Home of des Ruhigestelle Saanens**
Lauren Acton and
Last updated August 28, 2023
Current breedings and reservations
Download Breeding and Price List, Terms and Conditions
Please read- information on buying and preordering goats, as well as herd policies.
Download Saanen Herd List
Download LaMancha Herd List
Download Alpine Herd List
Download Herd History
Download Lest We Forget , the goats who made us what we are.
Yellow Pad Articles: “Stories from a Scribbler”
** After 50 years, it’s time for a new look. In April 2013, ADGA informed me that
I could no longer use the ‘des Ruhigestelle’ herdname. As a historic herdname, it cannot be transferred from Fern, even to me. After exploring legal options, we found that it would not be allowed to continue as a living legacy to Fern. So, the decision was made to simply move forward. The Saanens will continue as Tempo Passa, taken from Fern’s family motto, meaning ‘time passes.’ All else will remain the same, as the Saanens previously had been under my management for the last 25 years. So, the same breeding program and quality goals will continue, just under the Tempo name.
HELLO AND WELCOME TO OUR WEBSITE- It’s pretty plain, just simple pdf files. We don’t have links or buttons. Quite frankly, I’d rather spend my time upgrading our genetics and facilities than upgrading our technology. We have been breeding dairy goats for over 50 years, and our goals are fairly simple- breed the soundest, highest production dairy goats, with the most reliable consistency we can produce, all the while keeping them healthy, happy, and well cared for. So, while the goats are ‘modern’ dairy type, this isn’t a 'modern' website so much as just lists of our breeding herds (and some other fun stuff too!). All of the information is official, and verified with ADGA. Instead of buttons and links and pictures of babies, here you'll find lots of real records and as much information as will fit on a page. To view our herd lists, click on the ‘download herd list’ at top. Be sure to also download the Breeding and Price list, with our terms and conditions.
I am MUCH easier to contact by email, text or messenger than any other method. I hate talking on the phone! Our email is- myname (at) herdname (dot) com (Change myname to lauren and herdname to ruhigestelle. Automatic e-mail address sniffers and hackers are getting more sophisticated these days!)
I try to answer emails or texts/messenger within a day or two unless I am on the road. Please remember this site is about our goats and not a place to ask veterinary questions. If you must call, please remember that I am NOT a morning person, so PLEASE DO NOT CALL BEFORE 10:00 AM!! I am frequently not around a phone during ‘normal’ calling hours, and do most of my correspondence at night. Thus, it may take me several days to answer a phone call. Sorry, I do not carry a cell phone at home. I usually check messages after morning chores and again late at night.
Somehow, our life continues on its crazy road. There are times when I feel like a pinball just bouncing back and forth while desperately trying to avoid the gutter. Fortunately, there has been as much good as bad, and we haven’t hit the gutter yet.
The ADGA National Show dominated our summer. It’s much more work and intense when it’s close. I always leave the show wishing I could have spent more time with certain people, yet knowing I did spend some amazing time with many new and old friends. We had had a major show followed by a full herd appraisal in the week leading up to Nationals, and I was exhausted and experiencing some severe (and scary) rib pain at my mastectomy site. By Saturday morning I wasn’t sure I could even load the goats, much less spend a week at Nationals. So, I made some drastic cuts in the showstring, tried to take a deep breath (too painful) and started loading one goat at a time. Thankfully, the pain eased over the next couple days, and many wonderful people stepped up to help me through chores. Fast forward to Alpine show day. It was the day I had dreamed of since the triplets freshened as yearlings. First, leading them in as a group looking their best, then having them pulled out 1-2-3 without even a backward glance was uplifting and exciting. All the does did well, with 5 does in the championship ring! Winning with Weft was incredibly emotional. For those that don’t know her, Weft tolerates no one to handle her except me. Winning as a team with her brought flashbacks of the horror of finding her massive uterine/cervical tear, forcing OSU to bring in a skilled surgeon at midnight, and weeks of recovery with a doe that wouldn’t let quit be in our vocabulary. My lingering rib pain was a reminder of how fortunate I was to be there at all, and memories of those friends who weren’t so lucky in their fight against cancer. The championship was followed by the most fun group classes ever, as we started with the four sisters, Weft, Woof, Warp and Sprocket, in Dairy Herd, and simply removed one at a time until we were down to two in the Produce class. Their dam, Spindle, was a truly great brood doe and I think she was smiling down on them that day as they won each class. I know I was smiling a lot! The Alpine show was capped with our winning Premier Breeder/Exhibitor, and Weft was named Total Performer. Whether or she will ever breed again remains to be seen, but she has taken her rightful place in the history books. Saanen day was just as fun and thankfully not as emotional. Sharing success with friends makes it all the better, and we cheered as the incredible Satyr Gandalf Titania took center stage. We followed right behind with four does in the championship class, including Reserve Champion on Etoilee, second 4 yr old with Softly, first three year old with our favorite Emphasis, and a surprise first 2 year old with Soprano. We left home our dam and daughter entry, but won the other group classes, and followed with Premier Breeder/Exhibitor.
