To become a breeder of merit, you have to have been involved in the AKC world for five years or more, be a member of an AKC approved club, do all the health testing on breeding stock recommended by your parent club (the American Whippet Club in our case), attempt to achieve 100% registration by your puppy owners, and have AKC titles on at least four dogs you've bred.
Apparently our registration papers will now have a gold border around them. Thanks, AKC -- it truly is nice to be recognized for trying to do it right! (Even if I can hear Mama turning in her grave...)
AKC Breeder of Merit (!!!)