Starting a Rotational Grazing Goat-Rental Service, Part 1


| 7/27/2016 9:35:00 AM


Goats on the Go

A few years ago we decided we would "value-add" our farm a little more. For us, value-add means to upscale any product or project the farm is currently involved in.

We took a look at the farm to see where we were paying out but not taking in equally. That would be the goat herd. Our goat herd was a "work in progress". Our initial plan for the goats was to get the herd Animal-Welfare Approved and then try to get approved for a micro-dairy.

Well, as things often go, it was going to take time and money to get our milking parlor up to par. We were Animal-Welfare Approved (AWA) and audited yearly. During this time, our herd of dairy goats grew. We were also keeping the wethers. We were practicing rotational grazing for the health of our goats, as well as staying up with our AWA requirements.

Just When it Looks Like Things are Going Well

As I said, looking at the growth of the herd and the expense, and asked myself what else we could do to bring income to the farm. The answer hit me when I decided to apply for a grant through AWA: goat rentals! It was the perfect solution. Take the wethers out to provide the rotational grazing they needed and that would leave enough pasture for the dairy herd to be moved around more.

So, I worked up a plan and submitted it for the Animal Husbandry grant. I was so excited. I had done my research, and I knew this was doable and was promoting another way farmers could have access to additional pasture to implement rotational grazing.



Well, I waited and I waited — finally, I got an e-mail! I opened it up and..."we're sorry..."





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