This Is Us: Marin County Fair 2017
President's Letter
By 2020 RESDA President,
Sharon J. Heringer
RESDA is a remarkable place. We organize an average of 14 trial days each year, with more days together for meetings, clinics, demos and the like. The time spent as a group adds up to a solid month of workdays each year, and that doesn’t count back office work or time preparing oneself and one’s dogs for competition.

We’ve kept up this pace since 1947, when the Association was formed, and have named an annual champion every year since then, fast approaching 75 years.

No one individual dominates our operations. We elect a Vice President at our Spring Meeting each year, and that person becomes the President the following year. This largely prevents the same person from being President two years in a row.

Over the past ten years, nine different people have served as President. This practice promotes a sense of flexibility, cooperation and equality within the organization, as individuals move through the roles of handler, board member, officer and back again over a period of years, all working toward the goal of organizing friendly, fair sheep dog competitions. It takes many different strengths, working together, to host a good sheep dog trial—at least that's the RESDA way.

As President this year, I plan to practice facilitative leadership, helping the board take action as needed and serving as a mentor for other roles I have already played. Someone used the word “moderator” to describe the RESDA President’s role to me; that’s a description I aspire to as well.

On our best days, we are a community that provides a place to make great friends, to learn and grow, and to serve. I grew up on a family farm, but spent much of my adult life living and working in various cities. After meeting my first border collie in 2004 and joining RESDA in 2007, I sold my townhouse and am now living closer to the land. I often say that, “I was lost, but border collies found me and led me back home.” In truth, the people of RESDA have been as much a part of that transformation as the dogs have. I hope you may find a home and a fertile field here as well.
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October 2008 Cali at four years old—the border collie who started it all
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6/28/2009 Flotsam and jetsam, er, Dylan and True, one day old. Photo credit: LeeAnn Heringer.
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7/4/2012 Sharon Heringer and True's first open trial win at the 2012 Marin County Fair Sheep Dog Trial. Left to right: Judge Gordon Contival, winners Sharon and True, and Karen Kollgaard, second place with Cali and third place with Dickens.
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9/21/2019 Sharon Heringer and Try, 2019 Potter Valley Classic Pro Novice winners. Well, yes, in fact they do make "camo" kilts. Photo credit: Donna Beebe.
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