A Little Background
Windrush Farms is a diversified farming operation of row crops, hay and Boer Goats on 800 acres. The main farm is located 5 miles north of Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Highway 63. The additional farms comprising this operation are north and south of the main farm.
Vern Thorp has been involved in farming and raising livestock all his life. He has always had cattle and sheep, showing sheep professionally as a young man. He raised and trained Quarter Horses for many years in reining, pleasure and roping and served as a horse show judge. To supplement his farm income, he was a farrier for 30 years.
Full Blood and Percentage Boer Goats
Full Blood and Percentage Boer Goats became a part of Windrush Farms in 2002 when 10 bred Full Blood does were purchased from Rollie Rosenboom, Clifton, IL, establishing the beginning herd. In March 2006 Windrush Farms introduced genetics from Sisters II with the purchase of S2 Spinning Rhombus and S2V640 **Ennobled** and in 2008 S2 Officer Rocket **Ennobled**, **Sire of Merit** joined Windrush with S2 Best Pal **Ennobled** in 2010. Sisters II bloodlines have now become an integral part of the breeding program of Windrush Farms. Thorps have become very involved in the meat goat industry and are founding members of the Iowa Meat Goat Association and the Tall Corn Meat Goat Wether Association, Inc. Vern is currently serving as President of the wether association. Thorps are members of the American Boer Goat Association, Missouri Meat Goat Producers Association, Illinois Meat Goat Producers, Iowa Meat Goat Association and Tall Corn Meat Goat Wether Association, Inc.
Working Australian Kelpies
All of the livestock work is done with the help of their Australian Kelpies, the top working stock dog in Australia. In 1982 Windrush Kelpie Stud was established with two quality imports from Australia, Clovaville Oak and Scoriochre Emma. Their first litter of top-notch working Kelpies was produced in 1984. Vern and Susan have made several trips to Australia to bring back additional bloodlines to enhance their breeding program. The latest import, Scoriochre Rip, arrived in June, 2005. The dogs are used daily to chore - gathering goats from pastures, moving them from lot to lot, watching gates and working in the barns. They are also used to sort the goats, help with chute work and load them into trailers. Thorps have now been members of the Working Kelpie Council of Australian Ltd. for over 25 years and serve as overseas Mid-West United States representatives of this organization. They were members of Working Kelpies, Inc. from 1986 to 2011, serving the organization in several capacities, President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Thorps hosted the National twice for this group.
Livestock Handling Clinic
14 years ago Vern taught his first Livestock Handling Clinic. His clinic was taught in conjunction with the Australian Fund clinics for nine years. He has taught clinics in Georgia, Missouri, Minnesota and Washington. These clinics were developed for people who are using dogs with livestock or involved in the sport of herding. Vern places emphasis on understanding livestock and the interrelationships between the dog, livestock and handler.