In Memoriam—Christina Strickland January 3, 1948, to July 14, 2022

In Memoriam—Christina Strickland January 3, 1948, to July 14, 2022

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By Cheryl K. Smith  Last year saw the loss of a shining star in the dairy goat community: Christina Strickland of Scio, Oregon. She was a premier goat breeder, judge, ADGA director, and the driving force behind the NWODGA annual goat conference for many years, as well as a loved college professor and mother. 

Christina Lynn Johnson was born on January 3, 1948, and grew up in Roseburg, Oregon. Chris attended Umpqua Community College and graduated from Oregon State University with a biology degree. After marrying Harold William “Bill” Strickland in 1972, she continued her education with a master’s degree from Texas Women’s University, ultimately teaching microbiology at Clackamas Community College. After returning to Oregon, they had two daughters, Jillian and Janie. 

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Chris and Bill began their goat herd, Le Chevrier, in 1975 with Josie and Jenny, two French Alpine dairy goats who were purchased to help eliminate the blackberries on their small acreage near Oregon City, Oregon. We all know where that leads!  

They grew their breeding program, with Le Chevrier French Alpines becoming a well-known and respected dairy goat herd with strong genetics. Their herd and those of their daughters consisted of 85 goats at one point, including Alpines, Toggenburgs, and LaManchas.  

Her service manifested Chris’s dedication to the dairy goat community over many years. She was a member of the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) for 46 years and served for more than 25 years as Director for District 7. She advocated for adding Nigerian Dwarf and Sable goats to the registry and was Youth Chairperson at the ADGA National convention for many years. Both Chris and her husband, Bill, participated in ADGA’s Linear Appraisal Program and the Dairy Herd Improvement Registry (DHIR). They also consigned goats to the Spotlight Sale. In 2022, Chris was awarded the Helen Hunt Distinguished Service Award at the ADGA Convention. 

As a dairy goat judge, Chris’s approach was thorough, educational, and humorous. She was the first judge under whom I showed goats I had bred, and I remember her remarking amusingly about my yearling, “I can see that she never misses a meal.” She was ultimately awarded Judge Emeritus for 25 years of judging ADGA shows. 

Chris especially championed youth who were involved in goats. She led a 4-H group called the Blue Ribbon Kids. She taught her young charges the importance of hard work and giving to others. Raspberry, who worked with Chris on goat conferences for years, described Chris’s unique ability to teach young people: 

I watched Chris in her magic place when she was leading a conference class for youth on internal parasites. She delivered the information so that 8- to 12-year-olds could fully understand the key points of why they are a problem, how to identify when they are a problem, and how to resolve it. Those kids left the session knowing more about parasites and how to manage them than what many adults who are new to goats could understand. (Of course, since Chris was a microbiology instructor at a community college, she knew her topic well.) 

The Northwest Oregon Dairy Goat Association (NWODGA) annual conference, held each February for 30 years, would only have occurred with her guidance, devotion, and time. She was on the board of NWODGA and chaired the conference committee for years. In 2016, NWODGA was awarded the Friend of ADGA award for more than 25 years of an annual conference designed to provide educational and health care for goats. 

I got to know Chris more when she asked me to be a presenter at the conference one year. I quickly learned she was the go-to person and troubleshooter for details, such as nonworking or absent audiovisual equipment. Raspberry, who took over chairing the NWODGA conference committee and worked with Chris on it for four years, shared with me how her cool and calm way of handling people’s problems had been a model for him. 

Chris focused her creative side on rubber stamping, which her forever friend and chosen sister, Barbara, had introduced her to. She participated in monthly stamp club gatherings, making beautiful works of art that were featured in magazines, won awards at the Clackamas County Fair, and were given to family and friends. 

Chris was also financially generous, donating to charitable causes such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Partners in Health, Adopt a Native Elder, and others and to families in times of great need. She often said, “What’s the point of having if I can’t give to others?” or “I can’t take it with me!” 

One of Chris’s last wishes was to educate people about BRCA1 gene mutation, which she learned, after testing, that she carried and was likely behind her pancreatic cancer. Being BRCA1 positive substantially increases a person’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer, and prostate and pancreatic cancer to a much lesser degree. Learning about this mutation spurred her daughters to get tested and realize they needed preventive surveillance — potentially saving their lives.  

Christina L. Strickland, patience and generosity personified, left this world on July 14, 2022, surrounded by family and goats. She is survived by her husband, Bill; daughter, Jillian (and her husband, Kevin); daughter, Janie (and her husband, Josh); brothers Michael, Jeff, and Rob; and grandchildren, Kirie, Virginia, Travis, Reagan, and Jack. She will be greatly missed. 

The Chris Strickland Endowed Scholarship fund was set up by Chris’s brother Mike Johnson, who matches donations dollar for dollar up to $15,000. You can learn more about it on the ADGA/Helen Staver Foundation Facebook page.  

Donations can be made to: 

ADGA/Helen Staver Foundation 

161 W Main Street, Spindale NC 28160 OR 

Online at 

Make sure to note that it is for the Christina Lynn Strickland Endowment Scholarship Fund. 

Originally published in the March/April 2023 issue of Goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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