Goat Share Program ends, then gives birth to new enterprises (are you kidding?)
If life has offered me any gifts–which it has–the most salient of those gifts might be turning mistakes into gifts, obstacles into launching pads and the reminder that ignorant folks (including myself) and the entities they represent and/or work for need to be forgiven–most of the time. 😉
Due to the growth of our egg sales we have moved into a different class of farm to insurance companies and have lost our goat share exclusion that we had through Hastings and have had to seek out a new insurer. In our search we have found no company (not Fremont, not Farm Bureau) that is willing to simply exclude the goat share program. All have said–“get rid of it, sign off that you will not operate it while we are insuring you, or we will drop you.” So we have conceded, have terminated our Goat Share Program and aim to turn this into another opportunity for education, growth and diversification.
For now we plan to keep our minor herd. They will be kidding shortly and we will be awash in milk again. Some of the kids may be sold to other homesteaders and farmers. The milk from the mothers will now be diverted into soap-making and possibly cheese projects. We are extremely fond of our goats. They are surrenderingly personable and few things beat sitting in the sun, scratching your goats cheek, while she exhales cud breath into your face and you both dose off.
They are also maybe the single most resilient and sensible four-legged livestock we can raise in the US. For eight to ten months out of the year (depending on severity of winter) they can get all of their forage and roughage–though not all of their minerals necessarily–from wild land. For this reason we will be adding meat goats to our operation sometime in 2016 or 2017. Please stay tuned for more. And who knows–maybe this is the universe letting us know that Angora goats are not such a bad idea after all… Stuart.