *M became Grand Champion Alpine and Best Udder. At the time we owned two milking does, Sutra and Tiliza. In the ensuing years, we have had many does win 1st through 14th place at the National Show.

We have attended nine National Shows in the last 17 years. Placings of does owned by or bred by Iron Rod are as follows:

Best of Breed Alpine and Best Udder
Reserve Junior Champion
1st Place Junior Get of Sire
1st Place Best Three Juniors
1st Place 4-year-old
1st Place Aged Doe
1st Place Yearling Milker
1st Place Junior Doeling
2nd Place 4 year old
2nd Place Senior Yearling 2X
2nd Place Junior Get of Sire
2nd Place Best Three Juniors
2nd Place Produce of Dam
3rd Place Aged Doe
3rd Place Senior Yearling 2X
3rd Place Junior Doeling 4X
3rd Place 2-year-old
3rd Place 3-year-old 2X
3rd Place 5-6-year-old
4th Place Senior Yearling
4th Place 4-year-old
4th Place Intermediate Junior Doeling
4th Place Best 3 Senior Does
5th Place Senior Yearling
5th Place Jr Doeling
5th Place Best Three Juniors
6th Place 4-year-old
6th Place Junior Doeling
6th Place Intermediate Kid
7th Place 3-year-old
7th Place 5-year-old
8th Place 5-6-year-old
8th Place Junior Doeling
8th Place Dam & Daughter
9th Place Junior Doeling
9th Place Senior Yearling
10th Place Senior Kid
11th Place 3-year-old
11th Place 4-year-old
12th Place 5-6-year-old
13th Place 3-year-old
13th Place Junior Doeling
12th Place 3-year-old
14th Place 4-year-old
14th Place 5-6 year old
14th Place Intermediate Kid
15th Place Senior Yearling
15th Place 2-year-old
16th Place Intermediate Kid
17th Place 2 year old
18th Place 3 year old
19th Place Senior Yearling
20th Place 5-6-year-old 2X

Please use the links at left and below to navigate around our site and learn more about our Iron Rod Alpine Dairy Goats. Please contact us if you have any questions about our herd. We would love to hear from you.

Thank you,
Leslie & Larry Sidwell

Visitors since
May 23, 2006:

© 2006-2014, Leslie & Larry Sidwell.
All rights reserved.

Last modified: April 22, 2014

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