While Nationals was our biggest event, we also had a lot of success in other shows and Linear Appraisal. Those young does we held back in 2020 are now mature 4-5 year olds and in the fullness of their potential. Linear Appraisal day was amazing, as ELEVEN does were scored FS93 EEEE! Even more meaningful is they averaged over 3800 lbs milk, with five over 4,000 lbs! That right there is our goal- functional, beautiful production. That’s our true goal, but I am ever a show jock, and love the ring. We attended only five shows besides Nationals, and welcome five does into our GCH club- Alpines- Ganache, Slate, Just Plain Good and Saanens- Entitled and Emphasis. Our highlight of the year was winning Best Dairy Herd in Show at the highly competitive Washington State Fair with our Alpines. While the show wins were thrilling, even more meaningful were the incredible people who stepped up time and again to get us through this year. We could not have managed this awesome year without you.
There always has to be a balance. For those that followed us, as of this writing I am cancer free and John and Ruby are doing great. The truck is also now fine after an expensive repair following bad fuel. We mourn the losses of Elixer, Etienne, Even, and Expression as we treasure the special doe kids they gave us this year. Everything happens in the fullness of time, and this fall it was finally time to say goodbye to geriatric WinClimber. And as always, we keep moving forward and are excited about our upcoming trip to convention. We proudly present the best Spotlight Sale kid we have ever offered, Tempo Aquila Frozen in Time ET! Check out his special section!
It’s been yet another crazy, chaotic tumultuous year for us! I finally had to remove all the previous years info from here, there was just too much! As these times progress, I find that while the lows are pretty scary, they are balanced by exciting events, and filled with love and support that I never dreamed could be possible.
Starting with the good stuff- It was a rewarding year in the milking parlor! When we sold 1/3 of the herd in 2020 due to COVID, we kept a very high percentage of young does. I really believed in them, and trusted them to mature into highly productive does. They didn’t let me down! Now as 3-4 year olds, our herd production has increased by an average of over 15% per doe! These are the type of does we having been breeding for. Our highest individual test was only 18 lbs, but we have a herd average of 3800 lbs, up from 3500 last year and several does over 4,000 lbs. That’s due to flat, even lactations that are reliable and easy to manage (though difficult to dry off!). Our focus on components has paid off too, with an average increase of 11 lbs fat and 8 lbs protein per doe. All that meant we needed to sell several milkers to keep our production down for a change!
We made the decision in December ‘21 to not attend the ’22 Nationals and instead focus on ourselves, our farm, and local shows. We have now both ‘retired’ to the farm and spent the time doing improvements and maintenance that had fallen behind the last couple years. And took time for lots of small hiking and camping trips with Ruby and Marty. When we decided to not go to Harriburg, we chose instead to freshen our yearlings in June instead of October. That kept us from attending a couple favorite shows, but we still made it to several. In reality, I drove about 2,000 miles more than if we had driven to Nationals! It was an incredible season to get back to visiting with friends and doing what I love. And very successful for the goats too. We finished a record 14 does! In Alpines Weft finished in the first ring out, and Bastilla and Warp finished with BIS wins soon after. First freshener Damsel was a surprise when she swept three rings at Boise, while on an extended lactation. That was followed by the District VII Alpine Specialty. Because it was a Specialty, we brought out our best for that ring! We rarely show all three triplets, so it was fun to bring them all. They placed 1,2,3 (Weft, Woof, then Warp). Weft claimed the day with GCH, BOB, BUOB, BIS and BUIS. Trippin’ was Reserve, with Skippin’ second to Weft in Challenge. We pulled all the champions from the second ring except left Skippin’ in Challenge. She went on to be BIS and BUIS. With those four does finished in May, we decided to show some of our high production does, and were excited to see Smooth and Expression handily top their classes while milking 4,000+ lactations. Expression ended up as our highest production doe at nearly 5,000 lbs! The Saanens were hot too, with Softly and Stella (Estelline) also finishing with BIS wins. Winn, Ella, Elexis, and DreamCatcher followed with more normal wins over the next couple months. Eloni had to work hardest, with 5 GCH wins, but 3 were unofficial wins, where she was ‘runner up BIS’ in tough competition in each ring. The last two rings finally had enough and she got the points to add to her ‘21 win. Lastly, we had a lot of fun bringing out a LaMancha again! Jutta came out as a first freshening 2 yr old on extended lacation. She liked the attention, and ended up with 4xGCH and 8xRSGCH, never placing lower than 2nd in 13 rings, despite large classes with very strong competition.
