Two members of MDGA have passed away in recent months. We remember them both fondly.

Lance Krog

Lance E. Krog, age 50, of Lakeville, formerly of Tracy, passed away Friday, April 15, 2011 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis while surrounded by his loving family. 

A memorial service will be held at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 at St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Ave. S. Minneapolis. 

A memorial visitation will be held at the Tracy Area Funeral Home from 12:00-3:00 p.m. Friday, April 29.  Burial will follow at Diamond Lake Cemetery near Lake Benton. Memorials are preferred to the Minnesota Bluebird Recovery Program, Minnesota Dairy Goat Association, or the pancreatic cancer organization (pancan.org).  Online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com.  Stephens Funeral Service – Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 

Lance Edward Krog was born November 1, 1960 in Tyler, Minnesota to Dale and Karen (Kragh) Krog.  He was a Luther League member and was confirmed at Tracy Lutheran Church, and graduated from Tracy High School in 1979.  Lance was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, was active in Tracy Comets 4-H Club, and played in the high school band.  He attended Minnesota State University Mankato before starting a mortgage underwriting business in Minneapolis.  He was vice president and Underwriting Manager for Summit Mortgage Company in Plymouth, and was Underwriter of the Year in 2001.  Lance was a member of the Minnesota Bluebird Recovery Program, serving as Chairman for several years.  He also belonged to the Minnesota Dairy Goat Association, and raised and exhibited Dwarf Nigerian Purebred Dairy goats.  He was Minnesota State Fair Grand Champion in 2006.  Lance also belonged to the Purple Martin Association.  His greatest love besides his family and friends was his yard and animals. 
 
Lance is survived by his parents Dale and Karen Krog of Tracy; sister Carla (Steve) Thein of Owatonna; niece and nephew Madelyn and Mason Thein of Owatonna; and uncles: Glenn Krog of Lake Benton, Jim Kragh of Hendricks, Paul (Geri) Kragh of Mankato; cousin Erin Kragh of New York, NY; and numerous friends.  He is preceded in death by grandparents Jorgen and Selma Krog and Ralph and Velera Kragh, and uncle Edward Kragh. 

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Jim Sheldon Remembered by Christine and Vincent Maefsky

We first met Jim Sheldon back in the early to mid 1970’s when both the Sheldons and the Maefskys were at the beginning of their family and goat farming lives. Even though the Sheldons
lived about 10 miles away they were our neighbors; after all, we both lived in northern Washington County. We’ve been thankful for the many opportunities we’ve had to know, enjoy and appreciate Jim over these many years. There have been an abundance of special things about Jim and special times we’ve had with him to share. So, with the details somewhat blurred by the passage of years, and in a more-or-less chronological order…Jodie - In those early years, on several visits to our farm, often accompanied by their children Marc, Kari and Heidi, Jim and Maxine developed a particular fondness for one of our does, Poplar Hill Jodie. We were taken by the extent of their affection for this doe. After one of these visits, when the Sheldons left, Jodie accompanied them home. Of all the goats that have ever left our farm to go to new homes, we’ve never had a better feeling than we did about Jodie and the Sheldons. Not only would this goat be going to a good home but also to one where she would be completely loved.

One big buck: A few years later the Sheldons bought Hercules – a very large Alpine buck from us. He and his twin Thor had been so named because when they were born they were the puniest kids we’d ever seen. Their names were meant to compensate. I can remember how thrilled we all were when Hercules became a permanent champion. The biggest part of our happiness was the glow it brought to the faces of Jim and Maxine.

The antique cars - Jim’s abundant love went beyond his family and goats. There were the cars, the antique cars – they were something to see. We remember back in the early 1970’s when he first took us out to his pole shed in Marine on St. Croix, a large pole shed filled front to back; bumper to bumper; fender to fender; running board to running board; top to bottom with antique cars that he and his father had collected and some of which he was in the process of restoring. They were a sight to behold. And his love of antique car restoration stayed with Jim throughout his life. He continued restoring cars, although on a somewhat smaller scale, when retired in Chatfield. He remained a member of the Model A Restorers’ Club and worked on restoring a special Model T for the Chatfield Sesquicentennial parade.

