The following is from Ranch & Rural Living Magazine, September, 1997.
M.D. Shurley of XS Ranch south of Sonora, Texas was one of the first U.S. ranchers to enter the Boer goat business and as the industry settles out, Shurley has proven he's in it for the long run.
Shurley has not only focused on selling breeding animals to other producers, but his work on raising high quality show goats has had a significant impact on youth programs across the country, says Sutton County Extension Agent Preston Faris. "M.D. has significantly helped the youth program by offering superior show animals at a reasonable price instead of the inflated figures which so often cause young people not to be able to get involved", Faris said. "This will no doubt help insure that more youth learn about the industry and eventually do their part to strengthen and further develop it."
Faris has witnessed Shurley's progress first-hand, making numerous visits to the ranch. As visitors tour the
Shurley place and see the high quality animals there, it becomes obvious the goats have been selected by competent evaluation. Like every good stockman, Shurley has proven to be dedicated to learning more about the breed and its promotion, Faris said. M.D. is an approved meat goat judge in the U.S. because he holds a junior and senior course diploma from South Africa.
"M.D.'s purchase of one of the very first high quality purebred sires and his subsequent willingness to allow others an opportunity to share in that genetic material through use of the buck certainly impacted the early development of the industry," said Faris. In addition, his continued support both financially and as a participant in exhibiting high quality animals has not only strengthened the Boer goat industry, but has added to the spread of the goat into the domestic meat goat industry."
M.D. and his brother Marvin organized one of the largest herds of Boer goats in the U.S. in 1994 when Boer goats were still very new to this country. Their first Boers - a husky buck named Krugerand and some does were purchased from the Landcorp Farming Ltd. flock. That was when Dr. Gary Vannoy of Ozona first met M.D.
"That was the fall of 1993," recalled Vannoy. "M.D. and Marvin had just acquired Krugerand and the does and they were anxious to begin an embryo flush program. From that day forward, it became very evident that M.D. has had a tenacious desire to learn all he can about the husbandry of Boer goats. His desire to be the best and have the best have made him a leader in the meat goat industry."
Prior to getting into the Boer goat business, the Shurleys had been raising meat goats for some 15 years. They originally investigated Boer goats as a possible option to improve their meat goat flock because they wanted a bigger-bodied, heavier-muscled buck - they found that in the Boer.
Others involved in building this county's Boer industry have also witnessed M.D. Shurley's success. Rodney Robinson, another pioneer in the U.S. Boer industry, was building his herd at the same time as M.D. and understands the time, effort and financial investment Shurley made during the building process.
"As a goat breeder I appreciate the work M.D. has done toward fostering the causes which are common to all meat goat producers, and that he has chosen to add genetics from our championship herd to his breeding program. One such goat he purchased from us and successfully exhibited is the champion Boer buck "LSBG-SA-G41", a U.S. born offspring from the herd of our mutual friends Philip W. Henderson & Son of Toekomst Stud in Sommerset East, Republic of South Africa," Robinson said. "I am confident we will see more of M.D. and his XS Ranch goats in the winner's circle in the future."
Another fellow Boer breeder, Daryle Coates, said he considers M.D. a "personal friend" who can sometimes be "flamboyant
and/or controversial" but his focus is always on the Boer goat industry.
"In a business where there have been so many takers, this can never be said of M.D." Coates said. "He has been a
constant giver to the Boer goat industry. Whether it has been financial, intellectual, moral or physical support, M.D. is there. A great supporter of our youth, M.D. always has words of wisdom and encouragement when they visit his ranch."