That brought us to fall. We only attend two major state fairs. They were back to back this year, with seven show days in nine days! Exhausting, but rewarding. Eliza and Weft capped the season by going BIS (Eliza) and BUIS (Weft) at the highly competitive Washington State Fair. Two weeks later we were on the road to NY with our Spotlight Sale kids. It was a great trip out. We ‘gamped’ (goat camping) with our three charges, Fall Color from Rowe’s, and our two Paisley and Elita, as well as Ruby and Marty. Lots of great times, beautiful scenery, wonderful weather and time to just enjoy ourselves. Convention was well run and enjoyable, even though we had to leave early to be back for our IVF session. We stopped on the way home to watch the Sale on livestream. We missed seeing Elita as we frantically searched for a place with internet. We watched as Paisley made Sale history, while sitting in the truck at a South Dakota Walmart drinking box wine out of red Solo cups! Not quite the same as being at the Sale sipping champagne, but no less memorable! Thank you to the buyers of both Elita and Paisley, and to everyone at convention who helped get them prepped and to the stage.
Good stuff is always balanced by bad stuff. I got my cancer diagnosis while on the road to convention. Even that had to be put on the back burner as we travelled back and forth to NY, followed immediately by a large IVF session. But once we were home, it was time to face up to it. In preparation for an extended time off, we sold/placed 19 goats the following week to decrease chores. We had already done major herd cuts earlier, so these were particularly special does. Thank you to everyone who immediately stepped up to take them on and to Melanie Fergason for hauling as timing was a huge factor. Knowing they were going to good places made a difficult decision easier. Then life became a chaotic round of constant doctor appointments as they searched for any other cancer (none thankfully!) and made the final prep for my mastectomy. That’s over now, and I am on the slow road to recovery. Thanks to an amazing support crew, both here at home and across the country! I was surrounded by love and energy that I never could have imagined. Going back to those state fairs and travel time, I have been out of the barn for more than three months, and am not fully back yet. THANK YOU to our dedicated and awesome staff for making this possible. And of course, thanks to my wonderful husband John for holding it all together. We are now both cancer survivors, and if we could get one more gift from all our friends, it would be to get your mammograms and PSA tests done on a routine basis!
OUR MISSION- I had an interesting discussion with Stephen Considine about Saanen history nearly 30 years ago. He made a comment that has stayed with me, as it really sums up my experience in breeding goats. He noted that we have been breeding the same type of dairy goat for years, regardless of showring styles. The only difference is now that is what the industry wants too. And it's true that we have been breeding for the same sound and productive type of doe, only now it is called a 'modern' type. We are trying to produce does that are long boned and dairy, and are true total performers. You won’t find mature show goats giving ‘a gallon a day’, or ‘2 gallon’ milkers with poor udders in our pens. Nor will you find obese goats, frail goats, or goats with severe structural faults. What you will find are sound, strong, highly productive does that milk well wherever they are, and rarely get stressed. We are an artisan Grade A dairy, so our goats make their own living by producing milk, and we take pride in producing genetic foundations for other commercial dairies, as we feel they should be the backbone of our industry. Our does are not pampered, even the best are treated as commercial goats. Pasture is an important part of our management, so our goats must be able to walk several hours a day. While we have our favorites, nobody gets special treatment, or special feed. (Okay, nobody under twelve years old!) Some of our more well known does have traveled over 3,000 miles nearly every year of their lives, and continue to produce over 3,000 lbs of milk.
We have slightly changed our focus on production as we continue in the dairy industry. We are now looking for solid, consistent production rather than extreme lactations. For us, a doe that can repeatedly milk 3,400-4,000 lbs, has a flat lactation curve, and is willing to milk extended lactations is more valuable than a single 5,000 lb record or a 20 lb high day followed by 6 lbs at 270 days. Also, since we are a cheese dairy, components and milk quality are very important to us. So, we now look for does that can effortlessly produce 20,000 lbs in 6-7 years of production, and maintain good components and a low SCC while doing that. The great thing about breeding dairy goats is there is always something new to look for!
Most important, we simply enjoy our goats. I strongly believe in “coffee management”- that
is simply taking the time to just watch the goats do goat things. If everyone took the length of time it takes
to drink a cup of coffee (or tea, or wine, or whatever…) doing nothing but
watching their goats every day, my work as a veterinarian would diminish greatly!!
While we love our goats and their achievements,
we do have other interests, and especially enjoy the wonderful outdoor
recreation of the
We enjoy visitors, but ask that you call ahead to make sure we home. Please do not wear clothing or shoes that have been in other barns, including your own, and our guardian dogs request that you do not bring other pets. The coffee is always on, in fact I think I’ll take a cup out to the barn right now…
Lauren & John