Washington County Fair Superintendent – Jim was the motivating force for getting a dairy goat show at the Washington County Fair. We think it was in 1975. To the best of our knowledge this was the first County Fair in Minnesota to have an ADGA sanctioned dairy goat show. This was a show that, without Jim, would not have existed for years to come. As we recall, in the early years we goat breeders shared a barn with the sheep. Each year, as Jim’s goat show expanded, there were more and more stalls for goats and fewer and fewer for sheep. The Fair Board even moved us, goats and sheep, into a bigger barn. But still it was not big enough for the numbers in Jim’s growing goat show. Eventually the goats wound up with the entire barn to themselves. And, to this day, of all the production animals shown at the Washington County Fair, the goat show is one of, if not the biggest – and certainly the best. It was at the Washington County Fair that Jim honed his skills for organizing, displaying and showing off dairy goats for the general public, skills that would serve him well when, in 1980 he became the first superintendent at the much more prestigious Minnesota State Fair. Minnesota State Fair Superintendent – Here again, under Jim’s direction, the dairy goat show thrived and expanded. He was big news in 1980 when the show was finally added after many years of Jim’s hard work trying. Several Twin Cities newspaper articles were written about the addition of dairy goats, and Jim was front and center. He acknowledged to Minneapolis Tribune reporter Larry Batson that goats had a rather low public image. His intent with their addition to the Minnesota State Fair was to “crank it up a little.” In Jim’s words, “It’s not a big program to change the world…but we want people to know that these are good solid milk animals that deserve serious consideration. Besides, it’s fun. We’re sort of a subculture,” Jim said. “We like goats. Look at that doe. You could sit in the pen and scratch her chin all day and she’d love it.” Jim knew goats. He was the ultimate superintendent as he meticulously cared for all the fine details that made the fledgling State Fair dairy goat show great. As we write this we can see Jim in his tweed hat, at all hours of the day, walking the aisles of the barn, checking to see that they were swept, that people’s goat pens were adequately cared for, water buckets clean and full. Christine remembers more than once hearing compliments on the cleanliness of our goat barn bathroom - very mundane, but very important! Jim took great pride in the high expectations he had for the State Fair workers he hired as well as for himself. He also had high expectations for us as exhibitors. We were goat ambassadors after all.

The Consummate Showman – No one who ever saw him could forget seeing Jim in his gentleman’s tweed hat as he ring-mastered the show ring. His tall presence commandeered attention from exhibitors, spectators and, dare we say it, from the goats themselves. In his eleven years as superintendent, Jim was a favorite part of the show. The ADGA Convention - 1986 was a very unique and memorable year for Minnesota goat breeders. It was the year the ADGA National Convention was held in Minnesota. Minnesota had not had that experience before and we have not had it since. Jim and Maxine deserve a lot of the credit for bringing it here and making it the best convention ever – ask any Minnesotan who attended.

His Retirement Years – We’ve had great times visiting Jim and Maxine at their retirement farm in Chatfield. We enjoyed seeing his few chickens, peacocks, donkeys and, of course, goats. During our warmer months’ visits there were the idyllic walks from the house, past the duck pond, to and through the garden - the rows of turnips and squash and pumpkins and potatoes… Along the way the discussion would be centered on how the growing season had gone. Jim took great and well-deserved pride in his garden. We’d always admired Jim for his talents and abilities in supervision of the shows that showed his great organizational skills. These were evident in the organization and productivity of his garden. On one of our visits to Chatfield, however, we saw yet another side of Jim that we had never seen before. When we walked into his garage and saw the walls lined with paintings that Jim had done, we were blown away by his artistic talents. As surprised as we had been many years ago in their Marine on St. Croix home when we’d first seen his extensive antique car collection, we were that much more surprised these many years later with his artistic ability.

First and foremost we remember Jim for his love of Maxine and their children, his enjoyment of life: his goats and other animals, his garden, antique cars, and putting on the show… But we also remember him as a good and dear friend. When he died February 14, 2011 at the young age of 74, we and all who knew him were shocked and saddened. Jim is missed.