John Sinclair, President

Growing up in Missouri on a small homestead, dogs were an important part of our lives.  Be it guarding the livestock, keeping the elephants out of the trees and copperheads out of the yard, or just being by our side, our dogs did it all.  While our lives took its twists and turns through world travels, the dogs were our constant that made any place home.  Having settled in Kentucky with our own homestead, Jennifer and I searched for the great all-around farm dog and found it in the Scottish Collie.  Our three collies are happy working the pigs, guarding the chickens, hiking through the woods with the children, and at the end of the day curling up with the family...all the while keeping the elephants out of the trees.*

When I was little, my Granddad had had an old mutt that lay around all day doing nothing.  One day I asked him why he kept that dog around when it was always made clear, "No hay burners allowed!"  Granddad told me the old mutt wasn't a hay burner, that his job was to keep the elephants out of the trees.  "Granddad, that's crazy!  There's no elephants in trees!"  Granddad simply said, "That's because he's great at his job."


Hayley Belk, Secretary

My love for dogs began in my early childhood. I can remember watching the Westminster Dog Show and trying to accurately identify as many breeds as possible before the announcer introduced them. My parents acquired an English Springer Spaniel when I was in sixth grade. I spent countless hours teaching her tricks and setting up obstacle courses for her to run in our backyard.

A few years after my marriage in 1999 I adopted an adult Border Collie. Her intelligence and work ethic were unparalleled. We were working on completing a Canine Good Citizen Course when she was tragically killed by a car. In searching for another Border Collie, I was wisely told to look at the “Lassie Collie” breed. I found a breeder locally, but it took nearly three years before we were able to bring home our own Scottish Collie.

We began breeding Collies in 2014 to help preserve the breed that had become invaluable to us as a farm helper and family companion. We now share our hearth and home with four Collies. I am thrilled to join with the SCPS to help ensure the continued success of the Scottish Collie’s future for generations to come.

Marie Minnich, Treasurer

Throughout most of my life, the dogs that I have owned (or been owned by) have been various mixed breeds, all of whom I loved. In 2008, my husband and I began to raise Romeldale CVMs, a heritage breed of wool sheep whose genetic potential needs preserving. We were introduced to the farm collies by a fellow sheep breeder. Her stories of her dog’s abilities piqued my interest enough to search out my first Scottish Collie, our Mac. It soon became apparent that we had found another breed worth restoring and preserving. Simply finding an appropriate mate and breeding them is insufficient effort. I look forward to working with fellow Board members of the SCPS to further the preservation of this wonderful breed.


Suzi Newman, Registrar

Since childhood I've had a love for the herding breeds. My mom and I raised Shetland Sheepdogs until I was in my 20's and we loved them. I grew up with watching Lassie on TV. My husband and I met at age 14 on a summer vacation. We married 12 years later, and have been married 25 years in March. In my mid 30's I bought my first Collie and I've never looked back. They are my heart, and my life. I cannot imagine not having one (or 10). We started breeding about 15 years ago, and just had 4 collies. Three years ago we began gathering all the information we could on Collie genetics and bettering the breed. We changed our whole program. We test for 151 things as a foundation for our program. We are passionate and committed to the Collie breed, and preservation. 

I was a Property Manager for over 20 years, and managed large communities of apartment & condominium homes. Now, my life revolves around caring for our grand daughter, and nephew, loving on our dogs, and raising the best Collie puppies we can raise. We are very hands on and do puppy culture, and interact by having them in our living area where we spend most of our daily time. I am proud to be a part of the SCPS team, and feel blessed that I can do what I love! Thank you!

Denise Maher, Director of Marketing & Communications

I grew up in Virginia and we always had dogs, mostly Labrador Retrievers.  When my husband and I moved out to the Black Hills of South Dakota, we purchased our first herding dog and my youngest daughter began to train and compete in dog events.  We currently own twelve acres with horses and three dogs:  a Black Lab, a Border Collie, and a Scottish Collie.  My background is in Corporate Development and Training, however I am also a 4-H dog instructor and judge for Agility events for the county.  I have always wanted an old fashioned farm collie and I am excited to have my own Scottish Collie and plan to promote the breed with my boy "Titus" in dog sporting events.


Berta Lilienthal, Board Member at Large

I grew up in central Minnesota. I cannot remember a day in my life I didn’t have a dog. My love for dogs comes from my Grandpa who had a collie at his side for most of his 90 years. My husband, Dennis, and I have always had a Scottish Collie here on the farm. Our 4 sons have been active in 4h animal science, showing dogs, horses and beef cattle. I am also a Childcare Provider and small business owner. I have a business degree in Marketing and Management. Most days I’m the Chaos Coordinator.

Several years ago we began breeding and raising AKC Rough Collies, continually striving for improvements in our program. Puppies just make me smile. I have met many wonderful people along the way. The puppy families become an extension of our family. I am a firm believer that every home needs a collie (or 2).

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