In 2005 the Directors of the ADCA established an award to be given in honor of long time members John & Belle Hays. It is called the Talisman Award in recognition of their herd name. The award is to be given to a Dexter Family or individual that has promoted the Dexter breed with tireless passion and integrity.
As this year’s recipient of the Talisman Award, I’ve been asked to write about those things of which I am personally most proud, separate from those things others see in me. In 25 years, I have had many firsts in the Dexter world, and have received recognition from many sources, but the issues where I was a major influence and that stand out for me are:
* My being able to identify, acquire, extend and protect the Bedford line of Dexters. My Hiyu animals in service with other breeders are all reported to be producing animals of exceptional quality and consistency. I know that by my actions, those genetic traits acquired from the English Grinstead line via the Bedfords will, with good management, continue to provide quality and consistency in Dexters in the years to come.
* My work in genetics. Although untrained, I convinced the real scientists of my genuine interest in pure research, and received their acceptance and help. I initiated the DNA work on color, and was peripherally involved in two of three chondro projects. From my classification training, I have been able to provide input for trait selection. Ongoing, through talks, articles and web posts, I continue to share with others what I have learned, disseminating accurate technical information at layman level in the Dexter community.
* Closer to home, I spent two years immediately after the split, working from the DE Corporate Statutes and other Dexter association by laws to create approximately 200 pages of questions, suggestions, options, legal references and polished bylaws, presented to the Board in my appointed quest to provide the ADCA with a set of professional bylaws and rules that met DE corporate non-profit statutes, and met the requirements of the Board while protecting the rights of the members. I have the satisfaction of knowing the work was done, and done well.
* Now, after all these years of active involvement, I have been honored with the Talisman Plaque. What an exciting reward! The ultimate honor is to receive recognition from one’s peers.